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Can an action screenplay come up short?

Feeling intensely energized today after last night's reading of the second draft of Adonis. Oh, my God, guys. It was so productive and Bernie and I were so pleased. I went into it really nervous but hopeful, a combination which puts my stomach in knots. I spent Friday and Saturday furiously working away on it with Bernie-- who has contributed enough at this point to share the writing credit --refusing to rest until we'd hammered out the rest of the arc. The first half came together quickly that way, but we really had to work to get the second half to flow and fill out and make sense. We came onto something we felt was solid, and then I feverishly wrote it all down in preparation for last night.

And not only did the reading go really well-- I was very happy with it when I heard it aloud --the things it still needed were expertly worked out by my brilliant readers. Their suggestions were on point, concrete, and really helpful. I can't get over how lucky I am to have such smart people giving commentary. Bernie took notes from which I'm working to edit now. For someone who struggles with inscribing words the way he does (he is mildly dyslexic and finds that part of writing difficult) he took really good useful notes, something my brain tends to spin too fast during readings for me to be able to do. And they're hilarious because of his occasional side commentary, such as "LIKE I SAID" when everyone at the reading agrees with an idea of his I rejected.

I really think we've cracked this story and it's just a matter of making certain it's in the right form to be a proper screenplay now. The only thing I'm really concerned about now is the page length. We're shooting for about two hours, as it is an ancient epic with lots of action. But instead of being about 120 pages, following the rough minute per page rule, it came up fairly short, despite the fact that we've hit all the beats for the modern cinematic story structure. I feel like the action sequences would be choreographed to take up more time than the space they take up on the page would imply, but I don't know if that means a reader would see that and be like, well, oh, it's an action movie, so it's not coming up short. Screenplay storytelling is really rigid in form, and I have to make sure I can fit it. It's a little limiting, but if I want a chance of being taken seriously, I have to play the game properly.

Three days left to edit! Wish me luck!

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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