As some of you know, last winter, I wrote a screenplay, The Airport Bar, on the fly on the advice of a few people that kept saying, “You need to have a screenplay in your portfolio!”. So I did. I sat down and I wrote one.
I had 4 months of hiatus from work and was just finishing a new version of my spec pilot for my series that I developed entitled, The First Year, and then I wrote a screenplay. This took me one month. I gave myself only a month for many reasons; I had to finish an episode of Saving Grace that I started earlier that year, I had to finish my pilot episode that was in rewrites, and I was taking storyboard tests for 3 shows on FOX in hopes to get a day job which took a week each, and then I was going to be back on a short animated project. I only had a month of time to spare.
~Wanting to work in television is also a huge factor in my fast writing process. In TV, you don’t get a year to write an episode or even two episodes, you get a few days to first draft it and then if you are lucky a week or two to change it. Yes there are staff members, and you have people helping you, but you have to be able to go from concept to script very quickly. This is what I want to do so I have to practice in the way that I would work. To be clear, since Feb 2009 when I wrote and completed The Airport Bar, I have gone back and it has had two re writes and I am sure many more to come.~
I had no idea what I was going to write about, I didn’t want to adapt one of my novels, so I took something familiar to me and wrote an indie drama. I say indie drama because it fits in that place. This film would never be a blockbuster, but more of a smaller film. The idea behind me doing this was also to show that I can write. I entered a few contests, the more respectable ones and I even was able to apply for more writing jobs.
Through a series of emails with someone from an ad I saw on Craigslist, the first 20 pages of my script landed in the hands of one of my idols in TV writing, and all around amazing guy. He liked it but didn’t hire me for his project. That was that. A few weeks went by and my then agent called me to say that a production company was interested.
I met with them, chatted, nothing. Then a director was interested and if you are out in the world trying to sell your script, you will see that this is more normal than not normal. You don’t just write one and sell it~it should be so easy.
Now months later that original company is interested again. They made an offer, my agent (from back then, I am still sort of working with him until I find a new one-another story for another day) countered. I was like “what? I am not working, I can’t even afford the parking fee to come see you! I need to sell it” but he knows what he is doing, so I wait!
My tiny little film may have a home! I hope, but I am also realistic about the process.
I just always wonder if it will be one of my novels, my screenplay or a TV show that puts me on the map. They say, “you are only one screenplay away from making it.”