What inspired this particular story/script?
Growing up, I did a great deal of work with individuals with special needs, focusing my attention on youth outreach programs. During that time, I had the opportunity to meet countless inspiring young men and women with physical disabilities, which allowed me to gain a greater understanding of what life meant for them on a day-to-day basis.
The experience forced me to reflect on myself, contemplating how much of my identity was tied to the fact that I was a healthy, able-bodied athlete and how much of that identity would be lost if those attributes were suddenly taken from me. The thought lingered with me for years until I had no choice but to sit down and explore the idea on paper.
What led you to choose Shore Scripts for coverage?
Over the years, I’ve worked with many script coverage services and, for the most part, have not had the greatest experiences with most. Some sites do nothing more than tear apart every word in an attempt to make you feel as though the only way to improve your story is to keep giving them money. Other sites have such subjective inconsistencies that one reader will praise your story as near perfection, only to have the next tell you that it’s barely legible.
Shore Scripts was the first site I found that really tried to make my story better as opposed to throwing out criticism for criticism’s sake. The one comment I most appreciated hearing from my Shore Script reader was that, if nothing else, they “got my story.” They understood exactly what I was doing and exactly what I was going for. That deeper level of appreciation allowed the reader to tailor their comments and suggestions to my vision, instead of trying to mold my story to fit theirs.
What did you get out of your coverage? Any specific learnings?
When I received my coverage, there were a handful of notes that, from an outsider’s perspective, may have seemed small or insignificant, but truly helped to take my story to the next level. Beyond that, the praise my story received gave me the confidence to go out and begin pitching, and the high marks provided are what caught the eye of the producers, who reached out and penned a deal with me no more than a week later.
What are you working on now or next?
Production on Purgatory began on November 1st, so I am actually writing this while on set in North Wales. The entire team has been so enthusiastic about the story that they have already requested that I begin drafting a sequel.
Do you have any advice for other emerging writers?
I have spent, without exaggeration, the past ten years of my life being told “no.” Numerous people have said flat-out that I am just not a good writer. But ten thousand “no’s” eventually led me to that one “yes,” and one “yes” is all you need.
So, if this is a career you are passionate about and really wish to pursue, find a way to keep yourself motivated, move past the “no’s” and wait for that one “yes.” If making it is a one-in-a-million shot, then go out and take a million shots. In the words of the rock band, MGMT: “Yeah it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do? Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?”
For more information about Shore Scripts’ coverage service, please visit https://www.shorescripts.com/screenplay-coverage/