Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Wrote A Screenplay - "West Coast"

Well, I done did it. I wrote a screenplay.

I wrote almost all of it during lunch breaks at work and in between reading books before bed over the course of a year. I mostly just added conversations here and there and a few important scenes along the way before connecting the dots. Finally, they came together and told a cohesive story. Given the standard ratio that each page equals a minute, my movie should be a little over two hours long. Also, given the fact that there are no explosions or deaths in my screenplay, that's probably as long as it should be.

For now, it's called West Coast. It's about Tim, a twenty-something writer type from Southern California who is now just floating along in New York City. He has a roommate he hates and a job he doesn't mind. In most cases, he shows a devoted mix of apathy and excitement. After a few spring flings, he drives across the country with his best friend and his best friend's girlfriend to attend the wedding of an old college buddy in the outskirts of San Francisco. Along the way, Tim learns that his ex-girlfriend, the once great love of his life, will be in attendance with her boyfriend and it drives him to reconsider where he's at in life and what he wants out of it.

Also, I'm sure that anything with a main character described as above ("a twenty-something writer type from Southern California") can make this sound like a thinly veiled autobiography, but nobody in the story is really based off anybody. It's just easier to write what you know sometimes, and I know what it's like to be a twenty-something writer type from Southern California. However, some random aspects of my life make they're way into the narrative (Liz's lakeside wedding in Northern California, Chris and my plan to move to New York, the six-legged cow at the fabled Prairie Dog Town I visited with Grant in Kansas, et cetera). That kind of stuff made its way into the tale, but it's a kooky grab-bag of life experiences.

So...let's say it's a dramedy. And let's also say that "dramedy" is a stupid word. Anyway, it's got some jokes, some arguments and the following lines:
  • "Eh. I have a New York state of mind and a California heart. And maybe a Washington, DC conscience."
  • "In Soviet Russia, your body wants me."
  • "I'm not Garrison Keillor, you dickhead. I don't have all these fucking anecdotes about my freewheeling youth."
See you at the theaters, everybody!


Jason Kornfeld said...

Dude, awesome. I found it particularly interesting how you explained it wasn't an autobiography. With stuff I write, people often think it's about me, but I think you and I both know how to manipulate emotion based off past experience, which is what makes it interesting.

Congrats brother.

Jake Kilroy said...

Thanks, dude! Yeah, I feel like I have to give a head's up like that with most of my bigger projects. I'm not a good enough writer to have a main character be a little Thai schoolgirl or a South American business tycoon, so a lot of my main characters sound like me. But I don't want people to read it and then tell me, "Wow, you're really going through some shit." I'm not, but if this character isn't, there wouldn't be a story. You get it, man.