Finally completed the screenplay last week. It’s now being reviewed by one of the major agents. Not terribly concerned about what will happen from here forth. Feel the timing and energy are right.
Process? Wrote the novel that it’s based on six years ago. The agent I had then, in NY, wasn’t able to place it: the timing wasn’t right. So I shelved the thing. A couple of years went by, and I adapted it to screen. Got some good response, but I wasn’t happy with the piece, so I shelved it again. Then last spring I saw a way to make it a much better story, relevant to the times, and yet hopefully timeless. I launched into rewrite in May.
Drafted it twelve times, going through it carefully with three other professional screenwriters. These people are jaded by Hollywood, slightly cynical, but quite talented. That’s why I chose them: I knew they’d be hard on me. They were.
Worked on the damn thing every morning and night, fueled by espresso, gratitude, and long hours jogging. Worked on it in the gallery, at home, in Breckenridge, Moab, Denver, Hays, Eureka Springs, St. Louis, and everywhere in between. Tried not to neglect my clients or gallery in the process; don’t think I did.
Now? Each person who reads it apparently can’t put it down. Thus far it’s received universal praise–which is humbling. Did I do that alone? Hardly. I had a good team who kicked my ass when I got lazy about character arcs, dramatic peaks and storyline. Then I had that one more indefinable thing, the muse or spirit that sometimes comes to us when we’re creating our work, guiding us through each step, pulling us out of the dead ends and sending us back down the pike.
Nah, I didn’t write this thing alone. I had a lot of help, much of it hard to explain. In the end, I think I just transmitted the ideas, action and drama I was given. The comedy too. Does that mean it will get optioned and produced? Not at all. But baby it sure does feel right.
My point? For all you painters and sculptors struggling with your work, no matter what your process, I empathize with what you go through. When you hit a dead spot, put your team together, and make sure they kick your ass. If you don’t need it, so much the better.