31 December 2005

Back on the Chain Gang

Rumors of my demise were very much exaggerated.

OK, so the month of December was not any especially memorable span of days in terms of demonstrable creative output, but still... things happened.

AMAZON, the shaggy-dog rom-com-slash-adventure romp, is not dead in the water but rather docked in a harbor, waiting for me (and/or co-writer) to get psyched to do another round of tweaks and edits. Both of us have been way-busy of late (her with other projects, me with... well, what laughably passes for “a life”). In a goofy and likely pointless development, we now have a beginning producer/director clamoring hard for the rights to the script, but in all honesty I don’t see how he could possibly even begin to do half justice to the piece given the limits of both his budget and experience. That’s not meant to insult or disparage his interest, but instead merely to say that “I very much doubt there is much worth pursuing there.”

ROM-COM, the intended-for-a-specific-star piece I am working on to slip to a cool producer contact I met last year, crawls forward with glacial haste. I have an opening I love, an ending I love, a setting and predicament I love, and a cast of characters I love, but what I lack is a clear vision of how best to navigate through the shoals of the second act (“where good ideas go to die”). As is I have an idea, but I am reluctant to charge ahead until I become more convinced that this is “THE Idea” — the one idea so cool and fun that it washes away any thoughts of any possible alternative idea. I hate getting THE Idea after I’ve already spent a lot of time making do with AN Idea, as then I am forced to scrap all that earlier misdirected effort. Better to get the heading right at the outset than to head off at speed and THEN worry about what direction you’re facing.

LILYA, historical bio-pic I’ve been consumed by for a year now, still hangs in my thoughts. I have a completed draft (fourth draft, actually) and while I quite like most of it, I still love only parts of it, and I’ve long been bothered by some vagueness in regards to certain specific character motivations. As I’ve been trying to get my focus fixed upon the two projects above, of course LILYA keeps elbowing to the front of my thoughts, but on the bright side I think I now have at least a glimmer of an idea how to resolve some of the vagueness which has bothered me. Now it’s down to just finding time and opportunity to make effective use of the ideas I’ve compiled.

Of course, while I’ve spent the past few weeks grappling with this, I’ve been swamped with familial duties as the kids have been on holiday for winter break, and then there’s been all the usual (or unusual, as the case may be) Christmas craziness to contend with — shopping, parties, travel, etc., etc., etc. Hopefully January will see a return to normalcy (ha!), and I’ll find some sort of working rhythm once again.

The goal is clear for 2006: this shall The Year Things Happen. All it will take is the willpower to make it happen.

For now, I remain cautiously optimistic.
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mumbling havoc and giving a tiny bit more leash to the poodles of war B

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

A buddy says the best way to get a new idea for a screenplay is to start writing another one...it's a good point and puts me in mind of AN idea vs. THE IDEA...

but how do you know which is which? Just the gut, I guess...and a few trusted friends...

...make it happen in '06.

Chris
milliondollarscreenwriting.com