Screenplay: The Frenzy – Preparing Part 2: The Outline!

Many screenwriters I know hate writing outlines (and loglines and summaries and treatments). I’ve approached each feature I’ve written in a different manner, trying to find the ultimate way of getting the story outlined. By far, the most successful technique I’ve found (the one that made the story flow from my fingers) was the “sequence” approach. I have my own adaptation of this that I call “Beats and Sequences.” I think each writer has to find what works for them. I studied the 3-act, the hero’s journey, Sid Field’s & Michael Hague’s approaches, which you can easily find on line. But I never connected with anything as much as the sequence approach, which is taught in the USC screenwriting program....

Screenplay: The Frenzy – Preparing for the Challenge

Wow, I noticed it’s been over a YEAR since I posted my last Screenplay: The Exercise entry. Guess I’ve been busy. And I’ve been working on the accidental novel launch, which is in two months. Woo-hoo! But now it’s time to dust off my DIY Screenplay Kit because April is SCRIPT FRENZY MONTH! What’s that? you ask. Why Script Frenzy is a writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material during the month of April. Feature film, play, TV show, graphic novels all count for the challenge. People who know me know how much I love a good screenwriting challenge. A feature in 30 days? Piece of cake! (famous last words) I challenge you to finish in 21 days and spend the rest of the time editing....

Brigitta is on the Loose (or, the History of the Accidental Novel) – Part Two

(continued from the PREVIOUS POST) I am not ashamed to admit that the original Brigitta of the White Forest screenplay was written for the purpose of making money. I had made the decision that writing was not a hobby and that if I didn’t start making a living from it sooner rather than later, I was going to get seriously depressed. Since my dark indie dramadies weren’t pulling in the dough, I figured if I wrote something totally commercial, simply to sell and get back to my passion (i.e. dramas with dark comedic elements), I could support myself doing what I love to do. Plenty of artists did commercial work to support their other projects, right? The problem came when I fell in love with my creation. I spent one too many moonbeats (a measure of time...

Can I get a hey? a hip-hip-hooray? a WHEW! (Brigitta is on the loose)

At long last… no seriously…loooooong laaaaaast… I just handed (okay, I e-mailed) the FINAL DRAFT of my accidental novel Brigitta of the White Forest to my copy editor. It’s officially out of my hands. Do you even know how unreal it was to let it go? This story began in late 2002 when I was visiting my brother’s partner in her most-awesome store EARTH CENTRAL. A cavern of magical items, books, tarot cards, and piles of faerie-like clothing. I was tending her store and pondering something my EX-screenwriting agent had said to me after reading my 3rd dark, dysfunctional, indie dramedy. Danika, could you please write something BIGGER? Bigger I thought… something more mainstream… something with merchandising potential,...

Hit n Strum Wraps… on to PitchMarket 2010!

Last week we wrapped on Hit n Strum… for the most part. There are still a few minor scenes that need picking up, but for the majority of our team, it’s time to move on. Other gigs are calling, our spouses and loved ones want to see us, and the volunteer members of the crew are down to their last boxes of cereal. I have to say this was one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the editing room. Half scripted, half spontaneous guerrilla shoot, and all magic. See the older couple on the far left? Those are the director’s parents. His Dad drove the cast and crew around. And his mom (in the sunglasses) made the crew breakfast every morning during the shoot. I’m gonna miss her....