Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Where’s the frakking whip?

Right...Too much BSG.

For those of you who may think the screenwriter’s path to be one of ease, you got it all wrong. It’s not easy. It’s torturous. You walk in there without a light and choking yourself. It’s not a death march. You’re already deadish.

So why in Heaven’s name do you want to get in there?

Well, I don’t know about you, ladies and gents. For me, this mental suffocation is something I’ve started about a decade ago.

Sure, it wasn’t scripts. Sure, it wasn’t for a sale in mind. It all started with poetry, song lyrics and little essays. These, in turn, became short stories. Writing became much more than a self gratification tool, it went to more than just friends and family. It went to people I had no clue existed and through a media I couldn’t care less a couple of years back; the internet. There, through the web,people I didn’t know turned to be online readers and after awhile, they were called friends.

A screenwriter starts, imo, because of a drive he has to tell a story. Sometimes, the author’s name is lost and all that is left is a good story. I’ve been told many times to use my imagination. I’ve also been told I was a daydreamer.The most important nod to me came from readers who claimed that I was a story teller.

I believe that. I am a story teller but the difference with me is the goal. I don’t want my name to be forgotten. I wish for people to remember and link those stories I told back at me.

Is it fame then? Is it the life of a Hollywood writer I want?

I’ll be blunt. If I wanted to just please myself and jerk off some paragraphs, I would have stayed with poetry. It’s a drive. It’s now much more than just a need to tell a story and to share it with a circle of friends. This, dear readers, is what I want out of life. After all time writing and pouring myself into stories, it would be a shame to let it all go to waste.

Don’t think I am blowing my own horn here. I understand I have some way to go before I get to the gold. To touch that way of life I had secretly craved for.

What do I have to help me out? Friends and connections linked to writing? Sure but they are right now all online. I want them to concretize into reality. Read this, friends, I used want. Not desire or need. It’s TO WANT and even CRAVE all of it.

At the beginning, I thought to have wasted a decade, writing anything else but scripts. Now, I see it as an investment. Nobody else did it for me. No one can take that away. It’s my path. I learned a great deal from it.

So there you go… What? What do you mean it’s not enough? Heard of the saying:

Faith can move mountains”?

That’s where I am. Steaming away on faith and it’s not only thanks to readers and friends believing in me. It’s a matter of believing in me. Time after time, scripts after scripts, I am building myself. Maybe I would not be in shape to show those first scripts to anyone but the beauty of it all is they can be rewritten, polished, revised. The skills evolve and tease my craving.

Stop right there, mister. You haven’t sold yet.

That’s true. Very true…And like an amazing meal I would go for, it will take time and dedication to get there. This is no McD’s. This is not Burger King. When you want a truly palatable food, you take the time to cook it. You take the time to save enough so that you can get there. Silly metaphor or comparison but hey, if it gets the message across, it’s fine by me.

So how much do I believe in my writing?

Ask me if I smiled not that long ago… less than a year ago when I decided to take on the craft of screenwriting? I would have turned and fell on my knees in despair. I knew nothing of the craft. I didn’t even know what a script looked or read like.

Friends, I am smiling while writing this. I am not going to lie. I’m not even a long shot close to where I see myself in skills and in life. There’s plenty still to learn but at the very least, I can have a very good understanding of the basic. From outlining to drafting, from notes to structure, I continue to absorb it all. I am not fronting. I don’t need to. I don’t even want to. This is my life. This is not some frakking fantasy I only dream about.

I am building it. This fantasy. This life. This world I want to be into.

Blah, you’re just pumping some false confidence in yourself.

After all I’ve been through in the past couple of years, this confidence is nothing if not true. The little Chinese guy that knew nothing of English will be heard sooner or later. I feel nothing but drive to get to the blink blink la la land. It’s not a question of wishing. It’s a question of survival for me. IT’s do or die. There are no doubts it will only become a matter of time instead of just a possibility. I sweat from that dream every time I type onto my script or when I talk about writing to the point of dehydration.

I will improve because I must be there. I want to be able to smile and share my experience as well as my stories.

It’s that story teller in me. Had to start somewhere.

And word to the wise:

(of course that doesn't mean you got to do nothing...)

Now pass the water bottle. ;-)

PS... And a hello to my possibly new blog reader: Amy.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Remembering each of you

Sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth anything. All these sacrifices, all these sufferings shouldn’t have been done in vain.

I have good things going for me now, a good job and a great boss. I also have a bit more time taking care of my own things and hobbies. Yet, this hobby of mine, this writing that kept my sanity in check for the past decade makes me wonder where I am now.

Everyone has their own Golgotha. Everyone has a cross to carry up the harsh path up the hill. Sometimes, that fucking hill feels like a mountain and this is one of these times. I stopped to see where I am and the path I’ve gone through. Hell, I normally do that at New Year’s eve but I needed to do that now.

One great thing I’ve learned this week is Jay’s work and dream had gone through. I am honestly proud and glad he had made it. There are a few people I could cheer on and say I’ve felt this way. Funny enough, I only know him through the internet but I feel this rush of happiness for him. He had worked so hard to be where he is. I wish him even more success. You show them, James… Canadians should not be forgotten.

I’ve also exchanged a few notes with Christopher and man, this gentleman amazes me each time I talk to him. Decent, kind and generous with his time, one day, that I come to work with his agency or not, I will keep him updated and in touch. Funny enough, he is also one of the guys I’ve met online and not in real life.

Truth be told, I’ve met a lot of great people online through DD and 2A. Even though, some may think it’s a curse to be a moderator in DD, I see it as a blessing more than anything else. To be able to see the 2 sides of the board made me realize the work the admin/mod team has made throughout the years. Of course, there will always be people who claim otherwise.

Anyhow, this rant was meant to talk about where I was. It’s been a decade I’ve been writing short stories and little adventures. It’s been less than a year I decided to wake up and take screenwriting on. My dream. My life. Sacrifice relationships, parties and time off for something that had grown beyond the hobbies’ realm. I have no regrets.
I’ve heard enough from fellow writers to motivate me. Not the general nod but the personal ones. You know who you are and there are no thanks great enough for the push you have given me. Bless each of your days, Ladies and gentlemen. You do mean the world to me. Too all my readers and those who had taken the time to listen to my ideas and my stories, I give you all a piece of my heart. You are my secret and each time I do write; please do remember I am thinking of each of you.

It’s been a little step forward since February 2006. I haven’t sold yet simply because I have not looked for anything at this point other than to better my skills. I am still there, dear friends and readers, and I promise you that my dream is still alive. This is no farewell note but just a thought I wanted to share with all of you.

So your thoughts, prayers and whatever help you have and will give me will not go unnoticed.

Bless you all.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

La baston reinventée / Reinvented Fight scenes

And there I have something to bring up to the fight scenes in my script. Sure, blades and guns are a part of the scenes along with martial arts and possibly the need for wire work. Yet, I need my scenes to be raw and real, to hit the screen in a mix of new style while remaining close to the traditional pieces I have in mind.

Kung-Fu? Muay Thai? Keysi Fighting Method (as used in Batman Begins)? Maybe...But my story happens to be in France and what better way to show off fencing and savate? What about incorporate a bit of parkour? Too new? Done already? Ah but, I have something in mind and given the period and the myths I am using in my script, this has yet to be brought to the audience. A boom after a bang, a swoosh after a ping...Act 1 shows but hints of what comes to be in Act 2.

And act 3? I intend to make it explosive. To bring horror and fantasy to step over what was only vindicated through special FX. Different than "The Matrix" and "Underworld", steps over the beauty of District 13 and Yamakazis. Battle scenes with a raging fury where grace, agility will blend completely with weapons and martial arts.

It's time for something new. It's time to nod to "Le Pacte des Loups" which had been a corner stone in my mind for period pieces and action. This is "A Glint Of Dark" and I am as excited as you to see this brought to a first stop. And the next step will be to bring it to either competition OR directly to the studios.

But here, let me leave you with a hint at how my characters would move in fights.