Since June 17th of this year, I have gotten to be a part of a filmmaking fellowship known as Flip The Script. The fellowship was born out of a recognition that writers of color need development, so this fellowship provides development, education and exposure as a means to shape your writing and filmmaking skills.
First we went over the key elements of screenwriting, being instructed by Executive Producer Eunice Smith, also a professional writing coach. Smith is the creator for Flip The Script which is a program powered by The WordSmith Writer’s Lab, LLC. She deserves all the praise for this outstanding program. We then got a lesson in storyboarding from professional storyboard artist Toney Prince. He taught us how to turn our written script into a drawn out visual blueprint that’s vital for creating a motion picture.
My personal favorite lesson came from video production expert Sylus Green, who taught the group different types of shots and shot composition. I personally feel like these lessons will help me become an amazing director and I got so much out of them. Our final lesson was on creating a shot list. This was a new process for me but was insanely fun. Creating a shot list means to plan every shot of every scene in your movie, and it makes filming easier. A good shot list is crucial to a smooth production; think of it as a visual script.
On top of free lessons from professionals, me and four other candidates all wrote scripts in an effort to get it produced. The chosen screenwriter had a chance to direct the movie he/she created with the same people who taught all the lessons on his or her crew. In the end, yours truly, Gary Langfield Jr., was selected as the recipient of the grand prize.
My movie Descent, is a short thriller that follows two co-workers trying to escape their office building while being chased by a teleporting monster.
“Gary came to FLIP THE SCRIPT with confidence and even when he felt stuck, always leaned into developing his best work,” said Flip the Script Founder Eunice Smith.
“As a new filmmaker, Gary took a risk by writing a horror script then, rather than taking the easy way out, sought assistance and remained coachable while sticking to his principles about the kind of story he wanted to tell.”
Smith added, “Gary demonstrated creativity, originality, personal leadership, kindness, humility and tenacity. We are proud to produce his film and help him jump-start what we know will be a long and successful filmmaking career.”
Thanks to additional support from True Star Foundation, Kennedy Horton will also be making her film. Asaade Griffen will make his film with support from Esmond Elementary School Studios.
This was an amazing experience and great opportunity. We start filming Descent July 16th, but the day of my screening is to be determined. This will be my very first movie and I’m excited to see what this opportunity is going to bring.
To learn more about the Flip The Script Fellowship visit flipthescriptcompetition.com.
By Gary Langfield Jr. The Noble Academy, Senior