With approximately a day and a half still left to go before my deadline, the first draft of Shh… is complete. It clocked in at exactly 100 pages, which is a little short for one of my screenplays. But every second counts in this story of an afterlife set in a strange, seaside community, and for a low budget production heavy on atmosphere and dialog, I think it’s about right. Although, I’m not entirely convinced on the title. You can’t just say it like most film titles, as you actually have to “act” it a bit. That might be a good thing as it contributes to the slightly campy, lo-fi/hi-fun tone I was shooting for. But as is so often the case in this business, depending on who’s got the checkbook, it might be a “problem”.
Having set out to write something that might catch the attention of smaller, independent film companies who will give a non-guild member a shot, I think I succeeded. So much so that I actually entertained contacting members of the Atlantic City Film Association (holders of the Atlantic City Film Festival) to see if I could find some production teams who might be interested in making this film with me possibly at the helm. Living in southern New Jersey doesn’t afford a wannabe filmmaker/screenwriter a lot of options in regards to starting a career, even one that lives in the veritable shadow of a camera-ready location like Atlantic City, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from trying. So with memories of attending the first annual Atlantic City Film Festival well over 10 years ago, I looked the organization up.
Aaaand, they’re no more. Guess I can stop trying.
What I’m going to do now is cast the net a little further out to surrounding markets such as Philadelphia and maybe this cat in the Washington/Baltimore area (although, I think I should be a little wary of anyone who describes themselves as “superdelicious”) to see if I can learn how independent folks are getting it done. As for the contest I was using as my deadline, that was pretty much all I wanted from it. I’m not really ready to drop a fifty to see how my offbeat tale of a man who kills his family and is rewarded a “vacation” fairs against a few thousand romantic comedies. Not yet, anyway. I’ll also be posting the script on Inktip where I’ve had a few downloads of late, one of them really interesting, and see if I can get a few bites. But first, I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and start polishing my product. And yes, I know how “PG-13, some language, nudity and sexual themes” that sounds. Heh.
Last night I watched Horror of Dracula with the greatest blood slurper of all time, Christopher Lee. The film is full of iconic horror imagery if somewhat unintentionally comically scripted, but one has to remember that Hammer Films back in the day made most of their product on a shoe-string budget, often against resistance from outside sources and quite often on the fly. There’s a very informative article about it here if you dig that sort of thing.
Okay, the phone is starting to ring. Time to get a few things out of the way so I can work some more on my story and get that ring to mean something else. Oh, and if you haven’t already, click the pic above for something amazing.