Tuesday Night on the Board

IMG_1543.jpgMy life is pretty amazing, when I really step back and take a look at it.

Last night Jamie came over to participate in a project for the Toronto Cold Reads Series. Afterwards, he just kind of lingered. We drank beer and shot the shit. It seemed like he had something on his mind.

And then he began talking about a script he’s been working on for some time. He brought an early draft to the writers group a year ago, and he’s been pecking away at it ever since. And he’s stuck.

So there we were, talking about his script, staring the whole time at the big, blank, cork board I have in my writing studio. I suggested we break the story together. He hesitated. Then he went upstairs, grabbed another beer, came back down and said, “Fuck it. Let’s do it.”

He pulled out his own stack of 3×5 cards, and started writing key scenes down on these cards. We began pinning them to the board, when Sean and Maeve – my AirBnB guests from England – came home. I invited them to join us – and so they did.

We brainstormed ideas for the inciting incident, act breaks, turns, and climaxes for his 5 storylines. Jamie had most of the answers already, but there were some gaps to contemplate.

Two hours later, we had the majority of Jamie’s screenplay up on the board – 33 key scenes in all. He kept talking about how complicated his story is, but when it’s up on a board like that, broken down to 5 storylines – each with 6 key scenes – it’s pretty simple.

We could have sat on the couch and watched a movie together, but instead, we helped to write a movie together.

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