Thursday, June 26, 2008

I am (two spaces removed from) the Champion, my fri-ends!

Hey, there. For what it's worth, I took third place in the latest round of the NYCMidnight annual Screenwriter's Challenge.

What is the NYCMidnight Screenwriter's Challenge, you ask?

Well I'm so glad you asked!

Here's the deal. You sign up, and then, they give you a Genre and a Topic. For instance, my Genre for the first round was "Drama," and my topic was "An order."

Now, you get a fair amount of leeway on how you interpret your genre and topic. Drama is drama, but you can have elements of suspense, horror, comedy, romance, action, etc. As long as it's drama-ish, you're good.

In terms of Topic, you can pretty much run around naked and crazy with it. "An Order," hmmm? Maybe a court order. Or a military order. Or an order of pizza. Or an order of monks. Or an order from a military court to an order of monks to put a bunch of pizza orders in alphabetical order. And so forth.

So, as I said, first round: Drama/An Order. The goal is to write a single short script of 15 pages or less. The twist is that you get exactly one week to do this, with the deadline falling at midnight, NYC time (hence the name of the contest) on the seventh day.

I'd love to know what percentage waited until about, ohhhhhh, day 6 and a half to get started. Not that I would do such a thing. Actually, I didn't do too badly with my procrastination-prone self. I think I finally started writing on day five. But until then, I was... thinking. Yeah. Thinking.

Actually, the funny thing is that I had an idea that I had been chewing on for the first five days, but then, day five, BAM! Something else just kinda swooped in and I thought "Well that's WAY better!" and I sat down and wrote it out in pretty much one long sit.

The basic idea of the story was that a son living on the west coast orders last-minute flowers for his mom's birthday. He's kinduva jerk, so the bouquet he sends isn't exactly awe-inspiring. Back in rural Pennsylvania, the mother receives the flowers, but the gift ends up paling in comparison to the friendship she strikes up with the very nice gentlemen florist who brings them to her.

So, I wrote, and I ended up taking second place in that first heat, which was good enough to advance me to the final round.

The final round is similar, but different. Just like the first round, writers get a genre and topic. This time, it was "Suspense" and "A Birth."

What's different is that for the final round, you get only a single day to write your 1-15 page script. This is... um... less time.

Again, though, I followed a similar pattern. I had an idea all worked out in my head, then went to bed, intent on committing it to paper after I'd slept on it. But as soon as the lights were out, another idea popped into my head, and I jumped up and grabbed a notebook and scribbled down some ideas. And those scribbles ended up being the story I wrote.

So, anyway, I found out yesterday that my final round script had received third prize. I have no doubt that Hollywood will be beating a path to my door. Annnnnny minute now.

Mayyyyyybe... NOW.

Or... now.


Where the hell are those guys?

Currently Listening to: "False Horizon" by Mountain Con.
Seriously, it's been on an endless loop on my iPod all day. I dare anyone to listen to it without getting hooked.