Alright, I'm done with it.
Actually, I'm done with the first draft of it. After much struggle with the always challenging third act, I'm finished with my screenplay of Eden, Alabama
. I'm sure that in the months to come I'll continue to tinker and rewrite, but it feels like the story is essentially there.
When I wrote Psychopathia
, the longest individual segment was maybe fifteen pages. And even then, I did very little revision. The 100-page single narrative proved much more difficult than expected.
Hey, I'm no neophyte, I've written scripts before. Tons of them. But most of them deserve to remain buried in the green file cabinet to my immediate left. The experience of making Psychopathia
, talking to viewers about it, reading reviews of it, taught me more about screenwriting than any class or book ever did. Let's just say I took the art of screenwriting much more seriously. In fact, I can safely say that anything I wrote prior to Psychopathia
could be thrown in the trash without qualm.
It used to be if I wrote a good scene, it stayed in the script no matter what. Whereas now -- having killed plenty of darlings in the editing of Psychopathia
, removing great scenes that just don't work within the context of the film -- I know it's better to chop out anything that doesn't significantly establish the setting, character, tone or advance the plot. If I'm still in love with the unnecessary scene three years from now, we can put it on the DVD, right? (knock wood).
So what now?
I'll provide more details later but one day, later in November, I'm going to have a table read with a group of actors, just to hear it out loud for the first time. If you're an actor reading this, let me know if you're interested. Coffee and donuts on me.
As I've mentioned before -- and will no doubt remind you again later -- the script was selected for inclusion in their biennial "Brave New Works" play festival. In February, it will be intensively rehearsed in a workshop environment. Amy Cook will be directing the actors. Daniel Burnley (who stars in my short film Rapture
) will have the lead as Cal Jenkins, smut-peddling Shriner extraordinaire. Then on Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 pm, Eden, Alabama
will be performed as a staged reading at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University. Refreshments and feedback session to follow.
If your curiosity is piqued and you want to know more about Eden, Alabama
, you can go to the official website (A Tourism and Business Guide, sponsored by the Eden Jaycees
). It doesn't reveal the plot of the story, but it offers little glimpses at the locations and events that figure prominently.www.edenalabama.com