Thursday, August 19, 2004Bedtime Post
Ugh... I don't feel so good. I don't feel exactly sick -- at least not yet -- but my stomach feels a little "off," I'm feeling kinda lethargic and slow, and, I know this doesn't make much sense, but my teeth and jaw hurt. I'm also flirting with a headache... I really hope I don't get sick; this would be bad timing. Once I finish this I'm probably gonna go take a couple of aspirin and a big dose of vitamin C and curl up in bed, just in case.
I'm wrestling with this short screenplay, and the screenplay is wrestling back. I have pages and pages of notes, but none of those notes seem to translate into a cohesive story; I'm not quite brave enough to attempt a plotless short. People keep asking me what this film is about, and the question is so hard to answer. It's about politics, but not really; it's about being in a given place (Memphis) at a given time (election day, 2004); it's about creativity and obstacles thereto, both external and self-inflicted.
At the moment, it's about two primary characters: one man and one woman. The man's a writer who has come to avoid writing; the woman's a novice filmmaker who has recently taken it up after a divorce, or something like that. The writer has channelled most of his creative energy into politics in the last couple of years, using it as a way to avoid his real work. He has heard a rumor that George W. Bush is coming to town for a semi-secret rally, and he's trying to find out when/where it's happening so he can go write about it. The filmmaker hooks up with him -- not because he wants her to -- and the bulk of the day is spent wandering the city, trying to find Bush's rally. Some stuff happens. There's a protest, and some conspiracy theorists, probably some campaign workers but maybe not. A transformative arc is completed. The end.
I've gone all over the map with this thing; I've gone all deep and metaphysical, teasing out the "deeper meaning" of each of these roles and what their actions symbolize; I've gone stupid/silly, trying out any damn fool thing that pops into my head. (That has actually been more fruitful... why is that symbolism only works after the fact?) I've plotted story arcs, I've gone way-abstract, I've added characters and taken them away again, I've done long character analyses, and I've turned to admired sources for crib notes. Tonight's epiphany was largely inspired by Glinda, the Good Witch of the North; I think it might actually stick.
But I still only have five pages written. (I'm not even happy with them.) |