Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What the hell was I thinking? Part 2

Ok, so, after the underwhelming accounting of my brush with fame, I continued on my quest. It was good fortune to work in the same building as the Virginia Film Office, so at lunch, I went over to their office and asked them about the film they were shooting in town. Turns out it's True Colors with James Spader and John Cusack, as well as Phillip Bosco. So, I ask about getting on the set to learn.

Unfortunately, they can't do a thing. I'll need permission from the director or AD. I get the AD's name and I"m off.

They're shooting a block away from where I work, so I go home, change and come back a couple hours later. I'm able to walk within sight of the set when I reach the taped off area and somebody stops me and says that a film is being shot and I need to stay behind the tape.

"I'm looking for ." I sound as confident and friendly as I can. Which, go figure, works. Perhaps I should have been an actor. They escort me under the tape and point me to the corner and add, "check with somebody up there and they'll help you."

Well, at the corner is the food table. Right outside a pretty good Chinese restaurant, so I figure, that's as good as any place to hang out. People start gathering around, a bunch of extras walk down the street, turn around and walk back, and repeat (ad nauseous). I'm watching this all and feeling pretty chuff when Philip Bosco comes up behind me. He's chatting with another actor, so I eavesdrop (that's what good writers do, right?). Eventually, I'm able to turn and get food and he strikes up a casual conversation.

Once again, I know I said something, but I couldn't identify my speech if my life depended on it. I didn't get my ass beat or thrown off the set, so I must have sounded casual enough to fit in.

I spent a couple hours just watching and hanging out with the extras. I watched James Spader walk by and off to his trailer. No brush with fame for me.

Finally, I'd had enough and snuck off the set and around the another building. Crept up to a large piece of machinery and crawled underneath. This was the parking garage scene between Cusack and Spader. My god - here is where it really hit me what making a movie is all about. At least I understood why people would not be particularly interested in watching a film in which they'd participated. It was so boring to watch the same thing, over and over and over and over. I was hoping to meet Kevin Wade (the writer), but knew then and there why he wasn't on the set.

Sure, perhaps some folks enjoy it, I bet first time writers get a kick out of seeing their characters come to life. But this wasn't Kevin's first script, it was being filmed in Richomnd, Virginia (not know for it's night life) and it was actually pretty chilly. Unless you were actually working, why would you want to be out here?

I also realized why later, Peter Jackson would say he'd love to see somebody else do The Hobbit. Making a movie takes a lot of the 'magic' out of the final product. For those acting with special effects, I'm sure it's not as bad, but as a director, he's seen all the acting, all the special effects and in it's most native, bare form. I'm sure it detracts from the ability to suspend one's disbelief and get lost in the movie.

We've had a few films come to Richmond, but after that, I haven't had any interest in running out to see them shot. I'd love to talk to the screenwriters, but they typically don't come.

Oh, yeah, the really embarrassing part.

It's been a few days, folks are still filming. I know where John Cusack is staying - again - the same building where I work (it's a hotel, restaurant and business all connected). So, I leave a note for John, something to the tune of "hey, would you like to be friends?"

Jesus. I wish I could delete that one.

One of those times when everything falls in your lap, but you're too ignorant to know what to do.


Blogger Fun Joel said...

Welcome to the "Scribosphere!" Looking forward to good things.

BTW, if you want to see just HOW MANY of us there really are, from teh sidebar on my site, check the various links under the "Scribosphere" section!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at 1:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

Man, it's been like a long ride down a very deep rabbit hole.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at 2:18:00 AM EDT  

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