I just finished the FINAL version of my screenplay: Delusions of Marriage!
This has been in works for…oh…I’d estimate ten years. I know that I dreamed up the original idea, on a Sunday, about ten years ago, when I had only one day off in a two week period. I intended to REST that day and recharge the ole batteries, in order to go back to the day job and have to function again. But, this idea popped into my head, and I spent hours, on that one free day, scoping and coordinating the boundaries of this screenplay.
And it took this long to “output” it. To pull the story out of a human.
When I read it, and go over it and proofread it, and edit, etc….(all of the technical things you have to do to FINISH), I like the work. Part of it “grabs” me, as a reader (not as a writer), and I “sink in” to the story. So, that’s a good thing. When I read words I wrote, and they enrapture me so much that…I forget that I wrote them…that’s good.
But this screenplay is different. It’s different from anything that’s out there…different from any type of movie being made now. This is a character study. It’s about people and a situation that they are in, and how each one reacts to the situation.
When I look at the movies that came out this summer, each one seems to be a ‘tentpole’. The blockbusters (the ones with money and power behind them), seem to be franchises, or based on comic books, or have superheroes, or be sequels.
When I go to the movies, I seem to want a stand-alone story. I want to get lost in the moment, and spend two hours or whatever amount of time, in the darkened theatre, with the outside world…outside. I want to completely inhabit the movie and the moment, and forget anything else that is going on. For me, movies are a distraction.
So, this movie, yeah…it’s different. I like it. But part of me is wondering, “Will anyone else even get this?”
I guess time will tell. The screenplay has four main characters. It’s about two married couples. When the man of one marriage makes friends with the woman of the other marriage, what complications arise?
These characters are drawn out and developed. They have lived in my head for so long. People tell me my characterizations are good. I wrote one of the male characters with one specific actor in mind to play him. I cannot seem to envision anyone else playing this role. I had the opportunity to work with this man in the recent past, on a movie. I didn’t say anything to him about “I’ve written a screenplay I’d love for you to act in, and I wrote it with you in mind!” That would be unprofessional to approach someone on a film set and pitch him an idea while he’s working. You just don’t do that. But I can’t seem to let go of the idea of him in this role. He’s an Emmy winner and Oscar nominated. I can’t think of anyone else who could play this role.
I want to direct this movie. I realize that to get it made, I might have to let go of that dream. But, I’ll try, if at all possible, to be the one to direct it. It’s my vision. It’s my interpretation.
Whether my vision translates to the rest of the world…I guess we’ll see.
It’s amazing, when you create work, and you put that work out into the world, and then you receive comments and feedback…it’s amazing how wide and varied the reactions can be. I’ve lived enough and gathered enough life experience, that I’m kinda amazed when any two humans connect and understand each other…about anything. We are all so varied and different. (And that’s a good thing!) Human nature always provides something new to figure out. A new knot to untangle. Without it…there would be no songs, no poetry, no books, no films. It is because of our differences, that we come together and connect with other humans.
So, now the screenplay is done. One project among dozens. I have dozens of things in works…literally dozens. To move that from the sole realm of “living in Amanda’s head” to ….existing out in the world: That is a huge accomplishment.
If creating it was the hard part, next comes the easy part, right?::: Marketing it. Selling it. Getting someone in power interested. Getting money behind it to get it made. Attaching “names” to it. Finding a place to work. Getting someone to believe in me, as an artist, whether it be screenwriter or director. Actually making the movie.
Easy, peasy, right? (Read: Sarcasm….mucho, mongo, sarcasm. Nothing about this business is easy.)
So, you employ your other skills: charm, charisma, guts, gumption, ambition, drive, energy, focus, intensity, glory, and…perhaps…LUCK?
To get a movie made…to get from point A (a tiny spark of an idea that might, just might develop into a screenplay), to a final, finished, focused, polished, it-really-exists movie…it takes all the weapons in one’s arsenal.
So…where do we go next?
Ready. Aim. Fire!