For some time now, I have had a hankering to attempt to write a screenplay but, after research, I thought the chore of getting the script format right was going to be too time consuming and a hassle. But further recent research has introduced me to brilliant software, and even better, it is free.
In the past, I have had a go but I got fed up. The software I am using is called CeltX and after a couple of clicks as I type, everything - character names, dialogue, action instructions, etc - drops into place on the page.
It looks great and, well, professional, as indeed it should once I get to the pitching stage.
The screenplay is an adaptation of a radio script I wrote called Shaking Hands, an imagined conversation with my father, based on some true background information but fictionalised for drama purposes.
Some will know the broad story. In 1960, he left our Belfast home, his wife and seven young children and pretty much vanished. The next we heard about him was when we were told he had died in Clapham, London at 57 in 1982. The mystery of 22 missing years intrigues me.
Obviously, he is gone but I allowed my imagination to consider the kind of conversation I might have had with him to unravel his disappearance - how he would react, how I would react. Would there be a happy ending with hugs or what? Would we like each other, etc?
Much of the dialogue is written and as I type this post, I have completed 50 pages. The accepted target for a film screenplay is 80 to 100 or so pages, so I am well on the way, and learning as I go.
I update the blog if I think there are any interesting developments.