11 October 2006

update: screenwriting

Been awhile since I actually addressed this subject, and given that this subject is the alleged subject of this blog, it seems like a subject which might rate being addressed every once in a while.

Thus, I address the subject.

ROM-COM -- Completed the first draft this week and am now marking the living hell out of the 120-page printout, yeah, it's overlong, but that's 'cuz I tend to throw in extra dialog bits and exchanges which I know even as I write will not last 'til the second draft. best case, I'd love to get this tightened down to a solid 108 page effort within the next week so that I might pretty much have it "done" and off my mind in time for me to head off to...

Austin Film Festival -- That starts next week, and even though I was already pretty damned excited to be going back, I'm now almost giddy as I read that Kevin Smith and Lawrence Kasdan are late additions to the list of panelists. Regardless of how you feel about his movies, Smith is always entertaining to listen in a panel format, and Lawrence Kasdan... oh, my. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. BODY HEAT. SILVERADO. THE BIG CHILL. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. GRAND CANYON. Plus he wrote CONTINENTAL DIVIDE. and anyone who can make John Belushi and Blair Brown work as a cute romantic couple... well, this is a writer to be reckoned with. My hope now is that I won;t just make a slobbering ass of myself if I manage to meet Kasdan, as many of the aforementioned movies are ones which first sparked my awareness of "gosh, somebody actually writes all that stuff on screen... and that would be pretty cool...."

WESTERN THING -- that's an idea that has been sitting patiently on the back porch of my mind for more than a year now, and as soon as I get the RomCom off the front burner then that will become Primary project for a while, as there is ... (ahem) reason to give the project attention. I won't jinx it by spilling specifics just yet, but I will say "Austin been berry berry good to me" and "it's good to know people." There's a remote chance that there might be some stupidly cool news with this project in months to come, but, as usual, "we shall see...."

EPIC THING -- as is my habit, as I was pushing to get over the final hump of RomCom's initial draft—that Heartbreak Hill it seems I always encounter down the homestretch, where it looks like the damned thing will never make sense—of course I got distracted by a totally new idea out of left field. I granted myself a one week vacation from RomCom to focus exclusively on this new idea, doing research, playing with outlines, sketching character studies and action maps and all that fun stuff I do when assembling the pieces to stage a desktop fit of story-conjuring. I was (am) thrilled by a lot of what came together, but then at the end of that week I was totally slobberknockered to find that an agonizingly similar project was not only under development, but is now in fact scheduled for release in early 2007. I won't bother pissing and moaning over specifics (mainly 'cuz I am convinced and hopeful that this other project will be a total disaster, leaving the field at least partially unmuddied), but instead I'll keep my little box of assembled pieces safe and secure, ready for that happy moment when I can return to finish playing with them and build the story that deserves to be made and told there.

LILYA -- she continues to haunt me, and it is my hope that I'll return from Austin this year armed with some contacts to maybe start a serious marketing push to get that puppy read by some more people out in Hollywood. I love that story, love many moments of my telling, and truly believe there is a solid movie there if I can just get the material in front of the right pair of eyes (yeah, like that's a rare or unusual prayer among writers...). Still, hope springs eternal.

And of course there are a few other random odd items floating around the fringes of my mind, but they hardly rate mention for now. The plan for this year was to have THREE finished projects ready to be shopped and read by the end of 2006, and so far I'm still on track. The trick now... well, same as it ever was: find some more friends in LaLa.



Christopher said...

Brett - Could you e-mail me re: AFF please?

chris at austinfilmfestival dot com


Anonymous said...

Kasdan has God-like status with me. Body Heat was the first screenplay I read.

Lisa H said...

Brett ---

Can't wait to read your Austin comments -- especially on meeting Kasdan. Wow.

B, do you write/research during the day at a specific time or do you work randomly? I mean, do you keep to a strict schedule every day or just go with whatever the events of the day will permit? You're so involved with your kids and your community, I wonder a lot about how you accomplish all that you do.

Hope you had a super time in Austin (and that I'll be there next year!).

--- Lisa : )

Lisa H said...

B ---

Forgot to say that if you want to reply, you can post here or to my email (hayhaven @ yahoo . com) or on another site, if you wish.


--- L

aggiebrett said...

CHRIS-- oh, yeah. I shall have speaks with you, you thieving bastard. ;-)

QUILL-- I had a chance to chat with kasdan for 4 or 5 minutes at a party the first night of the fest, and I told him pretty much the same thing. "Mr Kasdan, your work one of the bigger reasons I'm doing this screenwriting thing." He then turned it back around and wanted to talk to me about what I was working on, what I enjoyed about the fest, what I was learning from the conference. He seemed a truly classy and decent gentleman, and his wife is amazingly tolerant of the bumbling newbies who intrude on their time in such social situations (she laughed when I told her as much). "That's alright-- you're doing fine."

LISA-- I guess I kinda just described my meeting with Kasdan. ;-) I'll take a stab at giving some more typically-styled impressions and memories (long winded, stupid, snarling, drizzled in profanity and insultery) as time and consciousness allow to day and tomorrow. "Oy." As for where and when I'll reply, I think it's clearly established that I am not averse to looking like a dumbass in full public view, so I'lll likely post comments here. And other places.