Once upon a time, way back in those dim, early days of the 21st Century, I had an Online Workshop student named Joselito Seldera. An excellent student, a fine writer, and a pretty damn good guy, Joselito was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2003 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR contest with a tasty little WWII drama that miraculously also managed to be an eye-overflowing love story.
How good a writer is Joselito? Let me put it this way: A few years ago, he was my first choice as the writer of a film for a Chinese production company I consult with. Joselito had to pass, however. He was in L.A., working hard at learning The Business from the ground up.
And now he’s going to tell you what he’s learned…and what he’s doing with it:
6 Writer-Directors, 6 Short Films, One Girl, One Feature
by Joselito Seldera (Producer and Writer/Director, ABOUT ABIGAIL)
There comes a point in many a screenwriter’s life when writing isn’t enough – you want to see your stuff ON THE SCREEN. It’s a natural part of the creative process; you want people to SEE your vision come to life and REACT to it, to laugh, cry, love or hate it. Unfortunately for many writers trying to break into the Hollywood system, it can be a long, long time before that comes to fruition.
It’s easy to become lulled into the system, to believe there is only one route to get to where you want to be. It’s what you learn and also the reason most people come to L.A. And the system isn’t three-act structure, writing coverage, or doing coffee runs. The system is defined by one word, a word we all – writers, actors, DPs, editors, PAs, interns – yearn to hear: “yes.” It’s stifling, waiting to hear that word. And many people will never ever hear it.
I met my co-writers of ABOUT ABIGAIL at USC, a film school world renowned and also synonymous with the big Hollywood picture and system. These same people became some of my closest friends in L.A., and after finishing the MFA program, we, of course, tried to work the system. Some are progressing nicely, while for some of us it’s been much slower going. But in both cases work becomes a priority, leaving us with little motivation to think about creating anything.
Still, like that one girl you can’t quite get over, we always come back. We remember why we came to L.A., why we started writing in the first place – because we LOVE MOVIES. And that’s how ABOUT ABIGAIL came about – our love for movies inspired us to create, and we remembered we could make movies without permission, without anyone telling us “yes.”
And here we find ourselves, close to our fundraising goal through a kickstarter campaign that will propel us into the production of our first feature. We’re forever thankful to our friends and families who contributed, but are more so astounded by donors we’ve never met who give because they want to support indie film or they simply believe in the project.
And that’s really the validation that hits the heart. To know there are people out there we’ve never met willing to support movies they believe in and want to see made is what makes it all worthwhile. Independent film is alive and well people, and there’s an audience out there wanting to see what you got just as bad as you want to show them.
Please check out our Kickstarter campaign and the movie we’re inspired to make. We hope you help support us and independent film by spreading the word or by pledging a few bucks. And we hope our efforts inspire you to keep writing, to keep creating, and to go out there and make it happen on your own!
And “like us” on Facebook!
EDITED BY MUNCHMAN TO ADD: Hmm, while we’re at it, we probably should tell you what this film is about, so:
ABOUT ABIGAIL is an anthology feature film of 6 shorts by 6 different writer-directors of different points of view that explores how that one girl affects 6 different groups of men. It’s an exploration into the emotions of men behind the facade, what makes them tick, what makes them confused. They’re yearning for that one person they can spend the rest of their life with, and in some cases it’s a continuous, never-ending search.
Ahh, we feel mucho better now!