Erwin Fowler: When to Stop Editing the Script

My name is Erwin Fowler, and I was born and raised in the projects of Washington DC. Kenilworth Ave to be more specific. At age 5, I fell in love with two shows that inspired me to fall in love with the business. Dear John and The Golden Girls. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I did my first school play in December later on that year. I was an extra, but I loved every second of it.

By the time I turned eight, I had written my first TV show, which was an animated series entitled Nacho & Dog based on the Taco Bell commercial in the mid to late 90s. My goal was to get a network deal with Nickelodeon Studios, but didn’t know how I was going to get to them. By the time I reached age 11, I wrote my first sitcom called Erwin and Antoine. Starring me and my best friend at the time, Antoine Jackson. Plus, I would write and produce it. The plan was to do all the work, so the only thing that the Studio would have to do is pay the bill. But the older I got, I was shifting in and out of actors to co-star with.

I finally I’ve reached out to my God Brother, whom I won a number of awards with performing named David Barnett, and named it Erwin + David’s Big Sitcom. The title was unlike anything else ever seen before it. We shot the footage in 5 minutes and submitted a package including a video tape and an entire season of a pilot and sent it off to a woman named Patty of was in charge of original programming. Although she loved the package she felt that It was similar to something they already had in development. I was crushed. Everything I worked for just died. So, I had to do something else.

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Thymoma Cancer Stage 4. I was dying, and I never felt so helpless. I got surgery, and once I recovered, I got the treatment. 2006 BET Announced a short film competition, and that suddenly brought new life to me. This was the beginning of my writing “Pressure Pleasure Pain”. A story about a high school basketball superstar, Daniel Read, who is also a virgin and is often teased by his peers about his virginity. Even though he has a girlfriend, Robin, who is also a virgin, he is encouraged by his two best friends, JC and Kevin (both skirt chasers), to cheat with some of the girls who flock to him. Also, Shannon Gomez.  A high dropout bombshell beauty, the ultimate bad girl living a roller-coaster lifestyle that makes the girl next door look average but still often visits the school her and Daniel once shared who later on contracted HIV/AIDS and as he way of getting back at the world she goes on a mission to spread the disease to as many men as she comes in contact with. On the night that Daniel breaks up with his girlfriend, he attends a party that Shannon just happens to come shortly after and confronts him.

At first, it was 30 minutes short, but during the deadline week, I was hospitalized and couldn’t submit. So, in 2007, I decided to turn it into a full-length feature film. I thought I had it all together, but when I hired the film doctor Michael Ray Brown. He had quite a few notes for me. He mentions that there were two separate stories that needed to intersect more. He also mentions that Shannon is the temptress that could knock Daniel off of his pedestal. Shannon's story was way more exciting and developed than Daniel's. So, I had to really abuse him in order to make people care. So, I took more risks with him and made his story just as powerful as Shannon's. And the same script Doctor said after reading the revised copy that I love this script, feels real and authentic.

This is for those who would like to write a great screenplay. You have to have a Protagonist and an Antagonist. In order to get people dialed in, the character has to go through challenges. Also, the Protagonist must go through such abuse that the audience doesn’t like his chances. The more difficult, the better, so after the audience goes through that long journey with him or her, they will feel the same way the protagonist did.

For example, with “Pressure Pleasure Pain”. Daniel Read is the Protagonist. Shannon Gomez is the Antagonist. Daniel is a 3-time high school basketball champion. In each championship, he led his team to victory. The two are rivals and can’t stand one another. Daniel’s virginity is something that he has to battle with, from his peers teasing him to the groupies that flock to him all the time. Plus, he wants to maintain his honor roll student status. Even more pressure on him. The question is. Threw all the pressure and temptation around him. Will he find a way to succeed? Or will he crumble? Shannon Gomez relies on her beauty to get her by. But that would only take her so far. She’s only 16 years old but thinks she’s 25. She’s a rebel toward authority and lives a rollercoaster lifestyle. So that question is. Will Shannon get her life together, or will she self-destruct?

Friday, January 19. I enter my “Pressure Pleasure Pain” screenplay into The World Music & Independent Film Festival for Best Screenplay. I was pumped. This was my stepping stone and my chance to prove to the world that I have an awesome screenplay to deliver. On Tuesday, January 23, I was told personally by the guy who’s in charge of the festival that I was nominated. I was beyond excited. I knew that I would get nominated. It was just a matter of time. That just goes to show you that “You will never know unless you try”. I never gave up, and look where I am today. Feature in Yummy Movie Magazine and nominated for Best Screenplay at The World Music & Independent Film Festival.

Choosing the name “Pressure Pleasure Pain” came somewhat naturally but took a lot of effort. It had to be not only an interesting name but a name that would help market the film. Both characters, Daniel and Shannon embody the title. PPP is something that we all go through. It is the meaning that defines life.