Posted by: steveonfilm | January 6, 2010

Pride is Forever: Day 31

A good night of writing. Six solid pages. And I feel good about them too. They’re not perfect (what pages ever are), but they were exactly what I needed them to be.

This sequence was make or break for the screenplay, as I had to do two things. First, I needed to establish the relationship between Doug and Father Stevens. Second, it was the first “race sequence” I was writing. Sure, there’s a small race a few sequences earlier between Doug and a teammate, but this was the real deal. It was an actual official race. And I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out.

However, this was a perfect example of where homework and research paid off. Having watched both “Without Limits” and “Prefontaine,” I had been exposed to two methods of how to do this exact same thing. I especially liked how “Without Limits” did it, using the Line Official to change the lap indicator. But those weren’t the only movies I pulled inspiration from. Believe it or not, I watched “Days of Thunder” this weekend, just on a whim, and remarkably it has a lot of similarities to what I’m writing now. They do had to show a REALLY long race in just a matter of minutes. I kept a lot of the things they did in mind as I wrote the race sequence.

There’s a third thing this sequence had to do as well. It’s a flashback sequence, and it shows how Doug pops up on the radar of the University of Tennessee. The reality is that what happens in the screenplay is actually pretty close to how it unfolded in real life, save for the fictitious characters I included for story purposes. The UT track scouts were there to see someone else, and took note of Doug when he set the state record in impressive fashion. They asked him to come down to Knoxville almost the very next day.

I felt good about what I put down tonight. I feel like, to use a cliche, I “turned the corner” and finally hit my groove. Things just sort of came out, I went with them, and in the end it all worked out. This leaves me with five sequences left in the act, and it’s a pretty realistic expectation that I can wrap up the act this weekend.

Here are the pages I put down tonight: Pride is Forever – Pages 11-16

I’m looking forward to picking up where I left off tomorrow night.

Until next time, keep writing!

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