18 May 2014

The November Script

This is a script idea that first came to me when I was writing What Happened to Christine in 2011.  Christine was written for a screenwriting class, and in that class we'd have regular writing exercises each meeting.  Some of the exercises pertained to the scripts we were working on -- writing our protag's obituary or eulogy; writing a scene between two characters from the script who didn't otherwise interact with each other; re-writing a scene different ways, with one character having the upper hand, then the other having the it -- but most were just general free-writes to get our creative juices flowing and for the professor know that everyone in class was at least writing for 10 to 15 minutes a week.

Didn't finish the assignment?  Just don't show up.
Problem solved!
And unfortunately, I'm quite sure that for most of the class, that was the only time they wrote.  Except, you know, the final week of class when they had to have 80 pages of a screenplay to turn in.

College, right?

Anyhow, most of the writing exercises involved getting handed a photo of some kind -- landscape, portrait, architecture, a scene, etc. -- and writing on the first impulse that came to mind.  I can't recall what photo triggered this idea, but who am I to question inspiration?

Writing the title page is like having the script already 1% done.
The Last Days of Henry Alverson has been the title of this script since that initial writing exercise.  I'm sure it'll change once the script gets written, but I'll keep with it for now.

Whatever it ends up being called, the gist of the story is this:  
A retiring college professor, sure of the insignificant affect he's had on his students throughout the years, decides to commit suicide.  But when he meets a woman claiming to be his illegitimate daughter, his attitude about life begins to change.
I think I could pull some alumnus weight
and shoot here.  Maybe...
Of all the ideas/scripts I'm taking on, this one might be the most in my wheelhouse.  An intimate character-driven drama.  This is actually another script (the other being Standers) I had planned on producing and directing myself.  A bit more ambitious than Standers, but still very doable for a no-budget indie:  a cast of less than 10, about a dozen free locations (and one that'd require an expenditure), and a simple story well-told.  If the script turns out well enough, I might even try to put the pieces together for a shoot next summer.  But that's really planning out in advance, so maybe I'll just stick to the "wait and see" approach.  But I do plan on writing a couple of the characters with certain actors in mind, so fingers crossed things can come together in the next year.

Of course, everything comes down to not only writing a script, but writing a good script.  And maybe one that stretches beyond 68 pages.

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