Friday, January 15, 2010

Squashed ego, sir? Pulped ideas, madam?

Dan stayed up last night, pinging me with three texts of further ideas he's had - and one just painfully awful pun. At least two of them are excellent, incorporated in immediately.

By the end of the day, I had an email from him with a great twist on the proto-plot I'd offered up and some more details and moments, waiting to be combined in.

These early stages are where our approaches most differ: left to myself, it seems I create a solid, uninspired, somewhat dry, full first drafts that move no-one but offer potential qualities. Dan then has to fulfill the role of my script editor known as "throwing rocks at it".

By involving him from the start and trying to squash my ego down to use the best of what we both some up with, we should end up with a quality film script that he genuinely wants to direct.

We've already agreed a ego-less process from reviewing the final draft, so we won't come to blows but I think I need to get a sealed in blood promise from him that he won't agree to do it unless the material ends up good enough.

I want to hand him 80 pages that even if he'd never met me, he'd want to make.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Year, New project?

I've managed to sell Dan on using my redundancy time (and hopefully pay-off funds) to make a feature this summer.

Six months is a reasonable amount of time to storyline, write and redraft a film - Dan's bit of planning, prepping and organizing the entire shoot I'm sure can be fitted into the one week I've allocated him.

The big lesson learnt in 2009 is that finished beats good. Half-finished excellence will get us nowhere. We're going to keep a short, light comedy and yes, that still means limiting it's scope. Probably a lot of offices, bars and city centre flats. No matter what, if we start filming, it should get finished. Though I'm still not sure if the lesson means we actually have to show it anyone, if not happy with it.

Personally, I'd hoping to create really distinctive character, write jokes that get big out-loud laughs on the read through and yes, still have it punch you in the gut.

So, today was storyline meeting one - Dan and I have come up with a concept (well, were making each other laugh in a queue a couple of weeks ago) and I think it's got the depth to support an entire film.

We spent the time trying to come up with major beats, themes, riffs and even some character work. As usual, I work in a very linear, limited fashion, trying to get from one point to the next, secure in the connections. Dan is flying, bringing odd angles and better thinking - when combined, we should have great ideas bound with impeccable structure.

My thinking is that this is a good way of approaching a common subject, it's timely and truthful (I have been consciously trying to come up with an idea that would meet all our requirements) but that it's weakness is that tone and structure are going to be a problem.

But fortunately, they are both problems that can be solved by writing.