Last night was the first time I heard any of my screenplay writing read aloud. I was incredibly nervous all day, secretly hoping that the unwelcome nor’easter would cause a cancellation of the Tisch Alumni Script Critique Group. Alas, no cancellation, and the dull stomach ache all day raged onward as 6:30 came closer.
I’ve been working on my screenplay Gold Star for months now, and am just starting to share it with friends and colleagues, reaching out to trusted individuals to collaborate as my team grows. The feedback has been generous and positive. Yet, hearing the first 15 pages of my screenplay read aloud in front of a group of my peers proved to be an entirely different thing, a terrifying thing.
If you don’t know who Ted Hope is and you’re into film, god help you. The man is a indie film powerhouse, blogging constantly, producing, and a fountain of knowledge about the ever changing film industry. Yesterday, I found his blog particularly close to home. In it he encourages filmmakers to get help, but not wait for it to get a project done. People won’t always help, and sometimes they will take more than they give. It’s a delicate balancing act. He ends the post by stating:
“Being true to your heart and ideas is a revolutionary act. I think the world is ready for you to get it done.”
Lucky enough to read this post before I traveled through the snowstorm last night, I felt empowered. Don’t wait for someone to help, just do it no matter what. I can do this - I kept thinking to myself. You got this, girl!
While hearing my screenplay read aloud, I grew more relaxed. I realized that yes, something I worked tirelessly on is actually good, and yay, people are laughing at the right moments, the actors’ instincts are dead on. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences ever. It gave me something more than acting has given me to this point -- writing allows you to not only create a character, but an entire world.
After the actors finished and handed me my script, I sat at a long table, awaiting comments and criticisms. Everyone’s feedback was extremely kind, and people were excited to hear that it was based on a true story. People asked me to bring in the rest of the script, curious to see how it turns out and what happens to the characters. I learned a lot about not only screenwriting, but my own process last night. I felt a little surge of power inside as well. I want to keep doing this.
The screenplay presentation reinvigorated me after weeks of meetings and email correspondences and “busy work” for my film. Gold Star is loosely based my life, but entirely from my heart. I can’t wait to share it with the world.