From Short Story to Screenplay

from short story to screenplay
from short story to screenplay
Pam, Mark, and the Screenplay

I got an email from one of my students last week. A short story she brought to class earlier this year is now a screenplay. Not only that, it is going to become a film. There’s a director, a cast, props, probably even coffee and doughnuts.

A little backstory, though, to explain how Pam went from short story to screenplay.

Last year Pam brought to class a short story about a suicidal man named Joe and the woman, Zee, that he meets the night he tries to kill himself. To call Zee a free spirit is an understatement. The story and the characters were intriguing and led to a good discussion in class.

Pam then brought a different short story back to class this year—still about suicidal Joe and zany Zee, but they meet under completely different circumstances. That is, at a Suicide Anonymous meeting. This story was more polished, with a strong set of minor characters that added color and depth and were a good backdrop to Joe’s and Zee’s stories. After we were done discussing the story, Pam explained that she and a filmmaker friend of hers, Mark Battle, had been working on these characters and the story idea together. She was starting with the short story format, since that was what she knew, and together they’d go from short story to screenplay.

And now that has happened. Mark and Pam are coauthors of the screenplay and are indeed making a short movie of it. Joe and Zee and the other characters from Suicide Anonymous have been cast, and as Pam said to me, “I can’t wait to meet Joe and Zee in person!”

I am delighted for Pam and enormously pleased that one of my students is having such a success and an adventure, and is having so much fun.

Now my pitch for Pam. You can to their fundraising site here and chip in to help make Joe and Zee’s story step off the page.

And then go see the film!

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1 thought on “From Short Story to Screenplay”

  1. A great reminder that genera are not exclusive. I had one of my newspaper columns (The Grazer) become a hand-made book that sold for $40 and the few that are left go for $70, From there it morphed into part of a stage monologue by an Equity actor.. And my new great grandaughter-in-law loves the philosophy. You just never know… Martha

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In which I blog about the days I write and the days I don’t write; about teaching about writing; about reading (which is never enough); and occasionally about music, because sometimes a three-minute song can tell as good a story as a novel.

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