A quick update for all of you who have been breathlessly awaiting my return.
Anyway, things haven’t exactly gone as planned, but I’m happy to report that that can be viewed as a good thing. As I stated before, I like to know that the stories I have looming on the horizon are in enough shape to stand on their own before I can get down to the business at hand. So, what was two stories became four. And what was four has now become three. See, the name duel between my two ideas in progress settled into a happy – and somewhat accidental – compromise. It seems that, while both tales were lashing it out for the rights to one name, they fell in love. Isn’t that sweet? So they’re together now, and – as is often the case with these things – creating something new. Jumping for the moment out of this marital metaphor, I tend to do that sometimes: create a few ideas that are really part of one big idea. My challenge that I have no choice to accept is to keep it manageable as a screenplay, and not take it into the sprawling jungles of novel country. So far, so good. I think.
So, little by little I’ve been adding details to three new future projects and not giving all that much thought or toil to my big matter at hand. I know, don’t flatter myself. But seriously, I tend to beat myself up about not getting to work on something when perhaps it would be best to accept that I’m just not ready. What I also tend to do, however, is place the Sword of Damocles above my head and try and operate under the pretense that I’m in contract with a big studio, and they have me on a schedule. I feel if I don’t allow myself any excuses now, I won’t if and when the day comes when I can’t afford any. The truth is I don’t know what that will be like, so I need to dance to the urgency of my own rhythm; which, fortunately, didn’t turn out to be something akin to a waltz at the Spokane Senior Center like I feared, but rather something more like an 80’s kick and jerk to a more midtempo track off of Howard Jones’ Greatest Hits. In summation, I’m not being exactly prolific, but I’ve got more than a few doodles and dirty limericks for my trouble.
In fact, I’m excited. I’ve always worked from notes straight to screenplay format but this time I’m siphoning off a detailed treatment. That’s cool, I find, because its like soloing off a strong back beat. And as I promised you last time, I’ve got a lead actor in my head that’s doing the riffing. That’s right, it’s Edward Furlong. It’s been him all along. I saw him at a convention a year or so back and have since been obsessed with writing him into this role. The thing is, the guy has to be pushing thirty but I think he can still play seventeen. And if he looks a bit old for the part all the better, as my protagonist is a little worse for wear both physically and emotionally. I also happen to think Mr. Furlong has reserves of talent that aren’t always mined correctly. He’s the kind of actor that should be having the masculine version of Parker Posey’s career, but for some reason decent independent fair has more or less eluded him. I mean, Detroit Rock City was an okay concept, and I loved American History X, but Pecker? I suppose his agent thought that John Waters would do for his career what he did for Johnny Depp. But as it turned out, it was Christina Ricci who made it out of the quirky independent circuit and not in small part because she’s got that combination of vinyl toy cuteness and a killer body that no one else in Hollywood has. She’s also authentically edgy for a Tinsel Town starlet and pops on the screen without having to do a whole lot. Still, in terms of sheer performance power and original concept, I’d put The Visitation up against The Curse any day. But I’m not trying to bag on Christina here, I’m really just trying to say I’ve got something for Eddie and I will move mountains to get it to him when I’m finished.
So I’m still in the first scene, picking my battles and laying in my shading. The first scene is very important, as it will set the tone for the rest of the script and I don’t know exactly where to pitch my voice just yet. But I’m close. It’s cool. For a script about someone escaping a very public hell by diving into a more personal one, it feels scary on a fresh level and surprisingly full of heart.
Now, back to making you care about all that.