Sunday, May 28, 2006
I started putting my head together again for TENSHI NO OWARI aka Fall of Angels. Yes, it sounds like an anime and don't you worry. It is. The uncertainty on this one is about its length. A feature film is meant to be short whereas this one is primarily intended to be a series of approx 16-18 episodes. A short series by any Anime standard. Whatever really, it's right now a side project. Something to clear off my mind whenever I fall into a mind blank or procrastination time.
Of course, I have little ideas on how to give TNO a treatment. 18 episodes of approx 25 minutes each. You do the calculations. It's going to be a monster to write. I plan on doing the five first episodes over the beginning of the summer and see what happens. Anyhow, I am reading a bit here and there for the heck of it. A doubt about FM strikes me so I open it again.
From 107 pages, I'm down to 52. I panicked. Looked for different folders. Did a search through my computer files. Nothing but one fdr files with FM in it. I felt like throwing my computer off the window. I screamed and looked for it again only to come to the conclusion that the file was probably corrupted. Of course, I do have a virus check along with a freaking firewall and what-have-you-not. No virus. No spyware. No nothing and no finished draft for FM.
I don't know what I did. I don't know what I can do now. I loved this one (well imho, everyone of us have to like the script we work on) and thought I did much better than any of the other scripts. You know what I mentioned so many times. It's my evolution. Well that evolution got FUCKED because my computer is one lazy ugly slow piece of SHIT. Almost feel like crying now but I hold on. I got to go at it again. Half of my FM draft is missing. Vanished into the digital bullshit.
Okay. That will teach me not to have a back-up off my saved files somewhere else. I can't whine anymore. This, here, should suffice for a bit. I got to go back into FM mode. Nothing I could do will bring my completed draft back.
As soon as I can. I'm getting a new computer and smashing this one to pieces. Why?
Because I believe in recycling but after awhile, it becomes a waste.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
It had to happen eventually.
I'm not cornered. No. It's something else. A direction into somewhere I might have looked into. Not sure why but I had not bothered to consider it before.
Pictures and stories. Features and series. It all whirlwinded down into one simple question:
What do I want to focus on? What is the love and attraction I feel? Movies? Absolutely. It's not even a matter of denying it anymore. I do love them. I do breathe them. The ultimate goal is HW but the question remains for me.
Where do I focus on? What do I push myself into?
I've written supernatural actioneers in scripts and in short stories. It won't stop. This isn't the question. There are different avenues in screenwriting. May it be movies or series, the little screen or the silver one. I have to start on one side so to evolve enough to plunge into the other.
What is my style? Of course I know it. Christopher did mention that the switch from novels to scripts is not always easy. In fact, in some cases, it might not work at all. So I got to consider what are my strengths and remember that my weaknesses can certainly be worked at. I can improve or I will simply die. It is like anything in life, imho.
Prose? Yes, it's still there, less so than before, but I tend to go at prosing too easily. Take the time, some say, but time is also one tough foe to beat. I can't just wind down until I can't enjoy the fruits of my labor. It has to start. I has to begin soon. All I've written up to now should be seen as evolution. A preparation for what will come.
Short stories? Yes. I love them. I think of them often enough since after all, this is where it all began for me. There it was. A note. A nod, even, toward something I denied myself to bark into. I feel like a snob. I should have analyzed each avenue. The quality of TV shows is absolute wonder compared to decades ago. There's no shame in being one that started with TV series. It allows more character development and that is a strength in me. People, who read my stories, had told me this. I should focus on it. I should develop it into something I love and still keep the background I want to put my writing into.
I won't stop the project I've embarked myself into. I will bring it to an end so the next avenue for me would make a bit more sense. See, the fact is that although I love movies, I also fell in love with anime. It's been a love story that has even preceded feature films. It's the same thing in another avenue. Live or Anime. TV or theater. It comes down to be the same in the end. It's a relief. I've tortured myself at finding an answer that was already in front of me.
Japanese Anime have different genres. The western world might think it's only for kids. Cartoons. Cuteness. I ought to show all of them what they've been missing. From porn (hentai) to horror to rom-com and comedy, it's all there. For all ages and style. It's not going to be easier than breaking into HW. Maybe I just love to complicate myself. It's my way. Slap myself and go walk on the long way. At least, I won't say to anyone I haven't tried. It's a business. It's all about taking chances. I'm all for that.
Was it a waste of time? Absolutely not. I continue as I can. Slowly but surely.I have no shame in admiting I looked at things the wrong way. It all has to start at one time. I'm exploring around and swimming through to HW. I'm glad the waves have pushed me a bit further. I will make the time to be ready...As a writer with no sales, I have that luxury. See what would work for me. Like I've said, ten years max to a sale, what are four little months?
Saturday, May 20, 2006
It got to happen sometimes even if I wrote most of the night. As most of my friends know, I am an avid manga and Japanese anime fan (Yes, some of you will say I have fallen in love with almost everything from Japan). I've always liked to play with Photoshop as well so, break time for a rainy (again) Victoria week-end and showing off a bit one of my little hobbies.
I hope you enjoy them.
What? No other news?
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Your comments are always welcome and although I do not reply in here. I do try to PM or email those who do take the time to post a little something.
So here is what I look and do before I go into my zone ( when I start my first draft).
I think first about the topic I want to invest time into.
Was it done before?
I've been told any ideas/concepts I can come up with was/is already made/filmed/written about. I looked for a confirmation of this tell tale. Tell tale became fact and there...Is this something you can catch to read or watch? I try to (over)analyze the possible strengths and weaknesses in what gets in my hands or in front of my eyes.
How well was it made?
Was the novel/script/short story turned into a movie? Got to be careful here. Of course an idea cannot be copyrighted but it doesn't mean I want to go and rip off a made manuscript. Where is the satisfaction in this? Quick money? No way, it's a paying hobby if you do it right but who said I wanted to be pointed as a copycat? I try to thread carefully here.
Can the concept/idea be made better?
I believe so, hence the reason why I tend to keep on reading and watching. As a writer (yes, writer means having your own imagination- for me at the very least - ), I need to see what I can bring into the subject. I want this idea to be mine. Something I could say is personal. Writing had always been a personal matter to me and it's one of the reasons why I have only shared it with a few people and not looked to publish them.
So there, I have a basic idea and I know it has been made/written previous to my attempt. I then look for something personal to add into the concept. Will it sell? Will it be worth a read and maybe a recommend? I don't go for a half-baked ideas. I take the time to make sure I enjoy the process. Heck, I'm going to spend three to four months onto it. I better make it worthwhile, right?
And now into the logline. At least, a plausible one I can still play with until I am satisfied.
Logline tags on the storyline and its flow. Beginning, middle and end of the script should be seen online.
At my beginning, I've written scripts without having an idea of a logline. Today, I do not write a script or anything close to it without making one. It's crucial for me. So my main idea and the story basically needs to cover into a couple of sentences. Ouch! Logline reflects structure heh? I hated it! I used to write without the need to follow a structure but nowaday, I became quite anal about checking my writing. I saw the light!
Great, I got my concept/idea turned onto a logline and it is reflecting the story base.
On I go onto the outline and again the structure of the story.
What do I want my story to be? Where is it leading? What do I want to show these possible movie goers?
At this point, I have most of what I want to write in my head. If I don't have it, I come back to my logline. It's important. I have yet to sit down to scribe away. I've done the mistake of drafting without making anything outlined. It showed. My ideas were all over. No structure and it read like a pile of bile. Am I going to do that again? Nope. Give and take, I am a new screenwriter and therefore, I will need to stick to what I do now. It's the beginning of everything. Make it right and take the time, some said to me. I can't disagree.
It's a start. Respect that structure and make sure each step leads to the next. Can't be episodic. It must flow. Writing the outline will make sure I have the base. I also make sure to separate intro, development and conclusion into their own part. It doesn't have to be fancy at this point. Just very basic description of scenes with the who/where/when.
With the outline out of the way, I start to flesh it out for a treatment.
I give the treatment much more description and ideas of how each scene plays. What is at stake even and make it so that they have a beginning, middle and end. I make sure that my story follows the structure. A safe bet but since it's not all that hard to follow. Why shouldn't I? More than a couple of fellas out there would tell me structure and story must go hand in hand. Otherwise, the script will fail. Sounds rough but I've seen it. I've done the mistake before. It's possibly meant to be fun but I don't see the point of wasting my time. Much like when I am painting my figurines. I set up the desk to make sure all is there for me to work with. I don't paint a figurine and then put the first coat. See what I mean?
Splendid. I got myself a script treatment. I jump into Final Draft and start writing...Right? Heh?
I do my research about things my characters will do, about where they go and live and when they progress. Of course, I am supposed to know what my characters are. At this point, it would be silly of me to write without a good understanding of who my characters. I visualize them, I can even see who could be cast for each of them. It's real personal (although I know some do the same). I must go through it. I might get lucky and have the actors and actresses I thought of having into the play but I don't believe in Santa.
Research and making my "desk" set right, it's the tough part for me but I am not taking any chances. Got to love it though. Ultimately, habits die hard and I am not making a bed I wouldn't want to sleep on.
All of it for a start. I've not even touched Final Draft yet. It takes a lot of time but it leads somewhere. I know it does because I might not believe in Santa...But I do believe in my dreams.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
How do I go on?
After all, I have no sales under my belt. My name is not found on www.imdb.com and my words have no weight with agents and execs. So why am I still here? Is it a fling? A little crush or even a hobby to occupy my spare time?
And there it is, the combination of things crushing into the world of many writers I know and yet, it's not like being in a tunnel without a light. We see the light. We got to feel it coming closer even when we are not even moving at the pace we want. We have to believe we can reach it and eventually, we will be able to be where we hope to be. Why? Because we are the ones that entered the tunnel. No one pushed us in there. We volunteered ourselves, didn't we?
It's a drive and not something that different from a race. It's how hard I want it. It's how hard I want to get there first with all the right things in hand. I got to remember that everyone can come up with an idea. It is how it's executed that will count. How much passion I have in my mind and my words that will probably be the deal maker (or breaker). Do I have it? Do you have it? Or is it that a couple of months down the line, you will drop this investment down to the side and work on something else?
In my case and like I've mentioned it before. It's really all I have. EVERY DAMN thing I am writing is about movies or with them in mind. Do I love it? Do I crave it? People around me can tell I live for it. I breath and eat it. Sacrifices and everything I got plunged into it. IT better be worth it right? IT is all that really matters to me. Getting where I want. Living comfortably. Meeting those guys and girls I've always wanted to see face to face. It's all up to me. I don't just want in. I want to live in it. Some might think it 's pathetic how much effort I make on something that might never get me anywhere. Well, I believe I will get there. 10 years TOP to make it in and tell you how pathetic I am? I'm probably going to go down on my knees and cry after seeing my credit on the screen. No, screw option payments...It's a good start but it's not enough. I crave for so much more. Red carpet! Yeah, baby!
DREAM ON! REALITY CHECK!
No! Yes! It's a dream I'm working on and it hurts me. I have almost no social life anymore. Coffee time? Hell, that's as much social I get right now but I don't mind. I'm not complaining and for those nay-sayer out there, this blog is never about complaining. It's about analyzing where I want to be. Where you want to be and maybe, where some are already.
I got muses...I said to myself I've got to have a few things I want to get out of this dream of mine. The harder one believes in them, the harder it would be for others to burst that bubble. Mine is close to steel at this point. I've waited long enough and I know I can get there. I just want to establish myself well enough not to be a one hit wonder. No siree Bob, I want to be remembered as a story teller. I want people to say my name when a genre is talked about. It's my wish. It's my only biggest muse.
Am I there yet?
I would be a liar to affirm anything in that aspect. All I can say is I know I have gone a long way and there's still a long way to go. At least I admit it. I don't pretend. I am learning and that's how I will get better. This is how I will climb up because I do believe mistakes and errors do teach me something valuable in the craft of screenwriting. I am still there.
Of course, material stuff are great but it's just a way to get where I want to be. There are so many actresses, actors, directors and fellow screenwriters I want to meet. There is my Natalie Portman out there. Just the possibility of working side by side with them. It makes me smile. It makes me even float away but I am good at slapping myself. I criticize myself to such an extent I need others to remind me it will be okay. It is my little weakness but I believe it will be just fine. We all live our little lives and in our little world. Some are closer than others to the smell of success. I don't envy them. I encourage them and I do work to join them as soon as I can.
It's really easy to criticize and to put down someone else's dream but I also believe that what comes around, goes around. Karma. It's the universal truth. Mine anyway. I play it cool or, at the very least, try to. There's no reason to go bash without a reason or purpose. It's like anything else in life we can't get. Sometimes, I do fall but I do remember where I am on the road to reach my goal. I'm going to be ready and with the verbal slaps that should come my way, I got to stand and have the skill to bend enough to please without forgetting my voice. I struggled enough to remember that much.
A word for those who wondered. I am feeling better. I am getting better at this. No one needed to tell me. I can feel the difference. The structure is nothing like those first scripts and those words given to me by so many people, they came true. I evolve as a writer. Script by script. Concept after concept. The images keep on rolling into a flow. It's a stream I am tapping on. I promise I will not disappoint. Something I've denied myself for too long.
I've finished my first draft of "Spirited Hearts" and am focusing on "Forgotten Masquerade". The dream is alive, my mind is racing and my fingers are numbing away...All of it with a smile. I'm running Nat, don't you worry...
I got to stop before I sound like a real freaking stalker.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Here I am, close to finishing the first draft for "Spirited Hearts". What a struggle it was to make sure the writing followed the structure and outline I made for it. I have this much more respect for my fellow screenwriters. I could feel their hard work and the dedication they have made so that one day, they can go and query their specs to HW. For me, as an aspirant screenwriter, it also comes from balancing every aspects of my life and disciplining myself to write a page a day. Not an easy feat when I have so much work to do in everything else. I can tell that "Fade Out" will be the sweetest couple of words I will type. It's not that I hate the work and the writing. Quite the contrary, but I have so many ideas popping out in my head, I think I might go crazy one day. It's all about balance and hence one of the reasons why I need to take my time for each script.
Have to admit, I've started to work and play with my next script idea, "Forgotten Masquerade" and I have my muse to thank for my eagerness. Sure, I thought of her as my main character in all my scripts except Spirited Hearts, but now, I do feel ready to tag some more time with her. It's not an obsession I have with her (Yes, Hi Natalie Portman<<
I know I came a long way and the road ahead seems to go on and on. I can feel and read "Fleeing Letters" and "Sisters of Mercy" with a smirk. I've evolved with time and writing. I experimented here and there before removing what didn't work. It's what I've done with "Dark Glimmer". It's imposing now at 113 pages when it was 134. I've cut a lot and I know there's some more I could take away to make it slimmer. Thankfully, I've certified the DG's rewrite with the LOC for copyrights so I could potentially send it to paid script analysts and consultants. I wouldn't have done it any other way. It's a peace of mind I need to go forward with another script.
By the way, I have received some feedbacks from DG and expecting some harsh and negative comments, I've been surprised by the notes I've gotten for it. Apparently, I am doing good (considering it is my first/complete feature script) and the story was interesting enough that some of the readers won't mind reading what I will send out next. It's little victories that make a little difference. It allows me to breathe, knowing I will be able to send it sooner or later to consultants and pay money for it.
Some people asked me if I did send my scripts around to HW's prod-cos. I answered them negatively. I want to make sure I get better and that my chances are not blown away. Sure, I can still try to sell and pitch my ideas or concepts but first things first. When I step through that door, I want to be able to show them something tangible. I'm in no real hurry and I will continue writing until I know I have plenty of scripts and ideas I can share with HW. Not a moment before. It's a question of self-respect for me. As I said before, I don't have much and I'd be damned if I can't convince someone who can make things happen. I'm patient. I have to.
Overall, I got some good nods from character building and story/concept. I need to work harder on my structure but everyone had shared the same note when they wrote it will come stronger with time and experience. I'm actually glad to hear this. What made me smile, was more than a couple of readers noted that my descriptions are often long but flowed well enough, Keep it short as I can. I'm thankful to have read their thoughts and opinions. This is the support I am looking for from my peers. Not just "Yes, I love it" or "No, I hate it", the notes were plentiful and insightful. I will respect their wishes and not tag their names here. You know who you are, ladies and gentlemen, and my thanks are not enough for the help you've given me.
One of them actually started reading me since I've started in my new endeavor. He hated Sisters of Mercy (although he liked the concept), laughed at Fleeing Letters (I cried...well, you get the point) and nodded to me with Dark Glimmer. I can't wait to send him Spirited Hearts. I know I feel good about that one. Then again, I feel good whenever I finish one to concentrate on the next. A friend told me over the week-end, after reading some of the notes I've got, that it was more than just me now. It was others as well. In a way, he got it right...I've got to prove to all of them that I've improved over time so I could say, sooner than later, how ready I am to get to HW. It won't be paddling time. I'm coming, full steam ahead.
Wait...My brakes are not working!