Tuesday, May 1, 2007

At the Start...

I just finished an adventure screenplay. Finally got it to a place where I'm happy to send it out into the world. Final page count: 107 pgs.

At the start of the year, I made a New Year's Resolution to write 3 specs by the end of 2007. This is the first.

So, now the question is: What's next?

I have a horde of ideas on the backburner. But those are mostly in their primordial, soupy idea state. A handful of visuals. Interesting scenes. A character or two. But nothing really substantial that makes me want to get off my butt and push them to the forefront.

And then there are the ones that keep vying for my attention. These tend to have the legs to at least put together the semblance of a story. They are...

  1. An old idea I had written to ~ 80 pages before deciding it was flawed. And not worth writing another page until I found a new way to approach it. Essentially a Page One rewrite.
  2. An old premise that has been fleshed out once. But most people want in a different genre than it is.
  3. A wacky genre bending modern fairytale.
  4. And of course, the incredibly personal story, that burns a hole in my soul to tell, even though it is the most non-cinematic idea I have ever had.


1) I don't have a new approach. Re-writing this would most likely result in another Page One rewrite. Why waste the time, right?

2) I have had lots of feedback on this script. Both positive and negative. Rave and dire. I probably could sell this one if I gutted the core of the story and pushed it into Comedy of the Thriller genre. But I just don't have the heart.

3) This one is so ridiculous. A wacky genre-less modern day fairytale. So not commercial. That it almost is. Basically, I could never sell this script as a first time writer. It's not the type of premise you break in with when you have no credibility.

The irony is, I'd love for it to be the first feature I direct. Shhhh.... That's on the DL. We're all writers here. /wink

To give you guys an idea of what I was going for...

The ultimate compliment ... The reaction I want when people leave the theater after seeing this movie is that they will be struck dumbfounded. Upon being asked their opinion of the movie, these viewers will only be able to make weak eye contact and nod mindlessly.

POTENTIAL VIEWER: How was the movie?
JUST SAW IT: I. Don't. Know.
JUST SAW IT: No. It wasn't bad.
POTENTIAL VIEWER: Oh? So it was good.
JUST SAW IT: I'm not sure.

But I also want it to make money. I won't start something that I think has no possibility of a return (I'm not always, right, but hey... Nobody's perfect). Which is a nice segway to...

4) Isn't this the piece of crap screenplay every aspiring screenwriter tries to write their first go at it?

I'm hoping that I have the willpower to just ignore it.

Either that, or get some random Indie Prod. Co. to buy it as a pitch, so that I can write it to be the overbudgeted piece of crap, that hits as limited an audience as possible, that it was meant to be. But hey, maybe Naomi Watts will star in it, as the character that is barely veiled as me.

...And that leads us back to the essential question.

Where to start? Where to start?

I have no idea how I am going to start my next spec. And a vague idea of which of the 4 it will be. I bet, you can tell I favored one. I didn't mean to. I actually only realized it, after putting it down on paper... umm... Internet... digital... numbers... thingy? Whatever.

The last screenplay I wrote was (The Adventure) with the intent to write something that my father would pay 10 bucks to see.

On Jan. 4th of this year, I wrote a post about the neglected demographics in Hollywood.

Strangely enough... Coincidentally... Through sheer serendipity... Who am I kidding? It was on my mind. I was hating the script I had been working on previously (which was actually #1) probably because it was a little too reminiscent of a #4.

And I started anew.

What I am missing now, is that fire under my rear. The kind that makes me write blogs about what I want to do until I realize the stupidity of ranting and raving about what I could just as easily be sitting down to do.

A couple more lightning strikes. A blog post or two. And I'll probably sit down and write #3.

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