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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Screenplay 3

I changed the tense of the voiceover from present to past, and added a final "action" scene representing a projection of the speaker's, i.e. the protag's state of mind--there is nothing to distinguish the action scenes (there are four or five of them over the 16 pages of V.O.) from the scenes showing the protag in his actual everyday life, other than their shocking nature, which will lead I hope the average viewer to understand that they did not in fact happen and are only dramatizations of the protag's mental life. A V.O. in the present tense I think comes across as a screaming artificiality; strange that this is the case because in "real life" we think in the present tense, don't we, at least part of the time? But it just doesn't seem to "play" on screen, at least when I hear it in my mind. Though I would like to hear it on screen that way, just to be sure. As if that's ever going to happen. Movie sets in the sky. I hope I'm not charged rent.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Self Flagellation

It feels strange to be working from an outline but that's what I did tonight; makes one feel very much in command. But I'm having to whip myself to create the outline. A huge problem is that the primary antagonist in the story is the protagonist. One is supposed to devise multiple scenes where the antagonist and protagonist butt heads, in a carefully graduated crescendo, but but but but I can't. Maybe a solution will come to me tomorrow. I look forward to working with Joe the Conqueror on Screenplay 2, Intent to Kill. First step will be a plausibility check on each scene. It's gotta be real baby. It's gotta be as real as that saliva that's in your mouth all the time that you never notice but it's there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not Shakespeare

Tonight, thanks to Joe the Conqueror, I learned that blank verse was introduced into English by translator and poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, who first used it in a translation of the Aeneid. And introduced a subplot into Screenplay 3, having no sense whatsoever whether this was a good or bad move--it just happened.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Art Direction

Added some brief shock-effect action scenes to the opening voiceover, and they're not wholly gratuitous, I believe, each shot composed and lit like a Rembrandt, LOL. But a massive amount of thinking remains to be done and I keep putting it off and putting it off. Switching one's orientation from theater of the absurd to the naturalism serious film demands is a truly wrenching experience, I don't recommend it, it's like asking a tiger to change its stripes to polka dots. How is it possible to have access to the "creative process" of a doomed screenwriter one has never met? It's because life with an internet is weird.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Defying Convention for Depth of Character

Starting a screenplay with a 12-page voiceover from a single character is risky but a V.O. done well--à la Guy Pearce in Memento--is a beautiful, beautiful thing, and adds true depth of character, if not exhaustive depth of character, and when a gifted actor is reading or reciting something, someone with a gorgeous timbre and all the right inflections and perfect tone, you don't want it ever to end; though for the sake of the medium the one-page opening scene is an action scene, a shocker actually, and over the course of the V.O. the character is depicted in multiple locations, it's not like he's sitting in a chair staring into the camera, one views him in a variety of situations that summarize his "lifestyle," if you can call it that, he doesn't have a lot going for him, a classic case of "If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


A number of things have gotten in the way of one's work . . . ah well . . . reread Pinter's The Proust Screenplay, which is a ridiculous piece of trash that fails in almost every conceivable way (primarily by not even attempting to portray Marcel as a writer), and that got one to pick up the Tadié biography, of Marcel, which is at times a chore to read . . . but it has its moments . . . for instance Marcel's inscription of a copy of Les Plaisirs et les Jours given to a friend: "The things which make us weep change, but the tears remain the same." A fine portrait of Proust is presented by two feature films, Celeste, and Time Regained, the former in German, the latter French.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Oh God, it's turning into an Eric Rohmer film. Tomorrow night it will probably be the Marx Brothers. If this keeps up, I may sink to the level of Godard.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Speech as Incantation

Twelve pages of continuous voiceover from a single character, now that's totally off the wall, beyond the pale, unproducible, unmarketable, out of sync, manifesting a profound ignorance of the fundamentals of screenwriting--I love it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gleam of Light

Tonight, for the first time in more than two months of trying, I had a non-disastrous night working on Screenplay 3.