Tuesday, September 25, 2007

John Woo's A Better Tomorrow

A classic John Woo film. This means no one runs out of bullets unless it leads to a scene where two people are pointing guns at each other's heads. I do enjoy actor Chow Yun-Fat. He always seems at the appropriate level of intensity. I was watching this movie and wondering if my own screenplay was too long. So I took notes and concluded that the film is made up of about sixty fragments.

Whatever that means. I write by touch and feel and imagining the entire thing in my head. The final page count will be telling enough.

The conflicts in A Better Tomorrow are better than most action movies. Lots of decisions and consequences with no right answers. Characters are presented with obvious conflicts between family, friendship, and job loyalty. But the gender roles are terrible. The housewife character was atrocious. Weak and needy. None of the mobsters were female. Also this image from the opening montage almost undoes the praise I had for the film's subtleties.

Sometimes I cannot believe that this is the one world we've got.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Writing a Screenplay

I'm writing a screenplay to make in the Summer of 2008. I have wanted to write it for years. I think most people have a movie idea in their heads. That's a feature of our time: a love of celebrity status and a desire for fame through creative arts. I like to think of myself as talented but from a macro perspective I'm a sociological statistic.

The entertainment industry will be decentralized. I work with the assertion that my film will change the world in two ways. It will be a superior amateur feature film (as opposed to the alternately charming and unbearable nature of the YouTube swamp) and it will impact how people want to interact with one another.

I know, I want to read the script too. Here I am again, doing some small task and avoiding finishing the script. I really like most of it but it needs a little more cohesion to its fragmented style. Not enough of what I like in watching films. Missions and clues.

My punctuality is slipping. I'm embarrassed that I cannot adhere to my self imposed deadlines. Three of the actors that I really wanted to use were told they could see a draft weeks ago. Inexcusable. I tell other people that I'm going to create things so that I feel the social pressure to complete them. Not to impress them and disappear. It makes me angry enough to want to finish it right now.

I want to claim 2007 as the year of Prolific but it's not looking good right now. Here's how I'll measure it. These projects must be finished by December:

documentary (Earn It) or short film (Shutout)
novella (Shift) or graphic novel (Circles and Squares)
slam poetry album
slam poetry performance
my pilot
two full length stand up shows
three youtube educational lectures

and it starts with this screenplay

...and this inspirational still from the opening sequence of Ninja Gaiden.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Sound of My Voice

Dear Great Great Grandchildren,

We never met. The Great Great Grand parents (that I never met) were probably born in the 1890s in a different world. I think the commonness of air travel would inspire the most awe. Nuclear weapons the most fear and the internet the most confusion.

What is my world like? What wacky social taboos do we adhere to? What blindspots does hindsight make clear? How has my generation constructed it's own version of hell? Aren't you interested my eventual offspring?

Here lies the sum of all I have learned and the record of my life. I'll strive for full disclosure yet I know historical texts are rarely used for their author's purpose. You are welcome to live between the lines.