I’m writing a screenplay for a short film….and it’s not easy.
Writing is not something that comes very easily for me. Sometimes I’m inspired and can do it, but most of the time I’m too distracted. Most of my writing exists in personal journaling and this blog….and I’ve never written a screenplay.
What seems to motivate me is interaction with others.
A friend of mine from college suggested I get in touch with a friend of his, a screenwriter from Baltimore he used to work with. He sent me a “friend suggestion” on Facebook (I gotta quit that shit some day) so I added him and he confirmed.
It’s so easy to make friends on Facebook that it has changed the meaning of the word “friend”. I typically don’t befriend those who I’ve never met face to face but I did this time on the suggestion of a literal friend.
Last night I spoke with the screenwriter from Baltimore, Sean Paul Murphy. When I told him who I was, he didn’t recognize my name. Come on now. I mean, we’re Facebook friends! How could he forget! When I told him I was friends with Rich from college, he remembered right away who I was and the tension eased. Ya see, I’m also not very good at cold calling folks I don’t know just to talk and pick their brain about a craft I’m obsessed with. Especially when it’s someone who has been at it their entire professional life. It’s very humbling and it reminds me that this ole dog is learning new tricks and regardless of my age, I have to remain teachable, at all costs!
We swapped some stories about our past and how each of us got to where we are now. I told him about my creative death and rebirth (I keep meaning to write about it) and why I’m doing what I’m doing now. He shared his experience and his thoughts on the film industry and its future. I learned some things and he shared some resources with me. We discussed the collaborative nature of film making and how that can be a problem for some. That is key to me right now and one of the driving forces behind this blog and how I live today. I have to connect with people. My creative energy is wasted if not shared with, bounced off of, or unleashed with other like minded creatives. But it’s also the thing I struggle with the most.
I appreciated the conversation I had with Sean. It’s people like him and others I’ve met in this business that motivate me to “keep on keepin on” as Dylan says (Bob that is, not my son). One of his suggestions was that if I’m not interested in writing that I find a writer! He also said that I may find out that I actually enjoy writing. Either way, I’ve already teamed up with a young theatrical actor and director friend of mine, Michael Boyd. He has interest in screenwriting and film production so I figured we’d make a good team.
So far Mike and I have come up with some good ideas. I developed a premise for the story and together we have knocked around some good ideas, roughed out scenes 1, 2, maybe 4, and an ending. Scene 3 is not happening yet for whatever reason. I also took him on a shoot and worked his ass off! He wanted to know what it’s like (not to work his ass off, but to do it on a shoot).
The shoot was for a student film project at Virginia Tech done by their newly formed Cinema Studies department and I provided grip and electric services through Carter Media with their 3 ton G&E truck. I worked my ass off also, three days, 44 hours total. But I loved it. I met and worked with professionals and students, I learned new things, I taught new students, I watched others practice their craft, made creative lighting suggestions that were used and others that were shot down. I was in the mix of a creative jam session that involved collaboration, communication, improvisation, patience, efficiency, and active thought process. In essence, I was doing what I love (and I thanked God for it each night a I dragged my weary butt home).
Every time I get the chance to work with new people, I have a chance to expand in many ways, including creativley. I also can run the risk of screwin up too (more on that later).
Now, back to scene three!
Dave Perry is an award winning Roanoke Virginia digital film producer.
His sideburns are only a hobby.