Monday, October 29, 2012

The Cynic

I've officially decided which screenplay I will be working on for Fall and Winter terms.  Pretty exciting!

In our eight-person workshop group, which meets once a week for three hours, we all pitched three different loglines to the class.  After the loglines were read, we had the opportunity to answer questions from our classmates.  This served to clarify things like plot, tone, theme, etc.

The whole class voted on which of our three loglines they would like to see us write into a full script.  Our instructor Tim Albaugh weighed in too.  I'd say about half the voting results were pretty unanimous, and the other half were between two.  So, I think the system worked well.

I definitely learned something from the process.  For my three pitched loglines, I chose two projects that I have been developing for YEARS.  The other pitch was one that I came up with just a few days before.

Guess which one won?  The brand new one.  And you know what?  For some reason, that's the one that excites me the most.

I came up with the idea with absolutely no preconceived notions, other than a theme I wanted to explore.  It comes from a quote by Oscar Wilde.  So, I started with a bare foundation of a character who is afflicted with a certain myopic way of looking at the world.

Given this, the plot suggests itself as the story of this character's journey to correct this deficiency in outlook.  Of course, good storytelling dictates that his conscious goal throughout the story is very different.

I think sometimes in life we hold onto ideas and concepts for a long time, and they become dear to us.  The longer we hold onto things, the harder it is for us to look at them objectively.  They can grow moss and barnacles, and lose their vitality and relevance.  I still like my old ideas... and plan to get them done eventually.  But maybe it's smart to listen to and engage in what is fresh and new and vital to me NOW at this very moment.

Initially I was disappointed that the two stories I had been holding close to my heart for years didn't garner more interest.  But perhaps the fact that my latest idea is my "best" is an indication that I am growing.

Shouldn't any artist hope that his latest work is his best?

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