Sunday, January 6, 2008

So -- they cashed my check.

Kairos cashed my contest entrance fee check. It cleared on January 4th. Why such a long delay? Who knows. But at this point I will assume the script has been read.

Now I am TOLD that Kairos gives feedback sheets. So I am counting on a feedback sheet of some kind here and will be sorely disappointed if I get none. I did meet a woman on a screenwriters message board who said she got no feedback last year and was so disappointed that she posted on a message forum about her disappointment, and then her post was brought to the attentions of the head of the Kairos contest, and he sent her an apologetic e-mail and offered to let her enter Kairos the following year for free. So yeah, I am counitng on some feedback here.

I'm kinda thinking I won't win for the follwing reasons (in no particular order):

1) I did the huge no-no of a voice-over narrator.
2) I discovered TWO typos after submitting (one on page 13, another on page 39).
3) I mistakenly assumed Act 1 ended on Page 27 (which is acceptable because Act 1 must end BEFORE Page 30), but then a pro reader that I consulted said to me "No, you made the rookie mistake of having Act 1 end on Page 40." At first I thought he was wrong, but the he demonstraed the plot element that marked the true end of Act 1, and then I knew he was right. And so my entire Act 1 is 10 pages too long.
4) The entire script is 128 pages ... and (eeh gads!) it's a comedy! That's 8 pages too long for industry tolerances (but not too long for the contest) which means this script had BETTER justify the page-length. If it was an epic saga like "Lord of the Rings" or "Narnia," then 128 pages would be just fine. But comedies are more typically supposed to be in the 90-110 page range (it's hard to make people laugh much longer than 90 minutes). It's rare that a comedy runs over 2 hours-- maybe "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" is an exception, but that movie was epic in and of itself. And then "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming." Mine certainly has a cast of thousands (like those two other films did) and yet I can't rely on succesful exceptions from 40 years ago to salvage my script-length here in the New Millenium. So the lentgh is a strike against me for sure.
5) I suspect the contest is more skewed toward drama than comedy, so I have a black sheep genre here.
6) My ending is contingent upon an actual sermon being preached in an actual church. THAT ending scene with the sermon could be the death knell of the whole script.

Meanwhile, I now regret some of the stuff I pulled OUT of the script, specifically the two lines spoken by Doctor Vincete. BOTH of those lines by him that I killed were TOTALLY in line with what the John Templeton Foundation is all about. Had I kept those lines, they might have tipped the scales in my favor. The first line I killed was when Doctor Vincente was explaining to Galvin about why it is that Christians treasure their Bibles so deeply, and he expounded to Galvin about his own relationship with his own personal Bible.

This notation I made while getting
ready to propose to my wife. This
rather lengthy comment I made when
my son was born. This on the eve of
my eldest daughter's wedding. And
this when my father died. A Bible
is a chronicle of a person's entire
life filtered through the lens of
their spirituality. To lose all this
would be devastating to me. This is
a serious moment of trauma for them.

How long have you owned that Bible?

This one almost five years now.

Then how could you have --

-- Bibles wear out very quickly,
especially when read every day. So
what some people do (myself included)
is buy a new one, then spend several
weeks (or months) hand-copying all
prior notations out of the old Bible
into the new. An admittedly sizeable
chore, but I think it's worth it.
Depending upon how hard a person tends
to be on their Bibles, most laymen go
through half a dozen Bibles over the
course of a lifetime. Clergy professionals
easily go through twice that many. I
am 59 years old, I've been a clergy
professional nearly forty years, and
this is my ninth Bible. I anticipate
that, should I live a normal life span
I will probably purchase and re-notate
two additional Bibles before my time on
this Earth is done.

The second line I killed was when Doctor Vincente was explaining to Doctor Holstein about his own desire to study EVERYTHING there is to study because God made EVERYTHING, and therefore EVERYTHING is all God's domain and worthy of study.

Now that's a very good question. How
would you even know to ask that? I
thought you were just a preacher.

(high-brow indignation)
"Just a preacher?" While I am sure you
did not intend to insult the millions
of men and women currently employed in
that noble profession, I am a professor
of theology.

So you study God then right?

Yes. And since God made everything, I
have therefore taken it upon myself to
study ………………… everything.


(still indignant)
Everything. The work of his hands.

And so you study electromagnetism?

Yes. And everything else as well: biology,
astronomy, geology, physics, psychology,
mathematics, chemistry,. etc, etc, ad
infinitum. It's all his domain, so I study
as much of it as I can with what little
time he has given me. And it is my unending
hope that when I die and go to join him,
that's when the REAL learning shall begin,
learning scheduled to last for all eternity.
For now, I merely intend to spend the
remainder of my Earthly days getting a
meager "jump start" on my first semester
with him.

BOTH of those lines by him are TOTALLY what the John Templeton Foundation is all about --those people are HUGE into trying to bridge a diplomatic realtionship between faith and science. And the character of Doctor Vincente is a great fictional ambassdor between those two worlds. And I killed those two science-faith lines for the sake of shortening the script. Oh well.

I could name other stuff I should have kept in, but I'll stop here.

Will I make semi-finals? They will announce that list in anothe two weeks. I will let you know.

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