I bring this up because when I first got the inspiration for The Education of Tobias Smith, my intention was to write it as a short script (15-20 pages) for a class. I got about five pages in and realized that it was going to take more than the 20 page maximum I was allotted. So I put the idea aside and wrote Treading Water instead.
And Treading Water not only got produced but led to a re-write job, so I suppose it all kind of worked out.
So now I finally -- after four or so years -- got to writing The Education of Tobias Smith. The script is coming along great. I'm about 15 pages ahead of my page schedule and I'm feeling good about what I've been scripting. The characters have some depth and the plot is getting into full swing. Well, maybe not full swing... It's a character-driven story and there's not a lot of plot, per se, going on until about halfway in.
Right now, I'm on page 90 and going off my notes and outline, I've still got maybe 50-60 pages to go.
|The West was big, so why not my script?|
"But what's the big deal?" one might ask, "There are lots of movies longer than 2 hours."
That's true, but you'll find in most instances that the people making those films are names you're probably more than familiar with. The Wolf of Wall Street clocks in at 3 hours, but with their partnered track record, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio can pretty much do whatever they want.
"What about Open Range or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford?" some might say. "Those were both Westerns 20 and 40 minutes, respectively, north of 2 hours."
|You'll do your eyes a favor in seeing |
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
So what's that mean then? Should I just quit while I'm (figuratively) ahead? Honestly, if there's little to no chance of the script getting made into a movie, is there an actual point to spending anymore time on it?
Well, yeah, of course there is.
First off, I need to finish it for the 12 in 12. Can't fail on the third script in, that's just bad. Plus, what I post on this blog that no one reads?
Second, it'll be good to have the script in my portfolio to show producers that I can write a Western -- just in case there are any producers out there looking to make one. In the same vein, it's another script to offer for anyone as a writing sample. The thing might not get made, but someone can read it and see that I'm good with dialogue (which I am) or that I can handle pacing well (though that might not be a great case with a 150 page screenplay...).
|Gonna have to do better|
than this to get noticed...
And fourth... Well, this one's really reaching for the stars with little to stand on, but fourth is I get working as a writer, maybe get a chance to director some films, have some success, and get offered to make something of my own. Or I write something like Titanic or Avatar that nets me enough money to make it independently.
Above all though, is that I really like the script. I like the characters, the story, the feel of it. It's probably not going to be the best thing I've written, but it feels like the most personal thing I've written. There are a lot of questions about morality and ethics that come up that I think about and that I think humanity as a whole struggle to find answers to -- if there are even any answers to conclude.
I don't know, maybe I've just been with it too long and that's why I'm all gaga about it. But I spent a month with Standers and didn't get this way. So there's gotta be something behind what I think about the script, right?
As always, if when I'm done with the script anyone cares to read it, just get a hold of me in one or all of the various available means. I'd be interested in what others have to say about my epic Western.
|This is how I hope others' comments will make me feel.|
Optimistic, I know. Naive, though, is probably the better word.