Three Years From Then

So someone reads through those posts on The Attic and they post a comment which finds me this evening through the miracle of the internet. And I go back and glance at the post they were commenting on. Then I look at the some of the posts near that one. And I discover that three years ago I promised myself I’d be directing a feature film in 2004.

Three years time? I want to be playing in the mud at the bottom of the swamp and making people come to life out of the clay.

So, what have I done in the meantime? What’s got me any closer to that goal? Well, compadre, quite a bit, I think. I’ve now shot four short films, three on celluloid, and entered them in festivals. Thanks to that process, I’ve learned a whole heap of valuable lessons. Lessons about storytelling, about not cramming too much in, keeping the audience entertained, keeping things simple, and I’m starting to learn how to pace things.

I’ve also learned lessons about casting, about getting not just great actors, but actors who I can work with on my team and also making time for them on the set, working with them first and foremost. And I’ve learned how to shoot. I continue to learn about that, especially through cutting and watching other films critically. This week, for example, we watched Confidence. The editing is beautiful. It’s accomplished and eye-catching at the same time. Some would call it self-conscious but I look at it and see art. And I am entertained.

So, where’s my script? The one I promised to start writing three years ago? I’m getting a better and better idea of what a great feature film script should look like–and by that I mean a script that I would enjoy making and could commit five years of my energy to complete. So where’s the feature film? Do you know, compadre, I don’t know. The time has been eaten up with a combination of running on a treadmill at the BBC while learning all the lessons above and more. I’ve joined Ann Arbor Screenwriters Group. We’ll see.

More importantly, there’s a wedding coming up this weekend. That’s the most exciting thing in my life right now. Outside the snow has turned Ann Arbor magically white. It’s beautiful. Life is beautiful. Being with Laura is beautiful. I feel more creative and inspired just sitting here working in the same room with her, sharing ideas every so often. Three years ago? That was then. This is now.

One thought on “Three Years From Then

  1. Why do you have to write the screenplay? You want to be a director, not a screenplay writer. Yes yes, you need to know something about screenplays. But you only need to know how to PICK a good one, not how to WRITE a good one. Leave the writing to those who have the passion for it. Use your time and energy developing your directing skills – that’s where your passion lies.

    And just wait til you see the dress…

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