Mary Anne ZamoraCharlotte Film Connection

March 17, 2016 - Getting deep into the Screenwriting Process. Posted on 2016-03-18 by Mary Anne Zamora

I’ve hit the road again –towards Dallas, Texas – and it looks like I will be staying in this vibrant and exciting city for a little while. In the meantime, I feel really exhilarated because I’ve been having some very productive discussions with my screenwriting mentor, John Lafia (of Child’s Play 1 & 2 fame), regarding my feature-length horror fantasy story idea, tentatively named “Demon in the Corner”. When we first started our meetings, I only had a rudimentary idea of how my script might play out. He asked me to watch Brian de Palma’s 1976 classic Prom horror movie “Carrie” and write a scene-by-scene breakdown of the film, which we then discussed at length and analyzed. It helped me tremendously in coming up with the “structure” for my own idea, which shares some stylistic and thematic elements from “Carrie” as well as other women-centered horror/fantasy/thriller movies such as “The Babadook” and “Winter’s Bone”.

I am very proud because John tells me that he enjoys our meetings because he really likes my story and my rather “unique” approach to telling it. Also, he thinks that my story idea is getting richer, more layered, and more interesting every time we meet. I know that I still have so much to learn and overcome in order to become a successful independent screenwriter and director. For the first time in a very long time, though, I feel that I am finally on the right track. Thanks to John Lafia’s incredible wisdom and guidance.

I am currently in the "hardcore" research-gathering stage of the screenwriting process, as well as getting ready to write my own 40-60 scene breakdown and character briefs. My mentor and I agreed that if I can first construct a strong outline and foundation for my story, then the actual writing process should be a lot easier. On my next blog, I hope to write in more detail about some of the research materials that I have uncovered and now will be using for my multicultural horror film.

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