Death at the opera was my baby last year. I did a bunch of work before actually writing it out: developing characters and backstories, thinking through how I wanted to structure the script, and just generally working on creating a really strong story.
I wrote the script and then spent endless hours pouring over it. I cut it to bits, and sent it to other talented storytellers asking them to do the same. I shortened it considerably, and cut out meaningless dialogue.
I later went on to direct and edit the film, which went to a couple film festivals. I will be putting up a post soon featuring the accomplishments of the final product.