So far so good. Time away from work only one full day, already my emotional state has increased by a large margin. I have a chart. It might be quantifiable. My mind and time are already bending towards the next few projects. I printed a hard copy of the scripts, soon to print the storyboards to immerse myself and let the obsessive side do its thing. Since my next short film originated in 1999, I purposely avoided the original draft. I had a lot of new ideas about what it should be now as opposed to 16 years ago. I did not want to have any of the original preconceived notions affecting the new vision I had.
One of the reasons this old script broke through the cobwebs of my brain was because of a conversation I had with another filmmaker. He showed me a rough cut of his feature film. I gave him some notes on what I liked and where some trims could possible go. In the end I asked him what the greater theme of the movie was. He said he doesn’t get into that sort of thing. The movie was good, and I said so (and still believe so).
I disagreed with this idea that greater themes aren’t important. It’s what separates the great films from the good ones. Even DIE HARD has a real theme. On the surface, it’s about terrorists, in reality it is a giant metaphor for struggling to fight to save a marriage. It wasn’t even that thinly veiled. All the great films are a metaphor in some way to a greater human truth.
I was inspired by this speech I made and vowed to not make anything that did not have or honor these greater themes. It has been one of the biggest hurdles to overcome from just making a movie, even a quick little 3-4 minute piece.
Now I have the first draft done, working on a revision over the next few days. I finally re-read my original 1999 draft. It was surprisingly consistent, albeit much shorter, at 3 whole pages. The new script is 7 pages. I do not want this to be overlong. A lot can be told visually in a lot shorter time.
Knowing that I won’t be struggling to make it through the holidays, that I can take it easy, hunker down into the minutiae of my own work for a time, really has uplifted my spirits. I’m not some famous filmmaker or the like. I just have a deep seeded need to tell stories, these stories rolling around in my head.
“Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like I’m in the prime of my life
Sometimes it feels like I’m going too fast
I don’t know how long this feeling will last
Maybe it’s only tonight”
– Billy Joel
[i]Storyboards by Brad Sherman[/i]