The Muscle Draft

Continued from previous post. After outlining my story, I took my cards and notes and scribblings and sat down to do what Darren Aronofsky likes to call "The Muscle Draft". I started at the beginning and "muscled" all the way through to the end. This was extremely challenging for me as I typically rewrite things over and over and over till I am happy with them. With the Muscle Draft I just pushed through scene by scene, card by card and spewed out my story as I knew it. The further into the screenplay I got, the more I doubted and even hated what I was writing. The characters were inconsistent, their actions unjustified, and the chronology of events nonsensical. But at the end, I had a script. A pretty horrible script, but it was something. It is always a big victory to be able to hit "print", no matter what comes out of the printer.

After vomiting forth the Muscle Draft, I had something I could read, something I could judge. From there, I refined, rewrote, added, and subtracted until the screenplay made some sort of sense, gave a clear picture of who these characters are, and made the tone of the movie apparent.

At that point, this point, the Muscle Draft becomes my Rough Draft.

Where to Begin - An Idea

Welcome to the beginning of my journey to make a movie. I guess it's not technically the beginning as I have already hatched out a rough draft of the screenplay. In these first posts, I'll catch you up on writing process thus far.

The idea for this feature was actually born out of a few characters I had previously written short films around. One was born from a rant by a nameless character from my first directorial effort, Feeling Tall. Another couple of characters (or at least their circumstances) were lifted from my most recent short film, Pretty Happy. I knew that these characters from different movies would probably co-exist well, and perhaps even explain one another.

Through a series of intense scribblings on a yellow writing pad, I developed my given circumstances for the story. Then I changed my mind completely and wrote something else completely different.