THE OTHER 9,999 MILES!

pexels-photo-415068.jpeg I knew at a very early age that I was born to be a writer. The English language fascinated me. I was a poet in elementary school to the point other students would get mad at me and the teacher would be stunned. I understood all kinds of different types of writing. I knew how rythem worked along side of the flow of a poem and how to use the right words. So, I am not surprised that I grew up and became a writer. It is the part about being a screenplay writer that threw me. Writing a screenplay with all of its in’s and out’s, up’s and down’s, ha! This is a craft and a skill that must be learned step by step. The story part was natural. It was as easy as breathing. I didn’t have to write the story the way I would wash dishes or clean the floor. It was never a chore. What became a chore was the fact that screenplay’s are insanely structured. They require three parts and those parts each have their own specific purpose.  Pacing…what the heck is that? I didn’t know what it was until long after the script was written. It relates to the timing of the plot elements and pace of character development. Huh? Yeah that’s what I said too! These elements are literally like a PHD college level class. If you miss something, the script could be unbalanced and I am a balance FREAK. Having OCD does or doesn’t help. But nonetheless, I must have proper alignment. Which leads me to Character Development. My characters are distinct. They are unique and have their own powerful purpose. Summer Ray’s personality starts out with her wanting to be on the US Figure Skating Olympic team and believing she can conquer the world, to her being crushed and greatly saddened by disabilities she sustained in a tragic car accident. Her personality is altered and it is clearly defined within the boundaries of the storylines. This vibrant young woman who has goals of greatness, finds herself beaten down by her own inability to accept her new self. The other characters, I made sure that each one was life like, even the fictional ones. Then there is the protagonist vs. the antagonist. Wow! No worries there…hmm! They must be in direct opposition of each other and have irony in there somewhere. They must have certain goals that are opposite. The dialogue has to be crisp, clear, concise and each character needs to be clearly voiced. In other words, they must have a natural flow to the way they speak. Once you are sitting in the audience, I can’t stop the film and say what I just said…”In other words!” No! The words I use have to be effective. They have to reveal the characters and move the story forward. It has to build to the conflict and irony. There has to be a point where the plot begins to thicken. Yet, at the same time begins to show the underlying truth and theme of the story. It’s the foundation or the bottom line, “What is the story about?” And, “Why is this here?” “What is it’s purpose?” “Does it have a specific goal or message?” “Is the reader or viewer supposed to feel a certain way,  just be entertained, or both?” Oh let’s not forget the part about, “Is the story unpredictable?” I am happy to say, “It is very unpredictable!” It is original and unique. But then there is the simple fact, that is the utmost importance. Who is the audience going to be? Is this story a profitable and marketable product? Am I crisp in my thesis? Have I been able to portray the moods of the story? I can tell you from doing a Mood Board, there are at least 15 different moods and emotions. So, there isn’t this feeling of boredom. We want to keep our viewers engaged with the story. We don’t want any of you falling asleep or feeling like you didn’t get your money’s worth. All of the above, is what makes for an incredibly successful film. If I can make you laugh and cry at the same time; if I can have you hating the antagonist while routing for the protagonist; if I can keep you on the edge of your seat because you thought something would go one way and it went a completely different direction; and if, just for a moment, I can make you forget your troubles or difficulties because you feel that our characters are showing the sympathy and the empathy you need, then…I have done my job and I have done it well. Because you are the reason behind the years and years of hard work. You are the reason, I do what I do. I am here on planet Earth to serve and to be a light to the Nations. It’s why we are building my Summer Ray Light The World Foundation. I said all of the above to say this. Where there is conviction, there is fortitude. I didn’t know the above. I had to learn it and research it. I am still perfecting my craft. Everyday, I spend time scouring the Internet or reading books on the subject. I am always wanting to improve. I KNOW how important this series is and I simply cannot fail. I refuse to be mediocre! I will be the best I can be. I may not like having to go the extra ten thousand miles… yeah, forget that extra mile. If you add the other 9,999 miles, it is more realistic!  But, in all honesty, it is worth it and I believe you will someday soon agree with me! God Bless, Juliana


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