Script Frenzy

On Life So Far

A lot has been going on in Jonathan-land since the last update. Instead of getting all prose heavy on you with how my life has been, I’ll just do a simple bullet point list of recent developments. You can thank me later.

  • Moving to Los Angeles in August to try and start my career as a screenwriter.
  • Redesigned my site.
  • Ended the hiatus to Hilarious Henry, and then hiatus’d again for the move to LA.
  • Started work on draft 2 of the script I wrote for Script Frenzy. Not much progress has been made on that front, however.
  • Started a cool new podcast with some friends. It’s called Flickers & Beats and we talk about movies and music. Sometimes there’s talk of theater stuff.
  • I’ve seen She & Him, Mates of State and Modest Mouse live.

All in all, it’s been fairly busy. I haven’t written much because I just haven’t had a lot to say that couldn’t be said on some other social site out there like Facebook or Friendfeed or Twitter. And even then I haven’t been too terribly active on those.

I promise I’ll be better about this.

Sincerely, me.

Eleven Day Steampunk



April 1st came around and two things happened: I completely forgot that it was April Fools Day and I began the screenwriting boot camp known as Script Frenzy. If you’ll recall, I wrote earlier about my plans to write two scripts to make up for the zero I wrote last year. Well, I’m here today to tell you that I’m done with my first script, LAMENT. It’s a Steampunk Western Revenge Flick about a father and a husband who will stop at nothing to kill the man responsible for ruining his life. There’s action, there’s drama and there’s enough steampunk to whet your appetite.

All in all, the script took me eleven days to write, averaging out about ten pages a day with a day or two off to keep my sanity. I discussed the beauty of outlining in my last post and the proof was in how easy it was to bang out the script. I essentially breezed through ten pages, checked my notes, and then soared through another. Naturally, my script ended at page 93.

Now you might ask, “Doesn’t Script Frenzy require 100 pages?”

Yes, it does. This was perhaps one of the more interesting aspects to my writing binge this past week or so. By around page 85, I started to burn out. When you burn out as a writer, the first thing that goes by the wayside is the prose. While you’re generally not supposed to flower your script with prose, the details help. I perused the pages near the end and realized that I had all but dropped the prose in favor of quick action text like, “Westin charges forward, shoots guy,” or “Westin kills bad guy.” On the first day, it was more along the lines of, “Westin steps off the train, letting his bag drop to the ground. He toys with the cigarette sandwiched between his lips and tosses it aside.”

You get the idea.

The other thing that also seems to fall by the wayside is the dialog. The first few days of writing (roughly 30-40 pages) saw some interesting dialog between the characters, stuff that gave you a decent idea as to what made them tick. Granted, we’re not talking Tarantino’esque yakking, but something useful for a first draft. By the last page, no one was saying a word except for the villain and he repeated himself to an annoying extent.

“Hey,” you might interrupt, “weren’t you supposed to do two scripts?”

Busy month, indeed.

A Most Ambitious Frenzy

Script Frenzy

Script Frenzy

Last year I failed Script Frenzy. I had a good idea, but I just didn’t have the commitment to the event that I needed to see the project through. From a writing perspective, I had gotten too mired in plot and “revise-as-you-go,” a screenwriter’s worst nightmare. I would open up my script during those 5 days I wrote and start from the beginning, tweaking everything until it felt as succinct and ready-to-sell as a final draft. By that fifth day I was burned out and done with the whole mess, so I stopped and went about my business.

Well, that’s not going to happen this year. I’ve decided to overcompensate for my failure by writing two scripts this year for Sript Frenzy. That’s right, two scripts! The idea is that I will get my first script done within the first ten to fifteen days, and then spend the last part of the month working on my second feature. I plan to budget at least ten pages a day to my script and then write some kind of rambly-ass post on here to update how things are going.

This will be a very very very interesting April.


Writing and Re-Writing

One of the frustrating things about my process is the part where I go back and change a bunch of shit and essentially rewrite my script from page one. It’s not like I actually want to do this, especially considering I have to get 100 or so pages done by the end of the month. What ends up happening is that I get ideas about what I wrote before and those ideas pester me until I do something about them. Case in point, day one and two for me for Script Frenzy. I wrote roughly four or five pages that were solid and took a break from it. As I went about doing other things, the need to change EVERYTHING surfaced and it was all I could think about.

I need to get a better writing process..

Going Into a Script Frenzy

For a writer, one of the biggest challenges is actually sitting down and facing off against the blank page, or screen if you’ve ditched your typewriter for a trendier, more electronic word processing unit! When I sit down to start writing, I find myself daunted by all the white space that occupies my screen. Once that happens, the motivation kind of deteriorates and then I get distracted by the various web services that call to me on a continual basis (thanks, Friendfeed, twitter, etc). In short, I don’t get a lot of writing done.

But I was pointed to an interesting site from John August’s blog that might just cure my Writer’s Block: Script Frenzy. Think, NaNoWriMo for screenplays. Within 30 days of April, everyone who signs up for the site will be writing toward a goal of 100 script pages. Sounds pretty neat, actually. So much so that I’ve signed up and am going to be participating this year. I’ve already come up with the story I’m going to write and am pretty much going to free style this script come April 1st.

If you’re into screenwriting even in the slightest, I’d suggest giving it a try. It will be a fun challenge, and you get 100 pages of…well…something that can be molded into your finest work ever, at least. If you do sign up, look me up. Movieguyjon, as usual!

Here’s some particulars about the script I plan on writing for Script Frenzy:

Title: Year of the Con
Genre: Comedy
Logline: Frustrated with the lackluster conventions in their area, four friends decide to create their own Super Con and turn it into the biggest event of the year.

You can keep up to date with my script via this blag or through my Script Frenzy profile. I plan on making my script profile on the site more complete by the end of the month.

Can’t wait!