Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fade In:

The first time I wrote those words, I had absolutely no grasp on reality, and thank goodness I didn’t. I was determined to write this great screenplay that would be the best movie ever seen. After all, I had seen a ton of movies that I thought were pure crap, and I could write way better crap than that. Arrogance is totally wasted on the naive.

I purchased every book I could find on screenwriting - starting with The Screenwriter’s Bible. Having taught a film class to high school students for two years, hey, I felt like I knew a little something. Yeah, very little. But I was determined. For years, I had talked about writing a novel, I had even gone as far as outlining it, and using a trial version of Dramatica to work out the story. I had also started a few short stories and nonfiction essays. However, the one thing these projects had in common was I had never followed them through to completion. So, when I informed the hubby that I was going to write a screenplay, he nodded and smiled, which translated oh, so clearly into a “yeah, right”.

I purchased index cards, typing paper and a copy of Screenwriter’s Movie Magic software. This was becoming pricey before leaving the starting gate. I kept Trottier’s Bible next to me with every index card I completed and every page I wrote. Because I suffer from a major case of undiagnosed ADD, I found that I could never really sit in front of the computer for too long, so I chose to write my script using pen and paper. This allowed for me to be more active physically, but it ended up serving another purpose - it served as an instant first draft, forcing me to rewrite the script as I then transferred it to the computer. I still am a pen and paper type of girl, but have since learned to sit for longer periods in front of the computer and work on a first draft there.

The day I finished the first script - February of 2003 - my husband was beyond shocked. I had actually finished something. Granted, I had finished college and obtained a master’s degree, so I knew I was capable of completing something that was extremely important to me. He read it, and as only a loving husband could feel, he loved it. Both of us now look back at that first script and realize that we fell in love with the act of accomplishing a goal. I had to write that script. It wasn’t just words on a page, but it was words that I found deep inside of me, that I felt the need to share with others.

I know that I was born again the day I completed my first script, and with the completion of every subsequent script, I rediscover a new me. I write because I have to. Fade In represents the fading in of me, my life, and who and what I am. Every word is an extension of a feeling, a fear, a desire, a need. I write because I live.

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