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.

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's okay not to get it.

So I lend Lord of War and The Weather Man to my brother & sister-in-law. They didn't care for either. Didn't even finish watching either. Didn't hold their interest. Boring. Nothing happening. Couldn't get into them.

So, I immediately return home with them and watch them the next day.

Lord of War wasn't what I thought it was billed to be, but it was entertaining. I think had they ran with the "based on actual events" it would have fared worse at the box office. However, the Weather Man was much of what I expected. I enjoyed it quite a bit, which leads me to some rather uncomfortable territory.

For starters - am I "that" person who didn't like Match Point because I didn't get it? That's a distinct possibility, even though I really tried to look at it objectively from the writer's perspective.

This leads me to The Weather Man. To me, it seemed to speak to the 40 somethings out there who have found themselves at a point in life where they can't get back what they may have lost. No matter how hard they try. Dreams you had as a child, or young adult aren't as achievable any longer.

So, I'm feeling some empathy for the guy - Dave Spritz. He's not the best guy in the world, but I can see how he got to where he did and I understand why he's all fucked up in the head now.

What surprised me is that three of the people closest to me just don't get that. They are where they are in life, and that's okay. I don't know if they didn't have any dreams or ambition or what. I feel kinda mean digging around that area just because I feel like I'm saying there's something wrong with them if they don't feel that way, but it's really the opposite - why can't I?

They're happy. I'm, well, not unhappy, but feeling a little unfulfilled.

What's the point of all this?

Don't let any one person sway your story's content. There will always be somebody who doesn't get your story, regardless of content. Make sure that when you ask for critiques, you spread it out to a good mix of people. Not people that are necessarily close to you or even similar in interests. Find several "common" folk - the people that'd be going to see your movie.

I've found that most people/acquaintences are quite willing to read something. They don't have to finish the script - of course you hope it's interesting enough to finish, but whatever feedback you get will be valuable in some respect because it should be honest comments about your work from a viewers perspective. Hopefully, with some writer's perspectives combined with the viewers you'll have a good idea of what is working and what is not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My two favorite movies, of all time, are Before Sunset and Before Sunrise. I have forced family and friends to watch them, and the films rarely ever go over well. Both are very personal to me, so much so that it's frustrating when others don't get them. Now I don't even bother sharing the films. They're mine. For my eyes only.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 12:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

As writers we write "from the heart" in an attempt to touch someone from afar with our personal emotional experiences. Yet, as a viewer, we sometimes forget that not everybody sees stories with our emotions.

I say keep recommending the films. Maybe you'll find somebody who gets them as much as you. How fantastic would that be?

I do believe they're more entertaining than Match Point - although I could just be a blithering idiot :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 11:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger wcdixon said...

Okay - Match Point sucked...you win!

Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 2:08:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home