Friday, April 25, 2014

Fade to Black:

It seems like it was a long, long, time ago in a galaxy far far away (cliche, I know) when I came up with the genesis for The One You Feed. It started with the idea, or the question, of what would a man do if he bumped into his wife's killer? A normal man, a moral man. Not a cop, or a superhero, but the average Joe.

Would he, could he, and should he?  That was my idea.

That was also 2011.

Over the next few years I started developing the story of John McNeill, a man whose wife is kill, and him left for dead. Left to rebuild his life and torn between hunting these unknown killers or continuing down a normal path, a more honest path.  That is The One You Feed. What happens next though . . . . Well, it took some time. In 2011, I wrote a ten page treatment of the story, and in the mean time I focused my craft on short films by directing Sad But True, In Your Prayers, The Last Time, Tuesday Morning, To Hold, and Hands Clean in the same year.

By October 2012 I finally started up the computer, popped open Final Draft 8, and saved a new file The One You Feed. Over the next six months I worked on the script. In that time my daughter was also born, and this naturally, ate into a little time as well. In June 2013, I turned over a draft to the New Ogden Cinema group, a film group in the Ogden area of collaborating film-makers.

They torn through the first draft, and rightly so. Indie-writer/director Jason White jokingly called it, "Toilet paper." Well, maybe he wasn't that harsh, but after the end of the night I had the information my needed - that is what wasn't working, and what needed to be cut. I knew that the first draft was rough, and I had no illusions about that. I have openly admitted it several times. What I didn't have was what to do next? What could I do to make it WORK?

I took a break for about three months. Enjoyed my time with my daughter, enjoyed the summer, and I even worked on finishing my next short film Look Who's Talking. The break was good as I needed time to flesh the story and characters out more. I have always had the beginning and the ending of the story, but it was the journey that perplexed me the most.

What has changed: I added more description of John in his pursuit of the men who killed his wife. I rounded out his character from a person who had never held a gun before, to someone who is a proficient marksman. I cut a lot of scenes that just were not working. A scene between John and Donald in a hospital, the whole set up how John meets Eady (his new friend and possible love interest), and altered/deleted a lot of the original content that I had for John and Eady.

I confidently say that the story flow is more a lot more smooth than it was before, and the story arc of the character is a lot more present. I have read over the script many time looking for loss ends, I have had other film-makers read over it as well, I have made the final adjustments and I believe that the story is as good as it can ever be.

Speaking frankly of the material, if I show you a gun in Act 1 it will be used by Act 3.

Yesterday, I filled The One You Feed screenplay with the U.S. Copyright office. A first time for me, and though I know I don't need to file for the Copyright in order to have the rights over my material. But for me it signified the closing of a chapter that I spent three years (longer that I should have) working towards, and the begin of a new segment called Pre-Production or Will I Make This Script or Sell it.

But for now . . . .