“It’s like not being able to enjoy your weekend because you have homework to do.” That’s how I described running my blog Two Pages a Week recently to a producer. A feeling I think most of us can relate to but one to which I willingly subject myself every week.
Last year I wrote a two page script for the 50 Kisses screenwriting competition, I loved the challenge of telling a story in such little space.
Unfortunately my script wasn’t shortlisted but I thought I might throw it out there to see if anyone might be interested in making it. I showed some friends and got some good feedback but no bites.
Shortly after this my friend was going through a period of inactivity that was really getting her down so I gifted her a lovely leather notebook and pen and challenged her to write in it once a day, something that had gotten me through a similar slump some years ago. She in turn, inspired by the script I wrote for 50 Kisses, challenged me to write a new two page script every week and post it online to be read, critiqued and possibly even made.
So I started www.twopagesaweek.com by posting my 50 Kisses script and continued to post a new two-page script every Wednesday. The first few weeks the scripts were only read by my friends and family but after a featuring in a post on Reddit I started to see the traffic rise. I started posting guest scripts from other screenwriters and even having scripts get made by filmmakers I have never met. Now every Wednesday I can reasonably expect a new script to be viewed more than one hundred times by people from all over the world and with films currently in production in The United States and Canada things are looking very exciting for the future. I even had to take a hiatus for a few months at the beginning of the year because of jobs I had commissioned from doing the blog.
Now of course it was all in the name of honing the craft and continually learning. The biggest lessons I have taken from the exercise have been obviously in the importance of concision but also in clarity of action and tone. It’s exciting to be able to take a lesson from a book, discussion, podcast or screenplay and apply it to something immediately. If something doesn’t work one week I can try something different the next. A big difficulty has been fitting the two-pager in, not only with other screenwriting duties that arise but also with being a full-time dad, time management has been another of the biggest lessons.
So even though my script never got made (not yet anyway) I owe a lot to 50 Kisses and to the team behind it. I really feel like I have grown a lot as a screenwriter because of Two Pages a Week and will continue to grow in the future. Even though it feels like I constantly have homework to do it has been nothing but positive from the beginning.
Robert j. Lee