Skip to main content

21 Days Later

Writer's Block. The two most dreaded words in the writer's lexicon. Never before have two words combined to cause so much pain, frustration, and self doubt. It's like quicksand. One minute you're strolling around the jungle looking at all the pretty trees and wildlife, the next, you are waist deep in muck that is pulling you down into the unknown depths with seemingly no way to get out of it. The blank page may be a mighty adversary for the writer to overcome, but writer's block is some monster out of the ultimate nightmare that literally kills many a story in almost any stage of development. It is the other silent killer, of dreams. Three days into my first attempt to write a feature length screenplay, I was face to face with it, and I was loosing.

On my journey to go from an aspiring, to a real, live, honest to goodness, filmmaker, I found myself stopped out on day 2 of what I had hoped would be a 21 day process. That process of course being the one found in the book, "How to Write a Movie in 21 Days". I was sincerely hoping that by purchasing, reading, and following the instructions of the book, page by page and day by day, that in a little over three weeks I would have the very thing that all aspiring filmmakers really need if they are going to be serious about their craft, an actual story to tell. I dare say, gentle reader, there is nothing as important to the process as that. As I have noted in earlier posts, purchasing new cameras with HD capability is extremely exciting. Looking at all the new software and what cinematic creations are possible with just a computer and some know how, can keep one awake at night as if it were Christmas Eve. But, the harsh reality is, before you can shoot a single frame with that camera, or import even one piece of footage into that powerhouse of a super computer, you must have a story to tell. On my personal journey, I'm finding that having a story to tell, may be one of the major things that separate those who are aspiring, from those who have reached real, live, honest to goodness status. The ability to take those dreams, aspirations, and ever elusive ideas and turn them into some sort of tangible reality. Making that happen starts with a screenplay, a screenplay that I found myself, for one reason or another, unable to write.

After finding myself blocked on Day 2 of the 21 day process, Day 3 found me doing something I had told myself I would not do. I looked ahead in the book. My hope in doing this was to find some sort of instruction or nugget of wisdom that would enable me to get back on track. Alas, I found none. Author Viki King, was as encouraging as ever, telling me that I could do it, and that there was a great movie inside of me just waiting to get out. She kept telling tales of how my hero was really going to be working hard to overcome evil in these next fifteen pages, and the fifteen pages after that, and the fifteen after that, but that didn't help me to write. I read the next day's reading, then the next, and yes gentle reader, even the one after that. Yet I found no weapon with which to combat the writer's block that held me in it's death grip. So, I went to the back of the book, hopes rising briefly when I remembered there was a section talking about writer's block, but still found nothing to help me move my story forward. The truth was, I had started telling a story that had two people chatting online, and after all of the clever dialogue, I had no way of moving them away from their computers. They were trapped in their respective rooms and I was blocked. All of Ms. King's encouragement and pats on the back did nothing to change the fact that I was stuck. Day 3 ended as I turned off my computer. 21 days went by, and at the end of it, I had no screenplay. But fear not, gentle reader, our story does not end here. Help was on the horizon and it came in the form of three very unlikely words, Super Saver Shipping.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Rolling with the Punches

So, last week I began to tell you, gentle reader, the tale of the first day of shooting on my latest film project "Relationship Rewind".  It was a tale of grand plans, and meticulous designs... which were abandoned almost immediately.  All my great ideas for cinematic lighting, stereophonic sound, and coverage of every scene from every angle, were jetisoned in the wake of people looking at me and waiting for me to get this proverbial show on the road.  I could handle this, I was just going to have to scale down my ideas, but I could keep moving forward.  Then I got hit again.

I had just completed the first few shots of a movie I had been trying to pull together for over a year and a half.  I was happy with the footage I had gotten from this first position, and it was time to move the camera.  The camera I was using is notorious for having a less than stellar battery life, so (having planed for this) I had plugged the camera into the wall, so as not to run out of battery powe…

Everybody has a Plan, until...

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been quoted as saying "Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face".  I'm here to tell you, it's true gentle reader.  It is true.

Yesterday was the first day of principal photography on my latest film project "Relationship Rewind".  This has been a project a long time in the making.  It took a little over a year to write the script (Not because the script took that long to write, but because there were short periods of writing in between long stretches of dreaming of what it would be like to film something I had already written).  So in short, the script took a year to write because of my old friend, procrastination.  Preproduction, or getting all the pieces into place after the script had been written, has taken a little over eighteen months.  I'm sure there was some procrastination in that time table as well, but far less than when writing the script.  As I mentioned in my last post, there were e…

Christmas Wrapping

Alas, Christmas time is nearly upon me and I don't have a single thing wrapped. This includes all of my purchases for loved ones to be opened Christmas morning, as well as the principal photography for the up and coming mega blockbuster, Zombies During Third Period... Again. Despite the best efforts by cast and crew alike, shooting on the movie is one thing that will not be wrapped in time for Christmas. I guess that Zombies really are the gift that just keep on giving. However, to say that we will not be able to finish shooting the movie on the date that has been typed on our schedule, is not to say that things are not going well. I am confident that the images that we have captured (in brilliant 24p High Definition), are going to cut together and form a picture that everyone involved will be quite proud of. And despite all indications to the contrary, we have been able to answer one of the most important questions that has been plaguing us on this shoot. "Will there …