Sunday, December 02, 2007

Diary of a Would-be Filmmaker Part 2

PC-Bangs are glorious places when the smell of smoke isn’t getting to you and the noise from the million little clicks on keyboards aren’t pounding in to your hangover or even the constant pow-pow, bang-bang from what ever computer game is currently fashionable is quickly driving you insane. None the less, PC-Bangs are glorious places when you want to get out of your tiny apartment and there’s no place better to go.

So here is it I find myself on a dwindling Sunday afternoon, feeling sufficiently rested and a tad restless. I have that slightly chuffed feeling. I’m chuffed with myself because I finally finished the first draft of my short film. Now, in the book is when they tell you to step back from it, let it marinate then return to it in a few months and see what you really think. Stuff that, I can’t wait that long.

At the moment my script stands at 18 pages. You might not think that sounds like much, especially when you look at it and see the well spaced dialogue that chews up the pages. When you are sitting on the other side of it however, looking at the task ahead, it seems like Everest.

When I started I was going great guns. I worked through all the development stages and reined myself back from attacking the guts of the script before I had a better understanding of what I wanted to say. When I figured I was ready, I started working through it scene by scene and before I knew it there were twelve pages I was pretty happy with. That was when I hit a wall. There was one scene I was afraid of doing, one scene that seemed too hard to shape. The notebook remained closed and the fear of not finishing grew.

Days past and little progress was made. I’d pick up the pen and read through what I’d written, make a change here or there but still not have it in me to attempt the climatic scene. I’d almost resigned my idea to the large scrap heap of ideas littering other notebooks and cobwebbed corners.

On Monday of this week I changed tack. I told myself I didn’t need to do it all in one hit, I could hack away at it a little at a time. I started typing in into the computer, cleaning it up as I went, trimming scenes and dialogue until I got to that final scene. On Tuesday I wrote a few lines, on Wednesday I wrote a few more. On Thursday I scribbled out a few and trimmed the fat. On Friday I panicked and left it alone. On Saturday I worked on it during the course of the day, my excitement grew and the final line came closer. Then there it was, 18 pages of a short film. From a simple idea I worked it through until I had produced my first draft. On Sunday I gloated.

No comments: