Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Shadow of the Light

I’m a screenwriter again. After a few months of resigning myself to writing nothing but short fiction and quarterly research reports, I’ve become sufficiently inspired to take on a feature length script. By myself. No “team” of 3, bouncing ideas off each other only to see them roll away under the couch, joining Seymour and Lily’s cat toys to collect dust and wait to be loved. I won’t isolate myself though. I will still accept feedback. I will ask others to read my work. I will incessantly bother Laurel with questions about structure.

This being the Internet, I won’t give away too many details about my idea though some of you (i.e., those who write comments) have heard this idea. I will divulge the following:

1. This is a period piece. I can’t believe I’m writing a period piece where the period is not mid-summer 1985.

2. The dialogue will be in a foreign language. That’s if you think British English circa-1923 is different from present-day American English. In this way, I’ll be a lot like Mel Gibson, who I have to actually praise for writing his new film in Mayan and his last one in Aramaic/Latin. It always bothers me to see things like the Germans in Hogan’s Heroes speaking English with a German accent. So Mel, even though I think you’re a crazy crazy man, I respect the language portion of your freaky-ass visions. Um, did I just reference Hogan's Heroes?

3. There will be no outlines, other than those in my head.

4. The story is based on a real event.

5. If the screenplay is actually sold and the vision isn’t diluted, I may have to disappear for a while like Salman Rushdie. So, to any potential edict issuers, I say this: It’s all in the court transcripts!

6. It will be disconcertingly dark and sweetly funny.

7. Hal Hartley, if he hasn’t otherwise turned things around by then, may want to adapt it. Maybe I’ll finally get to meet Adrienne Shelley.

But enough talk. I have to get to work. And for those who haven't heard, Mad Dog’s back!


Jason B. said...

Paul Schrader says that the best way to work on a script is to tell people the story. He emphasizes the deep connection of screenplays/film to verbal story telling. If you can tell it (another term would be pitch it) without the person you are telling it to getting bored then you're ready to write.

You told me about it and I think it's great.

Anonymous said...

This has all the makings of a lovely work. Especially since I know who you are, and you described to me what you're writing. Since you bother Laurel incessantly with questions about structure, I guess I shouldn't feel bad about asking this: read any good zombie movies lately? Eh?

Commenting Ali said...

Read any good zombie movies, you ask? Well, my parrothead friend, film is a visual medium. I can say that I've (partially) read a fine zombie script.