After many years of toiling away on short stories, short stage plays, two act stage plays, poems, a novel, and other assorted projects, a month ago I began writing my first screenplay for a feature length film, and I’m already up to page 60! And since I see this movie being an hour and a half, that means I’m already at the two thirds point! This is nothing short of miraculous considering how slow I write, for me it’s like moving at light speed.
This is very remarkable considering that I started project after an offhand comment from the technical director of my last episode of Pacific Television Theater. After the live broadcast of episode 6 last March 14th, he asked if I had any plans to go outside of the Community TV studio and do some on location shooting. I was intrigued by the idea, and at first I was thinking of a short film. But as I began writing out ideas, I discovered I had a lot more material to draw from than I first envisioned.
What will this movie be about? Glad you asked. A young-ish man plans to move away from expensive Santa Cruz to more affordable Northern California, but obstacles keep appearing that impede his progress, and as he struggles to achieve his goal, he worries if he’ll ever make it out. Obstacles include his friends throwing an out of control going away party, getting framed by former coworkers, trouble with the law, misunderstandings, a barista trying to snare him when she finds out he’s leaving, upset landlords (the wild party is at the house where the main character rents a room), and the realization that Santa Cruz is a city with a particular magnetic character that makes it difficult to leave, because there’s just no other place like it. Will he stay or go? The answer won’t be revealed until the very last scene.
Of course writing the screenplay is the easy part. The difficult part will be getting the funding to move this project forward. Then comes casting, assembling a crew, scouting locations, and the usual slew of rewrites. I may direct it myself if I’m able, this will be a cost cutting measure because I’ll be doing two jobs for the price of one (Preston Sturges became the first writer/director in Hollywood this way).
Unfortunately the notable character in the above picture will not be appearing in my movie. There are copyright issues, plus Harvey Korman died over 10 years ago, but I’ll be emulating his tactics and methodology as a guideline to bring my project forward and to completion. Stay tuned!
©2019 Robert Kirkendall