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Sunday, July 06, 2008

"Let's not go off half-cocked here"

Half-cocked. Heh.

I had a friend of mine look over my short last night and, while he liked it, he pretty much balked at some of the stuff I had put in my script.

"You do realize that professional, fully-paid, crews struggle with chase scenes right?"

Uh. No. Not really.

"Yeah, and unless you're thinking about hiring a professional stunt person, pretty much all your combat and such is gonna hafta go."


"If someone gets hurt on your shoot, it won't be pretty."

And that conversation went on for quite a while yesterday - basically consisting of me being dressed down in as cheerful a tone as my friend could muster. He was looking out for me - and anyone who would help me - to be sure. But still, when cold hard reality hits, yeah, that can be a bitch.

I had all these cool thoughts about camera angles and creepy shots and chasing down actors with cameras and it being a fun and exciting time.

Well, I guess that's not really how things go.

"A single room, a couple people is all you need. And please, make it funny. Most people don't want to see scary/depressing short films, they want punchy and laughter and..."

"What if I don't wanna be 'funny'??"

Yeah, I'm sorry to say that by this point I don't think I was hearing him right and was getting a tad defensive about it all. Man, I shoulda worn a diaper... not my proudest moment.


The truth is that he's right and I know he's right. With no money and no experience why reach so far into difficult territory? I'm excited to do this short, and it's good, but does it have to be done now?

Seeing it through the lens that he provided I can understand now how hard it would be to film for an experienced crew.

As another friend of mine said "KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid."

And so I went back to the drawing board. I mulled around with the concept: A few people, one room. What kind of story could I tell that I didn't feel had been overdone and would actually interest me?

It took me a bit to figure it out - must've gone through about six or seven concepts before one actually stuck and stuck well.

Next thing I know, I'm typing away at my computer - wordpad first, just overarching notes - why this and not that, how would that work? Where did I want to take it?

I really wanted to tell a horror story, but I also wanted to make something that the general population might want to watch as well. I settled on a Black Comedy, a bit morbid but funny - dark but not TOO dark. Slowly I began filling out the questionnaire in my head - who was this guy, what did he do? Why was he there?

Bit by bit, the pages filled and I found myself being sucked into the process. I came up with a few funny lines - ones that actually made me laugh (and more than a few that made me cringe). I used the good lines to try and help inspire me some more, letting myself get a tad more fearless, writing whatever came to my mind. I found a few more gems amongst the rubble.

All in all, I got it done in a couple hours this afternoon and I think it turned out pretty well.

It's 5 pages in a single room with 3 characters, one who's asleep. I've got no real props and no natural lighting (another issue with my previous script) so in theory this'll be a lot easier to shoot. Also, my roommates think it's pretty funny, so that's not too bad.


I'm going to put it away tonight and take it out again tomorrow night - I've got a writer's group meeting (my first one) so I think I'll bring it with me and see how it plays out.

In the end I feel pretty good about myself - I know I kinda freaked a bit when my original idea was panned (sorry Mike) but it did end up pushing me to go take another path that lead to something good.

Life lesson #674: Sometimes I just gotta suck it up and try something different.


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