Screenwriting : Deciding what's next by Jody Ellis

Jody Ellis

Deciding what's next

Like many of us here, I always have a laundry list of ideas for my next script. I am in that moment of "in-between" right now, waiting to hear about some projects while trying to decide what to start next. I'm torn between a high-concept thriller, low budget thriller and a comedy. And I'm kind of holding off because I'm hoping that one of my recent contacts might push me in some direction, whether it be rewrites or something new. So how do you decide what's next?

Dan MaxXx

Take a mental writing break. Catch up With friends and family. The next project will find you

Jody Ellis

@Dan I always feel at such loose ends when I'm between projects! And no freelance work right now either, so I guess I'll catch up on reading and movie watching for the moment, lol. Gonna try to get to X men this weekend!

Wesley S. Miles

In a similar boat that just goes with the flow, finished about two weeks ago. During the three day weekend I watched the heck out of one show and decided to spec it. Now it will be finished by tomorrow and last night I thought, "Oh not again." So I perused the internets and ended up volunteering for Denver Comic-Con.

Jody Ellis

@Wesley I totally get it. Always happy to finish but then I'm like "okay now what?!"

Jorge J Prieto

I got a little small book, where I jot down, titles, basic story ideas, concepts, a song or a slogan that I once came across or even a coffee shop employee who's eyes had this immense sadness and now I'm in the rewrite process of the screenplay of that girl fictional back-story. Hope this helps. Just keep writing, when you get that call and they ask, " so what are you working on now, Jody?". You will have a tangible, honest answer., girlfriend!!

Anthony Moore

Out of several ideas, one will just bubble to the surface and I'll begin. Although I have started one screenplay only to have another supercede it in importance due to something said in a conversation or overhearing. Something just causes the new idea to jump out and shout "Write me! Write me!".

Maroun Rached

Get a writing partner: it will both serve as an incentive to write and a learning experience. Good luck!

Jody Ellis

@Maroun my boyfriend and I are actually working on a script together right now. But I still like to have my own projects too.

Craig D Griffiths

I start writing a bit on all of them. Then I find that I get stuck in one and I am away and running.

Elisabeth Meier

Cool, having the writing partner right beside all the time. Would like that too. But to answer your question, Jody, I do it like Craig. I have different scripts or ideas in development and all are on different levels - and I love it that way.

Jody Ellis

@Elisabeth it's good and bad, lol. He is a truly gifted writer and I love what he brings to the table, I've said on here before, he is also my first reader for all my scripts and his advice is always invaluable. I do have a couple half-assed starts on some scripts I may revisit. One of them has a character I love, but I'm still trying to figure out her story. I'll probably be slogging through my notes over the next week and try to figure out my direction!

Aray Brown

The project that keeps gnawing at me is the one I choose

Danny Manus

hey Jody, if you're interested, at No BullScript i do a brainstorming and career counseling consult to go thru loglines and ideas and what your next goals are professionally and figure out which project might be best to work on next.

Jody Ellis

@Danny thanks I will check out your website. And didn't we meet a couple years ago at a pitchfest in LA???

Danny Manus

Yes, I'm sure we did!

Ivana Tucak

I have a little notebook full of different ideas. I usually take few and make my little selection.

Mark Vincent Kelly
humblebrag :-P
Christopher Binder

It depends on the person but for me I was intending to focus next on a supernatural film noir story, but then I realized I hadn't gotten around to doing that personal adaption of Paradise Lost I'd had my eye on since college. I found myself gravitating more towards it and decided I needed a break from making things up from scratch as I had done with my previous two features.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Here's something from the Woody Allen Documentary: He keeps scribbled notes in a desk drawer by his nightstand. Every once and a while he takes them out and lays then out on his bed and looks them over. He once told Dick Cavett(Late Night TV Talk Show Host) I have endless ideas for movies, endless. The point I guess I am trying to make similar to what Jorge said above. Keep writing down any ideas you have even if it's just a few sentences. That way when you are between projects or even thinking where to go next you have a cache of material that you can refer to. For my own screenwriting I have (2) finished copyrighted screenplays. (1) a feature Comedy, the other a Comedy short. But in my celtx program I have about another dozen that I add to here and there. And when I get any idea whether on the Bus or Subway or just sitting in the park I always bring a memo pad with me and scribble it down. I guess I am a somewhat old school writer cherishing the pen to paper first moments when an idea springs to the page. At 64 my happiest moments as a writer are when I get that first spark of an idea and write it down. Woody Allen holds a special place in my life. A personal one you could say. My Uncle Hy Anzell(IMDB) did over a dozen movies with him. And I did meet him on the street in the Neighborhood once. Good luck.

Jorge J Prieto

Great tips and creative lessons from a fellow writer and friends. Thanks, Steven, good luck on as HSM move's forward. BTW, me and my girl Jody, have a lot in common in our writing process. Us girls-- well, we think alike. Lol. Woody Allen, Neal Simon and you Steve, have a lot in common in the style of writing. But I already told u this, I think?

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Jorge- Hello my friend. Again if I have not said this before, great courage to post that blog about your life a few weeks back. Getting to HSM most of the cast is assigned for the table read. Just have to find the few hundred I will need to pay Shetler Studios for the 2 hour rental and the expense $ for the actors plus coffee and donuts. And Yes you have told me on previous occasions that I have a Neil Simon style. But I am lately leaning more toward Mel Brooks for the funny. My Comedy Short Moses, Columbus, The Moon, and Mars(which is posted under Log lines on my profile page) has been compared more to Mel Brooks than anyone else. If you want to take a read. But enough about me. Don't want a moderator to think I am hijacking a thread. We are here to help JODY ELLIS. And Jody- truly just keep writing everyday. The more you do the better it will be. And when you go out and I am sure you do this already have a memo pad with you or even a pocket tape recorder. You never know when or where an idea for a great movie will hit you.

Jorge J Prieto

Steven, thanks brother. I will take a look at your logline, promise I will keep my mouth shut. You got this. Good luck. @Jody, she's a writer for pay already. You will be fine my girl friend.

Robert Rosenbaum

I've been bouncing around between several projects until one gets to the point it tells me I need to finish it.

Joleene Moody

I was just brainstorming this myself...and decided to go back to a project that needs rewrites. If an idea brews in the meantime, then I'll follow the beat of that drum.

Jody Ellis

Thanks all! I am probably going to pick up a script that I previously discarded, got about 30 pages into it a couple years ago and then it faded on me and other projects took precedence. I read it again the other day and it's actually pretty funny. Ive been thinking about my main character and I've finally figured out her story, as well as my ending. So unless I hear some kind of fantastic news from one of the producers or managers I've been talking to, I think I'm going to finally finish it!

Robert Rosenbaum

When I'm stuck, old scripts are the best to get me going again.

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