I am so excited to report that I have hit the page 70 mark on the screenplay I am currently working on called “You Fly Right Over It” which means I only have about 40 more pages to go before I have myself a nice solid first draft. Yay!!! What a milestone.
It’s been a little while since I last put on my screenwriter hat and all I can say is now I remember full well why us writers are completely nutty. The discipline it takes to get yourself to sit your but in the chair and stick to the story is the most I have ever had to muster for a task. Maybe its easier for some but for me I find myself having to have hourly conversations with myself, I keep popping out of my seat certain that I suddenly must have a cup of tea right this second, or some random snack, or I really need to make that phone call, or I need to clean that room, “how can one create with such a mess around?” And then I have to humor myself and say sure, go get your cup of tea, you deserve it, now get back to your damn chair.
The truth is that the thing that makes me keep popping out of the chair is the deep seated panic that I think all writers face (particularly with that first draft) that they aren’t going to do their story justice. Ideas are always amazing but when you start to trying to lock ideas down to an actual written product, that is when things gets scary. It seems like once you sit in that chair this little heckler that fancies himself a movie critic pops up on your shoulder and comments on everything you type. “Ooh you sure you want to go that way with it?” “Snore!” “When are you going to write something interesting?” “You have no idea where you’re going with this do you?” “Careful, if you put that scene in, it might screw up the entire rest of the story, you might want to get a coffee and think about that one for a week or so…” “You might consider getting someone more talented to write this” and on and on it goes taking pot shots whenever it can.
What makes this particular screenplay especially challenging is that it is the first screenplay I have tackled that has absolutely nothing to do with my own life experience. In fact, this movie is a full blown dude flick, a Bromance if you will, and it is based on the true story of two men that I deeply love and admire and therefore want to do right by. It has taken me almost 15 years to figure out the best way to tell their story. Like most of my stuff I like to write, I really had to grow into the understanding of it, but the time is now and I have locked myself in. For better or for worse I have made my creative choice on how to tell it and am determined to finish and get it out there. I shouldn’t be the only one to enjoy the hilarious and heartfelt friendship of these two amazing men.
The fact that I am on page 70 means that I have succeeded in kicking my little heckler friends booty. I went all Matrix on him, gave him the double bird and just kept on writing even while he was telling me it sucked, and I am now certain I will win this battle and end up with a really fun, memorable script. And the best part is, I have had some wonderful and unexpected back up in the form of those very men the movie is about. They have gotten inspired by what I am up to and have been keeping me laughing through the process by sending me more and more well thought out and hilarious stories that re-inspire me just when I need it most.
I love you Roy & Tim! It is so fun to know that after all these years this is really gonna happen. I can feel it. Can’t wait till the day when we cast some of the hottest, young troublemakers in Hollywood to play you guys. It will be our version of a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but with helicopters.
Here they are last Memorial Day singing for you with a little help from Danny and his daughter Mandy.