Ashley: Welcome to episode #107 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, Screenwriter and Blogger, over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m interviewing Director and Screenwriter – Lawrence Roeck. Who recently wrote a western starring Scott Eastwood, who is Clint Eastwood’s son. So I am talking to him today about that film. And so, stay tuned for that.
You find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in ITunes. Or leaving a comment on YouTube, or retweeting the Podcast on Twitter. Or liking it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the Podcast. So, they are very much appreciated.
But while we’re on ITunes, I’ve recently gotten a few nice reviews over the past six weeks or so? So, I want to thank the folks who left those reviews. – JLCCO3wewillgothere, Brit, Michael Omeon, XX2XX, they all left me nice reviews on ITunes, so those are very much appreciated, thank you guys for that.
These ITune reviews really are helpful, it helps get the Podcast listened to in more places on ITunes. So, it reaches a broader audience. Also, if you subscribe to the Podcast, then you will get the new episodes downloaded to your phone each week. So, if you listen to this Podcast, please go into ITunes and hit the subscribe button. That kinda just gives you better numbers in better position in the Apple/ITunes Store. You can rate them and they will just show up in more places. So, just getting wide spread interest within the ITunes community is definitely helpful for me and the Podcast. So, if you have a minute, and you don’t mind doing this? I do really appreciate it.
Also, New Orleans’ Jack, left me some constructive criticism in ITunes about the production value of the Podcast. He seemed to think the content had real bad issues with the production value. Obviously I prefer someone would not at least leave me a review through ITunes. But I do think his criticism isn’t as fair? I am hardworking behind the scenes so that I can improve the audio quality. I am not really an expert at, you know, audio recording? But I am just kind of messing with some of the settings trying to get the levels better. And I’m not going to stop. So, I think this kind of feedback is very important, I do really appreciate it. Because I get a lot of feedback, and I’ve gotten other people Email me and say, “Hey, you know, this part was not that good.” I’ve had a friend who wasn’t on the Podcast, he mentioned in that one of the tracks, one of the parts wasn’t that great. And the audio, and so, just gave me this kind of feedback does sort of inform me of how I need to improve. Though, that kind of constructive feedback is very much appreciated. Again, I would rather prefer people would not leave it through ITunes. And I am very opened to Email. So, if you have some constructive feedback, just Email it to me. And bullet telling me at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. I will get those Emails and I will read them. And as this tape, they really do help me just kind of keep my finger on the pulse. Of what my audience sort of is thinking? A good example of this is, recently I’ve gotten a bunch of Emails where people say that they really like the section of the Podcast where I talk about my own projects and updates on my own projects.
But a lot of people pm me and say, “Hey, this is a neat section I really enjoy hearing it and those updates. So, I really try to expand that section. I didn’t, when I started the Podcast I just thought, oh, you know, throw it out there. I didn’t know people would find that interesting enough. And it seems like a few of the feedback on that is positive. People like it, so I’ll try and do more of it, and I’m trying to build that out that section a little bit. So, again, constructive criticism is always very much appreciated, and welcome. Please don’t hesitate to just send it my way, info. at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. And again, one Email, one, you know, note in ITunes, or YouTube or something? I don’t necessarily read back quickly, or just over react to one person’s criticism? But, when I see multiple people saying the same thing? Not unlike when you’re getting mentions on your screenplay? When I see people, multiple people saying the same thing? I start to think that this is something I do need to address? So, if you have any criticism, comments, questions, anything really? Just don’t hesitate to reach out.
A couple of quick notes, any websites or links that I mention in the Podcast can be found on my blog or in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with every episode, in case you would rather read the episode, or look something else up later on? You can find the Podcast show notes at –
www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast. And then just look for episode #107.
I wanted to mention a link that was sent to me by Scriptwriter Pro. This is, they created a calendar for screenwriters. It’s an excellent resource, I’m going to link to it in the show notes. And basically what they’ve done is? They’ve gone through and gotten all the very popular contest, film festivals, all the stuff that is pertinent to a screenwriter and they’ve created a calendar. So you can visually be seeing, look at this calendar when the deadlines for various contests are? I haven’t necessarily looked through every single month of every single listing, but just a quick look through January, February. But the contests that they list, for the most part are all reputable good contests. So it’s also an excellent resource just to get some of these contest on your radar, and down just more and more. So, I linked it out in the show notes. Again, it’s a nice calendar for screenwriters. All of the deadlines for all of the contests, and fellowships throughout the year.
If you want my free guide, “How to Sell Your Screenplay in Five Weeks.” You can pick that up by going to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you just put in your Email address and I’ll send you a new lesson, once per week for five weeks. Along with a bunch of bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. How to write a professional log-line, quarry letter? How to find agents, managers, and producers who are looking for new material. It really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
So, a quick few words about what I am working on, as I have been talking, the last couple of months. I finished another draft of my spoof comedy, sent it in to the producers. I am now just waiting to hear back from them, and get any notes. I sent it to them last Wednesday, I am recording this on Monday. I have not gotten any notes back to them. Not sure if that’s a good sign or not? Hopefully, my guess is that it is not a good sign or a bad sign? My guess is that they have just been busy. But, I may not have gotten any notes in five days. But hopefully they’ll get back to me in the next couple of days. You know, they were kinda hoping that the scripts was would be 90% done. And they can start to actually start making and send it out to directors. Start to maybe get a cast attached. And you know, maybe have some table reads. There’ll be more reads as the script like this is continuously developed. Probably right up to balloon post production, they will put out, you know making changes. But certainly as they are shooting, probably will be some rewrites. Try to make it funnier, beef up episodes and non-comedy stuff. And so hopefully they will like it? Not to kinda take it to the next stage, which is getting it out to directors/ potential directors who might be brought in to direct it? Some cast, you know, like getting it out to actors.
So, big news, today is the big day for my “Kick-Starter” Campaign. Again, I’ve been talking about this for months. I think I have personalized this last July, or August. I have been slowly working my way up to this moment. I launched it earlier today, which is, Monday January 11, 2016. So, if you are listening to this Podcast, the campaign is live! It’s going to run for 30 days. Though, it will end on Tuesday February 16th 2016. So, if you are listening to this, many months in advanced, you can still go to that Kick-Starter page and check it out.
I’ve done a couple of things, first, I’m really hoping that this? Obviously hoping that this Kick-Starter Campaign helps. I like Kick-Starter as a model for a couple of reasons. You know, I’ll be curious to hear whatever people think? But, I like the fact that you’re basically taking your film directly to the people. When you buy a DVD, at Walmart, or you watch a movie on NetFlix? Very little of that actual money that you’re paying. That they give you at Walmart, or your monthly subscription. Very little of that money trickles back to the film maker. And the nice thing is that Kick-Starter is basically giving the people the down low on the film, and it goes directly to them. Any money that they pay for the download? 100%, I know 100% I guess Kick-Starter does take a small percentage. But I think Kick-Starter takes, like 5% or less? So, it’s a very small percentage. The bottom line is like, you know, the vast majority of that money. Like 86% goes directly to the film maker. And not just to the film maker, directly to the making of the film. So, I like it as a model, you know, just building it up, obviously there are some challenges in building an audience, and getting people engaged in them. And actually donate money to it? But if it works, I think it can be a great model for me. And a great model for other people. I’m gonna document the whole thing here on the Podcast, so if other people are thinking of running a Kick-Starter Campaign? They can come back to this episode and listen to them and see what I did? You know, even if I fail, it’ll be some good wisdom and some lessons learned in film and in this process. I tried to do some interesting things in my Kick-Starter Campaign, first, I’ve linked from the Kick-Starter Campaign page, to a PDF of the screenplay. So, if you want to read the full screenplay, it’s available online for everyone to read. A lot of times people when they are creating a fictional campaign, they make the screenplay like a reward. It’s usually like a very low-level, if you donate $5.00 you can see a copy of the screenplay. I just thought most of the users, most of my audience and people who are listening to this Podcast. Normally, most of the people I’m in touch with are screenwriters. So I thought this would be an interesting thing for screenwriters to just see. So, I just decided to just put the screenplay out there for anybody. You don’t have to give any money, just go to the Kick-Starter Campaign, click a link and you will get the PDF version of the screenplay, you can download it and read on your Kindle, or IPad or IPhone, or whatever, your computer, or whatever you want. It’s just available as a PDF, hopefully people will read it? I mean, this is my thinking, hopefully people will read it, read the script and will think it’s a cool project. And come back and donate a few bucks. You know, hopefully some people that are on the fence about whether they want to donate? Then they read the script and think, eh, I kinda like the script, I really would like to see this movie get made. And so, hopefully they will come back in and give a few bucks. So, you don’t have any money and you don’t want to give or donate, no problem. There is definitely some value in your own checking this thing out.
As I said, you can check out the screenplay and might give a little more contacts as I talk about this. I mean, I’m going to be talking about the movie pretty much the whole year. So, the Kick-Starter Campaign is half-way successful than I’ll be making the movie. And it’ll take a year before this movie is made, it’s January now, so? The better part of 2016, is probably this single digit project I work on. So, reading the screenplay now might give you some contacts as I talk about the preproduction/post-production.
The video I made was another thing that I think is, I thought about long and hard about it? Hopefully it’s an interesting part of the Kick-Starter Campaign. The video that I made for the Kick-Starter Campaign, it’s 2 minutes long. I think it maybe 2 minutes and 5 seconds. It’s just a barely over 2 minutes. The first minute of this video is a teaser-trailer from the film. And that’s just what literally is a scene that I took from the film. I did take it and kind of lead write it to make it more dramatic. And because you don’t get the full context, you don’t get the full context sort of how from this script plays out. I kind of tweaked it a little bit, as I said, just to make it a little bit more dramatic in the moment. But it’s basically a scene from the movie, it’s a one minute, from what I consider to be a very tense dramatic scene from the movie. Which I thought what was cool. Then the second minute was basically me pitching the Kick-Starter Campaign talking a little bit about the film and why I wrote the script. Everyone said, keep the video, like all the advice I’d read, all the advice I got was, everyone said, just keep the video short as possible. People are not going to watch it, a 9-minute Kick-Starter video. I think it, 90 seconds is what people where really recommending it. I cut, cut, cut, and tried to get this thing down to 90 seconds. But, was just not able to. I don’t know, everything that I recommend in there is pretty pertinent and important, so I just couldn’t, I felt cut it anymore? But, I think 2 minutes is short enough, I’m hoping anyway? So that people will watch the whole thing. But I think people put a lot of people put in 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 10 minutes Kick-Starter videos. And I think, for the most part, people won’t watch those, so? Hopefully, 2 minutes is short enough people will watch the whole thing. Since most people who listen to my Podcast are screenwriters. I try to create some screenwriting centric rewards. You know it’s some of the typical things given away, you know, producer, Co-producer, and Associate Producer credits. And there’s you know, if you want to get a producer credit in the film indefinitely get that through the Kick-Starter Campaign. But what I did specifically for screenwriters, was, I am going to give away a Story Consultant credit. Obviously I am going to need the number of this? It wouldn’t make sense to have, you know, a thousand Story Consultants on this project. So, there’s only going to be a limited number of story Consultants credits I can give out. And this credit will appear at the end of the film. This, and it will also appear on IMDB. So, it’s a great way for a screenwriter to get an actual writing credit, Story Consultant credit, and here’s kinda how I’m thinking it’s gonna work? Once the budget is aloft, and start to get some of them, a crew, cast in place. I am going to take one final pass on the script. The screenplay is going to be some logistical tweaks I’m sure? With different actors there’s going to be, you know, some tweaks. Probably some budgetary tweaks, depending on how much money I have? If I may open it up a little bit more if the budget is super, super tight, I may have to lock it down and condense somethings? So, those are the kinds of tweaks I am thinking? But what I am thinking is, I am going to have this, these people who get the Story Consultant credit. So, the idea is, I’m either going to read the screenplay, the screenplay is online, so anybody can read it. So, you’ll get the screenplay, and you’ll read the script, and then you’ll give me notes. And I will incorporate some of those notes into the screenplay. You know, obviously if I think that they are good notes. So, you’ll basically be a Story Consultant on film.
So, I think it’s a very excellent way to get a writing credit on a produced film for a screenwriter. I also think it could really make the film better. You know, if I get some really good feedbacks, some really good ideas on it. How to make scenes cooler, or how to make the script better, I am always opened to that. So, if you want to get a writing credit, this is a great way to do, and hopefully that will be interesting to, for some screenwriters to do this? So, anyway, please do check out my Kick-Starter Campaign, again, I going to link to it in the show notes. If you think the project looks cool, and you are able, please do donate. If you’re not in a position to donate and you still think the project looks cool, please do pass it along to your friends and family. Retweet it, share it on Facebook, Email it out to any friends you have. All of these social media shares really do add up. You just never know how people are going to connect to someone’s material? And you may not be able to be in a position to donate money, but you might pass it along to a friend who sees the teaser/trailer and think this looks like a cool project, you know, and is able to donate money. So, any help you can give me, whether that’s money or just sharing it and passing it along, is very much appreciated. So thank you for that.
So wish me luck, as I said, I will be giving up dates on the campaign as it goes along. You can follow along and go to the Kick-Starter page and kinda see what’s going on? And I think you can even leave notes and I can create like an FAX & Q page. So, if you have any questions at all, please do go to the Kick-Starter Campaign and ask those questions. I’m happy to answer any questions about the film, any questions you have?
So, now, let’s get into the main segment. Today, I’m interviewing Lawrence Roeck, here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Lawrence to the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast” I really appreciate you coming on the show with me.
Lawrence: Yeah, thank you for having me Ashley, it’s a pleasure.
Ashley: So, let’s dig right into your latest film, “Diablo” starring, Scott Eastwood. Maybe to start out you can give us a quick pitch, or log-on from the film?
Lawrence: Well, “Diablo’s” about a young man suffering from PTSD. He’s a Civil War veteran. He has to go down the trail in Northern New Mexico to get back his kidnapped wife. And during the course he unravels, and loses his mind basically.
Ashley: Okay, and maybe you can kinda tell us where did this idea or this story come from? What was sort of the genesis of it?
Lawrence: Well, you know, I always wanted to shoot a western and I was originally attracted to the idea of California coastal western. One of my early concepts of Diablo, one’s idea of the west? The last cowboy, that near to the west coast and where the era was dying. But as the story evolved, it kinda became more of the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the psychological issues that the character was suffering. And I wanted to focus on that. So we ended up shooting the movie on set on a Colorado, going Southern Colorado, going into Northern Mexico landscape.
Ashley: Okay, okay. One of the things I like to ask the writers of scripts is? And you kinda gave me an answer, but maybe a direct question will give us a little more insight? It sounds kinda like you had this idea for a story, I mean, and the character emerged from that. Would you say the story came first, or the character came first?
Lawrence: Who knows? It was the setting actually it was the setting that came first. But when you’re developing a screenplay, and you’re developing the story it’s all the evolution of the original concept that you have. And once we created the character, of Jack, once we had a writing partner on Diablo, Carlos Delos Rios. Who is my writing partner on all my films. Once we had that hit character of Jackson we were kinda able to build off of that. That became the focally, originally he, I was originally looking for juxtapose, type. The end of the west and just kinda that romantic western vibe. At the time I would be in Carlsbad California, and I was just south of Big Surf area. It’s a very big beautiful picturesque, mountainous area on the ocean. And that was really the original inspiration. That would be really fun to make a movie in this environment. And that kinda touches on this kind of lifestyle. He seems lost to me.
Ashley: Okay, so. If I could just go through your writing process a little bit. I know a lot of people who listen to this Podcast who have writing partners. Maybe you can talk a little bit about sort of how your collaboration with Carlos works? I know you guys are in the same room, but what tools do you use, the outline and divide up duties? Just a little insight into your process?
Lawrence: You know, it’s basically a three-part process, we do a heavy, heavy discussion about the story. I’ll come up with the concept of the story, I’ll bring it to him. And use him as my sounding board, really basically cheap. He basically sets out if I’m going in a direction we feel is solid. The main number one thing is when you have a concept with, you don’t analyze it with something new, something that you bring to the table, so that’s the first thing you do. Secondly, once we decide that we want to work off my concept. And then it’s something that we really want to engage in. We generally try and get in a room together, at least for a couple of days. Because we can do the work on phone. But to do the deed, we need an actual physical room with your writing partner. There’s an unqualifiable connection that you have with the person you are working with. In some odd conversation with, soon after a cup of coffee with. It has nothing to do with the screenplay, you’ll find some little magic nugget, that all of a sudden tells your story. And it leads you forward, and that just comes from being in the same room. So, number one, conceptualize, number two, is to really heavily discuss the story. And then we come up with a beat-sheet in part two of the process. A beat-sheet is basically a, as most writers know, as an example, a sheet from one to say a hundred that covers each individual beat of your story. You know, the lead character wakes up, and he discovers his wife is gone. The lead character next day starts to go after his wife and avenge her kidnapping. And so on and so forth, until you’re at the very end of the story. Doing a beat-sheet with Carlos, really helps me get my mind clear. In terms of where my story is going, where I am coming from, and how I can improve it. Once the beat-sheet is done, then historically, he has done the first draft. But on this next screenplay, that he and I are working on, after Diablo, the first draft. Which is something new to us. One of us will come up with the first draft. And then we will toss it to the other person. And then we will just keep refining it back and forth, back and forth, over and over. And so, finally by the time we are actually filming the movie. The screenplay has gone through, you know, fifty-sixty different editations. Those aren’t full rewrites, but they are different versions of the draft.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. And wanted to give us sort of a tense of a scope. I find newer writers spend way too much time, too little time with the outline. And probably they get into the actual writing of the script a little bit too early? So, maybe you could give us a sense of how much time you spend, just in terms of days, weeks and months on each section of this, you know, concept,
beat-sheet and then writing of the script?
Lawrence: Well, anywhere, you know, writing is fun, and we all want to dive in and start writing our screenplay right away. Especially when you’re in a new writer, you’re taking a new film writer in film school. Well you need the anthem to be give me the camera right away and let me start making films. But you know, there’s a process to, you know, making a screenplay. And there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done. But that’s a very mechanical process, there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done. Before we can really figure out where your story is going, and what you’re trying to tell. So, sometimes I do suggest for newer writers, hey, just go out and start writing your ideas and see what you come up with? Sometimes you just need to get it down on paper, to feel your stories. But, if you really want to take an efficient approach? You know, the real as they say, “The devil is in the details.” And the details made in the outline and all the preparation, you need to do it before you start writing. It’s incredibly helpful to a writer if you have that beat-sheet and you have everything lined out. Because by the time you sit down and start writing, you’re going to have nowhere to go? And that can really help you out, in terms of you’re the one telling the stories. That you want to tell in them to in an efficient manner. To be constantly caught in a rewrite and your stories are kinda falling apart in front of your eyes. The beat-sheet allows you to have some structure. And so, for me, you know, it’s been in time, upwards of a year, just beat-sheeting out the film. And doing the research on how I want this story to go. But me, personally, that is where the beauty of writing lies. Kind of conceptualizing everything ahead of times, so when you do sit down, you’ve got a real direction.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, then, you might spend six months just doing the beat-sheet. But then how long does it take you then to actually write the script then? It takes you a couple of months to write up the first draft?
Lawrence: Nah, sometimes it can happen within a week? You can have one in a couple of days. Because with the magic of it, if you have done your homework ahead of time? You really figure out your characters. Sometimes, when you start writing it, it just sort of flows right out of you. And it really helps you if you do your research ahead of time, then figuring out the story. Just you combat that writers block. You very, very regret it when you kinda have everything figured out in mind. You don’t concern about mechanically just writing it and getting it out from the page. Then once you have it on the page. Because you follow that structure, then it’s more about who’s in the scene and getting it out better. Rather than on the page, you’re not writing completely the wrong direction. In here and having that questions in the back of your mind. Like, am I on the right path, and that.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, that’s good advice. I heard a, or once, I’m almost done with the play, now all I have to do is write it? And I think that speaks to about? Let’s just talk briefly about, I had another writer on, doing a western. And I wonder? Are westerns kind of the, en vogue with Quenton Tarantino’s “Hate the Late” coming out? Did you get any push back from directors, producers, or distributors? That maybe westerns might not sell over-seas or anything like that?
Lawrence: You know, it’s very interesting, you’re bringing up the exact obstacles I had when I set out to do Diablo. And to answer your first question? Yeah, westerns are en vogue right now. And I think they will continue to be because there are some really neat ones that have recently come out. But as of late, which are sleepers of Quentin Tarantino, is, you know, sharp force, trendy, 13mm. That says it all, you know? Full blown Quentin Tarantino road show, and it’s a western. And it’s great that you guys got into the genre and it’s embracing it. I think that’s kinda opened things up for the other film makers to really get their movies to be seen? And there’s “Bone Tomahawk” coming out with Kurt Russel. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about that, “Jane Got a Gun.” If I got that correct? With Natalie Portman, she’s a fantastic actor. And couldn’t imagine her getting involved in any kind of bad script. Ya, know, so I’m looking forward to that! So, a lot of own, and we can’t forget “The revenue”, which is the last story, a true story. And that’s a, questionably term of a western, but I’m going to put it in the genre. I know, Aljandro Enrica, I hope I pronounced that correctly? Doesn’t want to see it as a western, but it’s a, I think? It’s shot west of that era. So, you know, it’s all heating up of a genre, that it allows the public to come take a look at westerns and they’re hooked. I have watched a few of these and enjoy them. It’s a highly enjoyable genre of film. And it’s one that I really enjoy and hoping to get into, and make one.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, how can people see Diablo? Do you know the release schedule for it?
Lawrence: Yeah, the release is January 8th 2016, across the nation, in select theaters. It’s not going to be a lot of theaters. But really it’ll be, individual portals will be all over the back place, smaller films. You can catch them all on the big screen, absolutely do! It is booking some larger theaters across the country. But Diablo, very likely will be more of a cult hit. And that’ll probably be better off on ITunes, NetFlix, or one of those guys, after the theatrical run. But it will be in theaters January 8th I can’t wait.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. And I always just like to end it, interviews by asking the guests to give out there Twitter handle, or Facebook page. Anything you can feel comfortable sharing. Just in case people want to follow you and just gotta keep up with what you are doing.
Lawrence: Absolutely. I encourage our, you know, all new writers and lovers of film to reach out to me. I do communicate with people on Facebook and Twitter. My Twitter handle, @Lawrenceroeck – L-a-w-r-e-n-c-e r-o-e-c-k, the same for Facebook. You know, reach out and that, say “Hi.”
Ashley: I just want to mention two things I’m doing at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com to help screenwriters find producers who are looking for material.
First I’ve created a monthly newsletter that will be sent directly to producers. Every member of SYS Select can submit one log-line per month, per newsletter. I went and Emailed my large database of producers and asked them if they would like to receive this monthly newsletter of pitches. So far I have well over 200 producers who have signed up to receive it. These producers are hungry for new material, and are happy to read scripts from new writers. So, if you want to participate in this pitch newsletter and get your script into hands of hungry producers. Sign up at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/select.
And secondly I partnered with one of the premier paid screenwriting lead sites. So I can syndicate their leads to SYS Select members. There are lots of great paid leads coming in each week from our partner. Recently I’ve been getting ten to twelve high quality leads per week. These are producers that are with companies that are actively looking to buy material, or are actively looking to hire screenwriters for a specific project. You sign up at SYS Select, you’ll get these leads Emailed directly to you, two times per week. These leads run the gambit from producers, production companies looking for a specific kind of spec. script. To producers looking to hire a screenwriter to write up one of their ideas. Or maybe write up some other material maybe their producer has optioned them? Or a book that needs to be turned into a screenplay. There are shorts, there are features, there are pictures looking for TV. There are producers looking for website series, web series, pilots, it’s a huge a-ray of different types of projects. Again, for the most part, these are paid leads. There will be some payment, they will be professional credits and you will make some money. And these leads are exclusive to our partner who is generating them. And obviously SYS Select members. To sign-up, go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/select.
I recently set up a success stories page, to I always get questions? Well, how many people have successfully use your service? How many people, you know, have options scripts? So, I set-up a success stories page to highlight some of these success stories over the years through SYS, and the various SYS Select Services. So, you want to check that out, go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/success, again that’s www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/success. So to read all of our success stories, go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/success. And if you’ve had a success with any of the SYS Select Services, please do get in touch. I love hearing these stories. You know, if you have something in production and it’s come about through one of the SYS Select Services, I’d love to have you on the Podcast. And you can tell your story, I think these stories are inspiring. And it’s just great to give back and to share with you, the SYS community. What kind of stuff you had success on? I know it can be interesting for me, and interesting for the listener. So, if you have had some success through the SYS Select Services, please do, just Email me and them and tell me how, and what happened, and how it’s going?
So, in the next episode of the Podcast, I am going to be interviewing Robert Palmer and Mike Galoos, they are a pair of writers and directors. They recently did a low-budget footage horror film called, “I Am Alone.” We really dig into the details of how this film came about? All the things that they did. They did a Kick-Starter Campaign. I think their first Kick-Starter Campaign actually failed and they did another one. But, they shot it out in Colorado. So they talk about how they got this location? They got this mall in Colorado, kinda on board. There’s a lot of interesting, sort of nuts and bolts details. Details about how to go about creating a low-budget film. So, keep an eye out for that episode next week.
To wrap things up, I do touch on some of the things I learn from the interview. This was a quick interview today I don’t have a lot of comments about it? In fact the one thing that struck me about it, the most about Lawrence? I talked a lot about this on the Podcast, but I think it’s worth repeating. The part where he talked about his processing unit. Six months of outlining, then a week or a month on, or less, he said, sometimes even a week or two. He, could write the whole script. I think that’s really a great thing to think about in your own, when you’re creating your own process. Everyone does have their own process. And I don’t in anyway, want to make it seem like, you know, this is the one way of doing it. Everyone’s process is a little bit different. But I will say this? When I talk to working screenwriters, a lot of them talk about all the preparation. You know, many, many, months of preparation. Is it 50/50 split? In a case of what warrants six months verses, you know, less than a month to write the screenplay. This is my guess? I spent a lot of time doing it, an outline , probably, I would say, nine months is more of a 50/50 type of a process. A break, 50% on outline, 50% on writing. But, one of the things Lawrence said, I totally agree with. You know, if you have the outline, and the structure, properly thought through? Then you’re not writing scenes and pages that you just have to throw out. Where as you just go and completely the wrong direction. You come up with the outline, and if you’re going to go off the outline? This happens to me, I’m sure it happens to a lot of other writers. I will get to a point where going on the outline. I realize, this is not working, I need to go off of this outline. And what I will typically do? Is, go back to the outline and make those changes to the outline so you still have a good outline. Once you get off your outline and start going in other directions? You don’t have that macro view any more. You’re filed up and you just write, okay, and sometimes hard to tell. Even for the most experienced screenwriters. If they are getting off track or not? So, looking at the outline, you can outline your complete script. I mean, note cards is kind of a classic way to do it. I don’t use the note cards so much anymore. I’m fast on the computer, I mean, you know, with these big monitors using them this way these days. I can see my entire screenplay on my screen. You know, I’m like, two pages or three pages of my computer screen. So I can kinda look at the entire script, in all the main beats in one view. And it did view a much better, you know, sometimes you can crawl and cross things off, or the order of the scenes. But you kinda have a much better idea of what scenes came before. Once you’re in front of that, I find this in Final Draft I find that I can’t remember what was two scenes before, or twenty pages before. And it became very difficult to start making structural changes inside of Final Draft. It’s not impossible, I’m sure there are people out there that do it, and they make it work. But I find it difficult, so for me, what Lawrence said, is negative for me. And as I said, writing now, it might be like a 50/50 split. But I keep thinking I should spend more time actually outlining. The other thing, about it is? I find the writing part process, again, Lawrence kinda touched on this? Find the writing process the most difficult part of the screenwriting when you’re in Final Draft. You’re trying to get the dialog out, you’re trying to write character descriptions, action descriptions. And so, if I have to have the scene pretty well thought out, in an outline form. On an index card, or a basically in that same format where you really thought through the scene and understand what’s there. Then you can kinda really get the polish on. You can really tweak the dialog, you can tweak those and spend the time. As opposed to trying to think what is this scene all about? You already know what it’s about, you already know basically know what’s supposed to happen. What’s the beginning of the scene, what’s the end of the scene. It’s just a kind of matter of putting on the polish and trying to make it as good as possible. And very typically, when I’ve done a first draft? It’ll be a pretty coherent draft of a screenplay. It’s not a, I’m always talk about these in drafts and get it out there. And most of the time first drafts, they’re coherent and make sense. But then again, most of all what I do? In terms of rewriting? Is going back and doing that last polish and try to create things. Sometimes mistakes are made, a factor that doesn’t quite working? Or you take a swipe, a slight, you know, something didn’t work in the execution. And you gotta go back into the outline, and your things. But, Anyways, that’s the tip of the day, I’d say. I think Lawrence is really something. So, I’d go back and give that a listen. Especially that pin. I don’t want to make this up, and I guess this is the only process that works. I know that there are other people that write in a different way. But, if you’re having trouble with structure, you’re having trouble with, you know, you agree with character, you’re great with dialog. This is a great way to make a step back and write something that is more structured. And kinda has a big, you know, works on that structure level.
Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening.