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  • Writer's picturejodi

Dark Drama

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

Writing a Feature Film is a BIG fear.

That first line was supposed to end with the word 'feat',

but I typo'd the word 'fear' in error.

But perhaps it was more of a Freudian slip

then an error....

and that is why I left it on the page instead of correcting it.

I started writing my first completed Feature Film a few years ago.

It was before I started my Full-Time Post Grad Screenwriting & Narrative Design Program.

It started as a thought,

an idea,

as most stories do.

But I felt I needed some structure.

Some guidance.

Some undivided attention.

I had read hundreds of scripts as an Actor,

memorized numerous dialogue

but I had never written one.

I enrolled in a Screenwriting Class.

I had taken various writing classes over the years,

but never one concentrated on Screenwriting.

So it was Step One,

the first class of a Certificate Screenwriting Course.

It happened to be at the same college in Toronto

that I ended up taking my Full Time Post Grad Program.

For me this course was going to consist of taking one class at a time.

My intend was to complete the certificate but on a part time basis.

The story of my Feature Film began its journey.

The First Course focused solely on the First Act of the Story.

So although I envisioned how the story was going to end,

I had to plot out and focus on ONLY the first Act.


It gave me time to really sink my teeth into how the story was to begin.

This gave my story the structure it needed.

And allowed for the undivided attention that I had been longing to give to it.

The feedback I received from various students in that course was uplifting.

To hear that my writing was "poetic'...

is a comment that I will never forget.

It let me believe that this was a story that people wanted to hear.

Perhaps, do I dare say, Needed to hear.

And I was the one to tell it.

The Second Course carried on with the Second Act.

But with a new professor,

who didn't know the First Act that we had written.

There seemed to be Pro's and Con's to this.

The Second Act is a long one.

It Hits many plot points

and is in fact quite tricky.

And potentially where you can lose your audience.

You don't need to know the First Act to structurally critique a Second Act.

But for me, from a story perspective it definitely helps.

I felt lucky to attend this class with many of the same students that I met in the first class.

This familiarity allowed for more growth with our films and with each other.

The interest from the group to learn and discover where my film was headed

in the Third and final Act was very exciting & motivating.

It was during this course that I starting putting together my portfolio and applied to the Full Time Program.

One piece of work that I included in my portfolio was the First Two Acts of my Feature Film.

My portfolio with multiple works,

my Actor background in television,

along with my previous education & resumes was enough.

I was accepted into the program.

When I started my my Full Time program

I had a clear vision of my FEATURE FILM.

But the assignments presented to us in the different courses muddied my thinking.

Differing guidance and differing recommendations


my ideas to split into various different pathways.

Was it true?

Was my Feature Film better suited as a Drama Series?

And If so,

What Was my New Feature Film?

And was this 'New' story enough to make into a FEATURE FILM?

Did I have enough passion and heart to tell it?

And even if I did have the heart & the passion,

which I knew I did,

is this the story that I want to tell?

My gut told me I didn't.

The months ticked on.

It didn't sit right with me.

I still wrote anyway.

The plot points didn't flow.

But the academic in me stuck to the assignment.

I carried on with this 'NEW' Feature Film.

While my "OLD" Feature Film,

the one that assisted with getting me accepted into this program,

sat off to the side.

But still called to me.

I questioned my intend with this new story.

I shifted back and forth with the assignment and what I knew I wanted to write.

I was confused with writing the "OLD" & the "NEW".

I tried to combine them.

It caused more confusion.

The story water got a little muddy.

My plot points bounced around.

And at times bounced right off the page.

My intents, my ideas, my purpose...


Everything was muddled.

Who I was three years ago,

as a writer & as a person,

was not who I was in that moment.

I was not the same person.

A LOT of life had happened in that short amount of time.

Who I was when I started writing this Feature Film had changed...

but it was still the story that I wanted to tell.

Except now...

I had more academic knowledge,

more self confidence


more personal belief in my gut instinct


in the story that I wanted to tell.

I sat down with myself and asked ~

"Assignment aside, recommendations aside, business strategy aside, what Feature Film do you want to write? What is THE story that YOU Really want to tell? What is THAT story about?"

SO at that point,

days before the script was due,

I basically took the last eight months of plot points, beat sheets, scenes, dialogue, script,

and numerous, numerous hours of work....

and set it aside.

To follow my gut.

My instinct.

My First Sense.

I started back at the beginning with my "OLD" Feature Film


made It New.

The story that I had worked through with numerous other writers.

The one that was my heart.

The one that my soul needed to tell.

That is the Feature Film that I completed.

I swapped out the "OLD" scripts title for the "NEW" one -

and it became what it is today.

And that is the Feature Film that I spoke of yesterday,

the script that I sent to my friend.

That is the one that I've submitted to a couple of Screenwriting Film Festivals.

That is the one that has been Selected into its first festival!

And if I dream

the biggest of dreams ~

THAT it is the film

that I hope you can all watch on a screen one day.

It is a Drama.

A somewhat Dark Drama.

Which is fitting due to the mountain of Drama that went into writing it.

And the numerous times that the task at hand did seem Dark.

But Me & this little Feature Film Script...

I think we both came out the other side,

a whole lot better than we were when we started.

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2 comentários

Tina Hardwell
Tina Hardwell
02 de jan. de 2023

I love everything about this and look forward to watching your Dark Drama!

02 de jan. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you for your support Tina!

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