Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Hello again, dear reader. Jason here, broadcasting from my desk at work.

I have a topic today, one supplied by my good friend and writing partner. "Why do I want to make a movie." When it was first brought up I felt that I was back in English class writing a prepared essay. I've never really thought about why I want to make a movie. Sure, I have the obligatory prepared answers:

"I want to tell stories."

"I love to entertain people."

"I want to create."

I tell people these answers all the time, and they have the added bonus of being reasonable and true. But none of them truly answer the question. I could do all of those things without making a movie, and I would probably be easier off. I'm not sure I even understood the question or the answer until today. Or maybe I've always known the answer but not been able to put it into words.

I've been thinking about what to write on this topic since Jessie brought it up to me. I thought I could talk about how my parents took me to movies in the theater throughout my childhood. I could talk about how magical movies are to me, how they draw me in, how they take me away. All this is true, but none of it is the real reason.

So why, why would I force myself into an industry that I have virtually no chance of succeeding in? Why would I put myself into a position where I might have to put myself into a huge debt that which I would probably still be paying off 20 years from now? Why would I want to kill myself over a product that needs a miracle just to be completed, let alone get picked up for distribution, and then another miracle before I will even see a dime? Why, for the love of God, would I do this?

Becuase I need to.

What the Hell is This All About Anyway?

A movie, duh! You ask stupid questions.

Oh, you want details? Well then, stay tuned, dear reader, we're about to tell you. And with a minimal amount of comma errors!

We hesitate to call our movie a romantic comedy, but that is essentially what it is. The typical romcom is unrealistic crap. We want our movie to reflect our experiences with romance, relationships, and sex. The script will represent the ways we and our friends discuss these topics and the types of humor we use (from the banal to the esoteric). Generally romantic comedies don't reflect the diversity of the people we know, nor do they include alternative forms of relationships. This movie will have poly characters, kinky characters, queers, geeks, goths, atheists and agnostics (maybe a Uni), activists, hippies, vegetarians, and Methodists! And many more!

Most films, even independent ones, only show the socially accepted forms of relationships. This film will embrace the plethora of ways people interact with and love each other. For instance, our main character and his love interest are heterosexual and monogamous, but his best friend is bisexual and polyamorous. Polyamory is a concept we would like to see be better represented in movies, so we're taking the initiative. Most movies that deal with the idea of non-monogamous relationships depict those relationships as short-lived, or ill-conceived and the people who participate in them as amoral or confused. We know this to be untrue. Our poly characters have issues (they're human, after all), but polyamory isn't one of them.

That's enough about the broader ideas, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. At the core, our story is about two twenty-somethings who fall in love, but when the honeymoon period is over, they realize that they need to figure out their own problems before they can have a healthy relationship. The movie is about their relationship, but even more so, it is about them learning to be comfortable with themselves.

Our characters live in Boulder and Denver, and that's where we'd like to shoot the film. We love Boulder, and we'd like to show our viewers why. It's important to us to depict Boulder authentically: the places locals actually frequent, the mountains, and the people.

Oh my god, we're dying of fatigue. More later.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'll Try Not to Sing Out of Key

Hi all, this is Jessie.

I'm not sure what to write here, so I'll continue on the thread Jason started: why write with a partner?

I used to write all the time. I wrote in a diary every day as a little girl. Poetry seemed to spill out of me as a teenager. I started plenty of short stories, most of which I never finished. I think it was because I wanted to write a novel, but didn't have the focus or time to complete a project.

I don't want to wax too personal here, but I feel it's important to mention that I have bipolar disorder. Most of the ways it's affected my life aren't important to this project. However, it has had an effect on my writing, so I'll mention this bit. When I'm hypomanic (i.e. I only go a little crazy, not full-blown psychotic), it's very easy for me to write creatively. I write a lot, and well. However, when I was diagnosed and put on lithium, my creative drive seemed to leave me. Lithium was horrible for me and I was put on different medication that's not so famous for killing people's creativity. However, it seems that when I stopped writing a lot, I got out of the habit. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to come up with anything worth reading ever again.

Then I met Jason. Anyone who knows him knows that he talks about movies incessantly. Soon after I met him, he started carrying around a composition notebook in which he was writing his movie. I thought it was cool that he was committed to a project and actually working on it. I sincerely hoped he would be able to write his film and get it made. I really had no aspirations to be included in the project till he asked me to help him write. Apparently he couldn't get anything he wrote in that notebook to come together into something cohesive.

Having a writing partner makes the process a lot less daunting and more enjoyable for me. I don't have to come up with every plot point, every character flaw, every theme on my own. I don't have to second guess every idea I have and every line I write because he does it for me. We bounce ideas off each other and they get better the more we bounce them. Since we're such good friends, I can tell him when his ideas suck and vice versa (though the former happens much more often). We're both clever people, and I think we're more clever together.

I'm very glad Jason asked me to help with his untitled movie project. It means a lot to me that he thinks highly enough of me to let me in on it. It feels good to be writing again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

On the Difficulty of Shared Vision

Hello Peoples, Jason here.

I was recently asked about the difficulty of writing with a partner. I would like to address this briefly. Why this, you might ask? Because I'm at work (read: bored) and I really need distraction.

People, by which I mean amateur writers like us, have told me they don't think they would be able to write with a partner and give up their vision. I don't think that I give up any of my vision writing with people. I think they help me refine what I want to say. Sure we argue, but we usually end up agreeing. I don't see it as compromise. I see it as finding the best possible story.

I will say the difficulty comes in trying to express what I see in my head in a way that she can understand. Nothing is more difficult for me when it comes to writing. Sometimes I wish I could speak in images. But then they would probably be in the wrong format and I would have to render the image into the proper format and that would take awhile and by then I could've just come up with the right words.

Enough of that nonsense, back to the topic at hand. I find that I need a partner in order to get anything done. Otherwise, my thoughts just jumble in my head like... so many... things... that jumble. Damn, epic fail right there. If I could just write in jpeg this would be easier.

Off topic again. Fuck. My mind wanders something fierce.

So, I'm curious if anyone writing out there, whatever you're writing, is unable to write with a partner. Are you just unable to function in that way? Or perhaps you do write with a partner, how does it work for you? Do you have any suggestions? Yes, I'm fishing for comments.

Shit, the boss is coming. Gotta go.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

To Vaguely Go Where Others Have Gone Before...

We are Jessie and Jason and this is about the process of making our first movie. Welcome to our hell blog.

We are two overworked and underpaid twenty-somethings from Boulder, CO. Jason is obsessed with movies. Seriously, he needs to get over it. Maybe making one will help. Jessie is obsessed with industrial hemp. Jason is getting tired of hearing about it. She has been known to write a thing or two. Jason can't hold a pen. WIth Jason's movie geekiness and Jessie's pen-holding skills combined, they should be able to put something not-shitty together.

Here's the story so far, kids:

We've been working for almost two months on the preliminary stages of the screenplay. This means we don't have any script yet, but we have a vague roadmap of where we want to go. We think. Maybe. We know there are characters. And a plot. Kind of. It's all a little foggy.

Right now the movie is about 40 pages of green scribbling in Jessie's Moleskine and several poorly formatted text documents on Jason's computer. When we start talking about index cards, you'll know we mean business.

The general story is laid out, now we need to nail down the specifics. We are getting to know the main characters pretty well. Now that they have lives of their own, maybe they can write the screenplay for us. They're still not ready to meet the outside world, but we will introduce them in good time.

Some scenes have revealed themselves easily (like strippers) while others have taken a lot of coaxing (like nuns). Arguments have broken out, but there's been a surprising lack of fisticuffs so far. We have been known to swat each other on the arm, though. We are so mature.

We have thought about casting a smidgen, but we agree that it's little more than pipe dreams at this point. If we do get this cast, though, it will be bitchin'.

That's all we have for now. Jessie has been kept up long enough, and we both have "real" jobs to get to in the morning.

Signing off,
the Management