How a Short Film becomes a Feature
Dave: With the essentials of the short film in the can, Adam and I were able to relax and get ready for the shooting of my short film, The Souvenir. But before we started in on that, we were out for another morning walk and I posed the question, “With Bangamahbamup, what would happen next?”
We had a laugh and started riffing on what would be the next seven minutes of film. And that lead us to the next seven minutes. By the end of our walk, we had laid out the entire feature film based on our short film. When we got back to Adam’s place, i grabbed my iPad and wrote down everything I could remember we talked about. Then we had breakfast and started shooting my short film. As I was heading into the airport, Adam said to me, “I’m expecting a finished treatment by the time you land, mate.”
My flight was delayed leaving so, hungover and with coffee in hand, I started working on the treatment for a feature based on the short film. Turning that pile of notes into a logical progression of scenes, with all the plot twists and situations we’d come up with. Once on the flight I continued working on the story, fleshing it out, both before I crashed for some sleep and after I woke up. It was the best and most efficient writing I’ve ever done.
By the time I landed in Vancouver and was waiting for my flight to Victoria, BC, I was able to upload to Adam my first draft of the treatment for the feature film for Bangamahbamup.
With the treatment all done, I promptly forgot all about it. I had a short film to finish by the end of the summer and lots of work and travel in between.
Then I got all motivated and started writing a novel mid-summer 2015. The next sixteen weeks were spent writing every day until the start of October. Not wanting to stop that forward momentum, I opened up the treatment I had written and started writing my first screenplay in probably a decade. [I think mymobster.com was the last one I wrote]
Luckily, I was working with characters I knew really well, and in only 23 days, I had the first draft of the full screenplay. It really was a joy to write, and I found myself laughing out loud at the situations and dialogue coming out of the characters. Some of the funnest writing I’ve done. And so much faster than a 90,000 word novel!
Next up for me is to write the first draft of a new novel – the sequel to 12 Cups of Coffee – and after that, I’ll dive back into Bangamahbamup for a second draft. But, I’ve got to say, the first draft is really good.
Interested in reading it? Let us know here.