I recently completed an eight week screenwriting class at our local arts center. I was super intimidated as I have never embarked on such a journey - ever! I actually wanted to take a different creative writing class but of course it did not work with my personal schedule so I signed up for the only one that worked. Throughout this whole experience I was challenged to think differently. I had to write a synopsis for my original screenplay, build character descriptions, and learn formatting - oh, the formatting.
Here’s the deal, once I started, I could not stop. My creative juices were flowing like lava. I was in the writing zone, my characters were coming to life, and I LOVED every stinkin’ minute! The feedback I received was so positive and constructive that it built my confidence and kept the fire alive to continue working, meeting my writing goals for the following week.
The biggest challenge I faced was for a group project. My classmates and I, ten of us total, were tasked to create a choose your adventure screenplay. I had five pages to write the ending to a story, adding on to the work of two of my classmates - AMAZING! It was such a blast and I felt alive! I felt like what I was doing was so different and it was ALL mine! The collaboration, the creativity, and the innovation was electrifying! The whole experience was so good for my soul.
Just imagine the experiences we can be a part of as educators. The sky's the limit when it comes to opportunities for our students to be creative, innovative learners. And the plus side is that we can still experience it LONG after we leave the classroom!
Here is an excerpt from my original screenplay group project Valentine’s Day:
INT. ABANDONED RESTAURANT - DAY
Restaurant empty, dirty except for a few old tables and chairs. Light seeps in through boarded windows. Joey and Cece sit in wooden folding chairs, hands bound with old cloth napkins.
Camera and guns sit on a table in front of them. Chris points his gun back and forth at Joey and Cece as he talks.
Chris: Really thought you two were clever, huh? Were you working together? I knew you had your secrets, Joe, but Cece...that's a surprise.
JOEY: I've know this was your shtick for a while now.
CECE: The surprise is that you thought you were clever. I knew what you were doing before you even saw me coming.
Chris paces between the two of them. Ruffles his hair. Points his gun at them both. Cece works on loosening her hands as Chris monologues.
CHRIS: You both have some nerve. You don't even know what Sebastian is capable of. You're just another bug to squash on his way to greatness.
An arrogant SEBASTIAN enters from the back room in an almost too-tight suit and tie. Unfortunate combover indicates his desire to stay young. He is the big boss, the only boss.
SEBASTIAN: I see Christopher that you have yet again created a mess I have to clean up. Julie and Pete...two of my most reliable allies. All you had to do was to make the deal with Russia... What a mess.
CHRIS: I am dealing with this. I told you the meeting with the Russians was a go tonight. I've got this.
(Thanks for reading my creation!)
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native