Monday, May 14, 2007

I can’t complain but sometimes I still do

Two weeks hanging out on set with no responsibility was a luxury. To stay through the whole shoot would have been an unnecessary burden on my wonderful, supportive family, so I came home last week.

(It wasn’t easy. I hate goodbyes. They’re wet and sniffle-y. Even the ones that shouldn’t be so hard.)

Being on set was fun and illuminating and boring and breathtaking… sometimes all at once. I met a lot of great people, some of whom I hope will stick as true friends despite all our hectic lives…

Today’s my first day back in my everyday life, where I write in an office in my home. I still feel a little square-peggish.

My manager and his partner had some positive comments on THE MIDDLE AGES and passed it on to a producer before I left. Apparently, she read it and has some notes for me, so we’ll probably hook up on the phone sometime this week.

Gotta re-read it -- I’m not in that head space, yet. Still missing my friends in the cast and crew and the energy of being on set. Hating that scenes are being shot and I’m not there to see them. It feels like grief.

I don’t expect, nor really deserve, much sympathy.

Woe is me… I’ve been rewritten by some brilliant comedy guys who built onto my script and made it better, then brought in the perfect cast and a kickass crew and… oh, the horror!

It’s been incredible all along to watch the actors bring my characters to life. But when I got to the “Ashmore Mansion” location last week, I felt like I’d fallen down a rabbit hole into my own imagination. I squealed and made a lot of excited, incomprehensible sounds.

Then… I saw the pool.

And there they were. The statues from my earliest drafts, just as I imagined. Just as I wrote.

(I never got to meet our production designer, Steve Arnold, but I love him.)

I’m sure “Nouveau David” takes a lot of people’s breath away… but not the way he did mine. ‘Cause I saw him first, years ago. Just like that. Right there, beside Mrs. Ashmore’s pool.

Life’s been good to me so far.


Blogger Brett said...

For some reason I am reminded of the puppet sex of TEAM AMERICA and wondering if the statues leave you open to a possible X rating... and there's no way you could BUY better publicity than that.

Very cool.

Disturbed, and twisted, and a little disgusting, but very cool.

(and welcome back to the land of the boring)

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Julie - very inspiring.

Jen W

3:13 PM  
Blogger annabel said...

Welcome home, Julie! I am glad you had such a great experience. I'm sure it must have been hard to leave.

Best wishes with "The Middle Ages"! I am happy to hear good things are happening!

9:20 PM  
Blogger Grumpy O. Selznick said...

well, look who has quite the little imagination....

9:34 PM  
Anonymous melon said...

Alice! I'm confident you'll be falling down that hole again!

Serious question: On the writer's commentary on the Princess Bride (1 of ur favs and mine) DVD, William Goldman points out this awkward Prince Heffalump line and mentions that he wished he had rewrote it.

Did any of your lines make you wince when they were actually spoken out loud by real live actors?

I think you should get to take Dave home after the shoot. Wouldn't he look great out on the veranda (or what ever you guys have down there in Florida).

8:11 AM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Thanks, guys!

Grumpy-- you call that "little?" You must be, like, the King of NY.

Jeff-- as to dialogue making me wince: no, for a couple reasons. First, I write brilliant dialogue. Second, after many months of revisions, most of my dialogue has been rewritten due to changes in action, etc. Last, our four stars, Brett, Matt, Rachelle and Efren, are all seriously talented actors and true pros. They didn't always stick verbatim to the dialogue as written but they always made it better. (Okay, except for Brett's "You bet your sarong!" take, but I think he was kidding...)

And you may be right. I bet David would be very happy nestled beside our modest, nonmultigazillionaire's pool. Maybe I could hang a bird feeder on him...

11:14 AM  
Anonymous melon not jeff said...

I know you write brilliant dialogue (but then again, so does Goldman).

There was a scene in Musings that hit so close to home it was scary. It really was a conversation that I had with my wife (she's still convinced that I write porno).

2:08 PM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Waitaminute. There's another Melon? And you've read my stuff?

Do I know you as some other fruit?

(Btw, the "brilliant dialogue" bit was me being droll. I've never heard of this Goldman guy.)

2:23 PM  
Anonymous melon said...

same melon. its just that you keep giving away my cool, secret identity.

yeah, I read your stuff. I was on trigger street trying to review enough scripts to get my script reviewed. they kept sending me stuff I couldn't finish so I went looking for comedies and found yours!

i have a good maya angelou thing (that I use on my wife) that would work with the jewish mother and a real good idea for the woman's club meeting.

if you ever need a partner just flash the melon signal and I'll come rushing out of my cave.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Welcome home, now go sell another one!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Michael said...


I just found your site. Love it and am glad that you were with us on location for the film. We enjoyed having you there. We are going strong into our fourth week of filming and I will keep you posted as to our progress.

All the best to you,

Michael Arata

2:02 AM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Oops-- sorry, Melon :) Did you ever tell me you'd found my script on TS? That has to be a very old, ugly draft... You've always struck me as tres Angelou-esque, though.

Pat -- Thanks, will do!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Michael-- It's great to hear from you! I'm happy you found me.

(Can't help myself: despite the Producer-Lawyer-Actor triad, I still like you...)

Thanks for the update and please do stay in touch.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous melon said...

I read it last year. Old and ugly? I thought it was fresh and real good -- and it had Great Structure!!!

(i still hate that structure sh*t)

btw, it's not like we talk that much! :)

11:07 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I read a version of Pool Boy many moons ago when it was on Zoetrope and I LOVED it.

I'm so, so, so happy for you. Keep the hits coming.

10:45 PM  

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