I print the current draft of my script, hole punch it and put brads in it. It looks so official. It’s my heart on paper. The weight of the script in my hands fills me with awe. It’s a sacred text; a miracle of sorts. Over the past couple weeks, I received the very first round of notes on the story. It’s been insightful to learn what resonates and what gets lost in translation from my brain to the page. The script isn’t ready yet. It needs some fixing, decorating and even structural refurbishing in parts, but I believe in its foundation.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the week has been naming this story. I’d been struggling to really commit to a title. During our last meeting, Liz assigned me homework and on top of that list was to finalize my title. I’m usually great with deadlines, but this just wasn’t happening for me. Then, last week, my friend Mona was visiting from San Francisco and I shared my title dilemma with her. The working title was - A Ghost Called WMD. Her response was if she saw that title on VOD she would keep scrolling, because she’d think it was a horror film. She was right. My film is a drama that explores the morality of the Iraq war. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted the word “WMD” in it. In our back and forth about the story and the significance of that word, she said, “What if you change the word “ghost” to “girl?” That was it. One small change and all of the sudden it clicked for me. We finally have a title: A Girl Called WMD.
Now that this story has a name, in the coming weeks, we’ll be building our social media presence. My focus right now is to continue the rewrites on the script, create an online presence, find key collaborators, and the most daunting task of all -- find money. I’ve always been uncomfortable with asking for money. When I was fifteen, I didn’t want to ask my parents for an allowance, so I got a job at Mcdonald’s. At eighteen, I joined the Army to pay for my own education. If I needed money, I just worked and made things happen. But over the past few years, I’ve really had to learn how to request people to invest in my dreams. It’s something I’m still learning how to navigate, and to be honest it terrifies me. I welcome any advice from the readers in ways that I might get better at it.
What I love about this micro-budget mentorship is our commitment to transparency. I look forward to sharing the things I learn so that they can be useful to anyone else embarking on this process. What lies ahead is a long and arduous journey. But I feel grateful to have allies, such as Liz who have opened their doors of knowledge and experience to give this my paper heart “A Girl Called WMD” the best possible chance to come to life.