Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chronicles 54 - If a tree falls...


So, the multi-tasking continues...

Still haven't locked down the play yet, after workshopping it with the actors who are also rehearsing the piece I still have a few sections to write - additions mainly, still, it's good to go through this process so everyone feels happy that it works before it hits the stage in January.

I'm aiming for 4 pages a day on my historical assignment. The foundation is there, extensive outline and character breakdowns so it's really a question of self-discipline and time management on my part as I squeeze in the script along with my day job. I'm in the thick of project managing a project which I will deliver in the US in 2 weeks.

Finished the 3rd draft of the treatment for my UK director and NYC producer. Hopefully I will meet the latter in the US next week.

The UK producer has asked me to novelise the script I wrote for him but I'm not so sure about this. For one he wants me to do it on spec without a publisher involved and there is also the time issue, there is a big difference between 5 pages a day of screenwriitng and 5 pages a day of novel writing!

The financing for the rom-com has gone into 'dark side of the moon' mode. Neither a yes or a no but what seems like an indefinite decision period. In the meantime the exec producer has applied to another big German fund and the casting director in NYC has submitted it to another funding source. Not much I can do but wait this one out. It's clear that the casting director is not really in a position to get to A list talent without finance being attached, she wants a deal on the table and then to go out with offers. She has put me in touch with a NYC funding source so if her source works out and my source on the UK end delivers the goods I'm home free.

This is possible but means that I can't really be pro-active right now. I have to see how this all plays out. I have a number of finance sources but most of them need cast attached. The Hedge fund doesn't need cast and would provide 30-50% equity which would put me in a very good position but I can't gauge what is going on right now. It really goes back to what I've blogged about before, relax, enjoy, don't sit around waiting for the phone to ring and continue creating and producing material.

Enjoy the creative process for what it is and leave the results to the cosmic flow which, contrary to what our puny little egos think, we don't have any control of. Sure, we can be focused, persistent, productive but film making requires an auspicious, almost serendipitious constellation of time, fate and circumstance to manifest our ethereal ideas into celluloid. Once you accept that then it kinda takes the pressure of, you keep moving but enjoying.

Screenwriting is a very goal orientated occupation and somehow you are always comparing yourself to others. So and so has an agent/manager, has sold a script (to a big Hollywood studio!) or has attached an A list star or is on the front of Variety etc. Still, at the end of the day, life must be enjoyed, if a screenplay doesn't get made does anyone hear it? Ultimately it shouldn't matter, the joy should come from the writing itself and whether it sells or not is the icing on the cake. The trouble is we can get so damn obsessed with that icing, we sit there drooling over it but the birthday cake may never come.

So what am I trying to say here? Well I guess it's that old chestnut again, enjoy the journey, which as writers I believe we do, more or less, even if we have to push and cajole ourselves to sit down and write and sweat away over plot points. Still, when we hit creative pay-dirt it's a buzz, a delight, the moment has its own value, it doesn't need to be externally validated, although, if it is, especially by experienced industry people then, yes, it's a shot in the arm, no doubt.

Enjoy!
SWU

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