When talking with numerous amounts of people about my first feature the comment or stories that were constantly brought up was what’s next? What is next on the plate for the aspiring writer/director or writer or director? I was told by many people, stories of folk who finish their first feature and begin to shop it around the market and the questions that always arise are, “do you have anything else?”
I tend to wonder if these questions are because they don’t like what they see. Although we often times may assume this result I believe that it is for a different reason. Filmmaking is an art but whether you like it or not it is also a business. Producers, distributors, finaceers want to know if you are going to be a good business investment. Are you a one time fling or can you build a lasting relationship with these people to continue making movies?
So what is next? I may be more fortunate then some in the fact that I feel like I have a limitless supply of ideas; some may be good others may be horendous. I have learned, though, that I don’t know if they are any good unless I write them down. I have heard tell that the great horror/suspence writer Stephen King writes his ideas down and puts them in a drawer, if he still is thinking about it a year or so down the line then he decides it is at least worth a try in writing it. This may not be true but the idea helps me tremendously. I have found that if I can just put something down on paper then I at least have it out of my head and can move on to something else. Often times this is how I am able to determine if the idea is good or not. If I only get a few pages into the script and reach a block the forget about it the I am not always inclined to continue.
I have about 10 scripts in a folder on my computer that I have started, some completed 1st drafts others one or two pages long other are the entire 1st act. One thing I have discovered is that if I have an idea in the middle of another story I am working on, it may interfere. My conclusion normally ends up where I write down my idea and then go back to what I should be working on.
Every artist has their own method of writing, directing, composing, acting, etc. But the key is not necissarly in the process but owning your method and making it work for you as best as possible. So what’s next? You don’t neccisarily need to have the script, it is a good idea to at least have some clue of an idea. In this business you never know who you’ll meet or who you will be able to pitch to, so always be ready and always have some options for what’s next.