That last act I still had to go through (plus a tag) last night I finished today, bringing the script of The Cage down to 42 pages. Never before have I written more bare bones than this.
I call it the "kindergarten edition". I use very small words. Very short sentences. Like this.
Never before have I put more trust into the other side not to fuck this up than with this. For if you write this little in stage direction, you have to hope and pray that whoever is on the other side is not a retard.
Considering my experiences over the past few years with LA-based people and their intelligence, or rather lack thereof, coupled with an amoral lightness of being, that notion is a very big leap for me to make. I'm doing it with serious stomach aches.
So far, they haven't been retards. So far, they have been helpful and not overpowering. So far... but there are many more variables that will come in later in the game, so many potential moments in space and time where a single idiot can fuck things up. From TV executives to director to...
... god, just thinking about it makes my stomach do a 360°.
At one point I will direct myself. Not because it is my deepest desire (it isn't), merely to ensure that nobody but me is in a position to fuck things up. It would be nice to have one director who you can trust blindly to not fuck things up, so you write and he/she directs, kind of the relationship Sorkin and Schlamme have. But to tell you the truth, you look around Hollywood today, a lot of directors deldue themselves into thinking they are the sole creators, and they are not. They shit all over original screenplays, and they have neither an understanding of story structure nor characters. But hey, who needs any of this when you have storyboards and fucking explosions, right?
And even if you find a director, you still have that potential Harvard-bred retard at the top level studio, who fancies himself a creator and tells e.g. Ridley Scott and William Monahan that "nobody cares about this character stuff, the people want to get the fuck to the action sequences at Jerusalem".
Never mind that – by cutting out the scenes very early in the movie that establish Orlando Bloom's character to be not only a blacksmith, but that he has a past as a siege expert – nothing that he does during the Jerusalem siege makes any lick of sense. The audience is left with a bewildered "whu?".
Never mind that only these scenes then make Bloom's final line of the movie make sense, as he is asked by Richard Lionheart to essentially come along, and he says,
"I am the blacksmith."
"And I'm the king of England."
"I am the blacksmith."
Writing is a lot more than clever dialogue, to be sure, but if you are clever, you set up this final scene right at the fucking beginning of the movie, because this is the second time that Bloom's character has quit warfare.
But then again, you'd need to be able to read that in a script. And understand it. What it means. And sometimes, not very often, but sometimes that takes big fucking words.
And somebody on the other side of the table who is not a retard.
So I hope and pray that this time is the time I have found that somebody on the other side of the table. Who understands. Who can think. Who can extrapolate along with me. So far, so good... so far...
In other news, another project of mine is soon being shopped around by another big-name Hollywood production company to various movie studios. Considering it's a big tent pole thing, and tent poles are not really doing this well this year, I believe it's going to be an uphill battle. The production company is very excited. I am trying to be, but I again, I have very little faith in people at studios. Look at what came out this year. None of it was even remotely original, and the first one who tells me that Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was a good story will get pimp-slapped by me into next summer. The same goes for Robin Hood and Prince of Persia. I mean, a tent pole that is a parable for the Iraq War? Really? About weapons of mass destruction? About tea baggers? Really?
How stupid can you get?
Oh, wait, yes, that is the right amount of stupid. "I know this arrow! One of these arrows killed my favourite horse! There will be blood for this!"
In order to put my thing on the screen? Roughly 200 million budget, I would guess. Depending on how much potential actors and directors want. And they always want a lot. But I do trust that production company. If somebody can pull it off, they can. They have a good name. And usually get their shit made. Big budget shit.
If and when there's an announcement, I'll write about it in more detail.