Monday, March 19, 2007

Better, Stronger, Faster

Why are there no reruns of the Six Million Dollar Man? "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."

That's my screenplay. I can rebuild it. I have the technology. I have the capability. It will be better, stronger, faster. But it's taking forever! And, while it may not cost six million dollars, rewriting this thing does feel like it's burned six million brain cells.

One day, this blog may chronicle the screenwriting journey and the learnings of a Nicholl Fellow or produced screenwriter. Or, it may remain what it is right now -- the blog of an, as yet, unproduced screenwriter. Notice I did not say unsuccessful? Whatever becomes of this blog, its present purpose is to help me become a more disciplined, and consequently, better writer. Maybe in the future, it will help somebody else become a better writer.

My season of rewrites began in December. I had barely thrown out the leftover turkey when I was already re-evaluating my outline with the full knowledge that an enormous amount of time and work on my part would be required if I wanted to get my Nicholl entry where it needed to be in order to advance further than last year.

Since then, I've taken a look at not only the old research I've done (the word "research" here equates to "junk I've written about screenwriting, much of which is filed for your convenience in the right hand navigation column of this blog") and a few other screenwriting subjects which pertain to my Nicholl entry including:

Pan Fried Characters
Sidekick Stories
Symbolism and Foreshadowing
Weak Verbs and Pansy Words
Contrived Conflict
What Closers Look For
Identifying Problems
Formulaic Writing
Screenwriting Structures
Identifying the Scene's Purpose
Using Reflection Scenes
Scene Consistency and Transition

To those of you who write positive replies to my posts and send me encouraging emails and to those of you who have helped me with my screenplay, I owe you -- lunch, a stripper, or a kidney. I don't which. We'll see where this screenwriting thing goes. Maybe I'll buy you all corvettes. Maybe you'll buy me one. Maybe we'll just get a beer.

That's good, too.

But it's not all good.

Somebody recently mentioned that I seem "obsessed" with the Nicholl Fellowship this year. I prefer words like "passionate" and "committed" and I regret that I didn't seem obsessed last year. Otherwise, I may have advanced further.

Another email said that I'm far too nice to ever make it in Hollywood. I need to curse and it's obvious I won't sleep around since I'm reluctant to move to California. Uh huh. Thank you for your candor. Your email address is now blocked.

One wet blanket emailer warned me that my chance of advancing in the Nicholl gets slimmer with each passing year as more and more wannabes flood the business. He went on to say that I'm in for a giant disappointment when I lose. First of all, you can't LOSE something you never had so it is impossible for me to LOSE the Nicholl Fellowship. Secondly, the passing of time seems to be increasing my chances of advancing since the number of entries has decreased over the past three years --

2004 – 6,073 entries
2005 – 5,879 entries
2006 – 4,899 entries

Don't mess with me, pal, because I've known since I was a nine year old girl pulling rate sheets in my mother's advertising office that you can manipulate numbers to say whatever you want them to say and in this case, I say they work in my favor!

Another charming and encouraging email said that my blog is just no fun to read anymore and has lost all its humor. What humor? Since when have I had humor? The sheep in my driveway were real, fella. Real sheep eating my geraniums. Oh, and the monkey in the pink dress really did jump on my windshield on the highway during rush hour traffic. These things happen from time to time. I think the peeping Teletubbies were hallucinations brought on by seizure reducing medication WHICH by the way also prevents migraine headaches so ask your doctor if this medication may be right for you. Certain side effects may occur.

But humor? I write drama, ya moron!

And, there goes my reputation for being nice.


The Moviequill said...

'I owe you -- lunch, a stripper, or a kidney'... not necessarily in that order (giggle)

I wonder when the Barney Miller reruns are going to be around, and my wife wants to know about That Girl

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Marlo Thomas, ah yes! Huge fan when I was a little girl.