Monday, July 04, 2011

Back To Business: Gaining Clarity and Focus and Keeping It

Some time ago, I was fairly creative.
Starting in 1984 until about 2001, I'd been involved with or dabbled in everything from cartooning, photography, high school newspaper journalism and film criticism, local cable access news and entertainment, film school, screenwriting in both personal study and formal classes and video production and linear video editing. I managed to cobble together two full-length scripts -- one, a silly Hollywood action-comedy; the other, a smaller independent crime comedy -- which gathered some kind words but failed to earn me local literary representation. Stepping up to the plate and prepping for something big, I penned a short forty-pager for a video-film that I'd written and planned to direct and perform in.
Sadly, the project failed to get off the ground due to the usual bad luck, poor planning and misunderstandings. Following that and the lamentation of my lack of personal wealth, I concentrated on the writing aspect of film making which made sense as it just doesn't get any cheaper than pens and paper. Then life got in the way, as it often does, and a combination of unpleasant life experiences, emotional depression, lack of personal belief -- and even general laziness -- kept me from creating anything more than than an occasional blog posting for the subsequent few years. But not completely...
About four years ago something clicked and I had the inklings of a new storyline. Something very... no, extremely... personal. It was far from fully-formed, and is still in fact taking shape. Over these recent years, I had to put a few things to bed, so to speak. Feelings, worries, misgivings... Call them what you will. But finally, one thing has led to another and it's pretty much all there in what could finally be considered a workable form. As of this moment, it exists only as fragments. Pieces of notebook paper, storyboard drawings and torn corners of napkins are tacked to a bulletin board above this laptop. MP3s of appropriate pieces of music, effects, photos and memories from my childhood and young adult past pepper my room, my hard drive and my mind. Just recently, a specific piece of information that I was given provided the true necessary spark to get moving again. And now it's time to take it to the next level.
Growth and maturity rarely come easily. And as no less than screenwriting guru William Goldman has said, "The easiest thing on Earth to do is not write." So, this note will hopefully serve as a method of keeping track of myself and the New Project. The goal is to finish at least a first draft by the 2011 holiday season. And they say that if a writer fears that they might not keep focused, they should tell others of their progress in an effort to keep a sort of goal; that the more people who know about it, the more likely the writer is to continue with it. Starting here and now, I'm doing just that. I thank you in-advance for your interest and any encouragements offered.
I'll try not to let any of us down.
Concepts, theories, investigations and emotional preparations. Studying: in theory and practice, through reading and viewing the lives and works of those who have come to be spiritual and professional influences. These influences on the current project include, but are not limited to...
Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, Richard Siodmak, William Shakespeare, Humphrey Bogart, David Mamet, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann, Kenny Rogers, Haruki Murakami, Kevin Weeks, Jack Kerouac, Andrew Vachss, Elmore Leonard, Carol Reed, Henry Rollins, Toshiro Mifune, Tom Waits, Ernest Hemingway... and my Nephew, Father and Mother.
July 4th, 2011:
Hammered out most of the main backstory at last, which is necessary to continue any further. The narrative is a crime mystery and a large element of the narrative lies in the past. Feels good to see how all these things that have just been concepts for so very long are flowing together in what appears, at least for now, to seem like a natural, organic and believable flow. The idea is to take a genre story and give it an emotional depth usually only seen in our most deep and personal everyday lives. Getting down the protagonists' pre-story lives is crucial and key. Laying the foundations. No fireworks tonight. There's work to be done.

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