Twitter

Follow me on Twitter (@DCThome) and Facebook.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Say hello to Anna

Maybe you’re wondering what the man writing a romance is writing now that he’s done writing the romance. Or maybe you’re not. No matter, I’m telling you.

I plan to tweak some screenplays I wrote that have prominent female characters and make them available on Amazon. By “tweak,” I mean doing a little updating, making sure the women are woman-y enough and maybe adding a few details that wouldn’t ordinarily appear in screenplays. Details like what people are wearing (something a screenwriter is supposed to leave up the wardrobe designer) and how characters are saying their lines (that’s up to the actors).

I started writing screenplays twenty-five years ago because I watched a lot of movies, and novels seemed too long and too complicated. I ended up finishing twenty scripts, some of which pecked tiny nicks into the hard shell that encases the movie business. One was Metal Mom, which I hope to have on the bookshelf before March 1.

Metal Mom isn’t a romance, but it is a comedy. It’s about a woman, Anna Petrovic, who rekindles her singing career when her kids are in high school. They don’t like it. Neither does her husband. Even the lead guitarist of her new band, Brains on the Wall, has issues when it looks like Anna’s pushing him out of the spotlight.

Metal Mom was first optioned by a fledgling producer who already had one independent movie under her belt. She started out with micro-budget aspirations and ended up signing Michelle Phillips to play the lead and nearly convincing people with money to finance a Hollywood studio-level project.

A company behind a popular kids’ show optioned Metal Mom a few years later, but that deal didn’t come to fruition, either.

Not that I’m complaining. In Hollywood, Metal Mom has a track record of success. Seriously. Most screenplays get no attention at all. But Metal Mom earned me some money, and I understand why. It’s funny. It’s a good story. It has a female lead that female actors would like to play.

Anyone—male or female—who’s had dreams while growing up in the rock ’n’ roll era will identify with Anna.

And anyone who’s ever been to a movie might like to read a screenplay.

Screenplays aren’t like novels. They don't divulge a lot of back story. You can’t delve into what characters are thinking. And adroit asides in italics are strictly verboten. That goes for anything else you couldn’t see or hear in the theater.

But reading a screenplay isn’t like watching a movie, either. You don’t see what a director, cinematographer and editor want you to see. You see what you want to see. You get to be the director, cinematographer and editor—and the actor. All of the actors, in fact.

And screenplays are fast reads. Theoretically, you should be able to finish a ninety-pager in an hour and a half.

It takes a lot longer than a minute a page to write a screenplay. Or rewrite one, even. But that’s okay, because if I do my job well, your imagination will shoot and show you a movie as real as any you'll see on the screen.

How fast you read it is up to you.

1 comment:

Christi Craig said...

Sounds exciting, Dave! Though I haven't ever read screenplays, I'm looking forward to diving in.