Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Phoenix Inc: The Short Film-Writing

I'm not the greatest writer in the world, but I can get a story on its legs very quickly because I plan like crazy ahead of time. Before I ever put pen to paper (figuratively speaking) on a script I create a roadmap. This takes a lot of extra time, and some writers don't need it but I find that if I don't prepare properly my stories get sluggish in the middle. The best way I can explain it is to say that the story gets doughy in the middle. I'm great at coming up with beginnings, endings and scenes in the middle but making it all piece together nicely, and keeping a fast paced natural flow is not something I can do without preparation.

With this story I spent even more time than usual. Originally I wanted it to be a feature film, but I could see that I wouldn't have the budget for that and I was hoping to potentially use this as a stepping stone to fund a feature film. This made it horrible to write because I had to cut the idea down from something fairly complex, down to the simplest version of the idea. It also meant that I had to cut out several side stories that would have been very powerful. The real strength in the idea was not just in the story of my protagonist of choice, it was in the far reaching potential that the implications of a real Phoenix Inc. team could have. But there simply wasn't time and there weren't resources to include any other stories. This will come up again later.

It took me 2 years to get this script to a place where I felt like it was ready to go. Part of the reason for this is that I literally wrote the story to take place in the house I was living in at the time, but then we moved and this actually made a pretty big difference to the way a couple of scenes played out.

The funny thing is that even though I spent all that time on the script it turned out that when I showed the film to a few test viewers they pointed out a weakness and I had to write and film one additional scene.

I probably could have waited a lot longer to produce the film, working until I felt like it was perfect but I think I might have died of old age before I got there and I felt like this story needed to be told. After almost 7 years of dreaming, writing and planning the idea was ready to present to the world.

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