Sunday, July 09, 2006

You might say I'm schizo, but so am I

I called a meeting tonight with the character I've been toying with.

I'm fascinated by other writers' processes and decided you probably are, too, so I'm sharing the transcript. Here goes:

Okay, Bill, if that’s even your real name – tell me about yourself. Let’s start with the ego. What gives?

“What gives?”

I’ll rephrase – why are you such an arrogant bastard?

That’s better. I am an arrogant bastard because other people are idiots.

Why do you say that?

Because just when I think my expectations can’t get any lower, I'm disappointed again. After 30 years of this, I figure I’m just the odd man out.

So, everybody but you is an idiot?

Mm… yeah. Everybody I know, yeah.


I know we just started, but I gotta go take a leak. You can wait if ya’ want.


Bill smirks, looks at me like I’m an idiot, and heads for the men’s room.

I wait… Bill takes a longish time out of disrespect for me. When he returns, he makes no attempt to hide his glance at my chest.

You really are an asshole, aren’t you?

You’re welcome to think so.

I think it’s a put-on.

Bill shrugs.

You gonna drink that?

No, I don’t really like Jack and Coke. Thanks, though.

Bill takes the drink and drains half of it.

It's two for one. I didn't buy it for you.

So, back to work. Tell me, what are you passionate about?

I knew it. You want to have sex with me.

Not hardly. Are you gonna answer the question?

There was a question?

If you want to be in this screenplay, I have to get to know you. What are you passionate about?

The hell kind of question is that?

What do you like to do? What are you into, besides being a schmuck?

Oh yeah. You so want me. It’s sad, almost…

I deadpan.

Are those real?

Know what? Forget it. No audience will ever care about you and I’m shopping for a protagonist, here. Sorry to waste both our time. I wonder if it’s too late to catch up with the reclusive megamillionaire…

Oh, him, huh? I hear he’s a real dick.

Can’t be any worse than you, Bill.

Pretty similar, actually… You might even say… identical.

What? What are you saying? You guys are twins?

No, brainiac. I’m him. He’s me. We’re the same guy.

Oh. You said “identical.” Not the “very same.” “Identical” implies two distinct yet perfectly similar—

Christ, and you wonder why I’m arrogant…

Hang on. You’re the megamillionaire? I had no idea. Do you still live in the penthouse at the Ritz?

Weekdays, yeah. Shorter commute.

And weekends?

I stay down by the yacht club.

Ah, so boating is your passion?

I like boating.


I’m good at it.

What kind of boat? Powerboat? Sailboat?

You obviously know a lot about the subject.

Sarcasm. What a surprise.

I have different kinds of boats for different kinds of boating. I’ve got a 36’ Cigarette – goes 200 mph. A 62’ sailboat that I live on most weekends. Some others.

Which is your favorite?

Grandma, no question. That’s her name. She’s a 26’ Hackercraft Dolphin – over 80 years old and gorgeous as anything.

Hackercraft? I’ve never heard of—

Grandma’s one of only about 15 Dolphin hulls left in the world.

Bill pulls out a wallet photo...

She’s beautiful.

Yeah. I know.

Hey, Bill, this has been cool, but it’s getting late. I think we’ve made some good progress tonight. Let’s get together again tomorrow, okay?

Sure, but I’m not gonna bang you.

I think I’ll live.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Newsflash: Writing is hard

Whoever said ideas are a dime a dozen was either brilliant or clueless.

Or maybe there’s something wrong with me – it’s possible (no, really) – but I don’t think I’m alone here.

Ideas that truly can and should be movies are hard to come by. I’ve got scads of story chunks floating around in my head (I'm seeing a specialist), but none of those are enough to sustain a feature-length film. Not a good one, anyway.

(Yeah, I know, but still.)

I saw a quote recently over on Wordplay, credit to Isak Dinesen:

You should never get married or start to write a *novel unless you can't believe your luck.

*You’ll need to use your superior power of imagination to pretend she said “screenplay.”

You ever read loglines on any of the screenwriter websites? Some are interesting, but most… well, talk about impulsive drunken Vegas weddings.

Okay, back to me again…

A few of the characters presently doing the backstroke through my mind sometimes tug my mental sleeve and tell me about themselves, but so far, none of their stories makes me feel like I’ve won the intracranial lotto.

These diaphanous people do intrigue me enough to spend some time with them – just a first date, nothing serious, yet – to get to know them, hear about their adventures and find out if maybe there’s a movie to be mined.

One guy in particular, I call him Bill, is fascinating to me but I’m still looking for his world. I know most of his story, just not where it takes place or what it looks like. I think it has something to do with launching Something and that he and a handful of others have been working toward The Big Day for some time. I think everybody’s counting on him. It’s strange to have this dynamic so clearly in mind, yet still so unfocused as well. (Ref. earlier comment wherein I suggested there may be something wrong with me.) If y’all have any bright ideas about Bill’s world, I’m all eyes.

Oh – and if you only popped in to see what’s up with POOL BOY, I’m sorry you had to read all that to get to this: it’s still a go, still set to begin shooting in October. I’ll keep you posted whenever there’s new news.