So a couple weeks ago I wrote a stupid tweet about a “new spec idea” that I had.
As you might have guessed, I was a lot more enamoured of my dumb wordplay than I was of the actual idea. At first.
But for whatever reason, this was one of those shower thoughts that sticks around, and I kept getting ideas for scenes and characters that would make me laugh to myself at inopportune moments. So eventually I just threw my hands into the air, yelled “fine!” and wrote the stupid thing as a ten page comic script. Minus the heroin bit, which was a little too hard to work in with the page restriction I set myself. Hope you like it anyway.
I originally read this essay at Shelf Life Books’ Happy Endings reading series, which, if you live in Calgary, you should go to because it is the best.
I’ve tagged it as nonfiction. And while I’d never suggest it would hold up to any kind of journalistic standard, I would say it’s “true enough.” I changed the names of everyone but my girlfriend and myself.
Originally performed at Happy Endings, a Shelf Life Books reading series. Essay version below, for those who would not rather listen to my dumb voice.
So this is my entry into the final round of NYC Midnight’s Short Screenplay Competition. I get to find out on March 12th if the judges actually thought it was any good. Here are entries one, two and three.
For this one, the criteria was:
- Genre: Open
- Object: Birthday Cake
- Location: Morgue
That first bit was intimidating, but exciting. On one hand, one less choice to make when building an outline is acutally pretty comforting, but this time the choice was all mine. On the other, I didn’t really get the opportunity to do either of my favourite genres yet–namely “science fiction” and “hardboiled”–so this was basically a chance to grab my action figures and smush them together for five pages.
So, uh, yeah. Here’s what that looks like.
My third entry into the NYC Midnight Shorts competition. Entries one and two are here. No word yet on whether this one advanced me to the next round, but we’ll see. The criteria I had to write this one around were:
Object: Spray paint
That last bit hung me up a little. I’ve never really written straight horror before, and I felt like something I’d be more comfortable with (like meta-horror or horror-comedy) might risk disqualification. But I like plenty of horror movies and horror short stories, so I thought I’d start by trying to figure out what I responded to in those.
I realized pretty quick that my favourite horror stories did one of two things. They either used the “horror” genre as a way to piggyback in some kind of cool sci-fi or fantasy mythology, or they took advantage of the genre’s disreputability to piggyback in some anti-establishment social commentary. I decided I’d try to make my short do both and… well…
Let’s say I feel like I learned something.
If you’re feeling up to it, let me know what you think in the comments.
This is the second script I wrote for the NYC Midnight shorts festival, and the third in the series of short screenplays I’m throwing up here to get them off my C drive. Here are entries one and two. Oh, and if you want to dress your dog up like the one in the picture, I shamelessly lifted that off of this pet costume website. If you are associated with that pet costume website and would rather your business not be associated with a script this deeply stupid, please let me know and I’ll switch it out with a picture of a Benedict Cumberbatch otter or whatever.
If you missed the last post, the NYC Midnight competition works like this: All the writers who enter are placed into “heats” of about thirty. Each of those thirty heats are assigned an object, a genre and a location that they then have 48 hours to produce a five page script around. For this one, I was assigned:
Object: Prosthetic leg
Location: Dog park
And while my initial thought was to try something Lebowski-esque, where a slacker has to find his rich brother’s dog in a park full of yuppies, I thought that might confuse me with a writer who had any idea what he was doing. And thus, we have a dog detective and a flailing attempt to write characters with British accents. Hope you enjoy.
This was a fun one. I’m taking part in the NYC Midnight Shorts competition, and the way they set it up is pretty cool. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to head-to-head screenwriting. All the entrants are split into smaller groups, and then everyone in the group is given three criteria (a location, an object and a genre) they have to use to generate a five page script within forty eight hours. The scripts are scored, and the five people with the most points get to advance to the next round. For this one, the three criteria were:
Location: Interrogation Room
Genre: Romantic Comedy
My group’s results for the first two challenges are posted here. This one scored pretty good, but it’s the only time I’ve ever had someone call my writing “precious” as a compliment.
NYC challenge scripts two and three are set to be the next entries in my ongoing “Throw Things Into the Internet Abyss Rather Than Letting Them Rot in Your C-Drive Dungeon” project, which probably needs a punchier title. If it turns out script three was good enough to advance me to the next round, then the fourth is a likely future entry as well. The first part of that project was this thing, which wasn’t written for any particular reason at all, except for the fact that I like things that are snowy and have guns in them. The Stolen Heart of Charles Fontaine contains neither, but I like it anyway.
I hope that next week I get around to writing an actual bloggy-type-thing, but in the meantime I hope you like these scripty-type-things. Thanks for reading. You’re the coolest.