Monday, January 17, 2011

Boys! Boys! Boys!

I’m behind on the new screenplay. I had hoped to make up for lost pages on Saturday, but completely screwed up and didn’t do squat. I can still finish by the end of the month, but it becomes less writing a comfortable number of pages every day and more *work*.

The problem is probably the script I finished last month just before Christmas (actually, I think it was December 24th!) - I haven’t written two scripts back-to-back in about 15 years! It’s like running a Marathon today... then trying to run another Marathon tomorrow. The plan was to work extra hard on Saturday and then take Sunday off - because I think having a day off might help me be more productive (sounds counter-intuitive, but also kind of makes sense). But the various events that caused me to get nothing done on Saturday kind of screwed up that plan. I had to do some work on Sunday just to keep from getting father behind.

My sleep patterns are all messed up, and add to that some stupid stuff - like leaving some materials I needed at a copy place on the other side of the valley. The problem with sleep being off is that it makes you stupid. So I’ve been doing all kinds of stupid things over the past few days in addition to not getting many pages written.

One of the other problems with this screenplay - it was originally about a 12 year old girl. The problem is that a 12 year old actress can only work 4 hours a day, and must have an on set teacher, and there are all kinds of other fun rules that will screw up making the film. But an 18 year-old actress pretending to be 16 years old? No restrictions at all! Work them ‘till they drop - they are adults. So I switched the lead from 12 years old to 16 years old... Simple!

Except there is one HUGE difference between a 12 year old girl and a 16 year old girl.

Okay, boobs... but also what comes with boobs...

Boys. A 12 year old girl may like boys and have crushes, but a 16 year old girl may be boy crazy - and boys are part of their every day life. A 12 year old asks her parents if she wants to go to a movie, a 16 year old is asked out by a boy or wishes she were asked out by a boy... or goes with a group of other girls and they talk about boys, etc.

There were no boys in my story idea. No romantic subplot.

I tried to just ignore boys when I started writing the script, but it wasn’t working. So I had to go back and add boys - rewritting a bunch of scenes. The lead girl’s best friend went through a sex change operation (behind the scenes) and Alice became Arlo. This solved part of the problem, but I’m still having boy problems on almost every page. What was outlined to be a scene where she watches a sporting event... is about *boys*! Because boys are the athletes. What was outlined as a scene where she becomes involved in a hobby that’s the main plot... is a problem because she can’t spend that time thinking about *boys*! I’m trying my damndest to keep the boy stuff to a minimum because it has nothing to do with the plot, but it isn’t easy. By the way, here’s a tip: the problem is usually the solution to the problem - so a scene where she had problems with her hobby is now going to include *boys*!

There will still be no romantic subplot for my 16 year old girl.

The other issue with this script - it is not KICK ASS 2. The 12, now 16 year old girl is not shooting guns or outrunning explosions. She also isn’t the reincarnation of a serial killer victim hell-bent on revenge. She is just a girl. This is a family film. Not my genre. Though it is *my* story, and I have a connection to it and a passion for it - um, I want something to explode on page 24. So, on top of this being a Marathon right after a Marathon, it’s a Marathon I’m not obsessed with winning. Hey, it would be nice, but there are many other races that I am more interested in. So, while I’m running this one I keep thinking of other races.

And now I’m just bitching. Venting. Using you kind folks. Sorry about that.

Sometimes, it’s work. You have that fantasy that you’re going to sell that script and tell your day job boss to take this job and shove it (though my boss was a great guy) and then live this romanticized screenwriter’s life where you sleep until noon and type either in your pjs like Marcel or in the bathtub like Waldo... and sometimes you can do those things. Other times, it’s work. You still love it, but it’s that love you feel for your spouse when she does something that screws you up bigtime and you are mad as hell but bite your tongue. You may almost hate her now, but in a couple of days or a week all of this will be dust in the wind and you’ll be back to loving her. You *know* you’re going to still love her when all of this blows over (and you still love her now, you’re just mad at her, too) - so you stick with it and put on that “Yes, Dear” smile and say it doesn’t matter when it does and work to get past it. I’m going to work to get through this script because I know somewhere down the line - maybe the day after tomorrow - I will fall back in love with it and everything will be wonderful.

Except for all of those scenes that now require *boys*.

- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Beginning, Middle, and End - and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
Dinner: Carls Jr Chicken Strips.
Pages: Yeah, read the blog entry.
Bicycle: Yes. On Thursday I took a bike ride of epic length - all over NoHo, then to Burbank, then to Writers Store, then to an undisclosed drinking location, then home. Saturday - another long one. Sunday - short ride, but should have just rested my legs.


Todd said...

make her an ugly duckling so the boys won't give her a second look

olafolaf said...

If my lines below helped you, i'd like to know :)

Right now having to include boys annoys you. Make use of that!

What about making the boys a (minor) obstacle and at the same time her interest. The boys are one of the obstacles for getting what she wants most: Follow her hobby.

I see thwo possible solutions, but first:

- Basic assumption: She is interested in boys (as you said already)

Now the two solutions

The boys are actively in her way of reaching that goal, doing her hobby.

- It is her personal interest in boys and not the boys themselves that is the obstacle. Stopping worrying about boys and she'll reach her goal.


Afterthought: She has boyfriend but he will be in Europe for the next few month. They truly love each other and she will not involve herself with someone else. I think you could get rid of the boys alrogether with this assumption, at least get rid of that romantic interest. Her girlfriend might be a different animal though, so you'd again have boys :P

Oh boy!

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