Monday, January 17, 2011

How Bad Movies Can Be So Motivating

Okay - last night I just watched one of the worst movies I've seen in a long while. And it was just the tonic I needed to get my butt rocking on my rewrites.

Seeing big movie stars up on screen in a real stinker is a great way to relocate your confidence. I've been dealing with faltering confidence because I was given some abstract notes.

Here's a list of notes you will get in your career that are totally worthless. (Unless you want to breed panic, depression, and writer's blockage.)

1) Needs to be funnier.
2) Go Deeper
3) The characters need to be more original

I could go on - but these are vague notions that all convey the same thing: We not invested in your main character.

The movie I saw last night had an unlikable main character. Maybe it's the fact that we're in the Great Recession and she was a rich celebrity that created her own dilemmas. Maybe it was the fact that she had done something so grievous that the audience could never forgive her and therefore who are you rooting for?

Regardless, it inspired me. Because I recognized where the story had gone wrong, I immediately thought of what I would have done to make it work for me. (Hey, nobody tries to make a bad movie, and I respect anyone who accomplishes getting a film made.) But seeing something miss, reminds this writer that nobody gets it right all of the time.

Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path a few times before you find the right one.

And how to attack those darn abstract notes? Make a concrete plan and take it one step at a time.

Think about "what interests you" "what would you enjoy seeing" "what is a dilemma that engages your creative mind" and then write. Have fun with it.

Go see a bad movie and think about how you would fix it. Then see what lessons you can apply to your own work.

That's what I'm doing this week. Wish me luck and happy writing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year - I love 2011 Already

I have to apologize for my last post -Deadlines Don't Wait For Santa it was uncharacteristically negative. I blame the fact that my deadline corresponded with the holidays. But it's all behind us now and we are well into a new year.

Time for resolutions. I love the new year because it is the most optimistic holiday of the year. And you get to drink champagne for 24 hours, morning, noon or night and nobody gives you that worried look.

I am setting an intention that 2011 will be a great writing year. I will stretch myself. I will complete many projects. I will meet and work with new and interesting people. I will not beat myself up so much. I will strive to keep smiling. I'm going to pray more, because it helps me get into the flow. The Flow - that good place where all ideas and inspirations come from.

I'm going to try to do more for others. I'm going to think bigger.

What's happening with all the writing projects?

Right now, I'm waiting on a conference call with a very big, A-list-y-type producer who happens to be shooting a movie in the Indian Ocean. I am also waiting on feedback from the studio on the first draft of the "assignment." I am waiting to discuss the film treatment for my indie-directing project with the fabulous cast/writer-creators. I am contemplating diving into a new draft of "the spec."

I say contemplating - but what I'm really doing is watching movies and just trying to let go a little more before I speed write a new version.

Oh - I'm also trying to write more loose and free in my first drafts and challenge myself more to go to deeper places. I might have to re-read and

Next post - seen anything great lately?