Monday, February 21, 2005

Slow progress is still progress

So I just wrote what amounts to four pages.

Now if we were to use a page a day as a reasonable and fruitful measure of how much I should be writing. Subtract that number from the amount of days since the last time I wrote, (February 7th) plus the days between that and the previous time I wrote a couple of pages (January 24th). The sum total makes me feel like a slacker. But I’m not going to beat myself up. Two plus weeks of that I was traveling. One plus week I was editing a video as a V-day present for my wife. (See below).

Here’s why I’m not upset. I think this was a good scene I wrote. It hopefully set up the tension between three of the main characters. I showed how HERO and MOM are having trouble communicating. Just as the conflict was reaching a boiling point, the kind that would force a resolution, I dropped in the BAD GUY. He built up a different sort of tension that helped drive the idea that each of their motivations will have serious repercussions for everybody else. I had written this same scene the last day of writing, oh so long ago. I realized that it was just one page of ‘I don’t like you, I don’t trust him, and I’m confused what to do about it’. Now it feels more like a real scene, although maybe more dramatic than reality. It’s a scene that more subtly talks to the depth of the characters.

Editing video is fun. I’ve edited before, I’ll edit again. The building of the story, art thieves on the run that we improvised on our honeymoon in Italy was fun. I was using Microsoft Movie Maker, which for someone used to editing on Avid, sucked. I could always acquire some other better software, but I could also play video games all day and find a million other things to do instead of write.

Why write? Maybe I’ll answer that now. It’s an easy answer. I make corporate video for a living. Fine, it beats digging ditches, shoveling shit and wearing a tie. No complaints… okay, if you permit me to complain: I like movies, I like stories, I like the visual medium. Although I work in the visual medium, the story telling is a guy talking about some thing he buys, sells or processes and we cut to images that enforce his point. This is fine. But I long for the reverse. I want to use those images, those scenes to tell the story. Also, my work can be very documentary. I crave telling a story that isn’t there, not capturing one that already exists. Maybe this is trivial. But I’m very good at trivia.

So I write so that I can make a movie. That’s why I wrote HEARSAY. I specifically wrote it to be easy to make. But now I feel that if I am going to get one good shot at making a movie, I want a bigger more exciting story. Also I want it to be fun to make. So I’m writing this movie because nobody’s going to give me a shot, I have make (write) my own ticket.

Next, on this day off from work I will begin writing query letters to get some interest in my last script. I will keep you posted.

Lastly, some of the best advice I ever got was from James Murphy, author and professor: ‘Avoid the idle pleasures’. I got that advice about 10 years ago and by canceling my beloved Netflix, banishing video games, watching less television and trying real hard to write, I’m finally following his advice.

20 pages hoping for 90-ish.

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