Monday, December 03, 2007

Inspiration Is 99% Sitting On My Ass ...

Genius may be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but I'm not a big fan of perspiring. Just ask my trainer. He keeps telling me that I should be sweating profusely during my cardio workout. So far, I haven't gotten there. I'm still in the sweating-delicately-dabbing-myself-with-a-lace-handkerchief mode, not the Albert-Brooks-in-Broadcast-News-flop-sweat mode. Though my ass isn't getting appreciably smaller, so maybe it's time to kick the treadmill into high gear.

Updated to add: After I wrote that last sentence, I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. You know, research. And as it turns out, my backside is indeed smaller, and, uh, firmer. The jiggle factor is all but gone. Woot! It's realizations like that that make working out worth it! Results! Actual results! Of course, the thing about exercise is that once you start, you can't stop. You can't get into shape and then say, "OK, I'm done!" You have to continue to work out to maintain. Amazingly, this does fact does not sadden me.

Anyway, speaking of my ass, I was putting it to good use a few nights ago watching Waitress. I didn't blog about it at length because I was so moved by one particular moment and I wanted to bask in that brilliance for the rest of the evening.

It's a lovely yet bittersweet film, lovely for the obvious care with which it was made, bittersweet for the knowledge that Adrienne Shelly was murdered before her film began its critical ascent.

There aren't many movies that I want to own purely from a filmmaking perspective, but Waitress is one such film. The script is brilliant. Robert McKee might rail against voiceovers in film, but they're used to such good effect in this movie that I don't think even he'd mind.

And then there's all the hype around Diablo Cody's movie, Juno. She's 29 and in the center of a whirlwind of attention. I remember being 29. I hadn't even started thinking about writing a movie. But I subscribe to Cody's blog and read her posts and think, "Huh. Our writing has the same chatty tone." Which is not to say that a chatty tone is all one needs to write a successful movie, but then again, I haven't really tried in earnest.

Oh, sure, I still work on my screenplay, but it's in drips and drabs. Every so often, a line of dialogue will leach out of my brain and I'll grab a pencil and a piece of paper and scrawl it down so it doesn't evaporate. If I was scrawling on cocktail napkins, I'd be a complete cliché.

But these two women have inspired me. (No, three women; let's toss Sophia Coppola into the mix, too.) I know I have what it takes to write a great screenplay. And 2008 is nearly here, a clean slate just ready to be written with resolutions.

My movie is based on events in my own life, and right now, I do believe I'm living the third act. But I've never expected life to hand me the ending. That part's up to me.

My high school theater coach once told me that my dialogue was "organic," that I write the way people actually talk. All righty, then. Me and my organic dialogue are going to get busy and crank out a movie.

Right after the holidays.


Blogger Ashok said...

Good luck on that ! But do not you wonder that it some what feels usual to start a screenplay with their own life? I do not have down right examples (other than me wanting to write a screenplay about mine which obviously is not in even scratched papers). It is not surprising but independent movies have moulded as into looking into ourselves and frame a sweet simplicity of life. I hope I get the same inspiration as you do and may be will pen mine next year too. I did see "Waitress" and it was done very well in certain moments. I liked it but did not loved it. Yet it is truly good movie making.

Nice blog and been reading for the past week. Interesting stuffs !

9:47 AM  

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