Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It all started when... How I got into screenwriting

I have been remiss. It was almost two weeks ago that Michelle tagged me for a meme, for "that moment where you decided that this was something you could/should/would do".

I did write a lot about this back here - nearly two years ago. Gosh. (You could also click the inspirations tag to see everything related.)

In those blogs back then I traced my writing career from rubbish SF novels through poetry but didn't quite get to the screenwriting. So here it is, with contributory factors included to add impressive wordage.

When Blake's 7 had it's final episode I wrote a synopsis of a follow-up story that would "wrap it all up", which was the closest I got to writing a script but I didn't really conceive the actual "writing of a script" in that, it was just "writing a proper ending" to me.

It was 1992 (I think) that I started my epic fantasy novel. On and off it took me ten years to finish, I was not slaving over it day in day out. I didn't suffer at all. But that year also saw the birth of The Daughter. At some point in that time she decided that she wanted to be an actress, I think it had something to do with Buffy and the fact she began Jujitsu at age 5 - she wanted to be an action star (and still does).

But somewhere around 2004 (I think) I was feeling pressure to write something - something we could actually shoot, a short Buffy-esque story to suit her talents. I believe I wrote it on a Word processor and studied websites to get the right format.

So I wrote it. We shot, edited and packaged it with the assistance of family (brother-in-law did most of it). It is never seeing the light of day.

And that was the beginning of the beginning, but not the end of the beginning.

That was also the time that Buffy ceased it's UK broadcast, it was over. And I thought to myself, you know, what if I created Buffy for the UK? Which is where Monsters began, initially just a series bible, the basic concepts, I thought that would be enough - like my Blake's 7 synopsis. And I left it at that, wrote no script for a couple of years.

Until one day I realised that it should be written. It was a part the Daughter could play so I researched screenwriting in detail, found Celtx and began in earnest.

If you want to read the first 10 pages of Monsters as it is now, you can here (click "My work and credits"). And the Daughter did get to play the part, at least in the scenes we shot, which you can watch here.

For me becoming a screenwriter was a process that took 30 years, from rubbish novels through successful poetry, magazine writing and editing, and better novel writing.

Now comes the hard part, who to tag for the meme: Piers, Jason, and Phil.

What's on the turntable? Not a sausage.

1 comment:

Phill Barron said...

Did I start this meme?

If not, then that's still my answer.