If I were able to travel back in time to early 2005, this is what I would have told my younger self. It is now what I would tell every beginning filmmaker that would listen. I was about 15 writing this Raiders of the Lost Ark parody and I had read a lot about filmmaking technique and watched tutorials, etc. However, it was years later that I really learned about crafting the screen story. I was confident with formatting the document. But the actual formatting does you no good if the story doesn't work in your head.
All dialogue was at least 16 point font. Anyone with any screenplay experience would ask "what is this guy thinking??" Because with the font so large, I could place the script at the amateur actor or actress' feet and he or she could glance down and read the lines when lost! I'm not kidding!
Around March of 2005, I remember saying to my script editor (aka Mom), that the story "just doesn't have IT". The problem was, I couldn't describe what "IT" was. But I had a production deadline--as a high school student I knew that all the filming had to be done during summer vacation.
Did I manage to complete the filming needed in just one summer? Of course not, because I didn't have a full script! I had about 25 scenes written, which is what I did film that summer. I will be sharing about that first summer of production in later posts. The years following were episodes of realizing that the story didn't make sense with what I had, so I would write more scenes and film some more, over and over.
If the reader takes any lesson away from this blog, it should be Don't Start Filming Before The Script Is Finished. I would have saved so much time and aggravation had I followed this rule.
To Be Continued...