Read Through

So, I've finished the rough draft of my first screenplay. I used the free software program Celtx to write it and basically had to wing it on formatting and pretty much every other aspect of writing a screenplay. I had been told to let no scene run longer than 3-4 pages, and that every page in a screenplay roughly works out to 1 minute on the silver screen. (Do people still call it the silver screen? Is it still silver?) The plan is to make the film with a local director friend o mine, the extraordinary Todd Wardrope, which allows me to be a little sloppy on the fine points of screenplayin'.

I've got to say, for a novelist, I sure had a hard time coming up with enough scenes, and the movie is still pretty short as it stands. Once you write a screenplay yourself, you realize just how much you need to blather to bring 90-120 minutes to life. Also, I handcuffed myself by using a very small cast of characters and placing them in locations where I was reasonably certain we could actually film with limited hassle.

This past Saturday night we had the read through, the world premier of the screenplay, in my apartment, with four readers sitting around my kitchen table, drinking and eating candy, in the true spirit of an Oppegaard movie. People laughed when they were supposed to laugh, and it was interesting to hear characters I'd created brought to life by my own friends. So even if this is as far as it goes, this one read through, I still had a fun time writing a screenplay and found it an enlightening process.

This sounds like a report I wrote for school, doesn't it?


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