So, while nobody’s actually come out and said “Hey! Blog, dammit!” I’ve had a few gentle prods lately reminding me that the blogosphere has been under-rambled lately. Sorry about that. The Media Empire is crumbling, and I am playing kazoo while MySpace clamors at the gates. (‘Clamors’ carefully chosen; I like to tell myself that the signal-to-noise ratio here, while dismal, is better than elsewhere. I am fighting a trend that finds signal to be a quaint ideal. Long live noise.)
Here’s the thing: I haven’t been saying much because I don’t have that much to say. While I was hanging with That Girl plenty of things happened, but they fell under the unbrella of None of Your Damn Business. [Type retained. Unbrella is a word that deserves to live.] Now I’m back in Prague, doing the same shit I’ve been doing for years now, and really if you want to know what I’m up to, the archives are there for you.
There have been a couple of developments worth noting, however.
My most rejected story has added to its legacy. Truly the Lou Gherig of rejection, this story is not finished yet.
That Girl sent me an email today that helped me up when I was down. I intend to reply to it before she reads this. Just so I can tell her personally first.
It’s still February, and I’ve already picked up the Most Awesome Birthday Present Ever. I intend to send a thank-you before the generous giver reads about it here. He gave me a vote, in a place that really matters, and made it clear that he thought I deserved that vote. Dang, that feels good.
Meanwhile, I’ve still been wrestling with the screenplay format. The biggest problem: No Rambling! I’ve been trying to pack my story into the required package and it’s been driving me crazy. Every time I want to tear my hair out and shout “It’s Impossible!” I think of The Usual Suspects. That’s a lot of story in the confined realm of the screenplay. How do they do it? A magnificent cast to turn a few words into an epic doesn’t hurt. Extensive voiceover by one of the best actors of our age doesn’t hurt. Then I realized… voiceover, quick-sliced action… the whole damn movie is a montage! (Any time you want a lot to happen in a little time, use a montage!)
Last year fuego and I got word through Charles 1th that there was a guy out in LA who had cash and wanted to make a movie. He was looking for a low-budget Usual Suspects. There are, as I write this, a thousand people trying to write the next Usual Suspects. Minimum. Suspects had some locations (burning freighters and stuff) but spent its main capital on director and cast. Still, it was the writing that brought all those people together. The stars bought into the script. kevin Spacey is brilliant, but the words come from somewhere else. It started with a script, and the entire industry is looking for the second coming.
So I look at that flick, and I wonder why I can’t achieve the same story density. It looks so easy there on the screen. What fuego and I did write was completely different, but actually rather good, and made to fly on a low budget. What if the mysterious powers that toss you around like a plaything are acting in your best interest? Makes you wish you’d payed more attention to the crazy lady next door, before she died on your sofa.
In the end, all my work with Dark War (with the help of fuego’s story-tellin’ flair) makes it more cinematic, more divorced from paper, and more trusting of skilled actors. But it’s still too damn long.
So, there’s that. Writing to constraints. It’s uncomfortable sometimes. Although that’s the biggest part of this post, it’s not the biggest contributor to my current state of mind. It’s just the one I’m most able to discuss. The rest of it — I’m not really sure.