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Adventures in Screenwriting - A Beginning

I have spent more decades than I care to remember in and out of the entertainment industry, mostly as an actor and, later, behind the scenes as a producer, writer, and editor. Honestly, I prefer behind the camera. No hours in hair and makeup, no wardrobe fittings, no memorizing of anything other than where the coffee is located. It's glorious. It's also not any easier than in front of the camera. As always, it's mostly about who you know and, even then, that's no a help.

Now for the backstory about my current screenwriting project. Aside from the creative side, I also have a significant background in history and archaeology which has led to a few museum jobs. It was at one of these museums that the idea was born, far more out of survival than a need to write a screenplay. As a writer, it gave me a safe (and legal) outlet to take out my frustrations of customers, co-workers, and an extremely toxic work environment.

Most of us are fortunate enough to find that one co-worker we can vent to but you're not always working together so it was on those days I took to writing. I'd certainly read enough scripts over the years for projects to know what they looked like but writing in script format after years of story format was a completely different animal. The rules of 'show don't tell' go out the window in many respects because scripts are meant to be visual.

Like many screenwriters, I used Final Draft for all my screenwriting needs (had it for years) however it meant bringing in my personal laptop to work since it doesn't run on PC. Fine. Not a problem but a bit annoying. I'll spare all the details but eventually that museum became so toxic I just didn't even feel like writing. I quit that job and the writing went on hold. Forward a year or so later, I'm at another museum. Ideal. Maybe this one will be less toxic and I won't feel the need to use writing as my therapy. Obviously, the fact that I'm writing this blog indicates that was a dream. I nice, sweet, unrealistic dream. Trust me, there can be jobs more toxic than the last and what is it with museums being so toxic? Anyway, that's a topic for another blog.

Now there are many different types of writers. Those that need to write alone, those that need to collaborate, those that need to work in an office, those that need

to be home,a coffee shop, wherever. That is the first real hurdle that is rarely mentioned. It may also depend on what you're writing. For example, I need to write alone if I'm writing a short story or novel but quickly found I need a co-writer for a script, mostly to talk things through, bounce ideas off of, and to help move the story forward. Huh, this blog is becoming a therapy session. Oops.

Anyway, long story slightly shortened, I lucked out. After years of trying to seek out a co-writer with a similar mindset, I finally found one in the most toxic work place either of us have ever been. We really never should have met. The pandemic, ironically, made that happen. And thus began our twisted route into the mysterious world of screenwriting. Our other co-workers inadvertently offering a lot of story ideas. Never, ever, get on the wrong side of a writer.

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