Home again after a movie pitch or a script pitch. It’s not an actual pitch which I had to pitch in front of film producers or studio executives, to make them buy my script or hire me to write a screenplay. It’s more like a test or a practice, to train myself to pitch in front of people and become good at it. So today, I did the pitch before other new writers like me, professional screenwriters who have excellent track records and have their screenplays made into films and TV series, and so on, for them to give me some constructive feedback. It was a really valuable experience, indeed. Now I know how to pitch effectively and get people to care about my screenplays. I wasn’t nervous at all. I am a performer, after all. So, standing in front of lots of people alone and doing the talk or presentation isn’t an issue for me. The real trick is: How to make them to like my story or how to engage them in just 90 seconds, so that they get excited about my script and want to know more. At first, when I did practise at home, I thought to myself: I can’t do it in 90 seconds because it’s just too quick. I trained and trained at home. And I couldn’t make it in 90 seconds. But when I actually stood there doing the pitching for real, I could finish it in 90 seconds anyway, or almost, with all the key points being delivered. So, I surprised myself. I just did it without speculating too much whether or not I could complete the pitch within 90 seconds. When I got rid of my own fear, I was no longer anxious about how I was going to deliver the pitch interestingly in merely 90 seconds. I think, your own fear is your worst enemy. So today, I did learn a lot about how to pitch successfully and how to prepare myself for the pitch.
I have revised my drama script to page 20 today. I will not do more for today. I will continue with the assessment tomorrow for 10-20 more pages. Then, I will have rewritten about 40 pages so far. During the weekend, I will try to finish the rest which is about 60-80 pages left. So, 30 pages on Sat. and 30 pages on Sun. All together will be about 100 pages screenplay. Well, if I aim to have only 100 pages. If I want 120 pages manuscript, then I may have to do the rewrite about 40 pages on Sat. and 40 pages on Sun. as well. I think, it looks more manageable now when I break it down into small chunks for each day to complete it. 40 Pages each day is achievable since I already wrote the script. This is just to correct the grammar and add or subtract something. 3 More days, then my screenplay is completely done!
If I didn’t win any competitions, then I would make the movie myself. I am almost certain about that. Yes, I plan to send my drama screenplay to various contests. But since I want to, perhaps, make the movie myself, so it doesn’t matter that much if I win or not. The story is personal to me. I will therefore most likely to make the movie myself. I just want to send it to competitions, just to try because I have never sent a script to win a prize before. So, it could be interesting. I think it would be a good experience regardless. So why not? Then, in the meantime, I have time to run around and make my horror short “Blood Group O.”
After I have got the drama screenplay out of the way, I will start practising my film pitch for fund to make the feature film after the short film. This is going to be fun, pitching for fund. I have never done it before. So, I have to be well-prepared. But I have been talking about my film concept almost daily and to practically everybody I have met. So, hopefully, doing the pitching shouldn’t be that challenging for me 🙂
I don’t know what to eat for snack. So I just have onion rings and ice cream. I always have them in my freezer, just in case. They can come in handy in situation like this, when I work all day on my script and don’t feel like cooking. My freezer is not that big. So I can’t stock a lot of fast food. When you write constantly, you don’t want to spend too much time cooking. It can be time consuming. You will want to spend every minute of your precious time writing, and to complete your project as soon as possible. So, standing and preparing food in the kitchen for hours is not something I feel like doing for now. If I could save lots of time to work on my screenplay I would. Therefore, even though I love cooking, I don’t make food that often anymore, I buy takeaway, eat out, or eat fast food like this instead. I know it’s not healthy. But just for the time being. When my work is over (finishing the screenplay), I can start spending quality time cooking good food for myself again. Now I will continue to work on my drama screenplay. I really hope I can finish it today.
I love writing. As soon as I start writing again, I feel good. As I write, I imagine that the story comes to life, as if I watch the actual film before my eyes. If it feels real to me, then I can better write it entertainingly. I have a good feeling about this drama screenplay since every word, every scene, every character, and so on, are authentic or 90% of it because it is based on a true story. And I am so emotional when I write it because I know what happened. And that’s why I know it’s a good, unique, and original story that needs to be told. I therefore HAVE to finish it. I will do whatever I can to complete it. I can visualise it already as a movie. I think, it will be a good film to watch.
Another busy day. I am trying to gather cast & crew ready for the shoot of my short film as soon as possible. I’m getting there. I plan to shoot this weekend. But then, it’s Easter. Most people won’t be available this weekend, and, perhaps, the beginning of next week as well. I might have to start filming at the end of next week instead. In the meantime, I’m still looking for cast & crew continuously. It’s a hard work trying to assemble all people, even though it’s just a short film. What if it’s a feature film? So it’s good that I’m preparing myself for a feature film project by making short films. You can only learn by doing and creating things.
I’m so excited with my short horror film project “Blood Group O” that I’m constantly sorting through applications, replying, watching their showreels, reading their CVs, and so on. I read every submission and see every reel. It also gives me a good experience and knowledge in terms of how you market yourself effectively as an actor. After going through all the actors’ profiles on Spotlight, Mandy, Shooting People, and the like, I see some actors do know how to promote themselves and some not. Or some who are not, maybe because they are not serious enough.
As a casting director for my own short film, I do want to see that actors have showreels or voice reels, but showreel is preferable since I can see how you act in front of a camera, your facial expressions, emotions, interactions with other actors, and many more. So, showreel is a must if you’re a serious actor and want to be seen as such. Headshot is also as important as showreel, including full figure photo. All in all, there should be about 5 photos on your acting profile showing different photos in different expressions, outfits, postures, etc. But of course, two main images are essential: One headshot and one full body. Some have a long list of stage performances, short films, commercials, have been to drama schools and all that. But, there is not even a single showreel to be seen on their profiles?! It’s not a normal 9-5 job application, which a CV with a long list of experience is enough. It’s an acting job. And what do people associate acting with: Motion picture, or, a visual presentation/moving picture showing them that you can act or do some acting.
I will take a break now before I start going through the applications again.
I have just finished making a selftape presentation for my agent to send to casting directors. It’s just a standard selftape that includes my name, age, height, hands, full body, and a 1-minute monologue. I just took a monologue from my horror screenplay which I am going to use this monologue in my upcoming short horror film as well “Final Day,” to make a short film out of it to pitch for fund for my feature film “The Existence.” Next week, I’m going to start looking for cast & crew. Yes, finally, I’m going to make the short film. But I’m also working on my drama screenplay simultaneously. My drama film is not listed anywhere because I plan to send the script to screenplay competitions only. And I am not allowed to make a film out of it, yet. So, that drama filmmaking project will be put on hold for a while. If I don’t win the contest, I will, definitely, make the movie myself. That’s the plan.
Tonight, I will continue to work on my drama screenplay as much as I can, to really finish it. But although I am not finished with it yet, I have to start filming my short film anyway. If I waited for my drama script to complete first before I could do anything else, I could be waiting for very long time. Who knows. There may be things that I have to change again and again. So I must start working on the making of my horror short film “Final Day” at the same time, to actually create something along the way. I don’t want to waste my time no more on just one project when I, probably, can do another project alongside it. This horror short film doesn’t take long time to shoot anyway. It’s just one scene. It might take just a day to film. So if I had all cast & crew ready next week, I could be finishing my short horror film the week after.
Good morning! Finally, Sunday is here. I like Sunday. I don’t know why. It just feels different than the other days of the week. It’s a day that tells you to relax, have a day off, and do whatever you like. It may apply to lots of people who work 9-5, but not me. I work 7 days a week and at different times. Anyway, I think the reason why I like Sunday is because I always connect it to Sunday in Denmark because all the shops are closed on Sundays in Denmark, so that people will use the opportunity to have an actual break and spend some quality time with the family, loved one, friends, etc. I guess, that’s the idea. And I used to think that it is the same for the rest of Europe. So when I first moved to UK when it’s Sunday and I wanted to go out and buy something, but then I realised it’s Sunday, so there’s no use of going out since all the shops will be closed anyway. So I never actually went out to buy anything on Sundays when I first moved to UK. After some time, I found out it’s not the same as in Denmark. Here, all the shops operate as usual 7 days a week. But even now, on Sundays, I sometimes still have the feeling about all the shops are closed in UK as well.
After this blog post, I will get busy with lots of tasks that I have to do. And that’s why I work 7 days a week. I will continue to work on my drama screenplay, to really finish it as soon as possible. Then I have some self tapes I have to make and send. I also have to start looking for cast & crew for my short horror film “Final Day,” which I may change the title. I can see, I will spend this whole Sunday for all my plans. But doing what I love is the most important thing. When I am done with all my small goals, I can relax and reward myself later.
Malaria has never got much attention until now. Thanks to the campaign Malaria Must Die launched very recently by David Beckham. I just stumble upon the clip of the campaign on Instagram today, actually. Now I realise that my filmmaking project about Malaria disease back in early 2018 is worth making. I started planning to make the film about Malaria “The Existence” (which is based on a true story by the way) back in March 2018, after I was done making my first short action/romance film “Instant Risk,” which will be made into one short film and one feature film. But I have yet to start the production of the film anyway. Well, I was, actually, about to start making the movie as soon as I had the idea last year, which I hoped to begin with the short film version first to pitch for fund for the feature film. Subsequently, I started writing the screenplay and all that. But then I saw a drama screenplay competition that I wanted to send it to. So I decided to postpone the production of my horror/sci-fi film about Malaria disease. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet the deadline for the drama script. So I must continue to finish writing the drama screenplay regardless since I am almost done with it. There’s no way of going back now.
I aim to complete the drama script very soon. I was done with it already. But then I wanted to make sure, it is perfect because I prepared to send it to competitions. So I have to rewrite it again and again, until I am totally happy with it. I will work on it one last week which is this week. Then, I will send it to screenplay contests. And then I can begin to make my horror/sci-fi film about Malaria “The Existence,” which I may skip the short film version and start making the feature film right away. It’s a low-budget film anyway. So I do not need to make a short film version to pitch for fund. I will work harder to finish the revision of my drama screenplay as soon as possible, so that I can start filming my horror/sci-fi film about Malaria “The Existence” straight away.
Most of my movies are about something educational and therefore useful for the society. As you can see my horror/sci-fi film “The Existence” is about fighting and stopping the Malaria and making people become aware of the deadly disease, about being strong and brave – mentally and physically. And my drama film, which I’m still working on the script, is about something totally opposite. I cannot reveal that much for now. I want this drama script to be kept under wraps for a while, until the film is being made.
I am so excited about both films – the drama film (with no title yet) and the horror film “The Existence.” I can’t wait to begin to produce them soon. Every day, I jump out of my bed with a lot of enthusiasm for both my filmmaking projects, which I start preparing for the filming of the horror film now. And that’s why I have not blogged much recently. I just devote all my time for my upcoming movies. It’s something I love doing. I visualise the films in my head daily, how they will start, unfold, and end. The more I can see the movies clearly in my mind, the better I can translate the visual aspects of them into the screenplays. Writing about 120 pages of a movie manuscript seems easy enough. But when you think of what you have to put into it to create a good screenplay, it’s not as straightforward as you may think. That’s why I take extra time to write an entertaining, captivating script as much as I can. A good movie made of a good screenplay, after all.
I have been very busy lately. That’s why I don’t blog that often as I used to. I am preparing for the making of my short film if I cannot sell my script, to pitch for the fund for the feature film. So every day counts. I spend each day doing the research, re-reading my screenplay, rewriting scenes and dialogues, making plans, and many more. And plus, I have many other things to do, too, than just organising my filmmaking project. I have put a lot of work and time into my upcoming drama film. I have therefore reached the point of no return. From now on, I can only move forwards. I have to make it no matter what – either sell the script or make the film myself. But something good has to come out of the screenplay. I will not just write a script and think nobody will care about, then just forget the whole thing and go do something else.
Since I have been busy with lots of things recently, today I will just relax and watch a good film. But after the film, I may begin to look at my screenplay again. I’m just so excited that I enjoy working on it every time. There’s not a day that I think: Maybe this project is too difficult, I can’t do it anymore, I will find something else less challenging to do instead. On the other hand, I just get up each morning looking forward to continuing to work on my screenplay and my filmmaking project because I’m very positive about it. Also when I visualise the day I have successfully made the film or have sold the script, I just can’t wait to get there FAST. And that’s what keeps me going, never giving up.
I write this post as if I have a discussion with someone about the process of writing my first feature-length screenplay (a coming-of-age drama) and, possibly, making the film myself as well which I will also be playing one of the main characters. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to pretend, I am being interviewed by someone to see how I will answer those questions when the time comes. I think, it’s also a good preparation and a brave proclamation to myself about that I can do it, I will make it – just relax.
How do you start your day?
As soon as I get up, I make a cup of tea or coffee, have my breakfast, and begin to write straight away.
What are you doing at the moment?
I’m working on my feature-length screenplay (a coming-of-age drama) and trying to get it sold. If not, I will make the film myself. So I’m very busy with lots of things, such as doing the researches for my film, how to get it made. I also take some acting classes once in a while to improve my acting skill, attend several film and writer events to network, and many more. But one of the main things is that I try to finish the revision of my screenplay by the end of this month, which is this Sunday 31. So, I don’t have that many days left now.
I thought, I am completely done with the redraft. But then, when I read through it somehow it doesn’t seem captivating enough, and some aspects of it are unclear and uninteresting. So I have to rewrite it again and again, until it’s perfect. Because, if I want to sell my screenplay it has to be more than good. People have to be unable to put it down, till they have read to the end. So, I try to achieve that kind of level. I therefore have to be a prolific writer, to refine my writing skill. Because, when you write a lot or produce a lot you become good at it in the end. Writing a lot of things doesn’t only mean quantity; it also means quality since it helps you become a good, confident writer. Although I have yet to write lots of screenplays, but I blog a lot and almost daily. So, I do produce lots of writing work anyway – just in a different form of writing.
What is it so special about this drama script?
That it is based on a true story which is so personal to me. For that reason, there is a personal touch to it as well. It’s not just a true story and that’s it. All in all, the whole package: The dialogues, the plot, the characters, the setting, and more. It’s just a very good story to tell. And that’s why I feel like turning it into film myself since I know the story very well. I would therefore be the right one to tell and direct it.
What are the most important views of the script?
That it is about the views of vulnerability, loneliness, choice, control, and the like. It’s a coming-of-age drama. So, it’s about making the right choices in your life, about being you – not just someone or something or anything that’s not you, just to please others. It’s about holding on to who you are. It’s about finding yourself, actually, which many young people have to cope with. Growing up can be scary. There are lots of responsibilities you have to take. The reality can be intimidating for some, especially youngsters. Hence the journey to adulthood can be lonely which makes many teenagers feel vulnerable. Although they may not be aware of loneliness and vulnerability themselves, but they are there somewhere deep down.
What are the interesting things about the characters?
The protagonist is a very complicated person. For example, he says things he doesn’t mean. But, it’s not only the protagonist who is like that, all characters are enigmatic in some ways. They do and say things that can be annoying or difficult to understand. But they have their own reasons for doing it. The impetus can be good or bad.
What is the setting and why?
It takes place in a small district of London. I want to portray the lives that are different from what we are used to. We need to see and experience something completely different than our own world. It’s nice to be taken to a different world and be transported with entertainment and learn something from it. I can promise you, there is a lot to learn from this film, a lot of questions to be answered, and more.
Considering everything, this film will be a good film to watch. I can visualise it already. Therefore I would like to make this movie myself, which I might. Because, I want to make a film which I in some way give something back to the society. So if I ever turn it into film myself, I really want people to go see the film, to experience something different and educational.
I had just recorded a monologue from my screenplay that I performed on Sunday 24 at Theatre Deli in London, which I posted the video from my solo performance in my last post. This time it’s just a monologue that I uploaded to SoundCloud, so that you can hear me speak clearly and notice the difference. I will be playing this character in the movie as well if I’m going to turn it into a film myself. I will play the girlfriend of the protagonist. So I practise my lines along the way. In the end, I might be able to remember the whole script by heart….hehe.
The search for cast & crew may begin soon. I will make a short film first by taking a scene from my original script and making a short film out of it, to pitch my fund. So, I will go through my script tonight and see which scene I want to use in the short film. It will be just about 10 minutes long. This will be my second short film. I can’t wait to start shooting again soon! This time, I will make it better than last time. I learn something new each time I make a movie. I am so thrilled to start filming a new movie asap since I’ve always been fascinated by films. So I always look forward to doing what I love