How My Screenwriting Process Changed From My 20s To 30s – Adam Davis

How My Screenwriting Process Changed From My 20s To 30s – Adam Davis

December 10, 2019 10 By Kailee Schamberger


Film Courage: You had written many short
screenplays before? Adam Davis, Writer/Director: Yes. Film Courage: I’m not sure how many features you’d written but was your
process the same for all of them? Adam: My process changed a bit as I was going
there was definitely a phase in my mid-20s where I brought out the cork
board and started doing like the cue cards you know on the board like all
right here’s act one here the scenes and here’s act 2 etc and I sort of fell away
from that because what I found and this is the process that I found on broken
ceiling that really worked for me was just going into a word doc and making a
very descriptive outline I think the outline for the film was about 20 pages
and I would I would write like 1 through 10 what’s happening there 11 through 20
and just break it sort of down you know because I needed to make sure that the
audience was kept on their toes throughout the entire thing so I needed
to know okay like what’s going on in this 10-minute sequence what’s going on
in the next 20 minutes how do I make that different from that how do I make
these twists like where does this come into thing like making it so that it’s
the most dramatic and enjoyable thing that it can be but I found and that’s
what I’ve used ever since it’s like just making raw almost prewriting the movie
which is interesting I’ll just you know freetype and and write everything
sometimes there’s dialogue included sometimes there’s not sometimes it’s
just descriptions but if dialogue comes out write that down it’s a good starting
point but I just go through and you know they range from 10 to 20 to sometimes 30
pages based on the project or how long it is but I really like writing out the
movie in full so I can have that word doc open as I’m writing the script and
sort of like compare and go okay this is working this is working or changing
things if if I find that something doesn’t work all of a sudden do you
write most of your projects with will yeah most of them will and I have
written how did you meet well we met at the at the end
ship at the production company that I worked for and it was through our you
know working together at the company that we forged this creative bond and
you know it was early on and we’ve just sort of continued says so when you let’s
suppose you meet up I don’t know for coffee or how you discuss ideas but how
do you know that an idea is viable that it’s actually gonna last through the
whole process hmm I think that if it excites me or excites
us that’s a good starting point is it an idea that I haven’t heard of before is
it something that perhaps is topical or perhaps is something that had been done
before but has fallen out of fashion and could use a resurgence you know like
what’s it’s thinking about like you know keeping your finger on the pulse what’s
gonna be current now but also because film takes so long to get done what’s
gonna be still relevant like three years from now and sometimes you can’t gauge
that and you can’t know that so in terms of viability for me it’s really boils
down to like what I need to say you know like what it what is current in me and
what’s interesting in that is that when I and we have followed that we come up
with things like no touching that you know back in 2016 when that came out
this was before the me to movement right but it was sort of like in that realm of
just seeing where the wind was blowing broken ceilings sort of same thing like
made that before like everybody else had in a way caught on and had become a
bigger thing so not to say that we’re you know like predicting the future but
it’s just seeing what’s going on and sort of catching those early you know
that early wind of something and then if it resonates with us going on and and
pushing it through if it can excite us and hold our attention because that’s
the thing sometimes you’ll get an idea and it’s good for the moment and then
you realize that you can’t come everything that you need to commit to it
and then it can sort of like fall away and put in the slush pile you know for a
rainy day where do you find your news like are you going you listening to NPR
where are you finding like stuff that’s topical hmm
just to sort of like open your mind and say like oh wow this is happening this
seems to be a trend okay sure yeah I’m just general like a little bit of NPR
some CNN just online blogs and news sites and stuff like that podcasts are
great you know for keeping up with that stuff The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is
wonderful too Bill Maher in terms of like politics you know like sort of
mixing the the news with like comedy and stuff I find that’s that’s helpful
because it gives you like a different perspective on it
and they’re the ones you know comedians in general that kind of like tell the
truth a bit more which i think is always good and it’s entertaining entertaining
anyway right what do you think about someone like a Lenny Bruce who was
penalized for sort of telling the truth and now we’re in a new culture where
that’s embraced but at that time you know his shows were being you know I
mean do you feel about that and at one time it was taboo to sort of speak the
truth in that sense yeah not that it’s totally embraced now right but more so
it’s okay to sort of had a snarky take on the truth
yeah where is back in the day it was far too offensive sure I think it’s good
that those sort of barriers have broken down a bit I think that people
definitely appreciate I think they need the truth because there’s a lot of
misinformation and people are being fed things you know inside their own bubble
that they believe to be true and I think that’s you know something that’s sort of
dividing us right now so it’s always good to sort of see what other people
are talking about or where they’re getting their news for example but yeah
I I think that we’re more to a place where
we can be more honest but there’s still certain things that you know as you
mentioned like it’s not fully embraced right now I think maybe we might be
backtracking a little bit into you know you can’t say certain things otherwise
the Twitter mob is going to get you in a pen you’re screwed but you know as an
artist is an interesting thing to deal with now that I’ve had to deal with it
but for the people that have I can imagine how trying that is but yeah it’s
it’s sort of a tough line to walk nowadays yeah it’s tough too because you
click on one story and now that reality is continually fed back because that
algorithm thinks oh this is what you want to see alright this is what’s in
Karen’s feed this is what’s in Adams feed so we’re gonna feed him more of
that we’re gonna feed her more of that so you’re only fed back more of your own
beliefs yeah and so it’s just interesting because it could be a
distorted reality on my part and I kept choking on things that the rest the
world doesn’t see it that way but yeah you’re right about the the mob coming
out to you you