Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My First Five...

Almost exactly ten years ago, I had occasion to visit the Santa Clara County Superior Court building in San Jose, California on personal business. This building houses the family court--divorces, separations, child custody, and related cases.

It was the most secure location I had ever visited in my life. No joking. No messing around. Airports don't even approach the level of security I saw in family court even in this post 9-11 environment. My eyes were opened to a reality that resulted in the screenplay that I've just finished: the emotions involved in interpersonal relationships are among the most volatile forces in American life.

Police almost unanimously rate domestic violence calls as their most difficult, dangerous jobs. Some of my personal experience with assisting survivors of domestic violence has been incorporated into the script. My own experiences with domestic violence inform it as well.

I wove these issues into an action/thriller script about a bank robbery and a hero struggling with the loss of his family because of an incident of domestic violence.

The linked script contains a bit more than the first five pages, but the extra pages were necessary to include a coherent excerpt.

Why just the "first five?" Most movie scripts have an "enthrall me" count of ten pages. If someone doesn't want to read past the first five-to-ten pages of your script, you're sunk. You'd be surprised how many scripts don't entice you to read that far. So, the "first five" is the tease. If people are interested in reading further, you've cleared your first hurdle.

If you're offended by violence or strong language, this excerpt isn't for you. Otherwise, you can find the first five of a ten-year labor of love--"After Today"--here.

Your comments are eagerly welcome. Mahalo nui loa


Anonymous said...

Wheels within wheels! A guy about to jump, a priest who obviously knows why the guy is there and talks to him just long enough to make him reconsider, then the story of the hit, the heist, and the elimination of anything that could lead back to the string-pullers behind it all. Keyser Soze has nothing on them!

MacDaffy said...

Thank you, phoenixwoman. I'm glad you enjoyed it.