script coverage

Finishing the manuscript creates quite the inner buzz, the old cheerleader inside is saying— “You did it kiddo, you got her done—” as if that’s all you need to do, right? Right—

In preparation for getting out on the festival circuit I’ve sent the script out for what is called coverage. I’ll get a thumbs up or down from this process. The coverage includes a summary of what they’ve found in the script, this is where the good, the bad and the ugly can reveal itself. 

If I can get a thumbs up, I’m sitting about as pretty as an unproduced screenwriter can sit— think in the clouds, way way up there, somewhere over the rainbow. If it doesn’t get that bump up, I can surf over to the Writers Guild of America and ask a veteran screenwriter to come aboard and if the script is repairable hire their advisory services for the revision work.

I’d prefer to get to work on the next script as soon as possible. I have another climate change comedy idea and think it smart to keep writing, like staying in shape, you want to keep at it to keep the muscle strong.

In Between Film Festivals

This next idea is to do with the crumbling cliffs along the West Coast and imagining a story about a nightclub that is suddenly stricken by a landslide that sends the club and its patrons sliding down off a hillside into the Pacific Ocean. Add thick smoke and ash from wildfire, flash floods, powerful winter storms, drought, and sea level rise and you’ve got the idea. Climate change comedy is where I’m intending to devote my screenwriting energies.

Mill Valley is near where I live here in Northern California, and a good place to start the film festival journey. Next up is Palm Springs, we’ve attended this festival in prior years and saw the Elaine Stritch documentary, Shoot Me! That was a terrific film to do with one of last century’s great Broadway singers. This past winter in town to soak at a hot spring we noticed the festival underway and grabbed tickets to see, I Like it Here, it was a terrific quirky and funny autobiographical documentary about growing old. 

February I’ll go to Santa Barbara and come May I’ll go up onto the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada to Mammoth Lakes for my fourth festival.

I’ve got a budget for entering the manuscript in some screenplay contests. There was a deadline for a contest that focuses on the environment, so I tossed my script into that contest this week right at the deadline.

Add to this list you’ll find me watching one of some 6000 YouTubes produced by the Writers Guild of America to do with the craft of screenwriting. 

Some Like it Hot is a favorite Billy Wilder directed comedy. I very much like Blake Edward’s masterpiece Victor/Victoria. Mike Nichols directing Charlie Wilson’s War, a script written by Arron Sorkin holds up and then some. 

I downloaded Terry Southerns, Kubrick directed screenplay, Doctor Strangelove— filmed in black and white, if you like black comedy and I do, this is one of cinema’s all-time great films. 

Beautiful Settings

I am a huge fan of the work of Nancy Meyers. Somethings Gotta Give and It’s Complicated. I like her smooth seamless style.

When I can I try to tune into Bill Simmons podcast, The Rewatchables— he rounds up a few other knowledgeable buffs and they’ll discuss a film they’ve all rewatched. You want an education their commentary provides a whole avalanche of cinematic insight. Bill’s ear is razor sharp and he’s so quick to spot a brilliant line, often the best lines are recited as part of this podcast. Screenwriting golden clues as found and retold by the Rewatchables.

It’s come down to this. It’s Friday and I’ve had a terrific week, but not a perfect one. See you on the other side of Independence Day, we can get to work on the campaign to oust the gay haters who have lied their way onto our nation’s highest court— there is just no excuse for the decisions they have made this week, none, the court is in a desperate situation of the conservatives own making.

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