Friday, March 19, 2010

The Optimist Bucket List - Item 9

I love the new Gateway desktop computer I bought last Fall. Thanks to the 23" hi-def monitor I bought with it I'm sitting here writing this and watching a movie on the same screen, combining two favorite hobbies in to one joint activity. I've always enjoyed the different worlds, real and imagined, that movies can and do take me to , from beneath the sea to the farthest planet in the farthest galaxy or perhaps to some long forgotten battle in some out of the way corner long past any further value to the rest of the world. I've been suspending my belief system with a bag of buttered popcorn as far back as I can remember, always slack-jawed and spellbound for a good story. One day after a particularly good movie the idea for a sequel came in to my head.

Never mind what the story is about, I was then and am now faced with the dilemma of having an idea with no credential, experience or training in putting it all on paper. I looked at websites, bought books and software, all the while fumbling about as best I could in piecing together my first script. How hard could it be, I asked myself in the beginning, to come up with 120 usable pages of material?

Scripts, I have discovered, are blue prints, maps as it were, in word form. Words paint the picture, create the mood and the setting and give voice to the characters resident in the mind of the writer. It has to be written down for the imagined to be realized, the vision to have substance, the musings to have meaning. Oh, and a good script requires a vessel, someone who can put their thoughts on paper first of all and in a strictly standardized format after that.

"If you're going to write, Forrester, just write," said Sean Connery in the film "Finding Forrester." Truer words were never spoke or imagined as it said to me to not worry about structure or format. Just write. Let the words, thoughts, feelings and ideas fly, it said, at any and all provocation and opportunity, the clean up process via editing can come later. Even more it said not to fret about the lack of background but rather more to fear not making the attempt - experience comes with trying.

Item 9 on the Optimist Bucket List is to realize the dream of a lifetime, for it certainly has been and feels like a lifelong pursuit. I would be thrilled beyond reason to sell my first project. To wake up and put together all of these individual pieces together at this point is truly to have come to a personal calling later than most. I know I wouldn't necessarily have scripted things this way.

Now comes the real work which, firstly, is to decide if it is harder to finish the project or get somebody to actually buy it.

Gotta go.

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