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Posted in My Journey as a Screenwriter 3 min read
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Edited by Van Emberger

This trailer is of a 12 minute short film titled, All That Remains (2021) which took Drew Thomas, the writer/director/producer, and myself four years to complete. In 2017, Drew and I were undergrad students studying film at Augusta University. We were barely in the infancy of our career and didn’t know what the hell we were doing, but had a desire to build. Below is a Q & A with Drew on why it took four years.

CND: Why did it take four years to complete?

DT: I typically don’t rush things too much. Editing is something that takes quite a long time and if you focus on a quick turn around it will usually come at a cost. That being said, taking four years to finish editing a short film is definitely far too long. The real reason it took so long in the end is that I started and finished other projects during that time, and unfortunately they got in the way of me finishing the edit in a timely manner.

CND: How did you grow as an artist/filmmaker?

DT: Working on this project taught me a lot about the process of making a film, but I think the thing that I took away from it that has been most helpful is the understanding that there doesn’t need to be any rush when it comes to filmmaking. It’s a long, intense process, and rushing things can only hurt you in the end. There was a time when I felt embarrassed about how long the film was taking to finish, and perhaps that feeling itself prolonged finishing it in some small part. I no longer feel that way about it. Sure the film took a long time to finish, but both myself and the film are better off for it.

CND: What advice would you pass on to other aspiring voices?

DT: I think the one bit of advice I would want to give to someone is to focus on developing a great script. Story and dialogue are everything in a film. Often it seems as if that’s the one aspect people rush; you’ve got a good idea, you just put it down on paper, and then one draft later you’re looking at starting production. All That Remains took me about two years to write, and if I could go back and do it again I’d probably have taken a bit longer. Take time with your screenplay. Get lots of people to read it. Take their feedback to heart.

Photo of C. Neil Davenport (left) and Drew Thomas (right) on the set of All That Remains (2021) by Elizabeth Graves - 2016

Whether it be a studio driven production or a handheld low-budget you thought of yesterday, the building of a film is nothing but a learning opportunity. Both in a professional and creative sense, the true artist will always be willing to revise their work. I learned even Picasso attended a gallery which showcased his work and was found touching up his mistakes. So, develop an idea, build it, cry when your nose gets broken, learn from your mistakes and start all over again with a more detailed plan of action!   

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