Friday, February 20, 2009

Script Frenzy 2009

30 days. 100 pages. April. Are you in?

Well, you could be. I make mention of this writing exercise now because I would like you to consider joining me in writing a screenplay in the month of April. I figure now is as good a time as any to make the offer so here it is. Script Frenzy is from the same people who bring us NaNoWriMo every November, the Office of Letters and Light. Submitted for your approval, check out Poke around long enough and you’ll find the following:

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants attempt the daring feat of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or "best" scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner's Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact.
Even those who fall short of the word goal will be applauded for making a heroic attempt. Really, you have nothing to lose—except that nagging feeling that there's a script inside you that may never get out.

The 5 Basic Rules of Script Frenzy

1) To be crowned an official Script Frenzy winner, you must write a script (or multiple scripts) of at least 100 total pages and verify this tally on

2) You may write individually or in teams of two. Writer teams will have a 100-page total goal for their co-written script or scripts.

3) Script writing may begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and must cease no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.

4) You may write screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book and graphic novel scripts, adaptations of novels, or any other type of script your heart desires.

5) You must, at some point, have ridiculous amounts of fun.

Of those 5 Basic Rules, number 5 is a must.

“But I’ve never done anything like that. I wouldn’t know where to start.”

Well, you’ve got to start somewhere and worrying is bad for your health. Don’t worry; there is helpful advice on the site for whatever genre that you decide on writing. There is support & instruction, there are screenplay programs to download & use for your script too. Perhaps writing a screenplay is something that you’ve always wanted but you felt that you just didn’t have the time to do it. Well in April your time has come.

“What software, if any, would I use?”

Well that’s a good question and the answers are circular; use what is the best tool for you. I’m not a professional writer but I have played with some of their tools. I’ve used “Screenwriter 2000”, dabbled briefly with “Final Draft”, and wrote a script once with “Celtx”. These days when I want to bring out the guns for a screenplay, script or puppet-script I just fire up my Screenplay Template from Microsoft and I’m off to the races. Since I’m addicted to “WORD” anyway it makes a nice even flow. You can score a copy of that template here: if you so desire. Script Frenzy has several free programs that you could use and discounts on “Final Draft” if you just have to spend money. The choice is up to you. As for yours truly, the Screenplay Template for Microsoft WORD is the weapon of choice.

“I’m still not convinced.”

That’s OK. This is something that I find particularly cathartic; writing. Perhaps you will as well. Yes, now it may seem foreign and be outside of your comfort zone but come April and YOU are writing YOUR script, telling YOUR story the exercise becomes more tangible. You walk into the month of April someone who has ideas and creative possibilities swimming in your head and you walk out of April as a writer who has just completed his/her first draft of a screenplay. You did it. Congratulations writer!

“It can’t be that easy – what’s the catch?”

This will be the third Script Frenzy that I will participate in. The only catches in this process are the internal ones that you will have to answer for yourself, writer. Consider this; you like a good story don’t you? Sure you do. Haven’t you ever found yourself screaming at the TV after watching a goofy show or after renting an expectation crushing DVD from Blockbuster, “That really STUNK! I know I could do better.” Are you sick and tired of the rehashing of tired storytelling in most Hollywood productions? Yeah? Well, do something about it! It’s time to fire back at Hollywood and April is your time to shine.

Script Frenzy, as is the case with all of the writing projects from the Office of Letters and Light, is an exercise in creativity. It’s free, by the way, and they hold non-profit organization status. You can donate if you want but it’s not required. Remember, you are writing the first draft of a script. It’s a FIRST DRAFT so you don’t need to get hung up on if your T’s are crossed or if you transitions in and out are the industry standard. Just write it. Have fun with it. Tell your story. You can do it. I know you can.

30 days. 100 pages. April. GO!

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