Saturday, April 5, 2008

Screenplay Shuffle

For the first time in nearly five years, I wrote a screenplay. "What the hell is a screenplay?" you may ask. Well, a screenplay is basically a script for film, television, or sometimes even the live arts. I recently had the distinct honor to write such a piece. When I first agreed to writing the script for the performance, I had no idea that I would need to write it at 1 o'clock in the morning and that it needed to be completed sometime within the next 7 hours. With not much experience with the medium and a very simple (and honestly, rather poorly thrown together) outline of what the director wanted, I was a bit worried if I'd even be able to piece such an abortion of an idea together.

Not only was the script part of what I needed, but the beauty of music was required to fully wrap it all together. Now, my own choices for music are of course things that I would like, but writing a screenplay for any type of production (regardless of trivial and unimportant this one was) requires you to appeal to the audience, not your own sense of self-satisfaction. I needed to dismiss Ozzy and leave Deep Purple at the doorstep; this was for the happiness of others. I had very little time (and sleep for that matter) so I did my best to steal only the most basic of plots from countless other works.

Four hours later, I was done. Aside from designing the scenery and any type of choreography, the entire thing was done. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the music, but that could be changed by somebody with a more "modern" taste. A few hours later, in the afternoon, I soon realized something about writing for another medium; don't fucking do it.

The director will rape your original vision without any reserve. Your first thoughts of what the scene will be quickly become the work of somebody else. You don't work for yourself anymore. It's like raising a child only to have somebody else come along and corrupt it. Frank Miller once described writing in Hollywood as "being the fire hydrant on the corner of the street, and a line of dogs being the directors". Rarely is the writer given as much credit for anything as the director is. This is why we can't have nice things.

Fuck Greek Week.


Kirsten said...

I would like to read this screenplay ;)

Temporary Home

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