Friday, November 1, 2013

Holy crap! I'm a screenwriter!

Each morning I pull a small slip of paper out of a Quote-of-the-Day box that was a Christmas gift from one of my sisters.  On the paper is a positive quote that, more often than not, strikes a chord within me.  A recent quote read, “Never, never, never, never give up” – Sir Winston Churchill.

Once again, the advice fit.  After years of false starts, “Root Bound,” the short screenplay I wrote in 2009, will premier at the The Sandpoint Film Festival on November 2.  The only reason this all-volunteer film made it to the festival – tenacity.  We never, never, never, never gave up.

Writing is most often a solitary profession, but once a screenplay goes into production, it becomes a team sport that is exciting, confusing, remarkable and frustrating – all at the same time.  The trick is to find a good team, and I certainly found one with the kNIFVES (Northwest Independent Film & Video Entertainment Society) members and Rebecca Cook and her legion of amazing filmmaker friends who volunteered their time and talent to the project.  I might have written the words, but these amazing people brought my words to life. 

We have been in post production since July and the challenges continued right up until the festival deadline – but we made it thanks to our hard working editor, Seth Mead, who gave up sleep (and almost his job) to finish “Root Bound.”  Together with Seth’s eye for detail, DP Joey Stageberg’s special touches and Rebecca Cook’s direction and support, the finished product is something we can all be proud of. 

My youngest son once told me that a fellow kindergartner – a girl – had punched him while they stood in line.  His interpretation of said assault: “Holy crap! I have a girlfriend!”  My interpretation of this weekend’s premier of “Root Bound?”  Holy crap!  I’m a screenwriter!”

Several years ago a Hollywood screenwriting professional told us (a room full of wannabe screenwriters who paid dearly to hear his words of wisdom) that Hollywood doesn't need any more 60-year-old retirees who think they can write a screenplay. As I happened to be exactly 60 that year, his words hit a nerve with me ... and I did give them some thought ... then I went back to work on my dream of becoming a screenwriter.
Never, never, never, never give up.   – Winston Churchill

Free Kindle Book offer from G.T. Rees
Gabe Rees, an occasional guest writer on Writing North Idaho, and a fellow North Idaho writer, is offering a free Kindle book promotion on Saturday, November 2.  Find out what happens when the IRS comes for the family nut farm.  Don't miss your chance to read "Protect Your Nuts" by G.T. Rees!


Elizabeth S. Brinton said...

Red Sox fans didn't give up either! I am so excited and happy for you. As a fellow attendee at that workshop, I hope the ill mannered person who made the remark gets wind of Rootbound. You can be proud of yourself for your tenacity. Well done!
I cannot wait to read Gabe's book either.

Ana said...

MJ, you did it, and second prize for Rootbound. How exciting. I'm glad you wrote the post about never, never give up. I sometimes struggle with when it's time to continue and when it's time to get out, especially if nothing seems to be happening.