You may have been wondering where I have been for the last couple of months. Well, I’m excited to say that I have been working on my first ever feature length screenplay, which today I finally submitted to a few producers currently seeking scripts, via the International Screenwriters Association. Whether they come to anything is another matter, but just getting it out there feels like a major achievement.
For those who didn’t know, I have been writing short screenplays for about 13 years now, entering them into international screenwriting competitions. One or two have done been pretty well over that time. In addition, a short story I wrote and published on the Red Bubble website (the writing element of this website has long since gone) got “optioned” in 2008 by a short film company based in Australia – although ultimately it never went into production and the Rights finally returned back to me.
The reason I started writing screenplays – having for years just written prose fiction was as a result of the forerunner of this blog. In 2005 I started writing and posting daily short stories to my blog called Short Short Fiction. Over time that blog picked up quite a number of followers and even won an award or two. One reader once left a comment asking if I had ever considered writing screenplays – given the ‘visual nature’ of my writing.
To be honest, I’d had an interest in screenwriting going right back to the nineties, but it was that comment that eventually spurred me on and in 2010 I wrote my first ever screenplay, a horror short (5 pages) called ‘Death Camp Express’, for a competition. Whilst popular with readers, it didn’t go down so well with the judges, who felt the setting of a train taking Jews to a Nazi death camp a bit too controversial – although I personally thought a Jewish golem slaying Nazis was rather fitting!
Anyway, back to this feature screenplay…I decided during the Christmas lockdown of 2020 I’d try my hand at writing a full length festive feature, based on an idea I had scribbled down in a notebook, way back in 1995! It was solely based on the idea of some ghost telling some man he was going to die on Christmas Eve and he had to make amends in life to stop that happening. Alongside it I had written a title “Last Christmas”.
Back to 2020 and I started planning out a full story based on this premise but now under the title of ‘The Last Advent’ (a film called ‘Last Christmas‘ had come out a few years before!) By January 2021 I had finished a first draft of 130 pages (that’s more than 2 hours in movie time) and put it to one side with the intention of coming back to it a few months later to review and start the editing process.
Except I didn’t.
For a number of reasons I never got back round to looking at it again until November of 2022 – literally two years after I first started it. This time I was determined to get it fully edited and finished, complete with a logline and synopsis (both of which were almost harder to get right than the actual screenplay!). And, finally, this morning the screenplay, now 115 pages long, went out into the big wide world!
So, here is the final logline…
The Last Advent
“An absent father is going straight to hell unless he repairs the relationship with his son before Christmas Day. At least that’s what the ghost of his former drug dealer tells him, whilst a criminal Mr Big and a bent cop have other ideas.“
Should anything actually happen, I will of course let you know – but for now I already have the seeds of my next full length screenplay brewing…a contemporary spy thriller.
Oh, and by the way, I have a micro fiction to post shortly.