Friday, September 7, 2012

Some News! (finally)

I can't believe I'm actually writing here right now! But I have some news! This semester, I finally got into SAC 310 - Screenwriting, and I'm planning on using this as an opportunity to do a really thorough revision of the DJ movie script. I'm counting on this class giving me a lot of insight into how I can make my script better, and hopefully finished enough to start going ahead into pre-production.

I know it's an ambitious goal, and there's a lot that stands in the way from this movie getting made, especially since I'm only 20 years old, I don't have a ton of experience, and I also lack the resources currently to get the film made, but I'm confident in my ability to make it happen. In the meantime, I'm planning on gaining more experience by working on projects here on campus for the Screen Arts classes, maybe working on a production or two if they are in town over the next year. And I'm also in the process of working towards me getting access to some major equipment and, hopefully, a crew.

I'm excited at the prospect of all this, but it will be slow going. I'll try to post here more regularly now that I have screenwriting every week in order to provide updates as to how the script is coming along. And, of course, any bigger news will also be here too.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Quick Update

It's been awhile, but tonight is the night I finished marking up my script for revisions. I'm waiting to hear from my friend Emma to get her revisions, and then the next step is to make the revisions on the computer. Hopefully I will work on that in the next week or so, and have a second draft completed soon!

The second draft will most likely be the draft I submit to the screenwriting contest, since the submission date is in just a few weeks and a third draft likely wouldn't be ready in time. I'm anticipating the major rewriting taking place here for the second draft, and any additional drafts will include more minor changes rather than major story adjustments.

And once the second (maybe third) draft is completed, then I can start working on other preproduction paperwork. I'd like to complete as much of the preproduction process as possible before submitting the application to the honors program. Of course, my acceptance hinges on me increasing my GPA to 3.5 in time, and I still have time, so I'll be working on that too. But in the meantime, I'm going to assume that I will be eligible and continue working on this film as though it will be made during my senior year.

So that's the update, that's what's new. Sorry about the huge amount of time in between this post and the last one, there just wasn't a lot to report. Revisions for the script took a lot longer than I planned, but hopefully the next few steps will go a little faster.

That's all for now, and I'll report back soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Revising Has Begun!

Well, last night I cracked open the script to start revising. I grabbed my red pen and took to the page. Granted, I only edited the first two pages, but still, it's progress!

I finally feel like it's been a long enough time away from the script that I can return to it with a fresh perspective. The problem now, of course, is finding the motivation to revise. It's not like scribbling on the page with the pen is very difficult work, but I still find it's hard to pick it up and start working.

It should be very easy, because at this stage, mostly what I'm doing is pointing out stuff that doesn't work, rather than offering suggestions on how to fix it. When I go to make the edits in Final Draft, that's when I will actually do the fixing. But for now, I'm merely circling issues, pointing out mistakes, things like that. A rough cut to the rough draft.

Hopefully I will be averaging more than 2 pages a day, or else this will take a while. I just have to get back into the swing of things.

Monday, February 27, 2012

First Draft Read-Through

Last night I returned to the first draft of my script, after a week away from it. I didn't start revising it yet; all I did was read through it once. When I finished the read-through, I wrote down a couple notes that I had and left it alone.

See, I still don't think it's been long enough for me to return to it. It's been a week but I still feel familiar with the characters, situations, and dialogue that it would be difficult for me to remain objective about my work. Hopefully by the time I return to Ann Arbor after Spring Break I will be ready to start revising, and I'm assuming that within the week or two following that I will have completed the second draft.

The second draft will be the one that I start letting other people read. I feel confident already that the script does not need a major overhaul, and that the second draft will be pretty close to the draft I use to look for investors for the project, which is the next step.

Once the script is completed I'm going to put together a information packet about the film. In it I'll include my resume, the script, a treatment, a budget, and possibly a few other items. These packets I will then pass out to people who may be interested in helping fund this project. I also plan on using to help raise funds.

If I'm lucky, the project will be in pre-production by this time next year, with production happening possibly as soon as Fall 2013. If this were to happen I would spend the summer of 2013 in post-production, and finishing the project shortly after. Of course, this is all hypothetical and it's a long ways away, but I figure that helping to visualize the end result will help me reach it.

I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Nothing to Do But Wait

This is the hardest part. Now that the script is done, I know I have to wait around two weeks before returning to it. I've read multiple screenwriting books that heavily suggest to take a break from the script. Their argument, and it's a good one, is that the time off gives you a chance to forget details from the script as well as become less consumed with it, allowing you to see the film as a whole as well as approach the script from a new perspective. The time off gives the writer a chance to be more objective about the script he wrote.

The problem is, I'm so excited to keep working on the script, to get a second draft finished, that this waiting around is driving me crazy. I keep picking up the script that I printed out, tempted to start revising through it, then I force myself to set it down and not open it up.

In the meantime, there are a number of things I can still do that are semi-related. For instance, and maybe most importantly, I still do not have a title for this movie. And that's a problem. Titles are the hardest thing for me to come up with, and I struggle time and again to come up with a good enough title. And usually, I fail (I mean, come one, "The Test," and "Dumb Luck" are not exactly brilliant titles). I've been writing down words associated with the script that may be incorporated into a title, but as of now nothing has jumped out at me.

Other than the title, there are only a few small things that I could work on, so again, this is tough. Another temptation of mine is to hand the script out to everyone I know so that they can read it and give me feedback for revision. The problem here is that this is still my first draft, and I know that it is not as good as it can be. Maybe the first draft isn't ready for people to read yet. I don't know, I keep going back and forth on this one.

According to the timetable, this means that I won't be starting on the second draft until I come back to school after Spring Break next week. This seems like a ways away to me, and we'll see if I can go that long...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

DJ Movie Progress Report

Well, the first draft of the DJ movie is officially complete! It clocks in at 100 pages exactly. Act 1 is about 26 pages, Act 2 is about 54, and Act 3 is about 20. It still needs a lot of work and I'll be revising it for the next few weeks, but I'm just excited that I got it done (and ahead of schedule, too! The screenwriting class hasn't even finished writing the first act yet!).

I know that there will be a lot of revising going on, and I knew that going on. See, one of the issues I have is finishing things I start. So I set about writing to get to the end, making sure all the important plot pieces were in place, and focusing less on the littler things. Now that it's done, it's much less of a commitment to revise, plus I get help.

So the plan from here is to take a couple days off from the script so that when I go back to look at it the material seems fresh to me. That will give me a better perspective on what needs to be revised. In the meantime, I plan to ask a couple close friends to read it and give constructive criticism on what they feel needs to be revised. I've read that you shouldn't let people read your first draft, but I feel that collaboration is really important, and that people can bring new insight and a new perspective to the table.

I'll take their suggestions and my own suggestions and set about revising the script. I imagine that it will get a little longer as I revise it, but at the same time the scenes themselves will get more concise. One the second draft is done I'll let other people read it to give their feedback, and hopefully the script will be a little more coherent at that point.

So bam! See, even though I haven't been updating this blog recently I've been working hard on this script, and I'm really excited to see where the project goes from here. Stay tuned for more updates!

And for those who say, "Pics or it didn't happen..."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Far From the Cynics in This Town playlist

I've been working on this playlist for months now. When it all started it was because of Brand New Colony, the Postal Service song. I wanted to kind of build a playlist around that. Slowly I started adding songs, and then removing them, then adding others and removing them. A lucky song would be allowed to stay on the playlist every now and then. But I had trouble finding songs that said exactly what I wanted the playlist as a whole to say, and I really wanted to get it exactly right.

I really hope this is exactly right. I feel happy with the playlist, but I just hope everyone else will get it, will see what I was trying to do with it. For those of you who listen to it, I hope you at least enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reel Time Productions logo

I just wanted to share the logo I've been working on for Reel Time. I'm really excited about it, but I'm more excited to see it at the beginning of a movie soon!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"When the Lights Go Out" and some news

I know I've already posted this, but I'm going to post it again because "When the Lights Go Out" is now a part of Reel Time Productions. It was my third short film that was not made under Mikenny Productions; I released it as just me. It's also the first horror video I've tried that I feel actually is decent, so I'm very proud of that fact. Especially since I've learned that horror is a very difficult genre to pull off successfully.

So if you haven't seen it yet, please do. If you have, then thanks! Either way, I would greatly appreciate anyone who will go to the new channel,, and subscribe to get more updates. This production company is the real thing (no pun intended) and I appreciate anyone who is willing to support me in my career.

On a similar note, there are a few other things you could do. I created a Facebook page that you can like, where I will post updates such as news with the company, these posts, as well as new videos. On Facebook just do a search for Reel Time Productions and you should find it.

I also started a Twitter page for Reel Time, which you can find at Some updates as well as general (short) musings will be posted there.

Every little bit counts, and I appreciate it all. Keep an eye out for more updates!

And without further ado, here is "When the Lights Go Out."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reel Time Productions

Today I changed some things around. Mikenny Productions is a little outdated so I started a new YouTube page for my videos, which you can find here.

I also started a Facebook page for my new production company, Reel Time Productions, and I hope that you will all go and "Like" the page to get the word out there! From here on out, new material I put out will be associated with this production company.

The Mikenny Productions and kmof1992 YouTube pages will stick around for a while, which will have all the videos from high school. The new page is for more legitimate video and film projects. So if you've already subscribed to my old channels or are a friend, go subscribe to the new channel! If all goes according to plan this new movie I'm developing will be made by Reel Time Productions within the next couple years!

I'm gonna keep moving stuff around, so keep an eye out for more new things happening!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Importance of a Logline

Well, screenwriting is a no-go. The first day of class two people didn't show up, and I was first on the wait-list, so it looked really good for me. Unfortunately, those two were just sick for the first day of class. Oh well.

The feedback from my classmates would be nice, but there's no reason why I can't still write this screenplay this semester. In fact, that is exactly what I plan to do, roughly following the syllabus of the class. Thus far, a logline has been due, and coming up soon is the treatment, script breakdown, and step outline. In the meanwhile, I've read one of the textbooks for class, as well as the Little Miss Sunshine shooting script. I'm about a good 60-70 pages into the final book.

I've also already written up a step outline for the script that I'm really happy with. In it, I've broken down scene-by-scene (or almost scene-by-scene) the events of the script, separating the events in the three acts. I've also written a logline, which I'm kind of afraid to share so for now I won't.

But at the first screenwriting class, we discussed what makes a good logline, and came up with a couple things:

1. It is ironic - As in, the main character has to accomplish a goal, and he's the last person you would think of to accomplish it. As an example, in Star Wars Luke is just a farm boy who over the course of the movie must destroy the Death Star.

2. It should be primal - This means that it should appeal to a human universal, something that everyone can relate to on a basic, primal level.

3. There is a compelling mental image - When you hear the logline, can you picture the story and characters in your head? Can you get a sense of what the movie is about?

The basic logline structure is this:

"A (protagonist) who must (act) in order to (reach a goal)." In the parentheses you would put the specifics of your story.

Another option could be: "A (protagonist) who must (reach a goal) in order to (fulfill a need)."

The MUST in these are very important, because there needs to be something at stake for the audience to be interested. If these is no real need, the story will not be compelling enough.

A logline is really important for a number of reasons. First of all, if you ever want your movie to be made you need to be able to sell someone on your idea. You have to get someone interested, and a logline is a great way to do that quickly. Most executives or potential investors don't have time to sit around and listen to an hour long pitch, so they want to hear the concept. If the concept is good enough, there is usually a story there. From that standpoint, a logline is a good place to start. It's also a good building-block for your script, because the logline cuts right to the point of the script. If at any point during the writing of your script you feel as though you're getting away from the point you were trying to make, the logline is a good way of getting you back on track.

In a future post I'll discuss other things I've been doing to prepare to start writing the script. There's plenty more planning to be done, but I hope to start writing the actual script itself in 1-2 weeks.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Here We Go

Well, it's for all the marbles today. Tonight is the first day of class in screenwriting, but I'm still on the waitlist. So hopefully when I show up there will be a spot for me and I can start working on this screenplay.

But you know what? If I don't get in, I'm still gonna write it anyways. I've already done a lot of creative work to prepare for this film, and I'm not gonna let it go to waste. Sure, I could wait until next semester to try and get into the class, but I really feel like I need to start writing it right now. I don't want to wait anymore.

I've pretty heavily mapped out Act One, and I have the basic outline of Act Two; it is Act Three where I'm stumped. I don't know, for some reason I can't figure out how I want the film to end. I mean, I've thought of a few endings, but nothing that's stood out, nothing that wasn't too cliche.

I'm just planning on inspiration striking and me suddenly having my third act. It's bound to happen, right?

Anyways, I'll let you know if I get in or not, and where I'm going to go from here, when I find out tonight. Wish me luck!