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I wrote a bunch of screenplays between 2003 and 2007. These weren’t any kind of piddly affairs, either -- they were feature-length, character-driven stories that I labored over intensively. I rewrote, revised, and refined. There were a handful of pointless attempts to submit scripts to agencies and production companies -- it’s a demoralizing and obliquely hopeless exercise in futility, should you ever choose to attempt it yourself.
A glimmer of light in my attempt at a screenwriting career came in 2008 when my most ambitious script yet was recognized as a semi-finalist in a national screenwriting competition. Let me assure you: such recognition is worthless, aside from biographical video descriptions like this.
I had penned a stack of screenplays and the only future I could see for them was that of professional dust collecting agents.
As I turned my focus to novels (in 2009 I started writing what turned out to be my most popular book “Zaphod Zombie: Living Impaired Among the Unimpaired Living” and self-published in 2010) I made a small effort to publish a few of my screenplays as scriptbooks. The publishing worked just fine, but the format just wasn’t reader-friendly.
My screenplays -- my stories -- were doomed to wallow in infinite obscurity.
Eventually I would start adapting my scripts into novels and novellas. The first project was the semi-finalist sci-fi epic -- it eventually became “Explorers of the Unknown: Disastergeddon!”. Another passion-project script that had only been seen by two or three people became “Religiously Roasted Every Goddamn Day”.
In the summer of 2012, I was either going to start working on another adaptation or do something DIFFERENT. I had been inspired by a fellow youtuber who had shot a brief scene he was writing -- he shot it by simply playing the two parts in the scene and cutting it together. It presented a unique proposition: could a whole movie be shot that way?
If yes, well, I certainly had the material for it.
And there was something romantic about finally committing one of my screenplays to video. Even if it wasn’t produced as a “real” film, to have a visual interpretation of this screenplay I had crafted … there was something special about that.
So starting in the summer of 2012, I took one of my screenplays and began shooting the movie by myself in a single room in my condo. There was never another person behind the camera. There was no sound guy or cameraman. There was no costume designer, script supervisor, or light tech.
In fact, the only outside help I had in making this movie was from my dear friend Slacktive who provided me with a 40-minute piece of audio filled with his guitar noodles. There were a few additional tracks and a vocal track that I used for the credits, but this was all material I used to craft the score of the movie.
Almost as soon as I began shooting, I started editing. Everything came to a grinding halt in October when I went to Las Vegas to get married. It took awhile to find motivation to continue shooting -- and I almost didn’t. If it wasn’t for the encouragement of my wife, I probably would have abandoned this crazy project altogether.
I officially completed taping on November 17th, 2012 (although I would still be shooting script-page b-roll into 2013).
I officially completed editing on January 24th, 2013.
In the end, “Caffeine” is a dramatic reading of an original screenplay. It is produced entirely by one person, in one room, with zero budget.
In the end, after years of writing feature screenplays that were never produced … one was produced.
For every screenplay that Hollyweird produces, a thousand more scripts lay untouched. As a creative, I cannot rely on an obtuse and unfair lottery system to see my art realized.
My dad was fond of saying that “where there’s a will, there’s a way”.
I made my feature, goddammit.
- Jordan Krumbine
The anguished musings of a jack-of-all trades creative professional based out of Longwood, Florida. Find out more about him here. You know, if that's your 'thing'.
Most of my production music is original but if I need something extra-special, I usually get it from AudioNautix.com: