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Week 10 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Light at the End of the Tunnel

Well, screenwriters, Zachary Rowell has a big announcement this week! In case you’ve just started in on these weekly updates, here’s a quick recap: Zachary won SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes, which kicked off three months of paid time off to write a feature-length screenplay. To receive his cash, he must turn in 30 pages to us every 30 days as proof that he’s putting in the work. At the end of the 90 days, you, too, will get to read his screenplay!

Each week, he’s updating us on his progress via vlog. So far, he’s talked challenges, successes, title ideas, and even wrote a scene live for you to watch. It’s been arduous, but Zachary says the toughest part of the process starts this week. Find out what he plans to do with the three weeks he has left in his 90-Day Screenplay Challenge by watching his latest check-in!

Want to catch up on his previous vlogs? You can find the entire playlist on our YouTube Channel, or join our Facebook Group – Screenwriting for Everyone, to get in on the conversation.

“Hello! And welcome back to another weekly vlog. I got a new phone, so if the quality is better, the sound might be better, I don’t know. We’ll see. I keep wanting to look in this direction because I’m using my front-facing camera now, which is something I couldn’t do on my previous phone. It was all out of whack and blurry. So, I keep wanting to look over here, but it’s over here. I’m staring at you now. I think. We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.

So, yeah, three more weeks, and I just completed the first draft of the script over the weekend. It’s at 93 pages right now, so, yeah, at three weeks, it’s going to be tough. I wanted to get the draft completed last week, then maybe I’d have like a month, three weeks and a half. But, I got a call from back home in Texas, and my mom was being rushed to the hospital, her heart was going really fast, and it was just out of rhythm. And the doctor was like, you need to go to the hospital, so they took her to the hospital, and it turns out it was AFib [Atrial Fibrillation]. I think they think it was sparked, triggered by some medication she was taking. But she’s okay now. Everything is good. She’s back home. But, yeah, it was a little worrisome last week for a few days and writing was kind of the last thing on my mind. But I hit it hard this past weekend and I got the draft done, so now I have three full weeks to work on the rewrite.

What will happen is I will read through the script. That is something I will do. I will do that today. I’ll read through the script, today when I’m filming this, which is Monday. That’s a secret, behind the scenes. Yeah, so, I’ll read through it, and as I’m reading through it, I’ll jot down things that need to be changed. I already know of a few things that I need to add. And I know of a few things that I need to kind of upgrade and focus more on. There are some things… everything has to pay off in the end. It’s all about the ending, especially with this script. There’s a lot of buildup, and I just have to make sure I’m setting everything up correctly. So that’s what I’m mainly going to focus on. Everything has to make sense. You’ve got to understand everyone’s actions and why they’re doing it. Why they think this, and why they are suspicious of this person, and a lot of little twists and turns, and so it will be interesting. Obviously, there are typos I need to fix, and um, I think I just had a verbal typo there.  

Yeah, so, it will be interesting. This is when the real work begins, as they say. I’m very thankful that I was able to finish three weeks before the deadline, because if I just had to like go put out this first draft, eh. That would… eh, there we go, staring at the camera now. Was I? I don’t know. This is weird! I don’t even know what I was talking about now. So maybe the front-facing camera is not a good thing because now I’m just distracted by everything happening. Okay. Yep.

So, rewriting begins. And, you know, one thing I like to say is, there are no cuts here. You see a lot of YouTube videos. Especially vlogs, and it’s like blip, blip, blip. They say like three words, and it’s a cut and they say four words. And it’s like they’re not even talking really, it’s like little two words. I don’t know how they do it. Seems like a lot of work. It doesn’t seem genuine. This is me. This is like, if you were at a coffee shop with me, this is what you would experience. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. But, yeah.

Anyway, wish me luck on the rewriting process, and now in just three weeks, you will be reading the script if you want to, obviously. And I hope to hear feedback from everyone. How did you like it? What was working, what didn’t work? But especially, what did work.

Ok, so, see you next week. Bye.” 

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