Screenwriting : What happened to your very first finished script? by Evelien And Dorien Twins

Evelien And Dorien Twins

What happened to your very first finished script?

Let's reminisce about your first time. No...not that first time, we're talking about the very first time you actually wrote a script and said to yourself: "It's done, finito, I can't/won't work on this any longer,..." We "finished" our first screenplay when we were around 17. It's a comedy feature called "The Squad" and is currently resting comfortably inside one of our desks. That goes for the the pen-written one as the Final Draft PDF & printed version. Why are we not releasing or shooting it, you may wonder? While we consider it "finished", we know our writing at that time wasn't ready or mature enough to even consider releasing it out in the open without a major overhaul. It's something we've often thought about doing, but so far haven't gotten to it. So what did "The Squad" do for us if it's just sitting in our desk? It certainly gave us the drive and motivation to do better because while we thought the world of it when it was just finished, it certainly wouldn't win a beauty contest. It was proof that we could focus on a storyline and do the research to follow up on it. We actually did end up writing another feature with the same name which was an evolution of the original story, so we don't think it's entirely gone. So...let's talk/discuss our first "babies".

LindaAnn Loschiavo

I finished my first script, typed on a manual typewriter, when I was 9 years old. It was produced onstage in NYC when I was 10 years old (cast of 5), and had a good run for almost 18 months.

Doha Ibrahim Tawfik

i finished my first script when i was 18 years old.two years later we filmed it.and participated after tat in movie festivals.everyone read the script told me" its so you."

Chris Todd

My first was a 'bromance' road trip comedy that I wrote with one of my best friends. It's probably my most marketable script, but it was written right out of college and doesn't align with my current sensibilities, tone, or standards. What it did was help me formulate good dialogue (we were way off with how people spoke in our first drafts), helped with pacing and jokes, and helped writing in different voices. Probably most importantly, helped us realize we had a long way to go in writing good female characters. Still have a long way to go.

Fiona Faith Ross

My first script is a syfy script in which a character doesn't quite work. I'm not ready to put it right just yet. It's a parallel story and my intuition tells me the answer lies in separating the two. Funnily enough, I've literally had a "Finito" moment on my WIP, but now I'm working with tutors and I'm gonna distance myself and let them come at it with fresh eyes.

Christopher Binder

You can read the first act of mine on my profile.

Jody Ellis

My first "real" script was a zombie love story. The movie "Warm Bodies" came out just around the time I started trying to solicit interest in it. Everyone who looked at it said "meh, Warm Bodies" even thought it's NOT really the same story. I've been thinking of taking a look at it again, rewriting and seeing if I can generate some interest now that Warm Bodies is gone and forgotten.

Fiona Faith Ross

Good idea, @Jody. If you can develop it to Warm Bodies meets [something]. Why not? You will have your own individual take on it anyway.

Dan MaxXx

Jody Warm Bodies meets Jaws. Write a fun popcorn movie with zombies against Sharks! U will thank me when you buy a mansion on Star Island, Miami

Jody Ellis

@Dan, Zombienado!!!

William Martell

My first script and the 7 that came afterwards are sitting in a box someplace because they stink... I was learning how to write a screenplay, and those ended up practice. In about a week I'm going up to San Francisco to see a special screening of the 9th script I wrote... which probably also stinks but it got made as a 35mm Panavision movie despite that.

David Shute

I crammed out a first draft of a script in Word Perfect 5.0 when I was 17 with zero clue as to what I was actually doing. Man, that kid loved to poorly ape Tarantino. Really poorly. I've come back to it more than a few times as it has more of a Korean crime drama feel than early Tarantino, but I could never let go of those initial (terrible) story decisions. The first draft was a massive 48 pages, once it was formatted correctly. I realized that I'd left a bunch of the story in my head and not on the page. After a couple of rewrites it landed around the 108 pages, but it lived and died a terrible script. I just popped it open to get those numbers and every single line I happened to read while it was briefly open makes me cringe.

Zlatan Mustafica

Oh boy, I was 15 when I embarked on this journey and right away (with youthful inspiration that knew no boundaries) I wrote this sci-fi script. I didn´t use any screenwriting software, it was just a pen and a pad and tons of enthusiasm. I finished it when I turned 17 and guess what that young version of me did? Of course I send it to Steven Spielberg!!! True story. I also sent it to a renown script consultant Linda Seger. Now ask me if it was good... HELL TO THE NO!!!! It was badly formatted to start with but there was a nice story there which actually got me an invitation to LInda Seger´s seminar in Stockholm, Sweden that very year. I still have her letter on my desk reminding me how I started. I never went though because my parents thought that I was just wasting my time and that Dreams were basically okay to have and pursuit but education and security is more important and that came first. So, I wonder often, what would have happened that weekend by meeting Linda?... Oh, and about my submission to Mr. Steven Spielberg? I hope to God that he never recieved that submission LOL. But you know, I was young and had no idea how things worked in the industry and how processes of different kind were and what not. So yeah, I smile at this every time I think about it. :)

Evelien And Dorien Twins

To this day we actually commit everything to paper (with a pen!) before ever touching final draft or screenwriting software. It might sound strange but we find it a whole lot more fun when we can actually see our creation physically grow than watching words swell on software. @Zlatan, that must've taken some courage!

Danny Manus

i handed it into ny screenwriting professor. I got a C. i told her she didnt know what the F she was talking about because my script was gold. 4 years later, after being an assistant and creative exec in this biz, i reread it, called up my professor and apologized because it was SHIT. and btw, so are 98% of first scripts. Biggest mistake new writers make is thinking the first script is going to sell instead of moving on to the 2nd script.

Zlatan Mustafica

@EvelienAndDorienTwins - Well, I don´t Think it was courage. LOL. Sure, I never did things like most people do, especially in my teenage years but honestly? I think I was just ignorant (about the business) enough to attempt that :) Fun story to tell though. If I ever get to meet Mr. Spielberg I ´ll have to apologize LOL.

Dan Guardino

My first script was based on actual events so it was unique. A producer optioned it but it never got made. Another producer wanted to option it if I would rewrite it but I didn't want to see it get made so it has been gathering dust ever since.

John Connell

Mine was loosely based on a personal experience - a period (1970s) romcom/drama. After critiques and re-wites, I got an agent who loved it, sent it out -- actually got good reaction from Gene Wilder's old company, and from a few others -- then it DIED ON THE VINE. Only now do I realize it was not a bad result for a first script. I still think it should get made! Moral -- no periods!

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

My first script was an idea that was brought to me by a karaoke buddy who wanted me to write a book from a jailhouse manuscript by his friend Biff Halloran, a former hotelier who became involved with the Gambino crime family and disappeared in 1998. After copyrighting the dead man's manuscript, I wrote a pilot episode and show bible. The script generated interest from several parties, including a video game company and an investor. It also went on to be a quarter-finalist at Screencraft pilot contest. Finally, I'v had a number of people that knew the real Halloran contact me about press release I wrote in 2012 expressing interest in the project. One as recently as 9 months ago.

Desiree Middleton

My 140 page scifi masterpiece sits in a binder. At the time I thought it was "the best screenplay ever." Then I started reading screenplays and learning from other established screenwriters, and realized how horrible it was. But it was my first.

Edward Case

Um, my first script was about some Marvel guy named Iron Man...and, I didn't have the rights to it, so, uh, the producer at the time refused to see it...which was a really good thing because, frankly, um, it sucked. Years later some movie with the same title came out. Same bad guy, too...huh.

Richard Gustason

I finished "Holy Ultimatum" with really no training except reading how to's on the internet. I never written a script so doing it and finishing it was quite the accomplishment. Then I learned the real finish is getting that script to film. Yeah, that first script STILL hasn't been filmed. And the idea just came on a whim. But I feel like I have grown with knowledge since that first script. And some of it has to do with being on Stage 32.

Patrick DelliGatti

Greetings: I started to write my first script at eighty -nine years old. My first choice was writing a book and then followed by my script . " Do not let age hold you back, ' I encourage seniors to write as a means of keeping your mind active ... my book will be published world-wide by my publisher. My screenplay is on the market and there is interest in the movie industry. My service in Marine Corps Aviation, with service in the Pacific Theater of Operations during WW11compelled me to write a gutsy novel ... 'Airdales of Guadalcanal'... Seniors I am now ninety- two and still writing. 'Your mind is an instrument of value use it.' I welcome your comments. With Healthy Regards Patrick Delligatti Semper Fi

Philip Sedgwick

My first script was fun, tantalizing, but the way written severely cut into production potential. It was about an Indian (east) mystic who had a revelation he was supposed to play basketball for the LA Lakers. Set in the Laker glory days of the late 1980s, there were the obvious NBA license issues, the complexity of a film with a lot of sports... while funny and provocative, it didn''t go anywhere. In those days I lived in LA and coffee'd up at a place that Kevin Peter Hall (bless his soul) used to frequent. He loved the script and would have done it. So it was back to the drawing board... the next script, first draft I might add, quarter-finalled in Nicholl. Working to fund that script now. Written in 1989, scores of drafts.

Siegal Annette

So young collegues writers ,listen and learn what script can give you( if not success):my first script was written at the end of my cinema school at the age( post retirement) of 67.The project was realised as a short film with the help of my fellow students( all aged around 20 .what do they know about death?).A great local and familial SUCCESS . Earn a lot of ...congratulations .Finally I could tell my personal story , about my mother's death 5 years previously and help me let her go.Perhaps everybody should start with a script very very closed to his/her heart.After that writing seems a very natural task :I am on my third .the second was twice finalist at international competitions but still waiting for a director and producer.After 2 dramas comes a comedy.Perhaps with a better chance .

Evelien And Dorien Twins

very interesting to see all these different paths people have taken!

Aray Brown

My first screenplay that I wrote, that i actually thought was finished... was a comedy about two men robbing a bank. The Misconduct Of Diligent Praswell. I had it copywritten. I remember querying production companies, one in particular, Red Hour. I got a response back stating that I should get some experience. I was in my late 20's

Jody Ellis

You know, this thread has put my old horror script back on my radar. I'm going to read it this weekend and do some rewriting. Maybe put it out there. Horror sells, that's for damn sure!

Richard "RB" Botto

The first script, remarkably (because I don't think it was very good), opened some doors for me. Recently, someone who read it years ago approached me out of the blue with the idea of turning into a TV pilot. Just goes to show, open doors remain open.

Louis Sihler

That is a cool story, Richard.

Richard "RB" Botto

Agreed. Although, I would also add, this is why new writers need to get coverage or feedback from a trusted source. I was a new writer, but I wasn't new to the industry. I knew enough to get multiple pieces of feedback after my first rewrite to give myself the best chance of getting the work read from Fade In to Fade Out. Many new writers are too blinded by their own genius to seek and accept feedback.

Aray Brown

When I first started, I didn't have the resources I have now, thanks to RB and the Stage 32 crew. the script was a complete bust, had a few jokes in there but that's it. wrote the entire thing by hand. it was corny. I didn't know what to do with it when it was finished. Started querying, but rule number one, you never you don't have experience.

Philip Sedgwick

@RB, No wonder I needed new glasses!

Richard "RB" Botto

@phillip - Gave me a good laugh...Then again, you always do...(and I've been meaning to catch up...will do so shortly!)

Rena Dunsworth

My first screenplay was almost picked up by a producer in 2015. They couldn't find enough funding, or so it seemed. They went on and on about how talented I was. For whatever reason it didn't work out. So I revised the hell out of it. I feel like it might be something, but what do I know? I'm Janey come lately to this whole screenplay business. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Philip Sedgwick

@RB, you and Russian hackers have my e-mail. Look forward to catching up!

Marcus Leighton

I keep mine close by to show me just how far I've come. What a wreck it was!

Doug Nelson

I sold it to CBS - back in '75 or '76 - hey, this screenwriting thing is really easy (not).

Rena Dunsworth

I wrote the first draft of "The Buried Moon and Her Daughter" over a summer. I had a producer interested, but it didn't work out. I had so much fun writing it. it was really a blast. I'm still reworking it. Still hoping, I guess.

Nikki April Lee

I had no idea where to gather inspiration from for my first script so, as the typical girl, I started with my last relationship. There was a good storyline to it, but I felt I didn't want to bore an audience with my drama so I shred it. I'm contemplating if I'd ever go back to it. LOL.

April Littlejohn

My first script was about people with animal powers. I wrote it on set when I was a stunt person.

Stephen Scheboth

My first, proper short was written for a class in college and has since been lost to the ether. My first, feature was written 10+ years ago and sits in a folder. Were I to look at it now, I'm sure I would catch a fright from how bad the writing is. I would need to rewrite it to better reflect myself and the current times. Proving, an unproduced script can never be finished.

John Connell

My first was a road-trip romcom/drama. Got me an agent and nice comments from Gene Wilder's company, but no sale!

Gilberto Villahermosa

I got called by a producer and asked to write a screenplay on Spec that takes place in Central Asia. I did my research and wrote what I thought was a screenplay using all the right software and the right books. I got the format right, but it wasn't really a screenplay. It was a linear story - lacking conflict, tension, suspense, character development, and sub-text. As I learn more about screenwriting and write more screenplays, I go back and work on it, attempting to transform it into a proper screenplay - as I'm passionate about the story and the characters and refuse to delegate it to the dust bin.

Victor Titimas

My first script had huge blocks of text and dialogues that ran for 30-40 lines(just one character). It was about 200 pages long..:)) I posted it on Amazon and they decided not to option it for ten thousand dollars. They said they'd buy a script for 200 thousand dollars. I let it go. Anyway, I took its main characters and some location and used them for another screenplay I wrote later on...:)

Shaunda Young

Still editing I refuse to give up on it...

Christopher Binder

Oh it's in a box somewhere. Posted the first act on my profile for people to read.

Lisa Clemens

It was actually a rewrite. Andy Cheng gave me a page one rewrite to do, to see if I had any talent. After handing it in, I had not heard back so the next time we talked I said, "Hey I really enjoyed working on that script. If you have others that need work, I hope you'll consider letting me do another." He said, "Oh, don't worry! You're my PARTNER for as long as you still wanna do it!" And I still am, though I do a lot of writing with and for others, too while still working on some of ours and being Andy's Long Distance assistance!

Kevin Carothers

Part of a divorce settlement.

Cherie Grant

I'm just coming back to my first screenplay. It's a story i love, but have never felt entirely happy with. now that my writing is improved I am having another crack at it. It's really just a few aspects that need tweaking. A lot of it I won't touch again. it's done. Then i might try shopping it. Somehow.

Anthony D Paul

It's in a vault that will never be seen again.

Doug Nelson

An old post. I sold it.

William Martell

I shot my first feature script myself, and it sucked. So did a bunch of the ones that followed. There's a learning curve. I was hired to write a low budget kung fu flick off my 8th script, which got made. 3 years ago yesterday we had an anniversary screening of it in San Francisco, with cast and crew. It also sucked, but it is now some sort of cult movie, with a new Blu-ray release. Eventually I wrote a script that didn't completely suck that was sold to Paramount.

Steve Sherman

My baby is posted right here. It's title is The Ecstasy and while everything the twins posted is true about writing your first script I feel it is my best work story wise.

Logline: A school teacher commits suicide after she is arrested at a Miami swingers club. A young lawyer must prove the arrest was the cause of her suicide; not her alternative lifestyle.

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