Friday, July 9, 2010

Betwixt & Between

Maybe it's the weather. Record cold spell in Perth has frozen my brain.
Maybe it was a little health scare. Thanks, over anxious GP.
Maybe it's a feeling of restlessness. Patience not a virtue of mine.
But decisions need to be made.

New brief is to simplify the feature script. Well written but complex seems to be the common view.
I fear suggested changes remove the magic.
Mulling options. Headache results.
Deadline looms. So time to pick up the scalpel.

But my mind wanders to what's next.
Given that writing a feature script and committing to doing it well ie research, beat sheets, treatment, multiple drafts etc = realistically, a year's worth of work. Given that year will be 'on spec', it's a big decision what to choose next.

The 'knock' on me is my ideas are too complex. Various people nudging me towards high concept. At least they see the writing talent. However -
Producers after commercial product.
Director after a shooting schedule.
As for me - tired of being the bridesmaid - shortlisted but never the chocolates.

So, big ideas have to be shelved.
Trench - the psychological war/horror idea which I love = too big. Plus I haven't cracked the third act yet.
Considering revisiting old scripts and taking another swing. Somehow feels like a backwards step. Even though there are nice elements there.
The possibility of re-imagining an existing property has also been put on hold. Pity, as it was a fun idea.

Discussed options with my director last night before concert of Space Classics. We both love science fiction. Listening to John Williams' music a catalyst. But what are the odds in Australia?
Mulling a heist film idea. Simple and slick. Maybe.

The supernatural might have to be banished. And the fantastical. For a while at least.

I've actually enjoyed escaping the Goldman-esque pit and rejoining the world for a while. Quiz nights, long boozy lunches, plays, the concert and, shortly, a local film festival. But the pit beckons once more. As writers know, that means embracing a certain level of anti-social behaviour. The hours need to be found. To the exclusion of other things. Like people.

I fall into that category of screenwriters who procrastinate until the death knell. Then it's time to knuckle down. Probably not the best way but it's my way. LOVE being in the zone. Wish I could get there more easily. Fear + adrenaline = creativity. It's a strange equation.

Enjoyed today's script meeting. Then again it wasn't my script. A friend is adapting their own short story which I love. A wonderful two-hander - low budget, arthouse, dark and undoubtedly controversial. Will make a great film if we get the script right (think Notes on a Scandal). I also love that she trusts me to be de facto script editor if not, indeed, co-writer. Helping another writer realise their vision is very exciting. Let's call it good karma.

So restless and searching. Perhaps not a bad way for a screenwriter to be. The mind is ticking over. Waiting for the fingers to follow. Don't expect to wait too long.