We’re officially four days into Kaylord Hill’s 31-day countdown to write a feature-length screenplay. As the winner of SoCreate’s Screenwriter Stimulus, Kaylord must write 20-30 pages per week every week in December to receive his $4,000 cash prize. So, I was surprised to learn he hasn’t written a single page yet …
But it’s for a good reason.
This week, Kaylord gives us a sneak peek into his screenwriting process and reveals his screenplay’s logline and title! That’s progress.
Will he make his first deadline, approaching this Monday, December 7? We’ll know in three days!
Watch Kaylord’s latest update below.
"Hey guys, how are y’all? It’s Kaylord Hill. I’m back again via SoCreate and the Screenwriter Stimulus. Glad to be back; hope everyone is doing well, having a great week, especially for us writers out there pounding the pages. First off, before we get started, I’m wearing a very special hat today. I’ve got to wish a happy Founder’s Day to the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity incorporated. One hundred and fourteen years in the game, yes we are! December 4 is also my anniversary date, so I’ve had the privilege of being part of the illustrious fraternity for ten great years. I met some fantastic men and mentors and brothers that I’ll always have for life. They’ve greatly supported me throughout this journey, especially. So, happy Founder’s Day to the brothers at Alpha Phi Alpha incorporated. I wanted to offer the one time (blows whistle)! Okay, okay, I’m not going to do it anymore. I promise.
Alright, now to the topic at hand. How are the pages going? Well, I’m going to be honest with you guys. I haven’t written too many pages. I’ve really, really focused on the outlining process. I’ll tell you why. In film school, I really struggled. I think I alluded to this in the last video. Really struggled in film school with my first feature film – my first feature script, at least – really delivering pages week to week. It wasn’t just that I didn’t have a “process,” I didn’t have any structure, and that wasn’t on the professor. It was really on me. I didn’t have a process or a structure by which I could count on, here are the pages I am going to have based on this structure or this outline that I’m sort of navigating by.
So, I decided to give outlines the benefit of the doubt and really give it my all. In fact, one of my closest friends to me said to me this morning, he’s like, “Kaylord, I know how you are. You’re meticulous, and you want to make this first draft the best draft ever. But brother, you’ve got to deliver pages.” So, I heeded his advice, and tonight and tomorrow, I will really start pounding the pages, or as I like to say, #PagesGoingDown.
So, the logline of this particular story, if you have been wondering, you know I’ve been working on a romantic comedy, so it is this: A divorced restaurateur and an unemployed therapist uncannily meet and embark on a journey to flip the 7 Stages of Grief on its head, and just when finding inner peace is imminent, love gets in the way.
And the title of this story is – much credit to my friend Anna Rae – the title of this, and I came up with this with her, and the title of it is … “Good Mourning.” What do you think? Okay. “Good Mourning.” “Good Mourning” because the characters that are going on this journey are trying to find the good way to mourn. They’re trying to find the most adrenaline-filled way to mourn. They’re trying to find the fun way. They’re trying to find ways in which to keep their mind off of the 7 Stages of Grief. And so I figured with a divorced restaurateur and an unemployed therapist, there’d be a lot of comedic licenses or a lot of comedic opportunity in this, so that’s what I decided. And you guys, send me a comment, DM, whatever you want to do, and let me know what you feel about it.
A couple of things I’ve learned along the way this week that sometimes you’ve just got to go through. Number one, I’d say, don’t start on page 1. Start where the inspiration comes from. Right? And what that means is, sometimes we sort of get sequestered in this idea that I’ve got to start on page 1, I’ve got to figure out how it starts, the middle, and the end. And sometimes, that doesn’t make any sense. Sometimes you have to start where inspiration makes sense. Right? That’s where you have to start. So, I think that is really key and really pivotal.
The second thing is, one of my closest friends told me today, he said, “Kaylord, give yourself permission to have a bad first draft. Give yourself permission to have a messy first draft.” So, to that, I’d say, give yourself permission to have a bad first draft. But, write the first draft as fast as you can so you can go back and fix it.
So, my goal is not only to deliver a script to SoCreate by the end of the month, but my goal is to also get the script done in a quick amount of time, so I can make some changes to it.
The third thing, I’d say, always keep the personal connection. Always know why you’re in the script. There’s a long road to 90 and 120 pages, and there are going to be some days you’re feeling it, and there are going to be some days you’re not feeling it, right? So, I would say always understand your personal connection. And, I would argue that personal connection is always a great place to start with because you understand your investment right off the bat. Right? And this is the thing that’s going to keep you motivated day in and day out. This is why this story is important.
If you think about all the great success stories: “Crazy Rich Asians.” “Crazy Rich Asians” just popped in my head. If you think about the director who directed “Crazy Rich Asians,” you go back and read the story, he presented an amazing, fantastic look book to the studio that ended up producing it, distributing it, and it was because of that look book that he put together that he ended up directing it. So, personal connection is always key.
Guys, thank y’all so much. Now, pages going down. See y’all soon."