MY SCREENPLAY DIARY: How One Screenplay Became Two!


Regular readers know that I recently decided to document the writing of my latest screenplay project.

As I said in that first post, I was torn between writing two different kinds of movies, both of which could be produced cheaply — under three million bucks: (1) A timely and provocative story that was also commercial and high-concept (likeĀ The Purge or Get Out). OR (2) An intensely personal, intimate project (like Moonlight).

In the end, I went with #1, and I’ve now completed my first draft, sent it to out to my initial beta-readers, and also done the first revision. Soon I’ll send this version to professional script-readers to get their opinion. Then, if they give me the sense it’s ready to go, I’ll try to market it (which I’ll document here).

(By the way, if you’re interested in being a beta-reader, contact me here.)

But here’s where the story gets interesting. Literally the day that I finished my first draft of this screenplay, I got another another idea.

And this idea is much more option #2, above (like Moonlight) — personal and intimate, less obviously commercial. It also says something about the world in 2017, but it’s much more specific (even if I hope it has a universal component). It has a strong gay element, but it’s not something I’ve seen many, or any, other movies or books say. It’s pretty specific to my life, but I also think it’s something a lot of people can relate too.

As soon as I thought of it, I said, “Wow, this is a great idea. If I can pull this off, I could win an Oscar.” Then I told a writer friend, and he said, “Wow, that’s a great idea. If you can pull that off, you could win an Oscar.”

So, yeah. I’m excited about this new idea. But the “pull it off” part is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Truly great ideas are rare, it’s true. But the most difficult part of writing is always the execution. Many a slip and all that…

I realize this is all pretty vague. Once I register my first idea, I’ll write about it in more detail.

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