Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blockades and Limitations

Happy Saturday. Kind of.

I've been in a mood - a funk - for the past couple of days. But today has been the worst of it. It's a mix of exhaustion and frustration and confusion. A lot of little things are adding to the melee, but the big one always comes back to film. An "F" frustration as Sarah and George call it.

I've been trying to formulate an idea for this project for the better half of the summer, but nothing seems quite right. Finally, last Wednesday, I sat in front of the computer determined not to leave until I produced something. The results were... they were. After some discussion, I attempted a second draft a little over a week later. The results were a bit better, but still... they were.

After what seemed to be a lifetime of discussion and frustration about my script with George* that spawned from my mood, the deadline and his questioning, I hit a wall that was both relieving and disappointing.** He offered to (potentially) find another scriptwriter. The script I have is a mess. It has a good premise when you break it down, and there is a lot of thought and substance behind everything in it. But with the time limit (2 weeks til the due date) and my inability to think clearly, I'm not sure if it's salvageable.

So there are three options on the table:
1. Come up with something new, something simpler, something clearer, and something that embodies the initial goal of the project: create a fun, whimsical piece.
2. Find a scriptwriter. George said he may know of some people that would be able to help.
3. Bite the bullet, put my funk and frustrations aside, sift through the shit and find the gem that I started with. In other words, more and more rewrites. Here is my film in a nutshell. Yeah.

The second option is out of my hands at the moment, so there is no need to think about that right now. The third options is possible, but I need a little time to clearly think about how I plan to reconstruct this script as quickly and efficiently as possible. I'm already starting to objectively see the problem areas, so this may be a possibility.

The first option, however, opens up a lot of doors. It's the ideal solution in that I can do something, anything, I truly want to do. I'll be invested in it from the beginning. And, most importantly, I wont have to rely on anyone else to get this done.

But with that freedom comes a series of problems as well. First and foremost, I need an idea. Second, I have to consider student film limitations in the process... all of them. It's an 8 minute piece. I have an extremely limited budget, crew, resource base. Locations are limited. Actor's are limited. And so on, and so on. Although student film limitations do not need to be a problem, it is for me, which brings us to the third (and connected) issue. My idea's are always, without fail, overly ambitious. I don't understand the concept of the word "simple" when it comes to creating a good short. Those two words, simple and good, just don't seem to meld in my mind. Come to think of it, those two words don't meld anywhere in my life. Everything is always unintentionally overly complicated. Meh.

So what to do, what to do, what to do.

I bought some books today, one of which was the screenplay for "Away We Go." I thought that reading the script of a movie I liked might help me to figure out how to write scripts well and figure out what to write about. I read it this afternoon. The clarity issue was resolved to an extent - I realized that, when writing, you have to be slightly removed, constantly thinking of the big picture. If you get bogged down in a scene or a moment, it could end up completely disconnected from the rest of the piece. So that revelation was good. Still need an idea though.

I was talking to Winn a few days ago and he made a comment about this author he really likes. He said, "he is able to say in a sentence what takes other writers a page." I say that guy should write scripts. And by the length of my typical blogs, emails and conversations, I probably shouldn't... yet.

Less-Than-Three You, Monique
Listening to: smooth jazz coming from the neighbor's

*I believe you experienced this as well, Sarah. Probably more discussion that frustration. Any luck on your end with the ever elusive script?
**Not sure if you read this George, but if you do: thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Yup. Same problems. I'm up for anything at this point, co-writing, directing someone else's script, whatever. I just hate everything I'm writing right now I'm just not a screenwriter, I don't think that way.