Happy Weekend to you!
Last week I promised you some personal insight from Phillip T. Brewster, the winner of the “Honey Flood” script contest, and how he developed his winning script.
Well here it is.
Take it away Philip!
I would like to start by thanking Marvin at the BOSI for this great opportunity. I’ve been a regular reader of the BOSI newsletter for several years now and was very excited to receive the competition invite email.
Writing started off as a hobby and has nothing to do with my day-job. Plus I don’t live in LA!
I have a passion to write and am committed to learning the craft, investing in my screenwriting education (including Marvin’s Read My Script programme). That also includes immersing myself in the community, including the BOSI, via the internet which has made this all possible.
Movies are a collaborative medium and screenwriting often a solitary pursuit. However, the elements supplied, the Director’s vision of the film, the fantastic location and “of the period” comments, photographs and information were a great source of reference.
I started by reading the book, cover to cover (every word!). I reviewed all the information provided by the Director. And researched the “look and feel” of an England pre Beatles and the Swinging Sixties.
While letting all the information from the book and Director’s notes “sink in” I began to think of various scenarios until I eventually came up with one that I felt was strong enough. I wrote an outline, just a few lines of text to plot the story and to ensure I adhered to the three-act-structure.
I kept adding more information until finally I believed I had enough material and was ready to write my script.
I saw Honey as a “fish out of water”. The location lent itself to few characters. Where possible I wanted to retain many elements of the book; the reefer smoking, the turmoil in Honey and her tempestuous relationship with CD. I wanted Honey to show her anger, angst and ambition to obtain what she believed was rightfully hers. But also that she loved.
I knew, given the right setting, I only needed Honey and CD. Yes, the book incorporated friends and crowd scenes but no rule said they had to be in the script. In the end I even decided not to include the house’s hosts in the story. Pare it down, keep it simple and focus on the characters in question. After all, the story is about Honey and CD, no one else.
Be brave was the quote!
I knew my writing had to stand out from the crowd. Think bold, write something that will make readers and audience alike sit up and take notice.
I tried as much as I could to make it a visual spectacle by including at least one Trailer Moment, in my case a “money cascade”.
Then there was my determination to reflect the style of Elaine Dundy’s writing. “The Old Man and Me” was written with mischievous wit that I wanted to encapsulate.
Again, the above were suggested by the Director, I took note of what was wanted.
Then there’s the ending, where I confess my short story experience really helped in throwing a curveball. Again, taking to heart the Director’s guidance.
And the twist at the end… you’ll just have to watch the finished film for yourself.
All in all a great experience. Not only of adapting the book but what it’s like to get a time-pressure assignment.
My thanks again to Marvin for the opportunity.
Philip T Brewster.
No, thank YOU Philip, for investing so much time and effort into your material.
And a big “Thank You” to all the participants in “The Honey Flood Script Contest.”
I’ll let you know when the film is finished, and how you can watch it.
I’ll also let you know when another great opportunity like this comes up!
In the meantime, if you’d like to know for certain whether your screenplay is blockbuster material, if it needs a little polishing, or if you need to start fresh with a brand new topic, then sign up for “The 10-Page Program!”
I’ll read the first 10 pages of your script, then we’ll get on the phone afterwards to talk about how to best position it for the marketplace.
This is real-time, critically important feedback from yours truly, and it will clarify your next steps with your material.
Ready to take the next step in your screenwriting career?
Then check out “The 10-Page Program” now!
Enjoy today’s newsletter!
The Business of Show Institute Recommends: is the weekly screenwriting product or service that our staff has personally reviewed and feel you would benefit from. This week? Would you like Marvin V. Acuna to tell you if your script is a winner, or if it needs to be re-positioned for the marketplace? He can, by reading the first 10 pages of your script! Join “The 10-Page Program now!
My Script Was Optioned! How Do I Maintain My Rights?: is this week’s audio from yours truly. In this audio I talk about how not to give away the farm when you get your script optioned by a production company. As positive as it is to get your script optioned, HERE is how to keep control of your material.
The Box Office Report: gives you the latest feature film releases as well as the opening weekend projections, so you can be on top of this critical information.
Rookie Mistake: Killing the Gift Horse: is this week’s article by mc foley. mc is an active writer and regular contributor to this newsletter. The title of her column is “Lessons Learned: One Writer’s Journey”.
A Legal Perspective for Screenwriters: is our column by entertainment attorney Gordon P. Firemark. To ask your legal questions, email us at email@example.com. If your question is chosen, it (and your answer) will appear in an issue of The Screenwriter’s Success Newsletter.
6 Screenwriting Tips From In-Demand “Burning Love” Creator Erica Oyama: Erica Oyama created the hit web series-turned-TV-show, Burning Love and now she has five screenplays in development. Here, the in-demand screenwriter talks to Co.Create about her approach to burning through projects. Joe Berkowitz of Co.Create has the full story.
Best Business Advice for Screenwriters: is dedicated to asking a top executive or successful screenwriter the absolute best advice they could give a screenwriter looking for success. This week’s contributor? Two-time Oscar-winning producer/director/writer of “Crash”, “Casino Royale”, and “In the Valley of Elah” – Paul Haggis!
The Scoggins Report: is our weekly spec market analysis and/or pitch report. Use this column to see what’s selling, who’s buying what, and what genre you should be writing for. This real-time Hollywood market intelligence is pure gold…
Digging the Well Before You’re Thirsty: is our column dedicated to tracking the promotions and movements of Hollywood’s Executives. Use this market intelligence wisely…
Map Your Material: is this week’s article from screenwriting contest judge and author of “39 Ways to Win a Screenwriting Contest & The Nine Mistakes New Writers Make” – Sean Hinchey. The title of his column is “Insights and Screenwriting Wisdom from a Veteran Screenwriting Contest Judge”.
That’s it for this issue, but we are dedicated to making this newsletter THE resource for aspiring screenwriters.
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May Your Life Be Extraordinary,
Marvin V. Acuna