Monday, November 12, 2007

Pentecostal Wisconsin - The screenplay

My director Virginia Scott and I have been developing a screenplay version of the "Pentecostal Wisconsin" solo play for the last year and half or so. This past Saturday we had a reading of the screenplay with a very small invited audience. It was an informal, see our work-in-progress type event. It has been challenging to figure out how to adapt a solo show in which I speak directly to the audience into a screenplay with multiple actors who don't address the camera. There are things that are much easier to convey in a screenplay than they are on stage and vice versa. The other challenge is to avoid "overwriting" the story in the adaptation for the screen. On stage, most everything is communicated by the words that are spoken, especially in a show like mine that doesn't have a lot of visual elements. How do Virginia and I write enough so that the story is clear while still leaving room for the story to be told visually. It's difficult. And since we both have backgrounds in theatre, not film, the challenge is greater. Of course, the biggest obstacle once we have a draft that we are happy with is to try and get someone interested in it and to someday get it produced. That is a daunting task. I am bracing for a process that may well take 10 years. But even if we have to max out credit cards or shoot it on a cell phone camera, I want to get this film made (though it would be nice for it to be a real movie in a real theatre, wouldn't it)? Thanks to all who read at the reading and those who gave feeback. -Ryan