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Monday, April 20, 2009

That Script

So Wavers - have you written that script yet? The script that you've wanted to write your whole life? The one that might bring you acclaim and awards? The one story you were born to tell? I haven't. I've written some scripts I really like, mind you (and a lot that I loathe and am embarrassed about too) but no, I haven't written the script that is my ORDINARY PEOPLE. But I have a feeling that there is a story on par with OP that I am going to tell. Well - on par, I mean, that's incredibly ambitious. I just mean I know I have a story to tell that is very emotional and powerful and I have some inkling what it is going to be about but it hasn't yet totally formed within me. When it does, I'll know.

In the last issue of Script Magazine, there was an interview with Sean McGinly, who wrote and directed THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD - a script, incidentally, that I covered for Walden Media several years ago. McGinly worked as an assistant for The Amazing Kreskin, the mentalist after whom Buck Howard is modeled. It was a crappy job and one that depressed the hell out of McGinly. And yet - here's the last paragraph of his amazingly well written article:

During the strange chapter of my life working for Kreskin, I don't think I could have possibly felt more hopeless or lost. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have imagined that it would lead, 12 years later, to me standing on a movie set with John Malkovich in a wig as he brought The Great Buck Howard to life. I guess this all brings me back to the advice to remain open and vulnerable. The truth about writing, and life I suppose, is that we really don't know what will come out of our experiences. It's important as a writer to learn structure and other skills of the craft, but after that, it's all about the ability to find inspiration from our lives or from the world or from our own imaginations. Amazing things can happen when we do.

Isn't that fascinating and motivating? It could be that something you are observing or experiencing in your life right now, or the life of someone you love, or a newspaper headline, is already beginning to marinate deep within your creative psyche, Wavers. And that something, whatever it is, may be the genesis of that script. The most important one you'll ever write. The one that will lead to your success, personal catharsis or both. The one story you were meant to tell. A few things have happened in my life in the past few years that strike me as components of that script. I haven't yet figured out exactly what the story is, but I can feel it beginning to form. And it's exciting. Everything else I've written to date and continue to write is all preparation for that script.

How about you, Wavers? Have you already written that script? Or like me, is it something that is still forming within you? Is there something happening in your life right now or in the recent past that might be a part of that amazing script but you don't yet know it?


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9 comments:

sanya said...

Will I ever be able to write that script? Will I ever be good enough, smart enough, articulate enough, creative enough? Ah, the self-doubt begins!

jcarends said...

Still can't get used to the 8800 jigawatt jolts that come from you, Julie, when you mainline the Zeitgeist and stick that little red locator pin right into the top of my noggin.

I'm at page 89 of my first draft of THAT script. Twenty more to go.

It's been terrifying...excruciating to dislodge it all from the marinating saucepan that is my above referenced cranium and sling it down onto paper, out in the open, exposed for the first time, where it HAS to be BRILLIANT.

And of course, right now, it's a far from brilliant as the moons of Pluto.

Alas, the rewriting and the "aha" moments cannot come soon enough...

And they will come... They will.

Won't they?

Trina0623 said...

Thanks for posting part of that article -- very interesting.

I have the same feeling, Julie. I started to write "that script," but put it aside because I'm still going through a lot of that stuff. This has been a journey of several years through this land of infertility with so many elements and complications it feels like a soap opera sometimes. I didn't even know I was living the story for a long time, and now that I do, I know I won't be able to write it until the journey is over. And when the emotions have faded into the background a little bit, hopefully I can find a way to allow the story to unfold over just two hours.

Eric Myers said...

I thought I wrote "that script," but realize I didn't, and am currently trying to put "that script" into another script...so we'll see if that works.

Joshua James said...

I have written what I consider "that" script to be, and it's opened a lot of doors for me (not to mention made me some money) ... I've written a couple other scripts that echo the emotional connection (for me) but the first one is always the one you remember most, sort of like a person's first kiss, you know?

Nicholas said...

I think I am writing THAT script. I think I am almost done writing THAT script. I don't know if this script will end up being THAT script...but I think it will.

Désirée said...

The project I'm working on is always THAT script.

At least until it meats the world.

johnhart said...

Just discovered your blog; more specifically you, Julie Gray. I love your radiant energy; and that smile! You could wake up Congress with that smile.

So, yes, wrote THAT script and it hurt so much I burned it, rewrote it, burned it again. Ritual, as the Lakota Souix well know, is necessary to purge the soul. I'm not sure I can write it one more time. Instead, what I've discovered is I am releasing it bit by bit in poetry. Before you scoff, my lesson here to myself is that poetry forces me to extract the raw emotion, refined only slightly by decorated words.
I've gone back, read those poems, and discovered a screenplay, the one that deserves the title of THAT script. Meanwhile, I'm going to submit another screenplay to your competition that is strictly funhouse stuff. I wrote it because I wanted to avoid writing THAT script again.

Stan said...

Ah yes, indeed, *that* script.

Technically yes, it was written. Was it written well? No.

Thus, the creative urge being a destructive urge and all that...I chucked the hard drive containing it about 20 yards or so down the road surrounding the nearby lake to where I lived while in college.

But not because it wasn't well written, or anything like that. The story of course, is, still in my head. Only problem is it will cost a *fortune* to make the movie if it ever gets made. Once I am in such a position to see it get made I will then rewrite *that* script and put it out there.

But it won't win awards. It's meant for the masses. Pure entertainment.