Tag Archives: plot

Day 26: Script Progress: DONE

The script is done.

I repeat, the script is DONE.

DONE.

100% finished. 120 pages. 81 scenes. 3 Acts.

26 days into the project.  12 days spent into planning the script ahead of time. 14 days spent actually writing a 120-page feature film script.

It would have taken a lot longer to write-in fact, I’d probably still be in Act One-if I hadn’t done all the prep work.  I really can’t emphasize how having a plot outline helped keep me on track on making real progress every day.

There is nothing better than being able to sit down, relax, because you’ve finished a script. It’s not a major accomplishment and there’s a really long road to actually making it into a movie.

Heck, the work on the script isn’t even close to being done. This is only the first draft. I’ll keep working on it, improving it, and getting feedback on it.

But the first draft is done. The framework for the movie is done.

This was the easy part. The hard part? That’s coming. But for today, I can celebrate.

Because I can do 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.

The next step is figuring out the budget. How much will this movie cost?


A couple more notes before I sign off:

1) Want to read the script? If I know you or you know someone I know, I might be willing to send it to you if you are thinking about getting involved at this stage of the project (before it’s financed or the script is even proofread!). If you do want to help but want to wait until there’s money and/or a polished version of the script, I recommend you wait.

2) If you’ve done a budget for a movie before, I’d love to hear any tips or hints! I’ve never had to do this and it’s a daunting task so any free help I can get, I welcome!


And with that, I sign off.

Day 25: Script Progress: Act Three

Today I started and wrote a significant portion of Act Three! There are only seven scenes left in the movie. Only about 13 pages left in the script.  Three of those scenes are pretty long, big ones that the whole movie has been building towards. The other scenes are small character and relationship scenes.

I think there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to be done tomorrow.

Overall:

Pages: 105/120 (87.50%)

Scenes: 74/81 (91.36%)

Acts: 2/3 (66.67%)

Act Three:

Pages: 9/22 (40.91%)

Scenes: 5/12 (41.67%)

Day 24: Script Progress: Act Two: Done

The second act in my script is done!

I think so far this is my favorite part of the script that I’ve written. There’s some really nice character and relationship building scenes in this script before a large dark scene that sets us on the third act. It really is the darkest that the script gets and I hope in theaters it’s as captivating as it is in my head.  Let’s just say the scene was so good that it actually revived my inspiration for the script.

Having said that, it also means I’m one huge step closer to being done with the script. Only the Third Act is left. I can’t say how long that’ll take me but if I keep the current speed of writing, I might be done with this draft of the script on Wednesday.

Overall:

Pages: 97/120 (80.83%)

Scenes: 63/81 (85.19%)

Acts: 2/3 (66.67%)

Act Two:

Pages: 66/66 (100%)

Scenes: 47/47 (100%)

Parts: 4/4 (100%)

Part One:

Pages: 12/12 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Two:

Pages: 11/11 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Three:

Pages: 25/25 (100%)

Scenes: 17/17 (100%)

Part Four:

Pages: 18/18 (100%)

Scenes: 12/12 (100%)

Day 23: Script Progress: Act Two: Part Four

Today was another productive day on the progress of my script. I am now about 3/4ths of the way through the whole script. Even more importantly, I’m also almost done with the second act. I really can’t tell you how breaking up this part of the story into multiple parts has helped me write it. It just made it feasible and having small goals to reach always made it feel like I was making progress.

You know I was actually talking to a person who wanted to write a little bit earlier and I think I told him something that I think is essential to the writing process: writing itself is not the creative process. I think a lot of people don’t really understand this. They get inspired by a new story. They get excited. So they open up a new document and they start to put it down straight to the paper.

Some writers might be able to actually finish a story this way but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us can’t really do this. So many people start a great story with strong characters and great emotional payoffs but they never finish. They never even get close. Why? It’s because we get confused.

I told that person the trick to writing is to write even when you aren’t feeling inspired. I think that’s true because ultimately the creative part of “writing” is actually done in the outline stage. When you are “inspired” by an idea, that’s where you should spend all of your creative energy on. Oh, you can do what I did and craft the characters first. I did this because my story is a whole bunch of character arcs surrounding a basic premise. But it’s in creating the outline where the actual creative process should and does take place for successful projects.

The actual writing down the story? That’s just the technical process. The thing you do to execute the outline but you likely won’t be inspired through the whole thing. And if you don’t have an outline to keep you on track, you’ll never finish unless it’s super short.

I can tell you this because I have lost the inspiration I had originally for this script. But that’s okay-I predicted and accepted this was going to happen. I have my outline and my characters.

Want to be a writer? It’s not just writing everyday. When you get hit by a new idea that excites you, don’t start to immediately write it. Use all that initial energy to create an outline. Then just create the habit of working on it everyday. You do this and while you might not like the end product, you’ll have at least reached the finished line.

And reaching the finish line is a victory in and of itself. You can’t be a writer if you can’t even reach it.

Overall:

Pages: 87/120 (72.50%)

Scenes: 63/81 (77.78%)

Acts: 1/3 (33.33%)

Act Two:

Pages: 56/66 (84.85%)

Scenes: 41/47 (87.23%)

Parts: 3.5/4 (87.50%)

Part One:

Pages: 12/12 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Two:

Pages: 11/11 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Three:

Pages: 25/25 (100%)

Scenes: 17/17 (100%)

Part Four:

Pages: 8/18 (44.44%)

Scenes: 6/12 (50.00%)

Day 22: Script Progress: Act Two: Part 3.5

I continue to make great progress on the script. I’m particularly happy about today because I got to write one of the scenes I’ve been most excited about: it’s really the scene where we realize how far Austin has gone. Now this is obviously very early and a lot can change and it’s hard to really predict these things, but I wouldn’t be surprise if this scene is the iconic one from Eternal Camping. At least I hope it is.

Tomorrow I’ll start work on Part Four. That should also take me two days to complete and then I’ll work on Act Three. At this rate, I believe I’ll be done late next week. Which is really exciting! It’s also speaks testament to the value of having a plot outline. Writing a draft of a feature film in three weeks is only possible because I know exactly what each scene will be rather than having to figure it out as I write.

Overall:

Pages: 79/120 (65.83%)

Scenes: 57/81 (70.37%)

Acts: 1/3 (33.33%)

Act Two:

Pages: 48/66 (72.73%)

Scenes: 35/47 (74.47%)

Parts: 3/4 (75.00%)

Part One:

Pages: 12/12 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Two:

Pages: 11/11 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Three:

Pages: 25/25 (100%)

Scenes: 17/17 (100%)

Part Four:

Pages: 0/18 (0%)

Scenes: 0/12 (0%)

Day 21: Script Progress: Act Two: Part Three

Today I kept working on Act Two by writing about half of Part Three. If you are paying attention to my progress bar, you’ll notice that I’ve shaved off a few pages off the estimated page count for Part Three. Why? It’s simple. I have a small calculation in my plot outline spreadsheet that tells me if I’m staying within my page limit. It’s been telling me I’ve been over by a couple of pages for the last couple days and it was natural to cut pages from this part: it was already way longer than expected.

The good news is that I think this worked for the best. None of the scenes are rushed and in my opinion they feel like they are the perfect length. I’m hoping to finish Part Three tomorrow.

Overall:

Pages: 65/120 (54.17%)

Scenes: 49/81 (60.49%)

Acts: 1/3 (33.33%)

Act Two:

Pages: 34/66 (51.52%)

Scenes: 27/47 (57.45%)

Parts: 2.5/4 (62.50%)

Part One:

Pages: 12/12 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Two:

Pages: 11/11 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Three:

Pages: 11/25 (44.00%)

Scenes: 9/17 (52.94%)

Part Four:

Pages: 0/18 (0%)

Scenes: 0/12 (0%)

Day 20: Script Progress: Act Two: Part Two

Today I started and finished on the second part of Act Two! This is pretty good progress so far. There are of course a lot of work to be done before I’m finished with Act Two-I’m not even halfway done with this act! Part 3 and Part 4 are longer so they will also take me more than one day to I actually write. Still, at this rate I should be almost done with the second act by the end of the week.

There really isn’t much else for me to say today.

Overall:

Pages: 54/120 (45.00%)-Almost halfway through the script!

Scenes: 40/81 (49.38%)

Acts: 1/3 (33.33%)

Act Two:

Pages: 23/68 (33.82%)

Scenes: 18/47 (38.30%)

Parts: 2/4 (50.00%)

Part One:

Pages: 12/12 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Two:

Pages: 11/11 (100%)

Scenes: 9/9 (100%)

Part Three:

Pages: 0/28 (0%)

Scenes: 0/17 (0%)

Part Four:

Pages: 0/18 (0%)

Scenes: 0/12 (0%)