Because of my love of film, I’ve always had a dream of seeing something I wrote realized on the silver screen. And I’ve grown to respect the writers who tackle this most fickle of all writing endeavors.
If you don’t count all the little scripts that my friends and I filmed in junior high through college, I wrote my first screenplay at 22. It was terrible. I wrote another at 24. Not much better. And then I kept reading scripts and how-to books and writing.
I completed one a few years later I thought was pretty good. I was proud to have finished it. I had dreams of Daniel Day Lewis starring.
I contacted a friend who was a professional screenwriter to see what he thought. I was pretty sure he’d be impressed. He tried to let me down easy. He was very kind but also realistic and firm. He called me out on my clichéd dialogue, my unrealistic situations and some structural problems. He told me I had obviously worked very hard on it….but that I would have to work even harder. It was hard to take. But it was also dead-on advice.
I’ve written several more scripts since that time and had some close calls with production and development but nothing that made it all way through the Hollywood labyrinth into production.
I have good friends who write scripts and I know of their toil, their momentary euphoria and their heartbreak. And I have one friend who’s made a living scriptwriting for over twenty years. A monumental feat in my book. Couldn’t be prouder of him. And it turns out he was the one who critiqued that early script of mine. Looks like he knew what he was talking about.
So to Chuck, Brian, Glenn, Susan, John, and Wes: May your words be spoken back to us in cinemas around the world. Moreover, may the worlds you create, transport us as only good stories truly can.
Here’s to you