The story of getting a film made ........again!

Miles To Go

Snowy WoodsI’m at that stage of development where you swing from – this is crap to this is brilliant. But I’ve learnt to live with that. I think that perpetual oscillation is not only healthy but unavoidable because at the stage of writing the first draft, it’s probably true. This new project is called “Miles to Go” although I am already leaning towards the second half of that line from the Robert Frost poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” which is “Before I Sleep”. That wonderful poem is open to interpretation and mine (like many) believe it’s about a contemplation on suicide. Which is why I chose it because this story is about a man who has decided to end his life.

This and other aspects of the story are the rats running around in my head right now from dusk till dawn, although my best ideas come while I sleep, if only I could remember them all. Now that I think about it, that’s exactly how “Winter’s End” came to me – in a dream and it was the scene where Jack searches for his car in Henry’s field.

“Miles to Go” is the story of a man who believes there is only one route to restoring his family’s well being and happiness and that is by restoring their financial fortunes. His muddied thinking is exacerbated when he separates from his family and drifts toward disconnection and isolation and is finally taken to the limit when he begins to see that his own death may actually give him (and his family) all that he hopes to achieve. An unexpected intervention in the form of Lena acts as a catalyst for change as she aids him in fire-fighting family problems throughout a single day. But will he finally see that this and nothing more is all his family want from him before it’s too late.

This project has received a first draft loan from the Irish Film Board and I plan to complete said first draft in June 2011.

“Faithless” aka “In God’s Garden” is now a finished script having lately gone through several reviews and notes with Script Pipeline. To quote their last review “we believe (Faithless) has reached it’s highest level of competency, both in general writing ability and concept.” The project’s producer is actively exploring co-production opportunities at home and abroad.

Script Pipeline notes on “In God’s Garden”

Recently, the film’s producer and I debated where we would go to further develop the script of “In God’s Garden” which right now is at an advanced stage and considered by the Film Board to be an accomplished script. Not so long ago Yahoo used to host a film industry chat show called “Shoot Out” hosted by two heavy hitters Peter Guber and Peter Bart. All aspects of the industry were up for dissection and discussion, bringing in some of the biggest names in the business from screenwriters to directors, producers, agents etc. On one particular show the subject up for discussion was writers and how to gain a foothold in the business. Interacting with professional and knowledgeable script editors was seen as a priority and Script Pimp (Pipeline) was mentioned in very favourable terms.

This week we got the notes back from Script Pipeline. They were incisive and insightful and made a point of highlighting the existing strengths of the script in terms of it’s unique take on an popular genre, it’s strong marketable qualities and given another draft or two could prove to be very attractive to a strong cast.

More importantly than that though, they provided me with a road map of where the script could be tightened and strengthened, recognising that a very strong narrative was already at play with believable characters. They drew particular attention to the quality of the dialogue in the script.

A little while ago I wrote a post about readers reports and views of drama analyst Yves Lavandier on the subject. These notes from Script Pipeline are a prime example of how they should be compiled. Taking care to point to the strengths that already exist while at the same time offering notes on a new draft that never seek to undermine a belief in one’s own abilities.

Over the next few weeks I will be absorbing those notes and working on a new draft or maybe two. Come the New Year, we intend to have a script which will attract both a quality cast and production finance.