In 2009, I took a screenwriting class at Saddleback College, and it was a great experience – learning life lessons and pushing my own boundaries. One of our projects was to write a short movie and pitch it to the film students, who would then choose one of our stories to produce for their own assignment. I took it as a personal challenge, in light of my perfectionist ways, to write something that I really liked but could then give up for someone else to create.
What came out was The Final Human, a Twilight Zone-esque story about a plague that’s wiped out the world, a woman surviving in the wild with her dying android companion, and, ultimately, the ability to say goodbye. It’s a sad little story, but I cared about it (it can still make me teary) and I pitched it away to the film group. One of the directors loved it, but asked me if I could trim 2 pages off of it. I’d already done the best I could to pare down the version I turned in (and even then, I was past the original limit), so I told him I couldn’t. I was content with the director changing things as they needed, but I really couldn’t bring myself to cut anything – not as an act of stubborn perfectionism, but because it was all just really integrated without any filler. Basically, if I’d thought it could’ve been shorter, it would’ve been already ;). So, after a few emails back and forth, they passed on my script. I contemplated making it myself, but my heart just wasn’t in it enough back then, and it sat dormant for years.
Until last month.
My friend, good ol’ Korkie Bullard, was looking for a project to pitch for her Film 2 class at Saddleback, and came to me about it. I offered her The Final Human, since it was written to be a simple film student production, and it was eventually chosen to be her group’s project. Since she brought in the screenplay, KB’s in the executive producer’s chair this time around, which means she’s in charge of rustling up production money. Saddleback provides the students with their equipment, but everything else comes out of their own pockets, so Korkie and her crew have set up an Indiegogo.com page for taking donations. Even if you can’t spare any money, or you just don’t want to, pass the link around to someone who might.. every little bit helps these students out. Plus, I think they have some pretty good source material ( 😉 ), so you could be helping to finance something really special.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this story of mine come to fruition, especially since it’s for the same assignment it was created for, and I’ll definitely post here when it’s done – for better or worse :). The screenplay has been altered, but I’m okay with that.. since that was the whole point of my personal challenge all those years ago. One of the changes I know of could be interesting, one of the changes is an effort to shorten the run-time (but it’s a very “Mark” detail and I’m sad to see it go), and when the director talks about the plague being government-created in the plea-for-funding video on their donation page, that’s an idea that is NOwhere in my version, so I’m genuinely curious and excited to see how it all turns out and what my story has become. Even if I hate the end result, I’m proud of KB for really getting into her pursuit of the production field (in this, and other ways), so I’m glad to have had a hand in helping.
So, go.. check it all out, and at the very least, wish this group of students luck on their first big endeavor!