has been running for over five years now, during which time founder Stephen ‘Spling’ Aspling has been using his insights to assist fledgling to established directors, screenwriters and filmmakers with their projects. While this process has been valuable to his clients, the spinoff effect has been that Spling has been able to hone his own skills when it comes to screenwriting.

Now that he’s had a chance to develop his abilities as a scriptwriter, it’s time for the script consultant to step into the shoes of a screenwriter in order to apply his own talents in the pursuit of creating a feature film. Having been a film critic for over 17 years, Spling has watched thousands of films and while he doesn’t have a hands-on film school degree, does have an extensive knowledge and understanding of the language of film. Having done art at school, a film-orientated degree and remained creative within his field, the film critic has a firm idea of the inner workings and what it takes to make a good film great.

spling screenplay debut

In this spirit, he’s begun work on the outline for his first feature film, a home invasion thriller. While the subject matter is intense, Spling is intent on crafting a film that he can produce himself if financing is hard to come by and is ensuring that it is scalable and well within his limits. One of the primary motivations in actually writing a screenplay is the thought that it’s going to get made and keeping things tight will ensure he can effect this bucket list item. Having written The Essence of Dreams: An Anthology of Film Reviews, Spling is keen to forge few more dreams.

To this end, Spling has a modest but firm idea in place which will allow him to see this through. Taking these steps will undoubtedly give the script advisor more empathy for screenwriters going into their 10th draft and also offer special insights into the actual writing process, giving Spling a much better idea of the kinds of fears and setbacks that can prevent a project from unfurling.

While a first feature film screenplay for Aspeling, this won’t be his first screenplay. Having written a 52-minute script for a Sherlock Holmes-type TV movie as part of his film, media and visual studies degree at UCT, and submitted a short film script to Jameson First Shot, the movie critic has also submitted an animated series idea to StoryLab, which while in its infancy was shortlisted but ultimately too similar to an upcoming Disney project. So while Spling has been primarily concerned with the evaluation of films, he has made a concerted effort to keep a foot… toe in the door with a few ideas. Now that he has the chance to write a film script, he will be taking time to pore over the creative aspects, as well as putting his own advice into practice.

It’s one thing being able to separate yourself from a project and offer constructive criticism, and it’s another when you’re dealing with your own work. Sometimes you can lose objectivity, and it helps to seek the counsel of trusted colleagues, friends and family. The project is still in the outline phase, with Spling realizing that it’s a good idea to secure this blueprint before embarking on the nitty-gritty, saving a lot of time down the line if things are to change. An outline serves as an excellent roadmap, and also allows that all the stakeholders are on the same page. Hopefully this film project will be a few steps down the line when he next checks in. Excited to work on his first screenplay, it’s promising to have already drawn the interest of a few possible directors, which serves as testament to the film critic’s solid reputation and incisive analytical eye.

Spling Dives into Feature Film with First Screenplay
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