Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back to reality

Some of the work I did on that storyboarding job, yesterday, has already been dumped -- and I haven't even sent it off to them, yet. Her client decided they didn't like this one idea and just cut it. Kasey is close to screaming but can't do anything about it because the client gives them a lot of business. Seems this is the first time she's had to deal with a committee made up of scientists who haven't got a clue outside of their own specialties and who think it's no big deal to change their minds about what they want from moment to moment while making others completely rearrange their lives to suit their whims. And the chaos it brings? Big shrug in response.

I think I'm going to end my involvement in storyboarding after this project is done. I haven't the patience and forbearance it takes to deal with such idiots, not for the money I wind up making. Same for script doctoring. I haven't been getting rewriting jobs that pay me enough to compromise my feelings on what is right for the client's script and characters, and I just backed away from any further writing on one because the writer/director insists on keeping the current structure and it will only make for a confusing movie. I understand WHY he's so locked into it -- he wants both his leads to be equally important to the film -- and I know how hard it is to accept that maybe that isn't the best choice. I have a script that fell into the same trap, and while something like that may work if you novelize it (emphasis on the word "may"), action movies these days cannot seem to handle that kind of dichotomy.

Look at "Avatar" and "Titanic", two billion dollar films by James Cameron -- beautiful to gaze upon in their technical perfection but with cotton candy stories, cardboard characters and dialog that is so god-awful you want to tear out your eardrums. And don't get me started on "Avatar" and its insultingly-condescending faux-liberal attitudes about nature, indigenous people and the big bad corporations out to rape the land; Cameron's a brilliant director but he writes at a fifth grade level. However -- and this is a hard thing for me to admit -- he knows what works, and people love his movies. Meaning I'm the one out of touch with reality, not him.

So my dropping film is no big loss; I wasn't getting anywhere following either path, anyway, and now the storyboarding and script doctoring are proving to be hideous distractions in my life. Besides, I have other pursuits to keep me engaged. Even if this job in Buffalo becomes permanent, I'll be able to work on POS and the other stories in my mind. May even make it easier for me to concentrate since I won't have to worry as much about paying my bills.

The fact is, I have eleven books I want to write and three plays. Even if I churn two out a year, that's seven years worth of work on do them right. And I'm finding pleasure in working this way, to my surprise. Rereading what I posted the last couple of days on POS makes me want to focus even more on it. And what I've done on RIHC6v2 so far -- I think it's intense and deepens Antony's character even more as he realizes he's letting the evil side of his nature take over in pursuit of vengeance. I believe I've found a way to pull him back from the abyss...but it'll be up to him to decide if he actually does it.

Jesus, I love having this feeling about my characters -- that they're alive and real and determining the course of their own future. That's not something I've ever really felt in my own life; nice to experience it, even if only by proxy.

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