A few days ago, John August announced his latest scene writing challenge. It’s kind of like one of those 24-hour filmmaking challenges, except you don’t have to actually make a movie… just write one. And not even a whole movie… just a scene or sequence. Simple, right?
John has done these a few times before. Each one garners more and more responses, from more and more good writers.
I didn’t see the posting in time, but he promised a call for a second round, so I kept my eyes peeled. Sho’ nuff, a couple days later he posted again, looking for another 11 people to read the second draft. As I was obsessively monitoring for said posting, I jumped on it, and got in.
John kindly provided a PDF of his small project (25 pages), a list of specific questions he’d like us to address, and was also open to any other feedback we might have.
It was cool to read something of his that was not a screenplay. It’s always a treat to have a chance to interact with professionals whom you respect, in a field you fancy yourself a part of.
I’m hopeful that my feedback was indeed valuable, and I tried not to be a fawning sycophant. I got a little obsessed with one passage that didn’t work for me, and provided lengthy notes on why I thought it needed changing. It may have read as thorough, or it may have read as a bit OCD. I’m hoping the former.
Certainly, this is something that could have happened without Twitter — he could have reached out to people on his mailing list (should he have one) or visitors to his blog. He could have posted on craigslist. Twitter didn’t make this event possible… but it did facilitate the event in this case, and I’m glad of it.
So thanks, Twitter. That was a bit of all right. You don’t suck quite as hard as I said you do.
John August is doing something cool over at his blog… short video screen captures, looking over his shoulder as he edits a screenplay segment. I’ll just offer links, rather than embed them here, as to send your traffic to his blog.
Don’t just watch the video, but read the comments too… it’s illustrative of the fact that while there are many ways to screw things up, there are also many ways to do them right… and some of John’s readers raise legitimate alternatives to his edits. Which doesn’t invalidate his changes, of course. All the alternatives are better than the bad passages he starts with.
I’m sorely tempted to try something similar. But of course, as I am not John August, nobody will care. ;P