As I write this there are still a couple hours left in the Ed Video screenwriting competition, but I am done. I sent my script in with three hours before the deadline and I’m quite happy with the way that it turned out.

My process was pretty lean and straight forward in getting this from basic idea to finished script.

I started with my vocal recorder. I bought a little Olympus VN-120 a decade ago. It still works just as well as it did the day I bought it. I can carry it around with me when I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do. All those little beats that I’d normally forget end up as a recording. I could do the same thing with a voice recording app on my phone, but this is much quicker.

Once I had enough content on the voice recorder, where I felt I needed to start plotting out structure, I moved over to craft paper taped up to the wall. I like working standing up and moving around when I’m trying to tease out ideas and structure. I’m less tempted to go off and do something as a distraction. I also find it’s easier to mull over ideas when I’m pacing.

I tend to organize these things differently from project to project, but here’s what Thorium Blue looked like on the wall. It was a lot of transcribing from my voice recorder and then trying to organize it into something cohesive.


From there I moved to a mindmap using Freemind. This ends up largely being a transcription of what’s on the wall, followed by an organization of that content, and then explicitly outlining the script. It ends up being a nearly complete point form version of the first draft of the script.

Finally, I moved to Fade In to write the script itself. Fade In is my current preferred screenwriting application. My first draft was nearly verbatim what was in the mindmap, just placed into proper format. I did two red line passes of the script and that was it.

This is the script I submitted.

Thorium Blue - David Shute

The script is licensed under Creative Commons. You can find the full details of the licensing here.