Write the Good Fight

when-life-gives-lemons-apply-pressure

When life gives you lemons, apply pressure and kick ass!

When I write, sometimes I really am punching the keys.

It’s not easy: you want to tell a story, but you can’t articulate. Not just writing a screenplay, but anything. I’m talking about conversations, career choices, coping with rejection, coping with success, responding to the silence when you were expecting an answer.

An example? Almost two years ago, I’d just finished a 12-week screenwriting intensive sponsored by New York Film Academy LA. I’d won a scholarship, I’d learned so much about the language of writing in (motion) pictures, and I hadn’t even finished 10 pages of my screenplay (spoiler alert: I still haven’t). I was frustrated.

Fast forward, six-months later: I’m hunched over the kitchen table in my studio apartment, determined to write a one-scene-wonder monologue for my acting reel and somehow – call it inspiration, call it saturation – I knew what I needed to write: a story about a man who takes away the painful memories of others. One week later, I had written the first draft of my pilot. My mentor, Dan, kindly informed me that I had actually written *half* of a pilot, so time to expand.

Type, type, backspace, type. Done.

Well, not really.

END FLASHBACK. Back-to-the-Present: I don’t know how many drafts it’s been, but my sci-fi pilot, The Relief, has transformed. I’m seeing things I didn’t see before, and I don’t flop out of my seat in panic when new imperfections complications arise.

I look to my fridge. These words, comforting, spur me on:

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to exist.”

The Relief - SciFi Pilot by Ross Denyer

Well, now it does exist. Won’t ever be perfect, but it might be memorable.

So, What's Happening With Your SciFi Pilot?
As of today (2/11/2016), THE RELIEF has finished as a Top 10 Finalist in the 2015 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch, 12th Place in the 2015 Emerging Screenwriters Competition, and has progressed to the Quarter and Semi-Final rounds with Fresh Voices and Stage32.
What Else Are You Writing?
My other writing projects currently include: the femme fatale short story “Turn Off” (also a Quarter-Finalist with ScreenCraft), the 1/2hr animated action-comedy “Nostalgia Squad”, and a feature screenplay based on one of the great, unsung military miracles of World War II.
And then...?
Win a contest with “The Relief”, gain traction with my other projects, acquire literary representation, and above all, keep punching those keys!

Right on, Write on…

Learning the Ropes

Ross Denyer directing The Verge on set in New York, October 2013

The last few months can be summarized as trial and error, discovery and reinvention, looking in and pushing on: a lot has happened.

Consider this an introduction. I’m going to devote a three-part series of blog posts to these developing artistic avenues: director, editor, and writer. Stepping back to take in the big picture, here’s some of what’s happened in the 5 months since my last blog post:

Post Production on The Verge
Having finished directing The Verge in October, the last few months have been a marathon of post-production: working with a composer, editor, co-producer, publicity outlets, social media, and festivals. Speaking of festivals (see below)…
Festival Selection and Series Premiere
The Verge premiered at LA Web Festival in March, aired Season 1 on YouTube (April 3rd – May 15th), and is now an Official Selection at the inaugural Austin Web Festival.
A Successful Kickstarter Campaign
As an editor and web-designer, I’ve worked extensively on the publicity and (successful!) Kickstarter campaign for EgoManiac: A Poetic Incantation. An original play by Paul Moore, it debuts at the Hollywood Fringe Festival next Friday, June 6th and you can purchase tickets online via The Fringe website.
Screenwriting Contest Winner
On December 16th (the day after my last entry), my screenplay one-sheet concept was selected as a Write-Start Contest Winner! I was 1 of 8 screenwriters awarded a full scholarship for an 8-week screenwriting workshop at the New York Film Academy’s Burbank campus.

NYFA Screenwriting Workshop

Color Correction and Editing
After completing Season 1 of The Verge, I’ve started seeking out new projects to edit and color through my production company, Little Kraken Films. I’ve created a 1-minute reel to show some of what I can do.

More to share in the coming weeks!