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You know, one of the greatest joys I have in working in this industry is collaborating with creative people. I get really excited when ideas from one person become greater ideas because of other people‘s input. Going into this project, I had no idea what it was going to be like working with Lacey. I didn’t know whether I was going to have to carry the heavy load, or whether she would be controlling the whole situation (since this is her story), and I didn’t know how much input, if any, Josh would have. But let me tell you, this has been an absolute joy to work with this couple. And I know I've said this before, but this has been a true collaborative effort. Everybody has something to bring to the table and I have really enjoyed this journey so far.

Schedules were once again very tight this week but we were all able to get together and had what I would call a very, very productive meeting. A lot of creative ideas that were a little up in the air became defined. We figured that some other scenes needed a rewrite. And even thought to add yet another scene that was pretty instrumental to the story. So overall, very good meeting.

I’m up to about page 65 in the script which might not sound like it was as productive as the first week, however I had to go back and re-write a few scenes based on our discussions at our last meeting. But I still think for we are in really good shape for where I anticipated we should be by now. We have one little problem that’s actually a good thing. We have way too much story to fit into a feature length film. I would much rather have that issue than not enough story.

A lot of times as you are writing a script, you need to pay attention to a balance of emotions and moods that the scenes take on and what the viewing audience experiences. This often leads to trying to create scenes to break up moods that carry on for too long in the film. However, so far there is a great mix and a great balance with this story as it is. As it stands right now, I’m not seeing anywhere that we need to shift things around so that we’re not stuck in a pattern of emotions that are just lingering too long. And that again is a good thing.

There are going to be some challenges on executing this script as it is written when it comes time for production. However, that’s very typical of any script. You kind of just have to write the best story you can and then deal with the logistics afterwards. But if there are no challenges going from script to screen then you probably didn’t make the story interesting enough or you might not have put enough thought into the journey of the main characters through the movie. So I'm not worried about this.

So as you can see, things are going great and I can’t wait to see what this next week brings.

Until next time…

Great progress was made on the script writing this first week. Based on the notes that were taken while putting the story together, I'm estimating that I should be able to write between 130-150 pages initially. But this is way too long. On average, 1 page of script equals about 1 minute of dialogue/action on the screen. And for a movie such as this, a good target would be to come in around 1 Hour and 50 minutes in final, edited length. So that's about 110-115 pages. So even when the first draft is done, you can see that there is a lot of content that will have to be trimmed to get to that target time. But when you set out to write a first draft, you're not too worried about how many pages you will initially write, unless you are falling very short of your mark. Then you need to get creative to create extra content to get you to the mark. Don't think that will be an issue here.

The goal was to get this first draft done by the end of August, which was seven weeks of writing. That averages about 22 pages per week. My aggressive goal was to do between 25-30 per week. That's in case some weeks were lighter than others. Well, this first week I was able to crank out 40 pages! The scenes were really flowing together, and I was really pleased with the progress. Although I know not everything I'm writing is going to be in the final script, I think there is a lot of great stuff here that will remain. But the main goal of this task is to put the whole story that we just created into a script that makes sense from a movie perspective (which is very different than writing a book).

This doesn't mean that every week will have the same success. I pray that it does. But it does make me very optimistic about getting this done on time, and perhaps a little earlier than anticipated. Which would be great because then we can get into rewrites a lot earlier too.

So that's about all for this week. Just please keep praying that the visions for this story keep coming to me and that I'm able to capture it just right and do it great justice. I appreciate all of the wonderful messages that have been sent my way in regards to this movie, and I especially appreciate the prayers you have been offering up. Don't stop!! :)

Until next week...

Well, this past week was indeed a mile marker. Lacey, Josh and I have been working for 4 weeks on putting the story together and that phase is now complete. We even had some great discussions on where to start this story (from a feature film standpoint). You might think, "Well, why not start from the beginning?" That would seem like a logical choice. But what beginning? Ah, you see... I can easily get into talking more deeply about our ideas for the story, and believe me, I would love to talk about them. But if you knew everything in advance, where would the anticipation be? P.T. Barnum once said, "Always leave them wanting more." So if you read Lacey's book "The Reason: How I Discovered A Life Worth Living", then we can say that this movie will deliver that "more". How's that? But the beginning we have all agreed on is a great starting point and so far it feels like the right choice.

This past week saw us meeting via FaceTime again due scheduling conflicts. However, much progress was made. In fact, the script writing process has already started. So this is an exciting time indeed. Another good reason to not give away any secrets about the story is that, the script will go through many revisions even once it's done. Some tough decisions will have to be made to trim the script down to fit a feature film length story. And anything that is written now could easily get changed later on or even cut.

Many of you follow along with this production blog to get to know some of the inside scoop on the process of making a film. And we've had discussions about a few of the animated projects along the way. The process for writing live-action is pretty much the same as writing for animation. But I'm finding there is a clear difference when writing a biopic story. I've learned so much about the real events and the real people that when I go to write the script, I'm living in the moment. And this story is intense. It's actually pretty mentally draining to write because it's like I'm experiencing the events along with Lacey's family. I know it was much different in person (I'm not trying to equate the two), but having to write the events and dialogue makes me feel their emotions. And the way God reveals each scene to me, I can vividly see the action - and that, at times, can be exhausting. But writing this stuff is so satisfying that it's worth the effort.

Michael, Josh and Lacey - FaceTime - July 11 2019
Lacey, Josh & Michael - FaceTime

I'm in a real good writing zone right now so I hope to share great progress stories with you over the next few weeks. Please keep praying for us as this is a crucial time and it's so important to me that God continues to show me what each scene looks like and what the action and dialogue is. This is His movie as He is the one who gave this story to Lacey with her life. We just need to honor it and do it justice in hopes to inspire other people who will get to experience her beautiful transformation.

Until next time...


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