A little backstory.
I belong to a Facebook group where what we discuss is film, comics and graphic novels, film noir, more film, novels of the pulp variety, TV, and even more film. And not to hurt the feelings of anyone in the group but, they/we/me are nerds.
A little RECENT backstory.
On Monday of this week, one of the members of the group posted a link to a YouTube video; an interview with screenwriter and indie film producer Alok Mishra (1BR, Hanuman Da’ Damdaar, Mallika). In the course of the 19 minute Q&A, Mishra talked about the 3 things a screenwriter must do right for their script to have any chance of getting interest from a producer.
Now I’ll be honest, after watching the video TWICE, I still only counted TWO THINGS, but I also only got my high school diploma with a truly stellar 1.88 GPA, so I very likely missed THING NUMBER THREE, just because that’s what D+ high school students do. But what I loved most about the interview, and Alok Mishra’s answers, were just how easy he made it feel that, if you did these little-bitty fixes that everybody else does wrong, that YOU, with a fresh idea and novel sense of humor or horror, still have a puncher’s chance of getting your words read, sold, and made into a real live movie.
And NOW, the actual story.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Twenty-something years ago, when I felt the pull of writing again after mostly ignoring that pull since college… which, if you math together all the years, would be more years than anyone with a 1.88 high school GPA can count, but this is writing, not math… what I really, REALLY wanted to write was movies.
Fast-forward a few more years, and the idea of writing lines for other people to speak gave way to journalism, essays, humor, and finally, God only knows why, poetry. A couple of books and a few more years after that, and with some unexpected bonus life shit thrown in for awkward giggles, I have been writing again. And I mean really, REALLY writing, with a plan for that writing to become my third, and possibly last, collection of poetry. I say “last” because well, life shit and awkward giggles. And, like with anything creative, sometimes life shit gets in the way, less important things become priorities, and it’s just hard to care about stuff other than laundry and remembering to eat regularly. The book is coming along, and it’ll probably be in print before the end of this year. Maybe.
But right now, I need something more than poetry in my life.
So, while I continue to scratch out a poem here and there, this summer, I want to have some fucking fun with words. That fun is going to be in the form of what Alok Mishra talked about. This summer is me, writing something that no producer has read yet. Something full of humor and horror. Also, something that can be shot, chopped and distributed for pennies on the dollar, compared to the big budget studio version of what all the cool kids have already done until no producer wants to see another one.
Welcome to Bill’s 90 pages of summer fun.
(Note: 90 pages is the length of a script that Alok Mishra says producers like him currently want to see. And because nobody wants to see the Snyder Cut of anything, anymore)
No spoilers… yet. But the notes are flying, and the ideas are popping, and I’m awfully glad that I still have Final Draft 10 on my ancient laptop. So, when I finally hit SAVE for real, even if I never get a sniff of indie film fame and fortune, I’m still going to laugh all the way to Social Security and a bizarre little book of poetry, just in time for Christmas gift-giving.
But for now, it’s laundry, lunch, making myself laugh, and writing lines for other people to speak.
FADE TO BLACK