Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ten Weeks In The Cuckoo Clock

A little over three weeks ago, I sat down to start penning Ten Weeks In The Cuckoo Clock, a feature screenplay that's been rattling around in my head for the better part of a year. Now the first rough draft is done.

Now I've outlined several screenplays in my time, and began writing a half dozen but this is the first I've actually sat down and written from start to finish. 100 pages of gold. Well, not exactly. I realize that this is only the first of many steps that must be made to see a film like this come to fruition but it's a big accomplishment I'm proud of nonetheless.

A curious thing happened to me while writing this; during the low points of the script, where our protagonist's character is challenged and rattled, I felt a similar funk as well. It put me down for several days and the only prescription was to write through it. I guess I can see how writers are alcoholics and depressed most of the time, having to constantly experience these up-and-down manic circumstances you put your characters through.

My next goal is to figure out how to shape this amorphous, spineless ooze I spat out on the page, and turn it into a rigid, tightly-woven story that conveys the same messages and themes, but isn't so fat and sluggish on its feet. I think over the next week, I'm going to go through the script on my own and really see where my characters are, and where I think they need to be. Set the terms and conditions of the story and see how I can make that happen in the most concise way possible.

My biggest challenge will be the "Kill your darlings" portion of all this. There's just too many scenes I love and I feel like at this point it's going to be an uphill battle of problem solving and messy negotiation that goes along with this process. And I know I'm at least six months out or more from having a tightened draft. I just hope I believe in this vision strongly enough to see it through to a presentable, pitchable version that I'm happy with and still believe in.

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