It’s been a weird few weeks. I was doing well with posting and such on here… and then a lot happened, including an injury that makes prolonged computer use fairly painful. Seeing as how I basically have to just suck it up for 8 hours a day for work, I’ve been taking it easy in my spare time… with one exception.
I made it through to Round 2 of the NYCMidnight Short Screenplay competition.
This is huge… HUGE… Two Percent was the first screenplay I’ve ever attempted to write. I’m glad I had 8 days to figure it out, and that my prompt lent itself to a lot of creative spouting, rather than research-intensive exposition. I had to learn the ropes for style, format, etc…. that was enough to keep the entirety of that 8-day stretch occupied.
Well, when I opened up the results and learned I placed 5th (out of roughly 40), and that I was moving on, I was elated… yet terrified. I mean, Round 2 is only 72 hours long. I’m still shaky with this format… what if I get something like Historical Fiction?
So of course, the luck of the draw gave me…. Historical Fiction.
Specifically “Historical Fiction / Fear of Heights / A Dictator.”
I had an idea almost instantly, though it was very nebulous… I decided I was going to try to attempt to personalize a dictatorship by living through the fear and frustration of that dictator’s child.
Enter Svetlana Stalina… Josef Stalin’s only daughter.
Oh yes, I went there.
For the last 72 hours, I’ve been living and breathing inside the terrifying and confounding depths of the Stalin family home, painting a picture in words of what it was like to love Josef Stalin as a father, yet be utterly mortified by and fearful of his tyranny.
Oh, and I had to work in the “fear of heights” angle. I took some liberties with a play on words there. I just hope it works with the judges. And even if it didn’t… I’ll be forever grateful for the chance to explore the complex world of a young daughter growing up inside Stalin’s Kremlin.
Seriously, how often do such opportunities arise?
Anyway… once I get the go-ahead, the screenplay will be posted here for your reading pleasure.
Until then, here’s the customary teaser:
Josef Stalin, the father of the Soviet Union, rose to terrifying heights of power in his bloody pursuit of the Communist Revolution. Yet none felt the hammer of his dictatorial fist as firmly as I, Svetlana, his only daughter.