When I was writing the script I knew basically the story from beginning to end and I knew I had between 90 and 120 pages to get through the story in my mind. I didn't think about the pace of the movie as much as making sure I wrote a solid script.
One thing I didn't know was that most people start off making small short films to learn the craft of film making and here I was jumping into the deep end of the pool making a feature length movie right out of the box. For those that know me, this shouldn't shock any of you, I go against the grain more often then not.
The way I approach creating a Feature Length Film :
First thing I do is create the killer, their backstory and motive. I think this is important because it can shape the story your telling very quickly. Next I come up with the Final Girl character, who she is, what she's like and her world before all the chaos happens. This is important so you know that she's not a raving nut until after she's attacked by the psycho killer. After that I fill out the main cast with the stereo type characters with my own personal twist on each of them.
After all the players are created the next step is widely considered the most important and that is the kills of the movie. when I was writing Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis I wanted all these kills that would knock your socks off one after another but I started to see the problem with that type of thinking. how many times can you top the last kill before it becomes expected and thus less special?
After all of those things fall into place I can start writing the actual script and usually knock out a first draft in a week or two. After the first draft there are countless rewrites due to budget issues, story changes etc. but this is basically how I approach writing a Feature Length Film.
The writing process on a short film is very different for me and it was a process that I sort of stumbled onto. I was working on notes for The Vengeful One after I had created the killer, their backstory and motive I wrote out the beginning, middle and end of the story I was working on characters when I glanced over at my story notes and thought I have everything I need right there to make this movie I don't need to write any "filler scenes" or have a huge number of characters who don't really matter to the story they just seem to be there to get killed. I wrote out the script in about a week and my short film career was and off and running.
Personally I noticed that while working on a short film the budget is a hell of alot smaller then a feature film which is good in many ways but with the things we were able to pull off on the limited budget of the first two Sins of Man Movies I have to say we did really well.
I think writing short films is more challenging because you have to a story that is on point with no real wiggle room to create useless characters or subplots that aren't really about the main plot.
I recently went on a walk and while I was on this walk I came up with a title, character,s a killer and a story and I came home and wrote it all out and now I have another short film ready to go after we get this one shot.
Production on "The Vengeful One" Starts THIS SATURDAY and we hope to have it out in the fall on DVD !