I was a confused mess, nervous and anxious when I knew I wanted to write my story as a movie screenplay, but had ZERO idea how to go about it. What even is step one to writing a movie?
Google brought me to the website www.writeyourownscreenplay.com.
Can it be any easier than this? I fiddled around for a few minutes and saw that they had classes in the evening in NYC, and called them to see if I could just stop by to see what they do. They invited me to sit in on one free class.
Of course right before leaving for class, I almost bailed – it was raining, it looked like a horrendous commute, down and across Manhattan and a few blocks of walking too. A headache promptly arrived and I felt ‘faint’.
But this time, I was determined not to succumb to these faux issues. I did make it easy for myself and splurged on a Via ride to reduce the commuting stress. I promised myself a slice of pizza after (was going to eat it anyway – would’ve probably been because I was sad that I bailed on myself yet again) – as a reward.
It’s nuts. I’m 45 years old. But the tricks that worked on my two year olds once upon a time, work on me that day too.
I made my way to the class and walked in with so much trepidation, only to be greeted by the most friendly hellos and a warm group of young ‘uns who said, “Come on in!”
I sat in on my first class in the back seat, hiding in the dark, just wanting to watch and I was RIVETED. The teacher, Jack Kreuger, cracked open the screenplay of the movie American Beauty and opened the class with ‘why this title,’ and a vibrant discussion ensued.
I was so shocked. I had no idea that people sat and discussed all this in the way that I had been discussing with myself in my head. I was hooked. And people were serious in their analysis – the questions were deep and comprehensive.
I got home from that lesson and went crazy searching how to learn more about screenwriting. People do this? How slow am I? I’ve been watching movies most of my life, of course someone is writing them! How did I not know that this is a real job? I felt so stupid, so utterly dumb at not having known that this is what screenwriting must entail.
But this time, my feeling ‘less than’ was not going to stop me. I decided to say to myself what I say to my kids all the time – ‘one foot before the other’ and ‘one step at a time’.
If I don’t tell my own story, no one else will.