Friday, March 19, 2010

Ron Howard you son of a bitch

Dear Diary,

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of speaking with Lou Perrotti, the world's foremost expert on the American Burying Beetle.  He vetted the dialogue and descriptions pertaining to the beetle in the script, corrected some inaccuracies and helped me determine a very similar sub-species that is not critically endangered that I will be able to use for the shoot that can pass for Nicrophorus Americanus.  He's even going to send me some via Fed-Ex.  I couldn't have asked for a better resource.  That said, I think he was slightly taken aback by some aspects of the script.  He didn't say anything, but in an email he mentioned he was "surprised" by the script.  That masturbation scene really rubs people the wrong way.  Usually that would compel me to keep it in for that reason alone, but I've actually removed it from the latest draft and I don't miss it.  Plus, it'll make it easier to cast the kid if I don't have to worry about their parents freaking out about it. 

The funny part which is actually annoying and not funny, is that Lou Perrotti, world's foremost expert on the American Burying Beetle, told me that Ron Howard's people had just contacted him because they are shooting a movie that features the beetle and wanted him to provide some of them to the production.  I mean, what the fuck?  Really?  I didn't pick something obscure enough?  All I know is I better get this thing done before they do theirs.

I sort of feel like, to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart:

Of all the beetle metaphors in all the movies in all the world, he walked into mine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Plot Thins

So a lot of smart people have been urging me to rethink this project as a feature instead of a short, due to the length of the script.  I think everyone is pretty much in agreement that the script couldn't be too much shorter and still do what I am trying to do with it, yet it's current length makes it unwieldy to shoot and annoying to program at festivals.  I've been whittling away at it and have it down to 28 pages, but that still means I'd have to shoot like four and a half pages a day for a six day shoot which is a lot for an inexperienced director to shoot and try to get exceptional material.  There are strong arguments to be made for converting it into a feature.  For one, the potential for it to have some kind of distribution increases significantly which in turn means the potential for it to generate revenue would exist.  Also, people might actually see it.  I know.  Crazy.  Further, there's the fact that once you have all the crew, equipment and momentum to start shooting you're halfway there.  Might as well go for it.  Just add a whole lot more money and stir.

The idea of going so completely back to square one makes me feel empty.  Re-writing the script as a feature would require deconstructing the whole thing and rebuilding it from the ground up.  But the worst part is the financing.  Where the fuck am I supposed to get the money?  The idea of slogging out into this brutal economy and trying to scrounge up hundreds of thousands of dollars makes me exhausted and depressed just thinking about it.

The problem is how suddenly abstract it all seems.  Am I actually making a movie?  There is very little evidence to suggest that I am.  Maybe I'm delusional.  Long, short or medium sized, right now it's all in my head.