The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

My seven month leave of absence from the day job went into effect at 15:15 hours on Friday. I have a lot to accomplish in those seven months. A lot of it for the benefit of my son Colin a lot of it for the benefit of my family and the rest of it for me.

Writing is a funny thing though. Once you put your works out into the world they begin to have lives outside of you. In the case of books, people buy them and read them and opinions are formed, some good, some bad, some wildly outside the scope of your original concepts. Those lives however are internal ones living in the minds of those who consumed your work. Film scripts or screenplays however, well they live and they die, well outside your ability to influence them.

A screenplay is a strong and fragile thing. The writing may be the strongest part of the thing but in order for the screenplay to find its footing, in order for it to mature it needs a very specific environment and if any part of this environment isn’t just right, the end result is either an imperfect rendering or at worst, it arrives still born at the end of the process.

One of the prime ingredients you need as a screenwriter is a deep well of hope. Otherwise it all becomes a rather degrading and cynical exercise in endurance of the soul. Its a bit like torture, everybody fights but everybody breaks in the end. I fought, I bent and in the end I broke. My well of hope had run dry. So you do what you need to, you pull back, you nurse your wounds and you rest up and build your strength.

My entire film career seems to run in two year cycles. I don’t know why, that just seems to be the way of it. Sometimes I’m looking for the gig, other times it just finds me. Which brings me back to screenplays, specifically one of my screenplays out there, living it’s life without me. This particular script has been optioned ever year of its existence and it’s as close to the original concept of what I was trying to achieve when I wrote it in the first place. It was borne out of love, frustration and anger but then what isn’t?

I know, you’re thinking, “He’s going on a bit.” but bear with me.

This week the producer associated with my remaining script has a bunch of meetings lined up in LA. It all looks very hopeful. I say looks because I’ve been down this path before and as previously mentioned, hope can kill you in this industry or was that , “The Shawshank Redemption?” I get them mixed up sometimes. Now would be a very good time for things to move on that front. For one, I could use the money, for another it would help propel my book sales. It is interesting that the whole thing is sort of like that girlfriend who calls you the minute you’re over her and into a new relationship. Trouble here is, this is the girlfriend who let you do all the nasty stuff that made you feel bad about yourself the next day…

Who could turn that down?

I’ll keep you posted.

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