After going through several drafts of the treatment for my film "Layla" and discussing it with my screenwriting mentor, I am pleased to say I am finally in the process of writing the first draft of my screenplay. When I wrote the first draft of my treatment several months ago, I thought it was a bit lengthy considering I never had written a treatment before. It was nine pages long. Four drafts and many restless nights later I turned in the fifty-seven page final draft of the treatment. While my ultimate goal is obviously to emerge with a great screenplay that I can sell, I am very happy to have this detailed treatment as a blueprint as I start writing my screenplay. The entire process of developing my treatment has been a great learning experience as it has forced me to focus on the story and characters in my film instead of getting carried away with dialogue. It has also been great because after getting feedback from my mentor, it helped me view the film better from an audience's standpoint. I then had to come up with solutions to problems that had emerged in previous drafts. Every draft I was able to flesh out the story more and more and now I feel extremely confident as I start writing the screenplay.
While I was working on the last couple drafts of my treatment I also got to better my understanding on the technical side of filmmaking by working on a YouTube talk show called "Fired Up Football". I was solely responsible for the entire production of the show. I photographed and edited the entire show in the span of three days every other week for a little over a month. It was incredibly challenging but it was definitely a great learning experience. My mentor Darko was kind enough to allow me to use his lavalier microphones for all of the episodes in addition to his Canon 24-105mm lens. I was abe to achieve great results with his equipment in addition to my own. The set up was pretty basic. We had an intro for every show where the two hosts would perform a little skit setting the tone for the spisode while the main portion of the show featured the two hosts in a studio setting recapping the news in the NFL from the previous week and previewing games in the upcoming week. This set-up allowed me to always use my lighting set-up and the results were great. We also shot an episode outside and that presented a challenge as well in terms of lighting as fear of over-exposure, but I prepared accordingly and that particular episode turned out to be one of our best. I have learned a lot this past year about the technical and narrative side of filmmaking but I know I still have a long way to go. I am excited to face new challenges, overcome them and continue to work hard to become a better filmmaker.