So I met with the director yesterday. I admit I was THIS CLOSE to giving notice, based on how he reacted. I didn’t expect him to explode, but I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to happen.
Turns out – not much. I was very diplomatic about what problems I having with the story, calmly explaining why it wasn’t working. He seemed to get it, but I could tell he wanted to do it HIS way. Which is fine. It’s his film; not mine.
We spent the next hour-fifteen discussing how to fix things. He is very set on what he wants, as he should be. But a little flexibility could help him. There were several instances where what he was describing was screaming out “HIGHBROW STUDENT FILM!” To which I say “bleah.” I don’t give a rat’s ass about how a concept or psychoanalytic term is presented on film. I want a story told in an interesting way.
One of the scenes he wants is set in a pool hall, the highlight of which is a game of pool played without sticks. He didn’t explain how it was done, but my first thought was CG, but it sounds more like it would be camera tricks. Then he added that he thought this would show something nobody had done before (possibly), and maybe somebody would think it was so cool they would hire him to direct something like a commercial or video. Based on what I know about getting into this industry, I highly suspect the odds are not in his favor. But as always, I wish him the best of luck.
We part ways with me saying I’ll do my best to write something closer to what he wants. The rest of the day I’m thinking “what have I done?” But I said I’d give it a try, so that’s what I did.
But I decided I would approach it not as one of my scripts, but more like an adaptation. Start with his materials, see how to work with it and take it from there.
I plotted out how I wanted to it to go, what the conflict and resolution for each scene was, then tried to figure out if there was a way to say what he wanted to be said, but without actually saying it, as well as seeing if there was a way to put a twist on it so it still worked.
So far I’m up to just past the midpoint, which is more than I expected to get by now. If I can figure out the end of the scenes, I’ll get this done by the end of the weekend. And that would be nice.
I have to keep reminding myself that in the end I will have an actual film that was written by me. Which in some ways is what it’s all about.
And another potential good thing that happened today. A guy out of Boston writes a screenwriting blog I occasionally check out. He tweeted to contact him if you had a family-friendly comedy or adventure. Since I have both, I responded. Turns out the request comes from an agent in Vegas(?!) looking for that sort of thing.
I’m still working on the query to send to her. I think once I get the script done, I’ll drop her a line.
Movie of the moment: LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, a 1962 modern-era Western with Kirk Douglas as a cowboy. It’s not bad, but reeks of the studio system. Hey, that’s Bill Bixby as the helicopter pilot! I don’t remember where I first heard about it, but it’s one of those “what sounded good about this to make me want to put this on my Netflix queue?” It was written by Dalton Trumbo, so maybe that’s it.