A Frenzied First Draft


April was ScriptFrenzy month. The target: to finish 100 script pages in 30 days. Do-able? Maybe, maybe not. There’s nothing like a deadline to keep procrastination away. And also worries such as “this isn’t working!”; “these pages are pure crap!”; “why would anyone want to read this script? or watch this movie?” and assorted other self-doubting thoughts that routinely paralyze writers and bring on the BLOCK! How do you deal with it?

With only a few days to go before the starting date, Caz and I decided to just go for ScriptFrenzy. Both of us had lots of other things going on in our lives, but heck, who cared. We had a fun premise, a couple of crazy main characters and the belief that by combining those two elements, that somehow along the way, we could create enough funny situations and emotional beats to tell a fun family comedy. So, shouldn’t the writing of a fun movie be as much fun? Right! Bring it on! April 1st arrived…. and off we were….brainstorming, Skype-ing, writing, emailing, video-conferencing, writing some more, emoticon-ing, scrambling our script pages to post them on ScriptFrenzy.

And some roller-coaster ride it turned out to be. The best part of it was we didn’t have the luxury of mulling over scenes. If something wasn’t working, we would leave it be for a while, get on with the other scenes that were working and were going along merrily on our happy, bumpy scriptwriting ride. And guess what, somewhere along the bumpy way, we would figure out a way to rework the scene that wasn’t working or the “element” that just didn’t seem to fit.

Even so, as D-day approached, we were far from our target number of 100 pages. Just three days to go and 79 pages completed. We wouldn’t be able to make it! But Caz wouldn’t settle for anything less than 100. Even though it was a mad rush to the finish line, we made sure that the storyline still worked. We weren’t adding scenes just as a means of reaching the target number. The goal was to have a solid first draft that could be improved upon and make the ScriptFrenzy deadline. Piece of cake! 😀

When 30th April dawned in India, it was well past mid-day in Australia where Caz had already uploaded 103 pages! We had done it! Time to raise a toast ((d)) on Skype and do the ((dance)).

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