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  • Jenny Waldo

Writing Wednesdays: Back to Screenplays

After the HBO Access Fellowship debacle where Withoutabox.com crashed in the mad rush to upload applications before the 1000-entry cap was met, I got so upset and depressed about missing an opportunity that I realized I was still searching for some kind of validation and permission.  Well, screw that.  One of the best things I walked out of USC with was an ability to pick up a camera and make a film without a need for anyone’s permission.  It was liberating, because I had needed this external approval for so long.  A day or so after, I received an email from the Writer’s Store about a screenplay contest where they provide the logline and you write the first 15 pages.  I thought – this sounds like fun.  I’m currently finished working on my novel, awaiting feedback from my Beta readers, so I wasn’t actively writing anything and I need that in my life.  I also decided I would write the full script for this logline and set it in Houston and write something that I could reasonably produce as an indie feature.  I don’t need no permission.


I’m doing Logline #1: “The creator of a popular dating website does anything he can to keep his ex from finding love again.”

I came up with an idea and started sketching out the characters and scenarios.  I know that Rom-Com is not a great indie genre because it’s tough to compete with the studios, but I think if it’s weird enough and funny enough that could be ok.

And then I opened Final Draft and froze.

I’ve been writing in novel format for the last few years.  The idea that I had to restrain my descriptions and only write what the audience was seeing felt mechanical and not organic.  My dialogue felt rough.  It wasn’t funny enough.  But I powered through.  It’s a first draft, after all.  And I just need to flesh it out so that I can revise and refine.

I’m on pg 26 now of the script, and ideally I’d like to flesh out the full script to the end before polishing the first 15 pages for the contest.  But I forgot how much I loved this format.  How comfortable I used to feel in this format.  And I really really really want to go out and make this film.

So we’ll see!

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