There will be one blog for every full year of development, so unless it sells in 2020, you won't get the development blog until January 2021. If you can't wait that long then there is a constantly updated news & development diary at the bottom of its web page.
So, below is Part 1, the 2015/16 diary, with the occasional comment from me in red (maybe).
Oh, and the best way to read this is from the bottom up to the top. Obviously.
(Darren White 12th May 2020)
Oct 2016 to Jan 2017: too busy at my day job to work on American Die. Sorry.
16-Oct-16 AmDie: Removed hand held scene. New soldier joke. Re-checking Eve, on p24.
15-Oct-16 AmDie: New intro to Eve. New Clark intro. More Lewis.
08-Oct-16 AmDie: Added Webster REDACTED line.
22-Sep-16 AmDie: Changed a line of Eve's dialogue.
15-Sep-16 AmDie: Completed Eve's dialogue.
13-Sep-16 AmDie: Working through Eve's dialogue, got as far as page 50.
11-Sep-16 AmDie: Changes Eve's last words. Removed a short hand-held scene. All character dialogue revised except Eve.
05-Sep-16 AmDie: Completed Jaax & Preston.
04-Sep-16 AmDie: Eve clothes white to black. More military slang. Read through Captain.
03-Sep-16 AmDie: Captn Catchphases: REDACTED & REDACTED. Added Military slang. Tweaked John & Eugene dialogue. (#tag & allergies/sprint)
01-Sep-16 AmDie: Having trouble finding unique voices. Made changes to Det Clark. Maybe I need to base them on a person/character? Signed off on Adam, John, Lizzie, Carol, Lewis, Troy, Kim & Zoe.
31-Aug-16 AmDie: Carol done. Troy done. Adam done. John done. Kim done. Lizzie done. Captn done. Frank / Lewis / Webster done. All done.
DW: Done what exactly? Unique voice?
30-Aug-16 AmDie: Det Clark done. Is this story emotional enough? Use the Truby book to add emotional depth to the end / Eve.
29-Aug-16 AmDie: Eve crosses lines re: vaccine. Geek #1 becomes Eugene. Developed Unity of Opposites. Zoe done. Eugene done.
DW: Eugene would later get another name / race change, and dialogue in his language.
28-Aug-16 AmDie: Added Clark's no hospital drive. Blindfold Clark. Eve joke epiphany. Eve/Carol REDACTED symbolism. 2 REDACTED left. Eye @ start. John sunglasses. Clark shades eyes. Soldiers metal barricades. Jaax has glasses. Eye patched Captn. Troy & Webster glasses. Clark goggles.
DW: Note the 'issues with seeing' symbolism.
24-Aug-16 AmDie: Zoe goes to climate change. Eve & Kim get REDACTED samples. Ending: Eve waits for REDACTED 2 REDACTED.
19-Aug-16 AmDie: Removed Carol doesn't 'go home' plot hole. Eve stabs REDACTED.
18-Aug-16 AmDie: Tweaked various lines of dialogue. Analysed structure.
17-Aug-16 AmDie: Removed dialogue from soldiers. 109 pages. At end, 1 REDACTED & Eve stabs REDACTED to save REDACTED.
14-Aug-16 AmDie: Finished checking soldiers. Re-read to remove chars, found none.
12-Aug-16 AmDie: Removed a speaking part - gave to Det Clark. Continued checking soldiers. P87
How to Survive the Next Catastrophic Pandemic
This might have gone by the time you read this!
11-Aug-16 AmDie: Corrected John's age & description. Added President Trump. Giving soldiers names & removed one. Up to Page 44.
DW: I'm pretty sure that President Trump wasn't a thing back then, so how prophetic was I? It was supposed to be a horrific thing. Again, how prophetic am I?
09-Aug-16 AmDie: Editing recent additions. Change Adam to indistinct. Zoe recognizes Eve? Changing Troy's voice. Cap speaks of hero/villian duality. USAMRIID
08-Aug-16 AmDie: Added business speak to Troy. Eve is now in the office with Troy.
08-Aug-16 AmDie: Checked new finale. Updated as per 2nd coverage. Made Carol more resentful of Eve. Added hand held slug lines. Added pyres to end.
02-Aug-16 AmDie: Feedback from @watchmoviesfree via http://FilmFreeway.com "great world building and a very consistent sense of tone. You painted a very engaging picture of the world slowly starting to crumble", "nice attention to detail with the specifics of the outbreak like how the military responded, what viruses mutated together etc." & "a masterful sense of tone".
02-Aug-16 AmDie: Analyzed 2nd coverage report. Changed title. Changed 1st scene VO.
02-Aug-16 AmDie: Changed the working title of the script from LMOE to American Die. What do you think of the name change?
DW: That name changed stayed until 2020...
01-Aug-16 LMOE: New REDACTED and Zoe ending.
31-July-16 LMOE: 1st & 2nd amendments suspended. Save the world becomes change the world. Terrorist attack, in car.
28-July-16 LMOE: Crucified priest. Do we deserve to live? Logo behind Troy. Eve gives Kim the pic she came for. Banner in stream.
DW: Wow, all big moments. Still there.
27-July-16 LMOE: Removed Lewis' mum, vet & doc. Finished Checking structure.
26-July-16 LMOE: Changed TV lines to highlight REDACTED analogy. Changed TV to a camp REDACTED. Making Acts end with more 'decision points' where Eve has a choice. Done: Act 1, 2a, (check 2b & 3), Checking structure / pacing @ P42
25-July-16 LMOE: Strengthened Eve's decision at the end of Act 2b
22-July-16 LMOE: REDACTED shot down with Stinger SAM
21-July-16 LMOE: Added REDACTED to Troy cabin. Removed board members. Removed Housekeeper.
20-July-16 LMOE: New John takes REDACTED scene. Moved a hook scene to church.108 pages long.
19-July-16 LMOE: Shortened fast scenes until the end. New REDACTED ending. P110
18-July-16 LMOE: Plot conference with proof readers. Shortened copter crash. P85 end of Act 2b
16-July-16 LMOE: Made Kim 'sweary Mary'. P35
15-July-16 LMOE: Added REDACTED to REDACTED's death. P54
DW: Well that's informative. Thrilling.
14-July-16 LMOE: Beefed up Eve can't go Act1. Shortened the Clark/John shot action, then the Clark stairs action. Added some REDACTED. P46
13-July-16 LMOE: Changes to end of Act 2b. Made the low point more obvious. Changed end of Act 1 - made it more obvious. Mentioned Adam. Added infection VFX to John, sub guy & Clark on the island.
DW: The low point would still be an issue four long years later.
12-July-16 LMOE: Fixed variations on Eve's name. Moved all page numbers to the right. Corrected naked sluglines.
DW: That's a formatting technicality right there.
11-July-16 LMOE: Analysed the coverage for changes and potential solutions to problems. Changed Eve's Europe opportunity. Changed Act 2b Eve VO.
11-July-16 LMOE: Thanks to coverage from www.wescreenplay.com the next draft will include character and structure clarifications, a slight pacing correction, a gem of an idea, maybe a new ending, and maybe a unique new genre element.
DW: I wonder what that 'gem' was?
11-July-16 LMOE: Feedback from www.wescreenplay.com "You’re off to a good start, and it’s clear that you’re a talented writer", "That isn’t to say that this type of film won’t do well in the market" & "You’re on the right track".
DW: Aw shucks...
10-July-16 LMOE: Made a slight change to the end of Act 1, but it still needs more work.
06-July-16 LMOE: Checked all the milestones. Wrote 3 alternative 1st pages then decided on the best.
06-July-16 LMOE: Submitted draft v3.1 of LMOE to www.wescreenplay.com for pro coverage. I should have it in just 72 hours!
06-July-16 LMOE: Draft v3.1 of LMOE registered with the WGA West Registry, ready to be sent out for pro coverage:
Documentation of Registration
Registrant: Darren White
Author: Darren White
Registration Number: 1849342
FILE NAME: LMOE by Darren White.pdf
EFFECTIVE DATE: 7/6/2016
EXPIRATION DATE: 7/6/2021
Thank you for your registration. Your material has been successfully registered with the WGAW Registry. Registrations are valid for a term of five years and can be renewed upon expiration.
DW: Like a true amateur!
05-July-16 LMOE: I looked up & averaged the margins sizes in inches for US letter paper. I then applied the new margins to v3.1 of the script. I need to print & double check the margins. I then read through the script looking for orphaned lines. It's now 109 pages - perfect! I now just need to check where the various sections now end & update the graphs etc in my notes.
03-July-16 LMOE: Copied LMOE v3.0 to my Kindle to proof read. Not started reading yet.
01-July-16 LMOE: Finished reading through. With the new additions it's 110.5 pages long, so I need to lose at least a page, preferably 3! Will check the margins first before I try to edit any lines out.
DW: I think I'm still using MS Word at this point. Weird.
30-June-16 LMOE: Last day of changes - Barrel of a gun, want / take father, FAT Test, DC & Eve call, virulent / contagious, overrun base solution, Kim / Eve & her / him, luggage, roof camps. Edited as far as Page 68 out of 110.
DW: Again, I know what they refer to & most of them are still there..
29-June-16 LMOE: Still working through the list of changes. They are: Sign on roof. Gangs shoot down chopper. Cave death baptism of fire. Under fire in water. Burnt out building. Corpse gap jump & grab/trip. Eve keeps shoes on. Army, r's, gangs. Carol less weird.
I've extended it all by a couple of pages, so I need to lose at least 1 page. I'm now reading through the script and I've got as far as page 14.
DW: Again, I know what they refer to & most of them are still there..
28-June-16 LMOE: Made a number of changes to the latest draft. Without explaining them, they are: Gave the Detective a beard to show the passage of time. Pack mentality. Nurses uniform. Sneeze on sub guy. Tear gas. Confused?
DW: I'm not...
27-June-16 LMOE: Began Draft 3.0 rework. Added four new instances of symbolism. Added a rat lunch box, literally. Added multi-views of one of the last scenes. Added burnt out cars to the start. Made the girls scream at flying bullets. Added gas sign.
26-June-16 Action / Adventure Film & Screenplay Festival confirmed the LMOE submission. Expect to hear back in 3-5 weeks with feedback and results. (That's 17-July to 31-July.)
25-June-16 LMOE: I submitted my "LMOE" action, adventure, sci-fi, horror screenplay to @watchmoviesfree via http://FilmFreeway.com !
23-June-16 LMOE: Glorious v3.0 draft completed & shared for review. Free to start work on LMOE v3.0!
01-June-16 LMOE: Held a really great two hour script review session with my reviewers Neil D & Adam H. I have loads to add to the next draft.
DW: One of those suggestions is still in it, in a minor form. Nothing big though. Just a little background thing.
27-May-16 LMOE: Got coverage from my second reviewer, Adam Hughes. Some good stuff here. Thank you.
25-May-16 LMOE: Got my first coverage from Neil Durkin. Some good stuff here.
06/05/16 LMOE: I gave the latest draft to two friends to review.
17/04/16 LMOE: A bit of a sidetrack from working on 'glorious'. In a flash of inspiration I wrote 21 notes to myself of changes for draft 3.0 including a blinding bit of symbolism. I'm just procrastinating now from working on 'glorious'...
09/04/16 LMOE: I made a few changes today based on things I saw when I was printing v2.0 for an editor. Now I'm on to draft v2.1. Actually, I'm going to do something else while I wait for feedback from editors...
06/04/16 LMOE: So I gave my script to 3 friends today. Just waiting for any feedback now...
05/04/16 LMOE: A huge plot hole just occurred to me today. One quick fix later. Then I spent most of the night trying to convert a word / pdf doc into a Kindle .mobi that preserves the screenplay format. This page was useful. Anyone want to read it? Contact me via the contacts page.
04/04/16 LMOE: I made a few plot hole fix changes but I mostly watched the season finale of 'The Walking Dead'. Time to give it to a few friends people for feedback.
DW: Can anyone work out from the date which season finale that was?
03/04/16 LMOE: I finished reading through the pdf version on a tablet. I made about 11 mark-ups / changes. Afterwards I was in a really bad mood because I couldn't tell if it was any good.
02/04/16 LMOE: I just realized that two scenes fail the Bechdel test and it's imperative to the plot that they do. I'll see what I can do but I'm not promising anything. Still, plenty of films pass the test but still aren't exactly feminist paradigms, just see here.
DW: One of those scenes is still in it! In 2020. And do you know what? I ain't removing it, so there.
01/04/16 LMOE: I made some minor modifications to Draft 2 Act 3 today, then I quickly re-read about 30 pages from the start. I plan to convert it to a pdf then read it on a tablet & see if I can spot any errors, then I have 8 directives - like look for plot holes - to work through. This could take sometime. Page 0 / 109
31/03/16 LMOE: Finished Act III. I had to rework the act to fit in with earlier changes. I also took lots of dialogue out to get it down to 109 (letter sized) pages. I hope I didn't take too much out. I realized today that this script may not be 'high concept' enough to sell. 'Gladiators vs Zombies' it ain't. I'm really not sure about Act III...
30/03/16 LMOE: A plot hole occurred to me today. When I thought about it, another four occurred to me. I spent today fixing them. I'm going to cryptically call them "Carol not talking", "left knife", "short incubation", "dumpster time lapse" and "dog pack". Am I just putting off editing the last act? Page 90 / 110.
DW: None of these scenes, and therefore, none of these fixes, made it into the 2020 drafts...
29/03/16 LMOE: Today was a bit of a technical day. I removed some unnecessary transitions, then I went back over Draft 2 Act 1. I took about 0.6 of a page from the whole screenplay (a massive 0.2 'pages' from Act 1!) I noticed that I'm utterly blind to the script quality. I've read it too many times to know if it's any good. Oh well, onwards to Draft 2 Act 3. Page 81/110.
DW: I had transitions in there? Really?
28/03/16 LMOE: I just couldn't leave it. I went back to Draft 2 Act 2, fixed some things - especially the CPR scene - and removed about a page. If I could remove the extra page from the Act 1 then I'd be happy just removing one last page from Act 3. Page 80/111.
27/03/16 LMOE: I've made it to the end of Draft 2 Act 2! It took a monster effort, but I'm finally there. It's a page or two too long, and subsequently Act 3 is about 3.5 pages too long, but I'll get to the end and then come back to fix it. I wrote an incorrect CPR scene and it's bugging me. Anyway it's 2:35am on Easter Monday and time for bed. Page 81/111.
DW: I would (much, much) later turn that CPR scene on it's head and write against expectation. That's how I squash tropes and cliches!
26/03/16 LMOE: Added a new scene at the start, changed a few small things, tightened some dialogue and cut out a page worth. Page 75/112.
23/03/16 LMOE: Fixed a couple of minor plot holes. Then had a stab at the new scene I had to write. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. The only problem is that I added the two removed pages back in. Still more to do. Currently on page 76/112.
21/03/16 LMOE: Edited about 11 pages then stopped when I got to writing a new scene. I also have to lose a few pages. Not my finest days work.
17/03/16 LMOE: Today I re-read the first 53 pages (Act 1 & 1st half of Act 2) in one 30 minute session and made some corrections & tweaks. Hhmm, I'm not sure if it actually hangs together, or if it's too abrupt. I'll wait until I can read the whole thing in one go to decide that.
16/03/16 LMOE: All I did today was to make a few (very important) tweaks - I love it when one word can add a whole new level of meaning or ambiguity - and a lot of new notes to myself in Acts 2 & 3. I left a reminder to myself in the script. It simply says, "Are you proud of every scene? Put the work in!" Good advice indeed.
15/03/16 LMOE: I did nothing today but note the page numbers of the remaining 18 beats & milestones. I've got to lose about 2.5 pages of the 30 pages of Act 2, Part 2 and then a further 2 pages from Act 3 (currently about 29 pages). I know roughly where the Act 2 edits are, but I've got no idea how I'm going to add scenes and still lose 2 pages.
14/03/16 LMOE: I've got to the end of editing Act 2, Part 1 (page 53). I still don't think this is the last I'll work on this. This section is just too darn important.
DW: Little did I know that I'd still be working on it over FOUR years later!
09/03/16 LMOE: I've got to the end of editing a really, really important scene, but I'm not at all happy with it. I'm now about 50 pages into it (23 into Act 2) but I feel I'll be going over and over these last 10 & next 2 pages over and over again...
08/03/16 LMOE: I've edited about another 10 pages into Act 2, part 1, with the first run through the two of the three plot points done. There's less "add jeopardy" comments now, but I have marked the really pivotal next section as "This section is a mess. Not clear." I also have to add a re-occurring character into the scene. Tricky.
DW: I have literally no idea who this is referring to! I could go & find the draft then try to work it out, but life is really too short.
07/03/16 LMOE: 17 pages into Act 2, part 1, with about another 10 to go to finish the first plot point. I've swapped this whole section with the original Act 2 start, so there's quite a lot of continuity to change. I've also had to add an important new scene to make this draft make sense. Hard work. I've also written "Add Jeopardy" in red all other these pages, so there's more work to be done!
03/03/16 LMOE: I've got LMOE Draft 2, Act 1 down to 27.9 pages (0.9 pages too long) but I'm going to leave it there for now and move on, because I just can't lose that extra page. All my beats and milestones land spot on, with the exception of the Act end. I've spent a month on those 28 pages. Time to move on...
02/03/16 LMOE: A few words on how much writing I get to do. This is it: my lunch hour and a few hours in the evening before I get too tired. That's it. No wonder it takes so long.
DW: That is WAY more then I do these days!
01/03/16 LMOE: I've finished LMOE Draft 2, Act 1 but it's way too long - by about 3 pages. Edit time. Remember, don't get it right, get it written!
DW: Wise words mate!
28/02/16: Still re-writing LMOE Draft 2. This is hard... I've been writing and re-writing the first 17 pages for three weeks, but I finally think I've finished it! Just 10 more pages to re-write and Draft 2, Act 1 is done!
22/02/16 LMOE: May have completed the first half of the re-write of LMOE Act 1 v2.0, but it's way too long. More editing.
01/02/16: Begun the mammoth LMOE re-write process.
31/01/16: Completed the analysis & re-plotting of LMOE Draft 2 v2.0. I now have a working analysis and structure of modern movies that I can re-use for all future screenplays.
DW: And reuse I have...
21/01/16: Editing and feedback of LMOE Draft v1.0 is stopped. I've realized that the first draft as written (as a series of interconnected stand-alone stories, each representing a different movie style) lacks the necessary emotional depth. Begun a re-plot of it with a single protagonist to connect the stories.
DW: this was an important change. I've not read the original version for a while, but I think it just might be pants...
19/01/16: First full draft of LMOE registered with the WGA West Registry:Documentation of Registration
Registrant: Darren White
Author: Darren White
Registration Number: 1820774
FILE NAME: LMOE v1.0.pdf
EFFECTIVE DATE: 1/19/2016
EXPIRATION DATE: 1/19/2021
Thank you for your registration. Your material has been successfully registered with the WGAW Registry. Registrations are valid for a term of five years and can be renewed upon expiration. Please note that changes cannot be made once your registration is completed.
19/01/16: First completed full LMOE Draft 1, v1.0 finished. I got it down to 109 pages, but it took so much work. It's printed, bound and given to an editor for feedback.
04/01/16: First completed full script - LMOE Draft 1, v0.95 written. It's way too long at 120 pages though. I'm aiming for 107 pages. Time to shorten it through painful editing...
04/01/16: LMOE Draft 1, Act 3 v0.2 written.
05/12/15: LMOE Draft 1, Act 2 v0.2 written.
28/11/15: LMOE Draft 1, Act 1 v0.2 written.
15/11/15: Ground broken, the first words of "LMOE" are written...
13/11/15: Begun plotting a new modern-day screenplay, initially titled "LMOE", which stands for Last Man On Earth.