Tuesday, January 16, 2007

With a Single Bound I Was Free

My most recent film script, an adaptation of Shane Richie's heartrending biography 'From Rags to Richie'- no I'm kidding, obviously it's about SUPERHEROES, has jumped though a number of hoops (some of them flaming) and ticked various boxes (not flaming) and has been picked up by the Film Council as being Potentially Just Stupid Enough To Work.

I need to do a proper outline though, so show how a second draft will build upon the complexities and depths evident in the first, and thus secure me some development money with which to buy pens and notebooks and hookers not hookers. I am also seconded a script editor, via a means I can only assume is like that thing in school where David Mammet Mamet and Tom Stoppard are picked first for games, and my script is left with the fat kid who smells of crisps* and Akiva Goldsman**. What a weird school.

I have a meeting with my script editor, so that we may discuss how the second draft can build upon the complexities and depths evident in the first. One concern is the ending, which sort of fizzles away a bit, in that after the hero has travelled across the entire country into order to get to the villain's base to turn off a machine which could potentially blow up the world, it ends when he gets there and sort of.... turns it off. The End. Thus far, it's not exactly Citizen Kane.

INT. SOHO COFFEE SHOP - DAY

SCRIPT EDITOR: So, any thoughts about developing the ending?
ME: Yes, I thought the villain's lair could suddenly turn into a giant robot, which the hero could fight, which would make a better ending, and would pad it out a bit into the bargain.

Slight pause.

SCRIPT EDITOR: I was thinking more about some way in which the hero could, you know, sort of develop. Emotionally.

I punch her in the face, smash through the window and run, screaming, onto the london streets.

Later however, I wonder if she might have a point, and ring the Film Council to see if my actions were irreversible. Fortunately, it turns out that script editors are grown in vats, in a large warehouse on the edge of Chiswick, and there's loads left. Hurrah!


* He later goes on to invent streaming video, so don't feel bad for him.
** Hoik Spit



UPDATE: of course, if anyone from the Film Council happened to have glanced at this blog during the half hour it took me to realise the protagonist's name in Citizen Kane isn't actually spelled with a 'C', the whole point might be AMAZINGLY MOOT anyway.

15 comments:

patroclus said...

What if they glanced at it during the time it took for someone to leave a comment pointing out that David Mamet's name is spelled thus?

Anonymous said...

...the protagonist's name in Citizen Kane isn't actually spelled with a 'C'...

Sure it is... C for Citizen. Right?!

Anonymous said...

This school...fat kid smells of crisps but goes on to become video streaming magnate - it all has the makings of a British 'Malcolm in the Middle'? Perhaps another project for you James?

p.s I'm imagining them (the aformentioned crisps)as Bacon Rashers or maybe even Spicy Nik Naks? They say fat, but very clever kid to me. I realise I'm putting way too much thought into this...

Louise

Anonymous said...

Citizen Candy-Cane, perhaps.. the porn version.

(Shudder.)

I admit my eye snagged (shudder yet again) on "Mammet". It sounds like a small, plump rodent, or maybe that's just the similarity to 'marmot'...

On the other hand, I'm all for the giant robot.

Billy said...

At least you didn't spell Citizen with a "K".

Which reminds me how do you pronounce "Mamet"? Is it MAM-AY or MAM-ET. To save embarassment, I always refer him as "the American guy who does plays with lots of swears in".

belladona said...

I second the joys of the giant robot. You can never have too many giant robots. Or maybe I've become a bit too influenced by japanese anime.

leonie said...

"...some development money with which to buy pens and notebooks and hookers not hookers." (!!)

you know, James, if my flatmates are woken up in the middle of the night by me crouched over my laptop laughing loudly it's all your fault.

Steve Dix said...

Fat kid?

Smells of crisps?

Inventing streaming video??

Did I leave the webcam on again?!

Pashmina said...

I always go with "MAM-ET" myself, though I suspect the Americans say "MAY-MET". They're difficult like that.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm the token American here, so:

David Mamet pronounces his name as "MAM-met".

But until I knew that, I pronounced it "mam-MAY". (I suppose it looks French to me.)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm the token American here, so:

David Mamet pronounces his name as "MAM-met".

But until I knew that, I pronounced it "mam-MAY". (I suppose it looks French to me.)

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I HEART superheros. Coincidentally, I posted about my love of them on my blog only the other day.

I was rambling on about how Silver Surfer is my favourite because, even though he is one of the most powerful superheros, he is constantly miserable and moans all the time. No emotional development for him. SS could definitely benefit from a visit to a counsellor I reckon.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, there can never be too many superhero films.

I'm curious, at this stage are you writing what you want and let other people worry about the budget or do you have to keep the budget in mind?

james henry said...

Good question - I'll give this a post of its own, if that's okay.

lucinatrivia said...

Am I really the only person reading this who really wants to see James Henry's Shane Richie's Rags to Richie? Especially if he turns out to be a superhero. Isn't that what we all suspected about Shane Richie all along? That quiet shy persona is just to disguise his powers, you know.