Draft Down


Look above.  That’s exactly how I feel.  I’ve finally completed another draft of TEZ, which was about two and a half years in the making.  That sounds outlandish.  That sounds like I haven’t put any writing work in.  Some of that can be held as valid but for justified reasons…for the most part.  I had taken a hiatus to work on another script.  I went to graduate school to study drama.  I’ve traveled different countries.  I flirted with LA for a month.  I suffered a small bout of undiagnosed depression in NYC.  I’ve been occupied.  But now I have put one more draft to rest.  I have my handpicked eyes giving it a look over.  I stand to receive my notes and now I’m on to the next.

What is the next, you ask?  Interesting question.  I can honestly say that I don’t entirely know everything that comes next.  My first priority is the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab.  The application opened this past weekend and closes in early May.  It’s not a convoluted application but it does take some creative thought as to become a desirable applicant.  There’s Tribeca All Access in September.  That application will be a beast, complete with realized budget and execution plan.  That’s something on my plate for the summer.  I have a product now that could land me into some screenwriting colonies if good enough.  Screenplay competitions that could possibly yield a dollar or two.  I have some good prospects for where to send it.  What about the next step for getting the story off of the page?  Great question.  I haven’t found the answer for that one either.  Well, somewhat but not exactly.  I understand that the best way to produce a film is to look yourself in the mirror late one night with a glass of whiskey in hand and tell yourself that you have to and you will make the movie.  Then pre-pro starts the following morning.  Or in many cases, the following Monday.  Outside of that, I need a team to put this thing together.  I need a producer and I need an actual budget.  As of current, I don’t actually even have a budget to get me through a good day at the grocery store.  Though that’s only a small hurdle.  I have this intimate story on hand about a Black family in the South.  The themes revolve around religion, lost time and death.  I think it’s a beautiful story.  An investor’s most pressing question will surely be “How in the Hell do you plan to make my money back?”  To which I shall answer with shrugged shoulders or an overconfident acclaim that Black people will support it.  I wish I could say all people will support it.  Maybe I’ll just have to direct the living Hell out of it to make it a Sundance darling, then maybe, just maybe more than Black people will support it.  Anyhoo, I need money!!!

Also, there’s the opportunity the conceive and beat out another script for a different story entirely.  Then I’ll have two scripts on my hand, which isn’t a bad idea.  I have the time and the opportunity.  I have been toying with a Thriller idea, which would also take a small scale but not ultra-small scale budget to produce.  I do have an ultra-small scale idea that I am looking to write.  So here’s the game plan:  I could write the Thriller as a business move and keep that under my armpit for the moments when some slick haired executive asks me if I have something else, or I could write the intimate story as a project to whip into production and beat out.  That would be the calling card.  There’s the “What else do you have,” or “The calling card.”  Calling card does sound lovely, doesn’t it?  Calling card is also small and still takes the hustle of getting someone to invest $50K.  The thriller would be interest bait.  Maybe even a spec sell.  I wouldn’t necessarily be sold on directing it if someone wanted the project and not me.  It’s not really my Rocky or anything but I think it’s an interesting and timely concept.  I won’t go into it here on the blog but this is something that’s been brewing in my mind through the second half of 2014.  Let’s just say that the idea has been inspired by recent events of police brutality.  I guess this is just me rambling off my thoughts at the moment because I am so happy to have finished a draft of TEZ and to take a much needed break from a story as personal to me as that one was. Cheers to that.



  1. chileverdeatx · March 17, 2015

    Wow! So many wonderful things to have done and to look forward to! 🙂 Sending lots of light and love as you take on the next steps in your work!

    • dconley · March 21, 2015

      Thank you so much @chileverdeatx

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