February 4, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Time for Another Rewrite

I recently posted my screenplay Ice Moon on a site called TriggerStreet.com. Founded by actor Kevin Spacey, the site brings together aspiring filmmakers and writers in a collaborative, interactive environment where members can exchange criticisms, rate each others' work and offer advice. Though the top-rated short films and scripts supposedly gain notice by Spacey and others, the site is really about people helping people.

Since finishing the final rewrite of Ice Moon last year, I haven't done any further screenwriting. It's not that I've given up on it, but since I haven't made any real progress in that field (other than becoming better at it), I thought it best to devote my creative energies to other forms of writing for awhile. But TriggerStreet has rekindled my enthusiasm. It's been exciting to interact again with other writers, and gratifying to receive largely positive feedback on my screenplay (it's currently rated in the top 15 percent of approximately 1,500 scripts).

Just yesterday, however, a reviewer pointed out the now-unsettling undertone of Ice Moon's opening scene in light of last Saturday's tragedy. Read the following excerpt and you'll know what I mean. It chillingly illustrates the fact that most scripts can always use another rewrite.

EXT. COLUMBIA - UPPER ATMOSPHERE
 
The ship GLOWS RED as it plunges from orbit.
 
EXT. MARS SURFACE - DAY
 
Columbia leaves a smoky trail across the dusky sky. As the ship nears the surface, its trajectory levels out.
 
INT. COLUMBIA, COCKPIT - CONT.
 
SOUND AND FURY. Ellis fights the bucking ship. The hull
breach SPITS SMOKE AND FLAME.
 
EXT. MARS SURFACE - DAY
 
The spacecraft SLAMS into the rusty Martian sand, leaving a billowing cloud as it skids for over a mile.
 
INT. COLUMBIA, COCKPIT - DAY

Ellis holds on for dear life as the ship shakes loose metal like the innards of a cheap watch.

Outside the viewport, the dust briefly clears -- just long enough for Ellis to see an ENORMOUS BOULDER directly in his path -- HE SCREAMS --

BLACK.

 

Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
©2003
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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Previously...

2/3: A Matter of Opinions
2/2: Suicidal Bravado
2/1: Godspeed, Columbia
Archive:
JANUARY 2003

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