Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fumbling along the way

It's been again one busy month for me.

Not like my social life had improved in really big ways but I found myself more focused on the project I've started at the beginning of the summer. Fate of Deeds took a complete turn-around and directed into indie territories. Started in the darker genre well enough only to have realized there were too many holes in the outline and the structure.

I wasn't sure if it was the way I wanted to so I left it alone, thought and discussed it with friends and other scribes. Read and researched some more. I took my time to play with the outline a few times and made sure I had the story straightened up. Funny thing is that I did keep my characters intact. At least the foundation and feel for everyone of my protags and tweaked my antagonist around to adapt to this new story.

The background and idea remained the same. I haven’t really changed the emotional stand for them but yes, the concept is different. I wanted to write about family values and friendship. I needed to write this without having to fumble into too much of anything else. Sure, some would think it will then be the characters that will make the appeal in this spec. I’d like to think they would be right although I usually do try to balance both story and characterization as much as I can.

So it’s a study. It’s meant for the smaller market and there’s no special fx of any kind. Three main characters discovering each other through their little journey. Funny thing is I never thought of really writing in that genre, most of my readers know me as a dark/gothic/horror writer and nothing else. Funnier is the fact I have more fun writing drama than action. I wonder why this is.

I’ve also wised up in learning the craft. I use to rush head on with minimal outlining and focused a lot more on the research part. I try to make sure to balance everything I’ve learned and bent a few rules. Everyone will have a different opinion on how to write a script. Bottom line is that all are right in their own ways but it is up to me, as a writer, to find my own path and what way I want to go on for the rest of the script. I won’t be doing any voice over at the middle of the script. I’m not going to forget that my script has to stay constant in format.

I’m taking this idea of mine and building it so I can enter some competitions. Blue Cat or Nicholl…Who knows?
Right now, I got to finally really focus into what kind of stories I will come to tell. What kind of writer people should see me as? Dark or light, my stories have to touch readers the same way my short stories once did. It’s my call and I am still fumbling on that road of mine.

And I thought it would come easier to me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fleshing out the bones.


"Along with her sister's best friend, a female assassin on the run has one night in a violent city to find her missing sibling before her past destroys them all."


"A female assasin refusing to work for a powerful crime syndicate discovers the only man who can save her is the one assassin sent to kill her: the father she never knew."

Seems pretty straight forward to me.

Of course, this post burst is not. No problemo, eh?

Outline was redone awhile back and now, reaching close to Act 2, this project has been all I had in mind.

The project "FATE OF DEEDS" previously known as "BLACK HAMMER" and then "BLANK LAPSE" started a month ago when I began writing with a super powers in mind for the protagonist.

After long thoughts and the project close debacle (Also because I started without a real strong outline), I've changed it around and made it grounded in reality. No super powers, no ghosts, no super evil nemesis.

For the very first time, I've focused on characters that are as real as you and I. Quite a change I tell you. There's no super FX shots or suspension of reality so to speak.

I worked on the three main characters and fleshed them out to such an extent, I could have a conversation with them and know exactly how they would respond.

My other projects' characters had a very good feel but nothing, in my mind, come close to what I am achieving here. I wanted to write something important to me. I wanted to write about family values and what one would do if faced with the possible extinction of his/her blood. With that in mind, I've opted for the same raw feel that one could see in PAYBACK or RUNNING SCARED.

I pushed in a gritty and dark environment where my characters would evolve and race through and up to now, it feels dark enough. Plenty of characterization but the race really starts only at the end of the first act. In addition to the main story, I made sure I had interesting and strong subplots within the outline. I wasn't going to just improvise along the way.

For the first time as well, I am not rushing this one through. It's going to take the time it needs to burst out and I will continue to finish some researches I've started for this script.

This project, like I've mentioned to a few people, went through drastic changes. Honestly, they started with me when I doubted my first ideas. So, it went from a family drama to supernatural fantasy and finally to a dark urban drama (for those who read me before, yes, there are plenty of action scenes in the rest of the script).

I changed the motivation of my characters around. Took off a couple of characters (from the previous run on that script) I thought would be important and simplify my outline so that it became pretty easy to follow. At the very least for me. It came to me that within this project's little world, my characters have more than just skeletons in their closets. They are the skeletons themselves.

Once again, I've made my two main characters to be young women. Fragile and yet strong, these two will have to confront their fears before they can overcome the obstacles thrown to them. So sure, the first 25% of the story is all about set-up and introductions but I mean to make the story pick up in pace and action faster than one could hope for.

As far as visualizing my main characters, it goes without saying that Natalie Portman is still on the top of the list for my protag and this time I could really see who could be her companion for this story. I picked on Ellen Page who impressed the hell out of me in HARD CANDY. I was overly surprised to discover Ellen to be a fellow Canadian. There's some real pride in knowing this, I assure you.

Thoughts after thoughts, decisions came as I believe Ellen and Natalie would complement each other amazingly well in this story. I'm excited and hope it would eventually pick their interest. I can only dream.

The script is, overall, filled with raw and intense action but also some strong moments of intimacy between these two characters. Other than a couple of FX scenes and my wishes to see the two actresses being in this story, the cost of production (turning a tad concerned with that side of the business) should be in the range of less than 10 millions. This is the first project I might feel worthy of presenting to a Canadian exec in Universal Studio upon completion. I know there are a couple of other possibilities for me but the main focus will always be writing and finishing this before the end of the year.

So guys and gals, I will try to keep you posted on this.

No snappy conclusion tonight.