Screenwriting : Your plan by Craig D Griffiths

Craig D Griffiths

Your plan

Where were you two years ago?

Where are you now?

Where do you intend to be in two years?

Do you have a plan? A plan should be constantly revised and revisited, but it is needed. You also need to have a measure of success and milestones. I am on track. Have others mapped out a plan, milestones etc

Craig D Griffiths

Bamutiire Jerry Edmund it is very important to have measures. To be SMART.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.

Richard Buzzell

Nowhere, nowhere, and hopefully not still nowhere.

Craig D Griffiths

Richard Buzzell I do like the relaxed nature of your answer. But is it the outcome you are looking for?

I don’t know if hope is your best bet. I’ve seen you around here for a while, so it isn’t a passing fad for you.

Doug Nelson

Two years ago; retired, some production & teaching. Today; covid halted teaching & production but still writing. Two years from now at my age, I could be dead. If not I'll be teaching screenwriting & DSLR film production and be writing.

Debbie Croysdale

I always have a plan AB and C. Plan A to make three films this year did not happen because of covid, (had to postpone Ireland, Spain, Norway). Plan B also became redundant because I will not be flying to USA next year until post vaccine era. So, left with plan C to un plumb my innermost resources. I got some jobs writing from home and directing other peoples low budget films and going to start breeding pedigree cats. A lot of writers/directors I know socially are getting their films out now but I do not want to lobotomise my scripts and give audience a poxy watered down version. @Doug Age is just a number and I always enjoy your “Young at Heart” say it like it is and get things done attitude. I very much doubt you will disappear from the scene within a year!

Doug Nelson

Debbie - thanx for you confidence but at my age I don't make any long term plans. In the meantime I write a lot of post passage comedic shorts. I've come to terms with life and guess I just take it all in as a comedic exercise.

Craig D Griffiths

Doug, you sound like my Uncle. He doesn’t buy long life milk as he can’t commit to something that long term.

You’re doing fine. I am sure.

Debbie, the only thing we have is quality. I 150% agree.

Bill Albert

Two years ago I was writing and producing short films. Now I'm writing features and a series, three awards on the pilot script, and trying to promote and go pro. Hoping to be doing it pro in two years. Just how I'm going to get there is an ever changing process. After all these years I'm still learning.

Dan Guardino

Two plus years ago I quit writing. I currently have three projects in the development/preproduction stages. My goal in the next two years is get those made.

Jim Boston

Craig, in October 2018 (two and a half years after I decided to give screenwriting another chance), I was up to one new screenplay and two revised ones...and working on a third script revision. Really, I was just floundering around.

Right now, thanks mainly to what I've learned here at Stage 32, I'm up to twelve screenplays and working on three new ones...and they're (the completed ones, that is) right here on 32 (as well as on Script Revolution, Network ISA, Prewrite, and ScriptHop).

Thanks to ScriptHop and Prewrite, I've got tools that really help me tell these stories from a visual standpoint as well as a written one.

And I'm fighting to get at least one project produced at this time in 2022. But I'm keeping the current global pandemic in mind...and reminding myself that I'm on a journey.

That journey I'm on is a marathon, not a sprint.

Great post you put up, Craig...and all the VERY BEST to you!

Craig D Griffiths

Dan Guardino I’ve heard you say previously that you have quit. I suspect you are addicted like myself. I plan to do this forever, even if nothing more ever gets made.

Jim Boston thanks Jim. I am a script revolution fan. The fight will pay dividends. But it only gets you to the next fight (sadly).

Tabitha Baumander

Its a good bet none of us are where we planned to be at this point in time.

Craig D Griffiths

Tabitha Baumander not locked down, but the career plan is tracking okay.

Dan Guardino

Craig. I quit every couple of years: Not because I don't like writing anymore but because I can't stand half the people you have to deal with in this business.


Doug Nelson

I'm with you Dan. I get so frustrated having to deal with all the angry empty-headed pizzlewits and snowflakes that I just withdraw every now-n-again.

Dan Guardino

Doug. I thought I was the only one:)

Craig D Griffiths

I think I must have developed my moron teflon working in Government. Dan I think you have the perfect answer for the next person that asks “do I need an agent”.

Oscar Ordonez

For two years I had no plan, only a goal. Just recently, I had to hear it from not only RB but by one of my favorite entrepreneurial podcasters, Andy Frisella, that I NEED a plan and how simple it is to make one. Not to be confused with easy. So currently I do 5 things a day that will get me to my goal by just winning the day.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Thanks for the prompt, Craig D Griffiths! It reminds me of one of my "favorite" films, Serenity (2005). "It's not your way, Mal." "I gotta way? Is that better than a plan?" If I make the plans and put more weight behind it than my own "way", then I'm not really present as myself, just a fabrication of best-laid intentions. All that to say, I do better when I'm not trying to win the game. I used to play pool a lot as a kid. When I tried to win, I sucked. When I was just focused on getting a ball into a hole (yes, you're allowed to snicker), I would get it 9 times out of 10. I'm of the opinion to approach a plan like an aptitude test. Do your prep, get lots of sleep, and then do your best on the day. Otherwise, the test, like the "plan", overtakes your life.

Craig D Griffiths

Thanks Oscar and Kay (Firefly rules), for me a plan gives me milestones. I want to make some larger budget films. I need to prove I can write. So I write low budget films. Low budget is no a code word for crap. My films are good (arrogant I know), just cheap to make. They take a little longer to create as focusing on budget without hurting quality is a bit harder. It is like learning to play piano with a missing finger, possible but harder.

Once I have a rep for developing good complex characters and stories, budgets will come.

I am currently negotiation my third sale (second in the UK). I build a rep in the indie world. I can take it to the big budget people later.

Oscar Ordonez

Craig D Griffiths Thats's awesome! I like to go above and beyond and write outside budget as if some billionaire will get ahold of the script and make it. But all jokes aside, I think your approach is proving that writing for your budget actually sells. I'd love to read some of your scripts because although my writing is sometimes praise I still don't consider myself good. I like to read scripts on my free time :)

Craig D Griffiths

Oscar Ordonez my stuff is over at script revolution. Feel free to read whatever you like. If there is a title without a PDF reach out. I can share it if I am allowed.

Kiril Maksimoski

Small steps and focus on current affairs. Nothing visionary, no somedays...

Richard Buzzell

Craig - I've got milestones but they keep moving away. It's taking literally years to get a short script produced. I keep thinking that I'm going to have something to celebrate soon, but it doesn't happen because there's always another delay.

Oscar Ordonez

Craig D Griffiths Very neat! I found the podcast and the scripts! Looking forward to them. I'll let you know if anything comes up.

Michael Khamis

Unfortunately I often lose sight of my plan. DONT DO THIS. I have my own business which often eats much of my time. This is ironic because I wanted this business to be my financial support while I develop what I am passionate about, art and storytelling. I wrote a feature length script and then got caught up in my pizza place and my wife and two little kids. But I am now fighting to get back on track writing another script and having it completed by the end of this year. I would like to write at least two more next year. With those under my belt I want to send them out and see if I get anyone interested in them. Feel free anyone to add any tips you may have.

Oscar Ordonez

Michael Khamis I get so nervous about becoming stuck in something I don't want to do my whole life. I'm a middle school math teacher and sometimes I wonder if life is going to keep pushing me in the direction of "stable job" and family man where film becomes more of a hobby than a career pursuit. I'm learning to venture outside of myself, meaning that instead of just writing and stuffing drawers with scripts, I need to start sending scripts out and becoming more entrepreneurial if I want it to be more than a hobby.

Michael Khamis

Oscar Ordonez I hear you man. That thought scares me as well. I guess all we can do is push through as hard as we can no matter what comes in our way. Sometimes I feel like I have to fight for just a little bit of time a week. I lose sleep because of it sometimes in order to write alone. I find it hard also because I'm not surrounded by family or friends who are writers. If I go nowhere at all with it I will even try to self publish just to get something out there.

Oscar Ordonez

Michael Khamis Me either. My wife thinks it's a hobby haha (crying inside). That's why I joined Stage 32. I'm sure that everyone here is willing to help each other out. So whatever you're writing has a chance. Check out the contests for screenplays here! There's one coming up for a short tv series I believe.

Tristan Hutchinson

Two years ago, I wanted to try once again to complete the book I started when I was 17. Now I have published and I am currently writing the script for it as well as a new horror novel, sure to scare my readers. In two years, I plan on submitting my scripts to Blumhouse and hopefully working with them to create a real scary horror movie.

Kiril Maksimoski

Michael Khamis ever wandered why marathon is so much difficult than sprint? Gotta learn pace. And I don't recommend venturing into self-publishing, it's just a money giveaway...there are lot of places to post your work to, full of eyes and for free...

Craig D Griffiths

If you need to get your book out in hands. Amazon (Kindle publish), it is free.

My brother had 6000 books. He was a fanatic. All collectables. He sold them all, and reads on a kindle now.

As Harold Ramis said in Ghost Busters “print is dead”.

William Martell

I have always had a plan and goals and self accountability methods.

When I was working full time, my goal was to write 1 good page every day... and that is 3 screenplays a year. I did rewrites on days off and vacations. I have a wall calendar with big squares - $1 at any dollar store - and I write my page count every day. The 0s shame me.

I also do not reward myself for failure. I have a friend who gets depressed when he doesn't write and eats a half gallon of ice cream - rewarding failure! I don't do that. No rewards unless I get my pages done.

Since turning pro and ditching the day job, um, 30 years ago... I write 5 pages a day every day. If I have a tight deadline on a rewrite or assignment, I write more per day. On my first HBO movie we lost our location for the end and I needed to figure out a whole new ending and rewrite most of Act 3 overnight. Completely different!

These days the focus is more on books than screenplays, but still 5 a day. I have a two white boards in my office - one is 24 months - with the projects for each month, the other is progress on the current project, plus a list of "spare time projects". I used to cross off screenplay scenes, now I cross off book chapters.

Crossing them off makes me feel like I am making progress... and I am.

The original plan for this year was 4 books at 90,000 words each. Then the pandemic hit and I have refigured my plan to 3 books (and the first 2 have been over 100,000 words). Next year I hope to get 4 books done, but if it only ends up 3, that's cool.

The important thing is to have a step by step plan. Then be responsible for your results.

In the professional world, you will have hard deadlines to meet. A crew of a hundred people might be waiting for the pages. You need to be disciplined enough to make those deadlines.

Joshua Bowman

Two years ago I was poor, heartbroken that my 4 year plan had just been shattered, and moving to a state I had no intention of staying in.

Today I am continuing to work on my screenplay that's had more progress this past year than ever considering I started it at 18 in 2019.

Within the next two years I will have graduated culinary school, finished my script, and be working on selling it while opening my own bakery.

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