As you know, I'm currently taking a course at a prestigious university for screenwriting. It hones my skills. And, I make friends and contacts I hope to keep for a long time.
Our assignment this week was to fill out a BS2. That's Blake Snyder's formulated Beat Sheet. (I use this alot. It keeps my script flowing exactly where it needs to flow without senseless rambling. Blogs are for that!)
Once we completed the BS2, we had to email it to our group. So, you know, I did it.
First of all, the sheer talent in my group is awesome. One girl has such an "indy" spirit. It cries out in her scripts. One of the guys is big into the armed forces. And whaddya know...his script is about the marines. Another guy created a hilarious absurdist comedy. I really am rooting for him to make it big just so I can see it hit the big screen. Their scripts were great!
So I critiqued them and told them where I was confused, things like that. I emailed the critiques back to the group.
Then I got my email. MY critique. From three extremely talented individuals -- my group. All coming from different points of view. All points valid, engaging. I love objective feedback!
My script is an action flick with a strong female lead rising above harrowing trials (she's an assassin so she HAS to) emerge the heroine. I like it. But I need a fresh set of eyes...eyes that aren't attached to me and can't read my mind. I need my script to be able to be understood by the reader. They can't take time to decipher what they think I may be saying. It needs to be clear.
Indy girl had some good comments. Changes will be made. Military man had some good insight. Changes will be made.
I have to say, though, that the best review I got was from the comedic absurdist writer. After reading my beat sheet and giving me some ideas he gave me a compliment: "I like the character and I feel you can write something with the ferocity of a Bourne movie."
WOW! What a compliment! I was stunned to read that. Why? Because I was doing my best to have it read like a Bourne movie. It gave me a boost. Maybe I can do this after all!
Tomorrow I have to resend my new and improved BS2 back to my group. Where some may hate feeling vulnerable to let another read their work, I welcome it! I admit it's painful to hear someone say, "That doesn't work there," or "This doesn't move the plot along" when I've worked so hard. But not only does this teach me things and give me a fresh perspective, I get to become closer with my group and learn from them, both their triumphs and mistakes. And they learn from me as well. (Well, HOPEFULLY!) I love it this process. I look forward to it now. The pitches in class. The feeling of my throat becoming dry and my hands turning clammy...I'm living the dream, man.
Just another step so you all can say you knew me when....
...and you ALL will say that one day.....
For more information the BS2 or Blake Snyder, please visit http://www.blakesnyder.com/