A lot has happened since my last post, in February of 2018.
First, I changed out the Judgment of Parrish page for Advocate + Guardian. Back in 2015(!), I paused production on Judgment of Parrish when it won the FadeIn grand prize and was being circulated among producers, none of whom want a movie already in the works.
Nobody bit on Judgment of Parrish, so I pitched Adrenaline Heart to FadeIn and worked with the script editor to circulate that. Still no bites.
So I wrote a script called Advocate + Guardian about an all-woman law firm. Mostly cast, I was ready to start shooting at the end of 2018.
Then my lead actor had a life change and exited the project.
I moped for a few hours, then decided to rework the project. I’m not sure it will involve lawyers now. But I still have the script.
Then the re-written Adrenaline Heart placed as a finalist in the Screencraft Action Screenplay contest. I’d always scored decently in FadeIn’s contest, but never so much as blipped into Screencraft’s semifinals round. Now here I was, one of the top dozen out of more than 700 submissions.
That’s not a boast (although my wife thinks I should do more boasting, or at least be less cagey about my minor successes), but it is the reason I’ve kept writing and making movies for the past three decades. I’ve always received just enough validation to keep going — just when I think I should hang it up and concentrate on woodworking or dog breeding or raku pottery, I get something. Fortunately, I’ve reached the point in my life where this validation means something. And that’s because it doesn’t need to result in a deal or sale.
That wasn’t always the case. Like most young writers, I angled and prayed for the big score. In fact, I decided that I wouldn’t have children to keep me unsatisfied — it was score or die! Fortunately, my wife came along and changed all that. I’ve been a father for sixteen years and have never been more productive. As I’ve written here, The Judgement of Parrish drew heavily on my children’s experiences, and Adrenaline Heart taps into the anxieties that plague many a dad. (And I couldn’t have even conceived of Advocate + Guardian without my attorney wife!)
As the God of all Irony would have it, it’s because I am happy and satisfied that these small wins mean something. Perhaps more. A few weeks ago, a producer called me inquiring about Adrenaline Heart. I assumed they saw my logline at Screencraft, but no — they got my script from FadeIn. Maybe it will become the next Die Hard. Maybe not.
But regardless, I don’t plan on letting another year slip by without a post.