Fights like Jackie Chan's, a race on motorbikes, people running, running ... perhaps for dear life, explosions... When 20 people come together to develop a story that is supposed to be a sequel and a basis for a good action movie with a true message, it is bound to become a VERY complex task. A mission impossible, I think.
This is the first challenge: to let go of some of your ideas, channel others into a new direction, and - if you have just about two weeks for writing a script - to actually START writing.
The opener - much like a cliff hanger - is somewhat easy to imagine. You "just" have to catch the attention of an audience, which, at that point, is still willing to give you their attention. With a sequel, however, you have to already work on tying loose ends, creating new situations for your heroes.
That is challenge number two: Act One. For me, this was most of all thinking, talking with you, thinking (and getting over writer's block), smoothing out holes in the logic...
Oh yes, and getting a feeling for your heroes, some of them known from the original movie. What makes them tick? What are their motives, personal and otherwise? Where are the connections to our lives as students and teachers at "Griffin U"?
I let you in on a little secret here: The connections are between our characters in the film and some of my students I have come to appreciate over the years. How this one has become a confident young man, or that one turned into an outspoken young women. How you interact with me: your smiles, your emails from the far corners of the world, your fighting spirit in class.
In fact, some of the characters were written so that they fit one - and ONE - student only. Naturally, you may think that is unfair to everyone in the team. You are probably right. I wish I could write a starring role for each and everyone of you. But a sequel follows its own rules. And writers are most often inspired by people they know and care about (which is to say I still have to get to know some of you).
Challenge number two is to guess how your heroes will react in certain situations, to develop their characters (and that may be the point where they no longer correspond to the real you anymore). From one of the main writers of ST: TNG I have learned that your characters, if they are fascinating, real-life people, will solve the problem that you as a writer have put up in front of them. They will surprise you, too.
Honestly, I believe they have. Writing Act Three was a challenge in finding enough time to get all their ideas to solve this mystery onto paper and then, the hardest part, to let them go. The film has to have an end, right?
Of course, at this point I am just letting go of the script, not the story yet. After all, now you are getting ready to fill my/our imaginations with your own ideas and actions again.
Give and take.
I hope that you will enjoy the story. Considering all those challenges (including a zero budget for the filmmaking), I am actually quite proud of it.