THE MOVIE OF ME: COULD YOUR LIFE BE A MOVIE

action, adult, aperture

“Life, in camera, action.”


my life

A lot of people seem to think that they are interesting to have a movie made about their lives. But the ones who have movies made are sat aside from the norm. Like the war movie Hacksaw Ridge about the conscientious objector who refused to fire his rifle during the Second World War. But became a hero by saving lives not killing.

Or the movie The Butler about the man who served in the White House for presidents spanning multiple decades. Just being a person with a family story is not good enough. It has to be something that is of interest that sets people aside from the rest. But what if your life could be a film? For starters, who even knows you exist?

research

Numerous books and articles are written about people’s lives. And some news article in a local paper or channel could spark the interest of a filmmaker watching. A story that no one has ever heard of before. Just the neighbor up the street who thinks that they are interesting is not good enough.

Or, you can start to just look up random information on a particular topic, then after that start to narrow down who will be the central person to write about. Now let’s say it is you a film is being made about; then what next? It’s not enough to just sit down and write words on a page. You have to interview, get to know the person, and people in the person’s life.

can it work

Now, let’s say the film is made and it hits theaters. How will people receive this film? Like I said before, we all think that our lives are interesting until we come across another person’s or groups of people who had the same lives. Do we see this movie as unique from our own lives. There has to b something that is of substance that deviates from the norm.

Like I said, a television show based around a well-known detective who was known for cracking cases in a major city, or even a woman removing herself from an abusive husband. And the extremes she went to to leave him that has never been done. So knowing what is original and what has been done before is crucial.


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FOR YOUR EYES ONLY: CHECK OUT MY FIRST SHORT FILM

ENJOY!


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SPEC SCRIPTS AND FINDING REPRESENTATION

cross-legged, internet, legs

“Seek and I shall find.”


I have been writing my screenplays since 2011 when I was first leaving undergraduate school. And initially, I had no intentions of actually becoming a screenwriter as a career. But the more I wrote the more ideas I generated. And that’s when it dawned on me that this could really be something. In the beginning I had no clue what I was doing, but I liked doing it. Didn’t care about it as a career at first because I was preparing myself to go to business school. Applying to graduate schools for my MBA, but still writing off and on. Now here I am nearly seven years later and I am working to find myself a literary agent in the year 2018. You might ask, why did I wait almost seven years to reach out. It’s because I wanted to get better as a writer. And yes, I have made amazing strides in my screenwriting.

I have made strides enough that I had the confidence to self-publish my first novel and book of short stories. I have written almost ten screenplays, and shot two short films from two short film scripts. My podcast that is written will come in 2018, as well as my photography; oh and not to mention my two blogs on Medium and WordPress. My days consist of so much writing that I surprise myself when I come up with new opinions, or topics everyday. But that defining moment will come in 2018 when I have to reach out and deal with the potential rejection letters from those that say no, or no response at all. Yet it does not scare me one bit. A s a matter of fact, I am more confident in finding representation than I probably should be. That is something that scares the hell out of me; my high confidence in my writing.

Even when things are not working, I still think that I can go on to be a great writer. I feel like I have so many stories to tell that people need to hear. And yes, that sounds rather arrogant to think that in a world population of approximately 7 billion people, I have something the world wants to hear or need to hear. But people who are artists: writers, directors, actors, musicians, comedians, painters, sculptors, etc., tend to be to some degree self-centered. It all depends on how deep you take that self-centered persona. People who tend to be central enough where the world should hear them out, where these people provide the world with insight into living a good life are very necessary in society. Albert Einstein is someone who had something to say, Gandhi had something to say, Martin Luther King Jr., Stephen Hawking, Ernest Hemingway, and the list goes on cross so many professions. Those who feel they have something to say that is of value to the world ultimately changes the world in which we live.

In the end, my journey to not only finding and securing an agent, but selling my spec scripts I hope to be a ten year process. I am already in year 6.5 of the journey and my writing has drastically improved from the first script I wrote. I broke all the rules with that script that are the do’s and don’ts of writing. Now, I have more structure as well as an understanding in how to tell a story. I’m still a work in progress before I can consider myself to be great, but I am working daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. By the age of 35 it is my goal to sell a few of my scripts on spec and have a best selling novel. Sounds like no time because that’s five years away, but I am 6.5 years in and already drastic changes from day one. Who knows what my skills will be in five more years.


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THEIR LIVES AND MINE: WHY DO PEOPLE’S LIVES MY AGE SEEM MORE INTERESTING THAN MY OWN

Related image

“I wonder if they are ahead or am I just paranoid.”


You ever get the feeling like everyone is doing more than what you are doing? Like their lives are more interesting than your own life. I will go onto the internet and scope out the people in my age group who are getting married and buying their starter homes. Or, looking at their snapshots of them on vacation. But my life has taken a different turn. My interest has no real pathway to take and you can land in your position at any moment. And that goal that I am pursuing is a writing career. It takes years and years of consistent writing, but hopefully it works out.

And see, hopefully is the word of the day. Most people don’t set out to pursue a career in what they really want to do because of the fear they’ll never make it in life. No one want to set out to attain something just to be disappointed in the end. You work at your craft, all the while people your age are seeming to be doing something much more interesting than yourself. They go out to bars and nightclubs, and take on monogamous relationships. But if you’re traveling an unconventional road, you may not be able to take part in too much fun. Especially early on in your career pursuit.

Well why, why can you not take pleasure in your youthful activities like everyone else? And the reason being, when you go to school to become a doctor, engineer, lawyer, academic, or any other profession, you have somewhat of a path. Unconventional careers like screenwriting, playwright, author, and blogger don’t really have a path. Of course there are people who provide you with how they did it, but that is just how it worked for them. You have to take their advice and carve out a way to make life work now for you. September 20th will mark my 30th birthday, and I don’t feel like the average guy my age, but I’m not willing to give up my pursuit.

You would think a guy my age would be doing the typical things everyone else is doing. But, I don’t want to get married or have children. I’m not interested in buying my first starter home, nor do I want to indulge in partying on the weekends. So for me, pursuing my career choice is easy to the extent where I can focus on this one thing. There are moments I walk pass the bars in New York City and see people my age engaging with each other, But I made my mind up that I wanted to be a great writer. I wake up and on days I’m not working I am blogging. Then I write for draft of my second novel and short stories book. But let’s not forget my screenwriting and filmmaking.

And the only reason I added filmmaking is because there are projects I genuinely want to do myself. So what now, I have a long road ahead of me. Most guys my age are focusing on long term relationships as well as women who are seeking husbands for marriage. But I am already thinking about film, theatre, and book ideas for the next few years to a nearly a decade from now. In the end, I really don’t know what the average guy my age is doing because I am so focused on my own goals. I’m pretty sure they’re having a social life and dating. As for me, I would much rather utilize my time pursuing what I love than fitting into what the crowd is doing.


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WRITING! DIRECTING! PRODUCING: HOW I’M NAVIGATING THE FILM WORLD

Close-up of a Man

“A tough road ahead.”


In November of 2015, I made my first short film. It is the beginning of my Independent Filmmaking career. I did not attend film school, so I am learning while doing. The first film was a seven minute short entitled, “First Day Fears. A film that you can watch on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvgKx6fDflA). The film took me an entire year to edit because of the process I had to undergo. Now, had I had an editor to assist me along, it would have been completed earlier. But this is the learning curve I must take on my journey. Now that I am on to my second short film, I get that feeling again.

That feeling, you know that feeling of will I raise the funding, won’t I raise the funding. The Indiegogo campaign is next month, and I cannot believe it has been a year since I started promoting the project. Hopefully this goes well planned so I can move on to my next which I plan on it being a feature. You see, this process is a long tedious process that can take years to Image result for indiegogoaccomplish. But a lot of people don’t realize it can take years. They just look on a screen and see film. You would think it took about year to a year and a half. But sometimes films have taken five to ten years, or sometimes more. Now how long will my first feature take to push.

Well, I am putting myself on a two year window to build it, and then raise the funding to shoot it. So in all, I would say about three years in all. You might ask yourself, what is my process for making my films. For right now, I of course start with an idea. I build a character analysis about the person/s who will be the principle actors. Then I go on to writing my outline, which is a tedious process. Well why, why are my outlines so tedious? The reason is that I see the entire film all the way through. Wait, wait, wait, really? That’s right, from beginning to end, all the way through. So how do I do it?

Imagine sitting in a theater seat, then the theater goes black. From there, the opening credits pop onto the screen, and into the first scene. The title emerges somewhere around this time, then we go into the movie. Imagine the whole movie, all the way until the closing credits as they scroll down the screen. And that is how I build my screenplay outline. So when I write the Image result for screenplayscript, I know the character, I know the story and I start from the beginning of the outline, and write the script all the way through. Knowing the story and the characters, I base the dialogue around that in each scene from my outline; and that’s the first draft.

Now, my first draft is the first draft, most likely, none of the first stuff will make the cut because I write more than I need. Once I do have myself a Image result for pre-production planworkable script, I set the script aside. Opening myself a nice spreadsheet, I start to build myself a pre-production plan. In that plan, I take into account
how long it took me to write my script. Then I go along add how much time it could approximately take to complete task that must be accomplished. Image result for storyboardFor example, from my workable script, I design myself a storyboard that is basic. This storyboard will show in imagery the story from start to finish. Here is where I would start building my social media awareness for my film. Because I start my budgetary concerns at this initial point.

Over the course of this past year, I took into account many different budget concerns: wardrobe, props, equipment, staff, insurance, location for shoot, craft services, editing, and composition (music). This budget I work, as well as adjusting the script if need be along the way. Now for me, I raised Image result for film budgetfunding on a crowdfunding platform. So about halfway into the pre-production planning, I started brainstorming incentives for people who give toward my film. Time progress on as I continue to refine the budget and eventually coming to an Indiegogo launch date. This will be the time frame for me to raise funding for my film. And in this time, you have no clue the amount of money raised.

But eventually the campaign ends, and you wait for the finances to clear so you can start funding your film. Make sure you give those that chose an incentive their goods. Then you want to start purchasing and hiring for the film. By the time the Indiegogo campaign was already complete I had my People at the Green Grass Field With the Distance Holding Filming Camera during Day Timeactors. Days pass, and then, the shoot date. All this time put in, and you’re finally here. You have no clue still how the day will go, but hopefully it works out. My day went fine, except for a few issues, sound, some continuity, oh and a key player didn’t show; yeah that’s nice. But nonetheless, I still made my first short film.

In the end, I learned some valuable lessons. One, start researching venue space early. Don’t rely on one actor to fill spots, you may have to react on the fly. And last, but not least, I say start building your project early. It isn’t guaranteed to work, but you have done preparation at least. So, hopefully this next one goes well, so I can move forward. So, I strap up, and here goes nothing: lights, camera, action.


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