Tools! Tools! Screenwriting Tools!

Hey, all!

Just a quick line today. Been really busy. Had a 4-day weekend to spend with two of my granddaughters; Makayla and Megan. (My Cheer Girls Champions!).

They have the tools to cheer, tumble, and throw themselves into painfully contorted positions. We addicted screenwriters need our tools of the trade as well.

I subscribed to Screencraft.org many months ago and pleased with some of the screenwriting advice and links. If you haven’t checked them out, click the link.

I recommend this article below. This is how I learned to pre-plan my first screenplay. Hope you get some use out of it.

Keep writing!

JC

https://screencraft.org/2016/11/28/the-simplest-tool-for-fast-fun-screenwriting/

What Happens Next? The Scene Mashup

Image result for what happens next?

Source: http://todayilaughed.com

Hello,  Screenwriters and Readers alike!

So, I’m in a creative mood, right? Fingers dancin’ with the keyboard as the creativity flows through my Mt. Dew-fed veins.

Then it hits me.! A scene out of the blue. In my head. And it doesn’t tie into my current project. Where did this come from?

So I remind myself to always capture the moment.  I hastily open a new project in Final Draft and go to work in the Index cards layout. For the next 30-45 minutes I’m puking out a funny scene (read below) that could be used anywhere, but what’s interesting is the characters created themselves. All I had to do was ask them “What happens next?”

What starts out as a simple house delivery, turns into something more long-winded.

And I would love for my followers or readers to comment and help me determine “What Happen’s Next.” If I get a bunch of good ideas, you never know, this could be the next comedy. So all you prankster’s out there, this is the time to give me some funny ideas.

Right now, I’m capturing them in my Scene Mashup file.

Thank so much for reading,

JC Leach

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

EXT. HOUSE – DAY

A Flower delivery man walks up to the front door, rings the bell, waits.  A dog barks from inside the house.

INT./EXT. HOUSE – DAY

TAD MARKEL (40s), sporting extra tonnage. yells at the barking dog, scratches himself, as he shuffles in his slippers and soiled white undershirt to the front door.

He checks the peephole,. sees flowers hiding some guys face, opens the door

The DELIVERY GUY (20s), not his dream job, struggles to read the name on the tag.

DELIVERY GUY

“Delivery for Thad–de–us Markel?”

Tad grimaces at the guy who butchers his name.

TAD MARKEL

It’s Tad. Silent H and shorten it.

DELIVERY GUY

Mom must have been pissed at you, man.

TAD MARKEL

Does insulting my heritage cost extra? Cus’ you can keep that shit.

The Delivery Guy. shuts up, reads the delivery receipt.

DELIVERY GUY

Says you MUST read the gift card C-O-D. Says here sixty bucks and change. Delivery tip expected, but not included.

Delivery Guy hands over bouquet, Tad reads the attached note.

TAD MARKEL

“Happy Birthday, brother! I’ve been down on my luck at the Casino lately, but I just wanted to wish you the best today. Can you pay the delivery guy? I’ll get you back. — Tom.”

Tad is stunned, glances at the Delivery Guy, gets irate, rips off the card.

TAD MARKEL (CONT’D)

Sure he will.

(to Delivery guy)

Wait right here.

Tad backs up with the vase in his hand.

ALISHA MARKEL (O.C.)

Baby, who is it?

Tad turns and closes the door on the Delivery Guy’s face.

DELIVERY GUY

Dude, what about my sixty bucks and the tip?

TAD MARKEL (O.C.)

My brother sent flowers for my birthday.

ALISHA MARKEL (O.C.)

Aw.w How nice was that?

TAD MARKEL (O.C.)

C-O-D.

ALISHA MARKEL (O. C.)

C-O-D? Cash. You’re kidding, right? Is he–

ALISHA MARKEL (40s), a hot vixen, opens the front door to a confused Delivery Guy. Tad stands behind her unsure of what to do.

ALISHA MARKEL (CONT’D)

…crazy?

Alisha stares at the Delivery guy, examines the vase in Tad’s hands, makes a deduction.

ALISHA MARKEL (CONT’D)

Your brother Tom has some imagination. And a screw loose. Funny though, I’ll give him that. I’ll take these.

Alisha holds her laughter, smiles instead, revokes the vase, pats Tad’s chest, and locks eyes.

ALISHA MARKEL (CONT’D)

Making you pay C-O-D on your birthday? Classic dick move. When are you and Tom gonna stop this? Pay the man.

Head down, eyes closed in defeat, Tad cracks a wryly smile as he reaches back for his wallet.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

JC Leach — Addicted Screenwriter

Hello All!

I have finally taken the plunge into the Blog world.

So this is how what a blog looks like! *As he ponders about to what to write next*.

For those that don’t understand the text in between asterisks (*) above, they are “personal thoughts” I inject in my writings. Fellow screenwriters should understand. It provides depth in my entries. Consider it a personal touch and feel.

As I write this first blog entry, I can’t help but reflect how my writing addiction started.

I had to go all the way back to the 1970’s. It started in high school. English class homework, snowballed into reading various books (mainly historical documentaries), and of course Sci-Fi movies. It Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” that inspired my first effort: “Mayan Space.”

The outline alone was 300 college rule pages long. All hand written; scene for scene, dialogue–the works. No word processors in the 1970’s. Bill Gate was just inventing software back then.Man, I’m dating myself.

Regardless, I researched Mayan Prophecy, examined the connection between alien life and Mayan intelligence in astrological events. It was fascinating. It drove me to keep writing; to find that answer. A series of life changing events (20 years of military service), kids, and marriage, put an indefinite hold on that.

But the bug ate its way out over my military years. As I matured, I became infatuated in Training. As an instructor or supervisor, I always enjoyed the moment the “clue light” turned on in a young student. It was inspiring to know that I was “making a difference” in someone’s life.

Eventually, I graduated into Instructional Design. Developing the training was an angle that brought forth the “creative” side. Being able to develop analogies allowed me to fine-tune descriptions to ensure the end-user (the reader of screenplays) understood what it was I was trying to convey; whether it be a simple task, to a full blown concept. I truly believe those experiences have unlocked the writing bug that I enjoy today.

Screenwriting is not my full time job. No way. As a budding Screenwriter (*addicted*), my day job is a technical writer. Ina nutshell, I write better versions of those one page manuals you receive with IKEA furniture that provide no simple way to assemble that computer desk you desperately need to house computer equipment and business material to eventually collect dust.

But after work? Enter “JC Leach – Addicted Screenwriter“. (*Insert kick-ass superhero theme here*).

My weapons? Asus Laptop (high speed, low drag), semi-comfortable couch (*My Command Center*) , earphones (cheap, and effective in sometimes tuning out too much and always at the wrong time), various Screenwriting programs, and my addiction–a plethora of ideas ready to spew forth through my fingertips.

So here I am. James “JC” Leach, marketing myself, giving form and function as a dedicated screenwriter who constantly hones (with a military work ethic, I might add) the Screenwriting craft.

With that being said, I’ve been busy since 2008 when a simple Genealogy search turned into my first screenplay effort. With a few rewrites, I felt it was a good first effort. But there is always room for improvement. My addiction demanded it.

So, I read “Screenwriting For Dummies” (*Hey– small steps,baby*). It gave me the foundation and showed me basically what’s involved in the craft. Okay….I needed more.

Then I read my first screenplay–“Shawshank Redemption”. The addiction was feeling great. The flow of creativity through my veins was overwhelming. That was 2008.

Flash Forward – Present Day

Today, I am on my 8th Screenplay. Fully addicted, unable to stop. All full-length features, some public domain book adaptations, and I even brought that high school effort (Mayan Space) out of mothballs (now named Pakal’s Secret).

*You didn’t mention TV Pilots*.

TV pilots and series efforts are on my radar screen, but I am enjoying Feature writing so much now, they can wait. My addiction is wonderful.

But there are setbacks. Last year, I took a step to enter one of my Scripts into the annual

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

Although, I didn’t make the 2016 quarter finals, it was a great experience.

I also took a stab at Writing/Directing a small (very small) production. I wrote and assisted in the direction (mentored with the help of experienced friends) of a Doritos Superbowl Contest ad. We (my Director mentor Andy Darby, and creative director, Bob Summers, along with a fantastic cast and crew shot this in one day. Even my pet superstar Cat (Charger) made his cinematic debut. It was total fun and a great experience in film-making.

Current Projects

For those that are still reading, I thank you for hanging on.

Below is a consolidated listing of current screenplay projects . They are in various stages, contest ready, or in a marketable state.

Please (*I humbly beg*) comment on which ones you would like to see in a theater, or read the script:

The Lost Desptach – Genre: Action/Drama (1860s) – “Framed for a murder she didn’t commit, a confederate spy races to fulfill her father’s dying wish before life, love, and the law catch up with her.”

Poverty Island – Action/Adventure – “Hunting down a 150-year mystery, treasure hunters confront thieves to honor a man’s last wish, and find the truth behind the gold of the Poverty Island legend. ”

Pakal’s Secret – Action/Sci-Fi adventure – Dogged by dangerous and nefarious cartels, an archaeologist unlocks a complex mystery hidden beneath a Mayan temple. After black suits get involved, he takes matters into his own hands.”

Dead Hand – Historical Action – When a rogue Russian General takes over a secret Doomsday system, the scientist who built it risks allegiance, family, and friends to avert nuclear Armageddon.”

The Variable Man – Sci-Fi (Public Domain Adaptation) – “A 20th century handyman, pulled into the future, slews the odds against a celestial turf war and is forced to repair their secret weapon in return for a ticket home to the past.”

Savage Grant – Historical Drama – “A frontiersman’s family, massacred by Indians and daughter taken, conducts a rescue mission, and befriends the squaw who cared for her.”

Invisible Wounds – (In Work) – Biopic/Drama – “A young child, surrounded by the daily terrors of World War II England, endures a lifetime of post-traumatic stress over the tragic loss of his first love at the hands of the German Luftwaffe.”

Justifiable Revenge – (In Work) – Action/Horror – “On the 20th anniversary of a bully victim’s death, surviving victims team up to execute revenge only to discover they’re gonna have to take a number.”

Confession in Bottle – (In Work) – Drama – “While grieving her daughters loss, an infatuated mother searches Tsunami debris for answers. After finding a 40-year old confession in a bottle, she finds inspiration to get closure for another mother.”

Protecting Providence – (In Work) “After a hurricanes shipwrecks Jonathan Dickinson’s plans, he and his crew must shepherd survive brutal Indians, injuries, cold, and starvation as they trek the Florida coast.”

Well, I think that is enough text for today. It’s Labor Day. Why am I working?

Thought you’d never ask. It’s because I’m addicted. *As he takes another sip of Mt. Dew*

Keep writing!

JC