Working with this director is becoming an exercise in keeping my sanity in check. We had a brief conversation the other night about what exactly he wants, or at least is looking for, in this short project.
I came up with something I thought was pretty unique and, according to a friend who actually writes mysteries, contained some good setups with a “sucker punch twist” at the end. I’ll take that as high praise.
But it didn’t jibe with what he wanted. Because he’s been reading some mysteries on his own, including a few Sherlock Holmes. He says there’s a pattern to be followed. Victim, clues, solution. And he also has a list called something like “50 rules of mysteries”. Oh dear lord.
I offered that if you saw 4 mysteries, and 3 of them followed the same pattern and the 4th was different, wouldn’t you be more likely to remember the different one? Didn’t work.
While he appreciated my take on the story, he wanted the more traditional approach, but also to punch it up even more. “Go bigger” seemed to be his mantra. For some reason, he again referenced INCEPTION. I really hope he’s seen more movies than just that.
He wants the outline by Tuesday, which I’m fine with. Most of the story is in place. I just need to move a few details around. But he wants a ready-to-go draft by January 1st so he can immediately start on pre-production and casting. Based on how his previous project progressed, I think he’s being a little too ambitious.
The only positive spin I can put on this is that it’s really testing my abilities. On several levels. I don’t mind. It’s good exercise, writing-wise.
Now, while I probably should have been spent time on his outline, I opted to do some more work on DREAMSHIP. I had two scenes that seemed way too similar, and my protagonist was being more reactive than active.
Implementing the changes wasn’t as hard as I expected, and I think both turned out better than before. Honestly, this thing is really coming together.
-Just a brief note on something going on over at ScriptShadow. The First Ten Pages competition is taking place this week. Readers were invited to send in their log line and first ten pages, and the rest of the readers would vote on which ones looked the most interesting.
I meant to take part, but never got around to it. I don’t know what kind of chance I would have had. After reading some of the 50 finalists, I can’t help but wonder if some of these people have a grasp of what is expected of them. Some of the loglines were just too confusing, or didn’t make the story sound interesting.
I always thought the logline summed up the protagonist’s objective, who/what stands in their way and what could happen if they don’t achieve that objective, all in a way to make the reader/viewer want to know more. How do you screw that up?
Apparently quite easily.