Day 1: Austin

So the process begins. I’ll admit that making a movie at this point, when I don’t even have a script, is a very daunting undertaking.

Today, I took the very first step towards the project. It’s not small but it’s a key step: coming up with a protagonist. I have settled on the name Austin because all of the characters in this script are going to be named after cities and towns in Texas. Since Austin is at the center of the group, he gets to be named after the capitol.

Eternal Camping is a weird movie. For instance, the concept is that a scout leader (Austin) learns that zombies have taken over the cities and towns while he’s taken his troop camping. Despite this, we won’t actually see any zombies. This is probably very important and I’ll stress this later but what this movie is actually about is Austin’s struggle with coming to terms with what’s happened to society.

If you want the movie to work you need a strong central character. This is why I took the day to flesh out his biography, why he’s a troop scout leader, and what exactly is it that he lost. Yes, he has dreams and a family but this is a man who was also making his mark on a world that is now gone.

I also took the time to write a little about about his personality. Who is he and how does he develop through the movie? Without giving anything away, I’m trying to start him out as a light character. He could easily be played by Chris Pratt or Jake Johnson at this point*. As the movie progresses, he’s going to become a darker character. A question the movie will ask: will he be able to see the light again? His personality determines so many things so making sure I create someone likeable but flawed was essential.

Finally, I took the time to actually put down his character arc. Where is he in Act One? Where is he in Act Two? And where is he in Act Three? This is more important than the other characters because his character story is the actual plot of the movie. Eternal Camping is his character journey.

It’s true that I won’t be writing a word in the script until all the characters are done but this stage of planning will help craft a much better screenplay than if I skipped it.

The current plan is this:

[*] Create all six characters. One down, five to go.

[*] Create a plot outline based on the character arcs.

[*] Write a script based on the plot outline and the character personalities. The script will be around 120 pages long and will likely be dialogue heavy.

[*] Take the first draft of the script and start to improve it. In this stage, I will also start to take into account what budget I will need.

[*] Once I have a budget, I will attempt to raise the funds-the current aim is $50,000. The script will continue to be modified at this point. I may also attempt to find somebody to help produce the movie with me.

[*] With the funds raised, one way or another, is to go through pre-production. Cast the movie, hire a local crew, get equipment, and find a location (preferably within the San Antonio area).

[*] Go into production. I’m hoping to shoot the whole movie within 20 days.

[*] The long post-production period. I’m hoping to have money for a video editor and sound editor. Hopefully, there won’t be any need for CGI-I’m specifically writing the script to avoid anything like that.

[*] Once the movie is done and locked, I will send it to festivals and attempt to find a distributor.

We’re still in the first step of my plan of actually making a movie.

*This is just to give you an idea of what to expect. As much I would like one of those two to be in my movie as Austin, I wouldn’t hold my breath.