Posted by: steveonfilm | April 10, 2008

Whatcha Got?

I had someone e-mail me asking what else I’ve written. I figured now is as good a time as any to mention a few other things I’ve completed (meaning I at least have a first draft of) and something I crashed and burned on. I’ve also got detailed notes on a bunch of other stuff too, but I won’t bore you with that right now.

Finished Screenplays

Bystander – A hitman is assigned to murder his best friend. When the reasons for his assignment don’t add up, he learns that he’s nothing but the pawn in a plot to take down the agency he works for, and him with it.

Bystander is the first screenplay I ever wrote. It was an idea I had floating in my head for years. After my best friend won the Final Draft Big Break contest, I said, what the hey, got Final Draft, and started writing again myself. I think it’s a good story, but I’m not confident I’ve really nailed the delivery of it yet. It’s currently in it’s 5th draft, and I think it’s pretty close to being something I would feel confident about sending out.

Marianas – A first term congressman attends a birthday celebration for a fellow congressman on a beautiful island in the south pacific. When he’s kidnapped by human rights workers and shown the real truth behind the island’s facade, he is forced decide between keeping his job, or doing what is right.

This is the story I’m most proud of. I was exposed to what happens on the Northern Mariana Islands I think in an article I read in TIME. I’m not completely sure. But it was years ago. At any rate, I had three stories that I came up with that all revolved around what happens there. But I didn’t think any one was strong enough to stand on it’s own. So I took the story that I felt was the most mature, the congressman, and wrapped it up in two sub stories about human rights workers and a Chinese man searching for his kidnapped sister. It’s currently in it’s 2nd draft, and something I would consider sending out someday, hopefully soon.

Mindbender – A man one day wakes up at a mental institution in the body of someone else thirty years in the past. After a doctor helps him return to his normal self, he must race to track down the doctor in the present before he loses his mind … or his life.

This was my first attempt at sci-fi. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of waking up as someone else. I crafted what is the most terrifying scenario I could think of and then put it down on paper. What came out was a mish mash of a screenplay, poorly paced, and without a strong conclusion. I still think the idea has potential and I plan on going back to this some day. It’s currently just a 1st draft. This isn’t going to anyone any time soon.

Moving On – A man, forced to come to grips with the loss of his adult son in Iraq, turns to the therapy group “Fathers of the Fallen.” After a friend dies of cancer, and another is brutally murdered during a hate crime, the man is left alone, pondering just how to move on.

I have no idea where this story came from. But one day it was just there in my head and I knew I had to get it down on paper. Maybe it’s because I have a few buddies who’ve served in Iraq, and maybe it’s because I never want their parents to have to know what this feels like, but I chose to explore what happens when the worst comes true, when you lose a child.

This is a complicated story about three fathers who come to learn they’ve lost their son in the same insurgent attack in Iraq. One, the main character’s son, is a reporter, the other son a soldier, and the other son an Iraqi native who’s father is an ex-pat who now lives in the US. I think this is something that has real potential and it’s by far by best first draft ever written. It was the first screenplay I really plotted out ahead of time and it paid off. It’s currently in it’s second draft and within the next year, if I think it’s ready, I’d like to submit it.

Failed Screenplays

The Track At Dusk – An aging NASCAR driver is forced out of his spot on the team in favor of a younger, more marketable driver. When a seemingly unknown start up race team gives him the chance to achieve his dream of winning at Daytona, he has to decide what more important, his legacy or getting back his ex-wife.

I’ve gotten about 3/4ths of the way through this script. It’s pretty meh and I put it down. It was the second script I ever started and I did zero planning ahead of time, and boy does it show. It doesn’t have a clear direction, and most of the secondary characters suck. I still think the story has legs, but as of right now it’s on permanent hiatus. It’s a shame too, because Frank Japser was a fun character to write.

Well, that’s it for now. After I finish “One Day At A Time” I’ll shift gears on the blog a bit into polishing up my body of work. I’d like to submit something this year, but I still don’t feel like anything I’ve got still doesn’t scream “amateur hour.” There’s no way to fix than other than to keep writing.



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