Last month a attended the Fairfax Filmmakers meetup, run by Justin Snyder. Justin has been running this meetup for a number of years and last year he and one of the members, Michael, worked on a cute script, Bottled, involving a genie and an artist getting everything he ever wished for, or so he thought. I audition for a part and table read for the lead but in the end I wasn’t selected. I did try to remain attached to the project and be available for it, but in the end the whole thing came apart and the project was abandoned.
Fast forward to 2020, and Justin, just coming off of his latest personal film project, conducts a new meeting of the group and has invited us to join his latest project, a suspense film. He wanted to do it as an anthology with four short films, each with a unique director, where he would be the anchor.
Personally, I’ve never had a desire to direct, though it’s something I would eventually like to get into, but I did have the kernel of an idea of a story so I teamed up with a woman who wanted to direct and we came up with a 20 minute film all based on the Ring doorbell. I wanted to do something with a black widow and a bit of Hitchcock‘s Rear Window. The director and I bounced ideas off off one another and then I wrote a 21 page script, You Rang, which the director liked.
Script in hand, last week, I submitted it to two of my writing groups, The Saturday Morning Review, and The Hourlings (my own writing group, Reston Writers, doesn’t allow Screenplay reviews). I submitted the first two acts to the first group, as the final act wasn’t ready in time, and then submitted the whole screenplay to The Hourlings. Both gave great feedback—about 75% of it useful—but enough to make the script a whole lot better, and inspire me to come up with a better ending. Finally, with my director’s approval, we submitted it to Justin.
The Suspense manuscript was supposed to be due today. Justin emailed me shortly after submitting You Rang to tell me he would be sending me notes, and I’m waiting for those notes and to start work on this awesome project!
Break a leg, everyone!