Alas, my fifteen pages of cinematic genius did not make the cut in the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest. I am not one of the chosen ten finalists. I will not be participating in the 12-week “story specialist” program. Boo hoo.
Okay, enough wallowing.
I’ve decided to consider myself participant #11 and I will follow my own story specialist program starting next week – just without the story specialist. I figure if I can write ten pages a week like the finalists in the program, then I, too, will have a first draft done by mid-September. (And if I’m feeling particularly inspired, maybe sooner.) I’m going to ask VP Babs to hold me accountable for having at least ten pages to turn in to her each week. She can read them to tell me if my story is still tracking or she can just use them as an antidote for bouts of insomnia or for grocery lists she needs to write up. The point is, if there’s someone expecting my pages each week, then I am more likely to write those pages. And if I stay on task, I’ll end up with my first political thriller script.
In the meantime, there were some very good developments this week. Casting is officially underway. Hooray! Kudos to incredible Casting Director, Andy Henry, for hitting the ground running in his first couple of weeks on the job. I met Andy through my good friend Monique and he has loads of experience and a keen eye for talent. Oh yeah, he’s a really sweet guy as well. Thanks to Andy’s efforts, BENEATH THE SURFACE made it past the first gatekeeper (a manager) and the script is now in the hands – or on the iPad – of an actress I admire a lot. It’s definitely weird and exciting and humbling to think that she’s reading my work – I hope she sees herself in the lead role as easily as I do. The gameplan is to get key talent attached to the project, so that potential investors will feel a little more security in putting their dollars toward the film. If we get this particular actress interested, I don’t know how an investor could resist!
The Amazin’ Hazen – Shawn Hazen – is living up to his graphic design artistry and creating some cool poster concepts for BTS. He’s honed in on an image very significant to the story, and it makes for a powerful encapsulation of the film’s themes and overall motif. At first I worried that much as I loved it, it wasn’t congruent enough with the title (which, admittedly, I’m ambivalent about to begin with). But then I realized that the poster doesn’t need to be that literal. It probably shouldn’t be that literal. An intriguing image will pique interest – and that’s the ultimate goal. Hopefully, I can unveil his artwork soon. I’m telling you, Saul Bass would be impressed.
I’m Madison-bound next week, so if all goes well I’ll have more positive progress reports from America’s Dairyland. And at least there I can wallow in fried cheese curds if need be.