Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 149: “His one regret in life is that he is not someone else.”

“I wish my life were like a Woody Allen movie,
then things wouldn’t seem so bad.......
you know, um, like all those people living
in Manhattan and they’re bohemians and they
spend their lives in Art galleries, in museums,
and, and they’re all having affairs with some
ingenue or other and there’s always old movies playing
like Fred & Ginger or The Marx Brothers or
Charlie Chan and..and...then...then there’s Gershwin. seems like such a long way
off, but I know that if I could live my life
there, like, y’know everything would be okay.
I sound like Chekhov’s three Prozorov sisters;
they thought that if they could only get to
Moscow things would turn out fine; I mean, instead,
their house burnt down and one of the boyfriend’s
got shot in the head in a duel and so maybe they
didn’t live the happiest of lives, y’know and
one of them was a real nut job; I went out with
someone like that once and she ran out of
the restaurant on our first date cos’ I did this
real easy party trick, a mind-reading thing I do,
and she thought I had powers of prophecy, I mean,
seeing into the future, who am I kidding? I can’t
even spot someone waving at me from across the
room without my glasses. But what am I looking at
here in Sydney? I’m the other side of 40, single...a
trail of unsuccessful relationships behind me, I’ve taken
up yoga (who am I kidding?) and and I’ve written
these great film scripts, that are beyond the
understanding of producers here and so...sure,
well maybe it’s little on the tragic side....but
I think that the human condition is fundamentally
one of unhappiness, just ask Frederich Nietzsche
or...or...Ingmar Bergman...and...and...we spend our
whole lives doing things to distract ourselves
from that very fact, the fact that we’re actually
unhappy and well, we’re going to die one day and
no-one seems to know the point of all this? Perhaps
the best that we can look forward to is a truce with
discontentment.....that and maybe a little glimpse
of cleavage along the way. Gee... Sydney’s killing me,
I need to get to New York...if only I could....things’d
be so much better.”

Taken from the treatment of Looking for Woody.

Day #149 Tip: Is “there” any better than “here”?
Have we learnt nothing from Dorothy? In ‘The Writer’s Journey’ (Boxtree, 1996) Christopher Vogler says this: “Dorothy also has a clear inner problem. She doesn’t fit in anymore, she doesn’t feel “at home. Like the incomplete heroes of fairy tales, she has a big piece missing from her life...”

This missing “big piece” is the “Object of Desire” that a protagonist quests after to restore balance in their life after the Inciting Incident or Disturbance knocked their life out of balance. I imagine that when I have a screenplay made into a film and receive the success, recognition and acknowledgment that I know the world is saving up for me, then I too will be complete. Yeah, sure?!

Tomorrow marks the five month stage of this scriptwriting journey and the day that I print off my Treatment and had it to OTHER HUMAN BEINGS to read.

Handing work out to be read by others is like Stage #8 (of twelve), The Supreme Ordeal, “...defined as the moment the hero faces his greatest fear.” My fear is that people will think my script stinks, which taps into a very old writer’s wound of mine, related to when a teacher held up a piece of paper that I’d written on (aged 5) and said “what Roger’s done is wrong”. Dorothy’s fear is that the Wicked Witch is going to kill her and her three companions for stealing the Ruby Slippers.

The next stage of the journey is to take the comments and hopefully move forward to turn that Treatment into a Screenplay proper: Stage #9 Reward (Seizing the Sword), #10 The Road Back, #11 Resurrection, #12 Return with the Elixir. Then I’ll be “there” won’t I?

I am most certainly not in Kansas anymore.

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