Your 1st Screenplay



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  • Your 1st Screenplay

    What was your experience writing your first screenplay like?

    My first screenplay was...I must be honest and admit...sooooooo bad!!! So desperately bad!!! A 6 month War & Peace effort that was so long by the time it was completed, it could've been claimed by Victor Hugo!

    Ah, if only somebody had told me about 1 page = 1 minute of screen time... :rollin
    Mind you, to be fair to myself, it was a great story. Just one that was really, really badly told. (With more 'direction' written in than you can poke a stick at! ughhhh!!!)

    Oh how much I envy those people who write a screenplay and get it right the first time! :smokin

    Winter in New York

  • #2
    My first screenplay was a medical thriller.
    I wrote it when I was 19 or 20, and it
    actually got requested by several agents.

    I'll never forget the phone call I had with
    one of them. He liked the concept, then
    proceeded to rip me a new one over all
    the direction I put in the action description.

    I was polite, thanked him for his comments,
    and proceeded to write five more screenplays
    before ever attempting to query another agent
    or producer. The next time I went out with a
    script was my current project, which is being
    setup at Fox.

    I still have that first script. And admittedly, it's
    painful to read. Blocks of description 7 lines deep,
    melodramatic dialogue, you name it. I've often
    thought of rewriting it, but the premise is no longer
    as cutting edge as it was when I conceived it.


    • #3
      Sorry man, but the only person I discuss my first script with is my therapist.


      • #4
        My first was an angels vs demons story. It was short, but a little overwritten. I had trouble figuring out who my protag was. There was no structure. The story rambled. Yet, for all that, it's still one of my better scripts. I may dust it off one day.


        • #5
          the only person I discuss my first script with is my therapist

          My first script was a romantic-comedy. It weighed in at 146 pages.


          • #6
            My first script I wrote in one week, during the nervous energy of exam time. It's terrible but there's a decent story in there. Someday I'll get back to it and rewrite it.



            • #7
              Writing my first screenplay was a 3-year ordeal. In fact, I had to be laid off from my job before I could finish it. It was a fairly decent indie comedy, though.In fact, if I ever become independently wealthy, I intend to produce it myself.

              I've gotten much better since then though, so I guess I can't complain.


              • #8
                i decided to try to write a script december 2001. i wrote my first one in two weeks and set it aside. went back to short stories and a novel i was working on. then april 2002 came around and i decided i wanted to enter a script in the nicholl, so i wrote a second in a month. i entered my first script in austin and my second in the nicholl. both advanced and i was hooked on screenwriting.

                i wrote my third script over the course of the next eight months and it advanced at nicholl last year.

                i wrote my fourth between june and december of last year (it came out to 168 paged), got some great feedback from a few friends, rewrote it between january and march, went through the wga's list of agents and queried the 25 agencies i had heard of, sent out five scripts, met with two agents, and picked one of them.

                after that, i decided to read through my first three and see which were worth rewriting. well, the first one is probably not salvagable. there's not enough story there. and the story that is there is rather cliche. some guy's last heist of all things...

                but every script is a learning experience, and if you can't improve with each new script, you're probably not moving in the right direction.


                • #9
                  My first script was in a sense my first three scripts. I wrote a short draft, threw out ninety percent of it, wrote another, longer draft, and then threw out ninety percent of that. Finally, after months more of writing, a got a decent draft done. In the midst of all this I was reading up on all the screenwriting literature (and thinking of how I might apply it to my script).

                  The final draft was pretty good, but I realized it was far too weird and the concept far too difficult to pitch. It took me two years to write. Normally it's bad form for a newbie writer to spend that much time on a pet idea, but I think I learned a lot about the screenwriting process by doing it that way and now I can hammer out a screenplay in pretty good time.




                  • #10
                    I think I learned a lot about the screenwriting process by doing it
                    which, i think, should be the point of any first script, any first two or three scripts, even.


                    • #11
                      I agree.

                      My first script was an epic horror I'd been wanting to write for years and years. I finished a first draft of it, then rewrote it in ten days... five years later. I tried to get an agent (someone I knew) with the rewrite. I failed. Miserably.

                      First draft problems:

                      1. Bland writing. I took the "slaughter your darlings" advice much, much too literally.

                      2. Derivative. My protagonist was pretty much Father Karras (from The Exorcist).

                      3. Dialogue. Oh God, the dialogue. Just thinking about it makes me want to slice off my ears.

                      I was trying to write "Epic Horror Movie Dialogue".

                      Think about that for a moment. Imagine how that turned out.

                      Also, there were no contractions ANYWHERE in the dialogue. No "don't, can't, won't, isn't, etc." Nope, nothing but "do not, can not, will not, is not, etc." for my characters.

                      4. My final epic battle scene was just a "general description of what happens." Also, the last ten pages weren't numbered. Why? I have no idea.

                      Structurally, it was great. (Actually, that's not really odd, considering structure was beaten into our heads from day one.) Also, my professor told me I had a "mind for horror and suspense" and that my first draft was one of the best in the class.

                      The rewrite was worlds better, but still not something I'd show anyone today.


                      • #12
                        Um well the first script really didnt get finished (I'm just starting out, I'm begining to get my thoughts together for the next one).

                        It has potenitial, the problem being that I didnt do enough pre writeing (God knows why I thought I could get away with only clear thinking of 3 or 4 characters, who didnt even have last names |I ). My writing muscle isnt very strong at all and I kept stopping and starting and alot of times I just lost the passion and tried to re-kindle it. I got about 50 pages in on that script.

                        It wasnt correctly formatted and I do like the characters but at the same time I feel like I was forcing myself to write something that I didnt enjoy in the terms that it wouldnt be the first choice of film I'd watch.

                        It was a romatic tradejgy (please excuse I'm ever so slightly dyslexic, not major but enough to make spelling difficult for me), Its about a teenage girl (in the British school system, I'm a brit) just getting into her final year of high school, the character is bullied alot and feels like she's all alone (also importantly she's severly dyslexic). A boy who has a crush on her (but does not realise it at first) starts to try and help her and be her friend and they start to get closer to each other. She starts to believe that she can live with the bullying but in one major instance she is pushed over the edge by her tourmenter and takes her life.

                        Its to late when the boy realises he wants to admit his feelings for her.

                        I like it and it has a place in my heart but I've always prefered the summer block buster type film and thats what I'm aiming to write now.


                        • #13
                          My first script was about sixty pages, eighty had it been formatted correctly... which it wasn't at all. It all took place in one apartment and nothing happened. Really, it was just a writing exercise to become more comfortable with writing female characters. I had planned on shooting it on video tape, but didn't know enough girls at the time.

                          My next several scripts were all rewrites of other people's scripts, which is where I really picked up the craft. This was all in late high school after I got bored with writing stage plays.


                          • #14
                            I finally completed my first script last week. Took me a year and a half to finish; sixteen rewrites.

                            I'll share my story with you, but i know alot of you won't believe me. It's even hard for me to believe sometimes.

                            Without an agent or manager's help, I started to push my script out into the industry on Monday. My writing coach felt that the script was ready. Here's the scoop so far.

                            It's being reviewed by Focus Features, Warner, 3 execs at CAA, 2 execs at ICM, 1 at UTA for Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta Jones, Michelle Phifer, Ken Watanabe, Joan Chen (to direct).

                            It's also landed me a great Literary Agent at Gersh.

                            To say the least, it's been an exciting week. It's crazy how fast things can move.

                            I know it seems like i'm tooting my own horn, but i think stories like this are important for inspiring upcoming writers. And to show that even without representation, you can accomplish alot when it comes to getting your script out into the industry.

                            I'll keep everyone posted on how things develop with my script.



                            • #15
                              1st Script

                              Technically my first screenplay was a short drama that weighed in at 11 pages and went through two re-writes.

                              My first feature however I wrote around Christmas 2003 and it took me roughly a month in brainstorming (note: no outlining took place) and around three weeks to actually write.

                              Structure, dialogue, character and clichés were the worst aspects of the script yet I believe the concept can still be used and revamped for a later screenplay.