Okay so I lied, it’s not necessarily about screenwriting, but a film, a short film, one I may have mentioned before.IT’S BEEN MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It gets more interesting as the director Shane Kester has entered it into On the Lot, the new Mark Burnett / Steven Spielberg reality show as his audition piece. http://films.thelot.com/
Gets more interesting….it’s on the web! I only found out late the night before last with an email from Shane.
So, if you want to watch HOUSEWIFE WANTS HIT-MAN(Must have own Gun) go here.
Been watched over a thousand times already, had a great response so far, holding 5 out of 5 stars at present. Lots of nice comments about the writing, story and plot which I am chuffed about(and Shane should be as well).
Shane had other scripts to play with and he had chosen mine to shoot and enter into film festivals, then he gets an email from his father in law telling him about On the Lot and he has 14 days to enter. Easy, when you are based in France(yeah, that France was in all the papers in the 40’s) and he had my 14 page script and his audition piece had to be under 5 minutes. 14 generally doesn't go into 5 too well.
I don’t think Shane will mind me quoting from an email of his:I'm so pleased that you're pleased. The night I found out about the contest I was pretty weighed down not knowing what to do. I woke up at 4:00 am the next day with an epiphany. Could I cut down HIT-MAN? So I opened it up and cut all non-essential scenes and got it down to 6 pages with it still telling a cohesive story.
As I sat there while the sun was coming up I then had to think of actors and it dawned on me, make the couple older (that's even funnier
Dave: I agree!) and use the older English lady that I saw in a play reading, but she was in Australia. My friend Ian recommended Penny and it all fell together so fast and so perfectly. Then after their shoot they gave me Dave, Phil and Dave's info and that fell into place. It was a world-wind production but I can't tell you how amazing it is that it all fell into place.
I'm just glad you're happy. I was fearful that you'd not like what I had to do to it. Script-Doctoring can be painful for the screenwriter, but I must say it was so easy to work your writing into what I needed because it was so solid from the start. I didn't have to mess with plot or story at all because it was already there and that's the hard part.
Shane had to trim over 50% of it, however he did manage to retain my story and a heap of my dialogue. From what I can tell the only change to dialogue was to allow for change to structure(very slight), to allow for shorter exposition and the ages of the actors changing from mid thirties to say late 50’s(early thirties in Penny’s case obviously) and where he did have to change it(and he did I have no argument about that at all), he kept it in the spirit of my intentions anyway. Loved her part, she was great!
What did he cut out? Heaps of stuff that I had a ton of fun writing but to get it under 5 mins was necessary to lose. Lots of banter between the cops and more detail in the questions from the Hitman. If anyone wants to see for themsleves, drop me a comment, email or send Jessica Alba around nekkid with a request and I’ll shoot off a copy of the original script so you can compare. I know some of you in the scribosphere have already read it a few months ago. Good fun for newbies like myself to see how it was done. Bear in mind I had written the script with American actors in mind, never thinking it would be done with English actors in France! :)
How lucky am I? I get a lead on a guy in France. We know nothing about each other, but he has been able to retain my story whilst dropping over half the pages to get it within the boundaries of the audition. Plus he did it all in 14 days. Editing, the whole bit. He slept for ages afterwards, I can believe it. I thought he did a great job.
I am happy with it, ecstatic in fact(not unrealistic about what it means to me though) and I will try to not go all Sally Field on you. I have a produced short, where the director selected my writing over others, which in my mind is different to making the short yourself. In some small insignificant way, my writing has stood out, which gives me that small boost of confidence we all need from time to time.
Shane has asked me if I have anymore shorts as well, so that is also promising. I’ll respond to him shortly on that one.
I had heard so many horror stories about being rewritten etc but I am happy about how Shane has conducted himself, he has been nothing but easy to get on with and totally giving in crediting my work. He was kind enough to give me sole screenplay credit where many would have given joint after the rewrite. Also, he added to the script by adding one character, I had kept it at only 4) and I am totally jealous of his bushy eyebrow joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Big favour to ask here everyone, and as you know I am more into beers than self-promotion, but this is for Shane, not me, so I can live with that. If you like it, after you watch it, please pop a review and a vote as that will help him in trying out for the TV show. I’d work with him again in a drop of a hat. You do have to register to review/vote etc, but it is totally worth it, I have I ever steered you wrong before? Sorry about that whole Enron thing by the way.
Bigger favour, if you like the short and feel so inclined, would love if you could blog about the TV show and ask people to visit Shane’s film (my script, but his film :) ) and vote and review their heart out. They can then proceed onto others, but I have viewed the other 1,789,729 scripts on there to save you the time, and really well, you have better things to do :)
So, I’m no longer a virgin……..I think I need a cigarette. :)
Til next time.