So here I was thinking that I was only 25 pages into my screenplay when lo and behold, it turns out that I was in the wrong format. D’oh! In standard movie screenplay format my 25 pages becomes 40. Woo-freaking-hoo! I’ve since written up to 50. That means I’m nearly halfway home.
I’ve actually never written this far before. It feels like the way ahead is pitch black. I’m in uncharted waters. This is when doubts begin to creep in. Were those really the right 50 pages? Is there a clear three act breaks? I haven’t even gotten to the story within a story yet. How much will that take up? What wonderful writing will I have to lose to get this finished!?
Regardless, I press on. Today I’m getting my hair chopped. There will be a blog post and photographic evidence later.
Well, the first weekend was really about building up to this moment. Finally writing has begun in earnest. I know this, not because I’m saying it out loud, but because I have 7 more pages in my hands that are somewhere between good and fucking great. Most likely some of it will end up on the trash heap, but that’s not because those pages are bad — Which is refreshing! — it’s because it might not fit into the story when all is said and done.
So Sunday I played like 6 hours of Red Dead Redemption with the Posse, and then I watched Jonah Hex because I’m a terrible person with awful taste. The point is that I have pages and.. and… inspiration! I’ve been visiting with this idea for over 6 years off and on, popping in for tea every few months or so. To sit down and finally have a meaningful conversation about where our life together is headed is just wonderful.
The lesson here is to let yourself do whatever it takes to get to that point where you can write. Don’t punish yourself because time is only wasted if in the end you aren’t holding those 7 pages aloft, like I am, and screaming to the crows overhead that they can’t take your eyes yet, because you still need them for the next 7 pages!
This is for you Megan Fox and Josh Brolin. Your sacrifice will not be in vain!
I went to see the new Scream movie with the same morbid curiosity that i afford remakes of horror classics -which turned out to be a pretty good mind set to be in because that’s the hook this time out. The meta jokes are Inception deep from the get go and the screenplay, credited here to original writer Kevin Williamson is endlessly clever and almost self deprecating. Where the movie really paled in comparison to its less stupidly branded s1st3rs was, unfortunately, in the rather critical scares dept. None of the scares were particularly frightening and worse yet, the cleverness of the dialogue failed to carry over into the kill scenes. Not that I need Rube Goldbergian devices to get a thrill… Scream has always been sort of blue collar in the classic slasher sense.
But looking back…
My favorite moment of the entire series is actually from Scream 2, when Syd and Hailee are in the back of the police cruiser after Ghostface crashes the car and they have to C R A W L over the unconcious killer and out the open driver’s side window from the back seat to escape. That scene is one tense moment after another until the tension is so taut it nearly garrotes you on the intensity.
Scream 4 doesn’t have single scene that comes close to that and in fact has several scenes of such absolute boneheadness on the part of the victims that you will leave the theater with a pounding welt on your forehead from slapping it so often. The scene with the publicist is especially awful. Wouldn’t you use your cell phone to, Oh I dunno, call the police? They had jokes about that in the first movie using a goddamn dial-up modem for the love of Jason.
I enjoyed Scre4m. I just didn’t scream a whole lot. Not that I usually do but pound for pound I’d put that first scene in Scream, the first, against any other scary movie kill.
Only one day removed from Facebook and i miss it like a lover but its absence, and the subsequent withdrawals has revealed in true fever dream fashion, its true form to me. Social media makes us all mind readers. And it comes with all the caveats which usually accompany that most feared and revered of mutant powers. I’m addicted to hearing the inane inner monologue of the general populace while simultaneously driven mad by the drivel and repulsed by my weakness.
Day 1 of staycation has been a bit of a wash so far. Productivitywise. Woke up in the morning feelin’ decidedly unlike P.Diddy and ate chocolate chip pancakes with Takko. Went to see the 10am matinee of Scre4m. When i’m in writing mode i call these kind of activities “filling the box”. … Wait, no I don’t! I’ve never said anything that scholarly in my life. I’m completerly full of shit. Typo but i like it.
Truth is… watching the fourth Scream movie is vital to my process. Yes. It is. More on this later. Now here I sit in Whole Foods in Tribecca awaiting the convening of a writerly collectve I agreed to sit in with. It feels like a blind date for a gang bang. Honestly.
This is called being proactive.
I loathe the word “staycation” which has been squawked at me several times since I told people that, “yes, I’m taking a week off and no, I’m not going anywhere.” The truth is, I’m not going to “stay.” I’m not going to be a good dog. I’m going to be a very, very naughty dog. I’m going off my run. I’m running without a leash.
This vacation is a respite from the daily grind in the most common and uninteresting sense but it’s so much more than that. This time is time I’ve set aside and earmarked for writing and living and misbehaving. As the arrival date of my baby draws near, I find myself with something to prove. Either I am a badass, rock ‘n roll, superstar writer/producer motherfucker, or I’m not. I’ve given myself 9 days to finish a screenplay I’ve had kicking in the back of my mind for years. A screenplay I intend to submit for fame, glory and cash prizes.
I’m going to chronicle the progress here, as I take my leave of the more time consuming social media and open my own private conduit to like minded monsters. (My nickname is “boo” after all…)
Writing isn’t just about putting words on paper. It’s about creating a canvas, filling yourself with vivid and then jerking all the colors of the wind until the crayons get jealous.
Dance. Mummies. Dance until you vibrate the dead skin right off.