Sunday, December 18, 2011

Distraction or inspiration?

Working as a screenwriter is hard. Imagine, if you will, inventing a location, populating it with believable and fascinating characters, and having it all fit into 110 pages which will capture what a story might look like once it's turned into a VISUAL form by a huge group of strangers called a Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Art Designer etc etc etc.

My head is about to explode and the deadline is the end of next week.

But I'll tell you what is the most difficult? Even worse than the tyranny of the blank computer screen (and this is what screenwriting is ALL ABOUT, so there's no point in whinging, but it's my blog, so I will) - the worse part is when I have to sit with the people who are paying me, and I have to listen to them discuss (for hours on end) the ways in which my characters could be better formed, and my story better constructed. They are often right, and often helpful, but that still doesn't lessen the bizarre hatred I feel for these "advisers" and "script doctors" and "consultants" who tell me that the character I've created is doing something out of character in my story.

Never before have I realised to what extent my experience as a mother can help me in a business setting. Keeping calm, cheerful, understanding and thankful in the face of hours of nerve-rattling disagreements - looks like it's my specialty.

The best part of screenwriting? Meeting amazing new people in the name of research. Anni - writer and artist extraordinaire - is my current inspiration, and has also introduced me to the joy of Miranda July: