OnTheGoWithAmyO.

"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Archive for the category “Screenwriting”

My Journey To The Austin Film Festival!

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Ten years ago, I was a Reader for the 2006 Austin Film Festival’s screenplay competition.

This time around, I’m on the other side of the judging, & attending the event as a 2nd Rounder in the Comedy category for my feature-length screenplay, ParentsMatchU.com.

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PS – Hey Mom,
Thanks for driving me up to Austin today to pick up my Conference Badge for the 2016 Austin Film Festival. You maneuvered downtown traffic like a champ!

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2nd Rounder in Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition!

 

It’s Official! This is the good news I’ve been dying to share with you…

It’s an honor to announce that my Romantic/Comedy screenplay “ParentsMatchU.com” made it to the 2nd Round (Top 15%) of the prestigious Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition!

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So, what does this mean?

#1) To *me*: It’s validation for hundreds of hours of work on this script – writing the original draft, the revisions, editing, scene arrangement, dialogue, character-development, etc.

#2) Festival Bonus: Admittance to private events and Round Table discussions that are only open to “2nd Rounders or Higher” during the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival.

#3) The Script: After some additional revisions, I’ll send it off to my industry contacts and other screenwriting contests, which will hopefully increase the opportunity for “ParentsMatchU.com” to be optioned by a studio or director, and eventually produced!

A huge *thank you* to my eagle-eye proofreaders Lorelei, Suzan & Patsy who gave so generously of their time to read the script and provide feedback/corrections prior to submission.

The complete list of 2nd Rounders and Semifinalists is available at this link:https://austinfilmfestival.com/…/screenp…/2016-sf-2rounders/

Write on!

AmyO.

Austin Film Festival Submission!

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Scene-by-Scene Analysis, RV Style

With less than a half an hour to spare before the Friday, May 20th, deadline for the Austin Film Festival, I submitted my full-length Romantic/Comedy screenplay, knowing I had given my best!

This was the same script that I sent out to a few contests last year, mainly for feedback critiques and comments, so I could get the story, characters and dialogue ready for Austin Film Festival,  the “big kahuna” of screenplay contests, in my book.

Of all the screenplays (and short stories, for that matter) that I’ve written, this is the one that I’m most proud of.

Since the Austin Film Festival allows screenplays to be entered in both the Drama (Romance) and Comedy categories, I entered the script in both categories.

As you may notice by the photo, there were some unique challenges of the RV Life for hands-on scene-by-scene analysis… but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Additionally, I was lucky that plans to “move on down the road” were delayed, so I didn’t lose any time leading up to the deadline with traveling or break-down/set-up of the RV.

A big shout out to my Muse for the overtime these past two weeks – writing from 7am-3am, around my Day Job hours. Thank you!

Although I admit, by May 20th, my fridge was empty, my laundry pile was sky high, and I had not left the RV except to walk my dog Sofie-Darla… it was all consuming revisions! I’m pretty sure there are many writers who can relate to the manic frenzy of which I speak.

There have been a couple of people ask, “Do you think you’ll win?”

My reply, “My goal for this script is to at least make the 2nd Round; any higher than that will be gravy!”

Write On!

AmyO.

 

 

 

Writing Time! August 2015

Inspired by the monthly tweets of author Jamie Todd Rubin (@jamietr), I’ve been tracking my own writing time for the past few months.

Not only does this help ensure daily writing accountability, but it’s also helpful to have handy on those days when I find myself feeling frustrated for “not writing enough.”

While some writers like to track the number of word written, I prefer to track time, since screenwriting and some of my other projects can’t be accurately tracked by word count.

Writing Tracker for the Month of May

My sole focus during this time was to finalize my Romantic/Comedy screenplay to make the June 1st deadline for the New York Women In Film & Television Writers Lab competition.

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Fueled by the looming deadline and copious amounts of coffee, I fired up the tubro engines for the last half of the month!

  • I’d wake at 5:30 a.m. (without an alarm clock), dashing to the laptop, ready to write.
  • I’d force myself shut off the laptop around 1 a.m.
  • There was a notebook with me everywhere I went to capture ideas and notes as they hit my mind.
  • I also took two personal days off from work during the last week of May.

As a result, the completed and polished Rom/Com script was submitted to three national screenwriting contests, and I was pleased with it.

Jump to August: A Horrible Start!

There were a couple of RV travel days, as well as the unexpected back-to-back losses of a few dear friends in June and July, so I was working through the emotional gut punch.

Through sheer determination, I was able to get back into a daily writing routine after the first week of August.

Since Aug. 8th, I’ve met my minimum 30-minute per day writing goal (as indicated by the green field).

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Tracking Three Writing Categories

Since there were three separate categories for my creative writing, it seemed logical to break it down respectively.

(1) Screenplay: Although it’s already been submitted to the three contests, it still needs revisions based on feedback from the Blue Cat Screenwriting competition. Deadline for resubmitting is in October.

(2) Blog/Other: This category includes blog posts, website updates (OnTheGoWithAmyO.com), and writing involved with my new photography project.

(3) WIP (Work In Progress): From August 12-24, I browsed through my Story Inventory for a new project. I “interviewed” each story in longhand on paper, along with its characters, plot possibilities, concept, theme and my interest level in order to decide which one was the most ready to be told. A decision was made, and the writing began on Aug. 26.

August may have started like snail, but it ended like a cheetah!

Top 5 Writing Goals for September 2015

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  1. Complete a character analysis and detailed storyboard for the current WIP.
  2. Continue to write for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Complete revisions to the Romantic/Comedy screenplay and finalize contest submissions for the year.
  4. Finish website content (OnTheGoWithAmyO.com)
  5. Tie in On The Go With AmyO. Facebook page posts with this blog.

Hope to have a good report to share in about a month.

By the way, if you’re a writer, do you keep track of your daily writing time/word count? If so, how?

Write on!

AmyO.

Thank you NYWIFT & Meryl Streep!

As some of you may know, I was a “hermit” for the month of May to complete my Romantic/Comedy screenplay for the New York Women in Film & Television​ Writers Lab mentor program’s June 1st deadline.

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Partial storyboard for my feature-length Romantic/Comedy screenplay.

On Aug. 1st, I received an email stating that approximately 3,800 submissions were received (wow!), but unfortunately, mine was not one of the 12 selected.

Courtesy photo from a Facebook post by Final Draft regarding the New York Women In Film and Television results.

Courtesy photo from a Final Draft Facebook post re: NYWIFT; The Academy.

Yet I still have a smile as big as Meryl Streep’s at the Oscars!

Why?

That June 1st deadline inspired me to get my butt in the chair to finish a feature-length script I’d been working on for about 18-months. Better yet, I feel is my best work to date!

Thanks to this contest, I also had a completed script ready for the deadlines of Blue Cat Screenplay competition and Final Draft’s Big Break screenwriting contest.

A huge thank you to both NYWIFT & Meryl Streep (who funded the mentor program). It was worth it!

Write on,

Amy O.

A Name Is Power To A Character

“A Name Is Power To A Character”

For me as a writer, it’s imperative that my characters have names that represent their energy, personality, faults and dreams, especially the main characters.

Some of you may remember a blog post last year when I FIRED a main character from my Romantic/Comedy screenplay because her name (and all that she represented) wasn’t a good fit for the role. It just wasn’t working, and I had to let her go.

(But not to worry – that character will turn up in another one of my stories, to be sure.)

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Selznick & Leigh (Courtesy Photo)

Enter “Brandy.”

Brandy embodied exactly the traits I was looking for in that main female character. Once I cast Brandy – well, her name, that is – in that coveted role, everything worked! All I had to do was transcribe her actions, interactions, reactions and dialogue.

I think I have an idea now of how David O. Selznick felt when he was introduced to Vivian Leigh on the set of the Burning of Atlanta scene in the filming of “Gone With The Wind.” His year-long search to find the perfect “Scarlett O’Hara” was a bust, and he’d filmed just about every scene he could around her. However, the instant he met Ms. Leigh, he instantly knew he’d found “Scarlett.”

Yes, Brandy made it work. She gelled perfectly with the other characters – brought out their worst, and brought out their best, all the while growing up herself during the process.

Good job, Brandy, and thank you!

Let’s hope the screenplay contest judges feel the same way.

Write on,

AmyO.

Screenplay Possibilities!

June 2015 was a busy & wonderful month for my creative writing endeavors.

06012015_ScriptSubmitted2I completed, polished and submitted my Romantic/Comedy screenplay to three national Screenwriting Contests:

► NYWIFT, WritersLab
► Bluecat Screenplay Competition
► Final Draft Big Break Contest

If it doesn’t place in any of these contests, it’ll be ready for the Austin Film Festival & The Academy’s Nichols Fellowships in 2016.

Fellow Screenwriters, I’m curious to know what your favorite screenwriting contests are for feature-length scripts. Your comments and suggestions are most appreciated.

If the first half of the year is any indication, 2015 is well on its way of being “The Year of Triumphant Success!”

Write on,

AmyO.

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