It has been pointed out to me that I haven't updated for a month on my non-apocalyptic future script idea.
Actual progress is a wonderful feeling. I added about four pages to the new script today. The best part is getting home from work and actually being anxious to get to the computer and start working on ideas that I've come up with during the day. For a long time I've had myself working on second, third and fourth drafts of scripts and that sort of writing is a bit of a grind. It can be greatly satisfying to work out problems and smooth out awkward areas but it lacks the feeling of joy that comes with writing something entirely new. Each new idea fills in the world I'm creating, which helps direct the main character, which helps build that character. It all feeds on itself to create even more new stuff. Basically I'm enjoying myself.
I'm writing a lot about bureacracy right now. For inspiration I look to my members of my family who have served in government offices. They have provided me plenty of gruesome tales of bureacratic thinking at its worst. But then to make it entertaining, I've been watching a bit of Monty Python for taking the absurd to ridiculous heights. I'm not trying to ape Python at all. It's more like taking lessons from a master in the art of absurdity.
First off, let me apologize for the lack of updates lately. I've been working behind the scenes to move the site to a new server. So if you've sent me an email in the last month and not heard back, send it again. It's possible it was lost somewhere along the way.
The other reason I haven't been posting is that the old brain thingy kicked into gear rather suddenly on a new writing project. With my third script in the hands of some guinea pigs, I had two choices. One, fret nervously on what sort of response I would get. Fretting does not come naturally to me, even if I do admit a degree of terror in letting my work make contact with foreign eyeballs. That leaves option two, write something else. Back in August I flirted with a new script idea but it stalled when I hit the need to do actual research. The emergence of a primetime network show that treads on the same territory didn't help either. So I went and looked back at my other stalled ideas. And quickly came to the conclusion that I still didn't have any solution to their various problems. Things were looking bleak.
And then I read this article. Now, I love Scalzi but I'm not really crediting him for inspiration or as my stubbly muse. One line did the trick.
"Because happy futures are boring"
That's all it took to set me off. He's absolutely right. Utopia is dull. It's not a great topic for a movie where you might actually expect something to happen. But I'm the sort of person who loves to throw sand in the gears and muck things up. If I'm bored, I'm almost certainly about to start some trouble. So the idea was to take a utopia of sorts, toss in a character from the outside of that society and watch what happens. I love this idea because it gives me freedom to engage in two of my favorite hobbies, annoying people and slapping around busybody do-gooders.
I'm not going to get into much detail but I am going to try and write about the project frequently. Basically I want to operate under the threat of embarassment for not getting any work done. If you aren't seeing any updates on this, you have my permission to harass me about it. I'm going to try and follow the example of this gentleman, although with less fantasy football talk.
They don't make many movies about writers. There is a very good reason for this. Watching someone type is generally pretty boring.
That has a lot to do with why I don't give more updates about my writing projects. I just can't imagine that anyone is actually interested. Most of the work takes place between my ears, making it even less interesting to watch than actual typing. So generally it doesn't occur to me to give an update until some sort of milestone is reached. Can you guess why I'm writing this now?
The last edition of Wannabe talked about finishing the first draft of She Hates the Idea. I put it away for a few weeks while working on polishing a different script. And then with some distance achieved by the break, I went back in and did a second draft. Mostly it was a matter of coming up with a check list of things that were lacking in the first draft. Other things were tightened or dropped and some rearranging was done to accomodate the new stuff. Great. Job done. Time to celebrate.
With that milestone reached, it was time for an important and frightening step. Letting someone read it. That someone was my wife. And the result was somewhat less than hoped for. For one thing, it's just not her kind of movie. So I was in the hole with her right from the get go. The killer though was she completely failed to notice a rather important element of the story. And that means I fucked up. I was a little concerned that I was being to subtle about this but I thought that would just lead to confusion. Not seeing it at all was not an idea that crossed my mind. She did say that she thought the script was well written, even if she didn't really care for it. But that one big miss is pretty damn deflating. So it's back to the keyboard to see what I can do to make things clearer and more obvious. I suppose I should take comfort in not tipping my hand and being overly obvious about things. That would be the mature response.
Nope. It's not in me. I'm going to pout about it now.
I'm stalling. Or I'm being lazy. Either one does fine.
Finally, months after coming up with the idea of shooting a short film, I started actually shooting.
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