Friday, 9 July 2010

The film making bug

When I was a youngster I wanted to be famous, rather than successful. I wanted to be an actor.

I tried my hand at it in the drama society at university, but it transpired I had no talent for it. My talent instead lay in quickly becoming president of the drama society, which then folded as everyone left.

I wanted to be a writer too, a little more successfully. I could sit in my hole typing away, printing and binding. Sure the first twenty or so copies of my novels were given away for free, but subsequently I've managed to sell a grand total of three copies.

My books are mostly autobiographical. Any imagination I once had, useful for writing fiction, was mysteriously lost in the mid-90s.

Anyhoo, occasionally I fall into the trap of film making.

I think I'm a dab hand with the old digital camera, my video webcasts of bands playing gigs in my bedroom in Glasgow are legendary, but as for drama on film, not so good. I can't direct, I can barely persuade other people to get in front of the camera, left alone do as I say.

This one time I was roused from apathy by a friend with an urgent need to make spoof Cillit Bang and car insurance adverts, I duly assisted and reaped thousands of youtube views, but that was a group effort, not driven by me.

Films driven by me, not so good.

Back in 2002 I wrote a great hundred page screenplay, sent it out to actors, tricked a university into buying an expensive digital video camera and the flailed wildly on my own for a few hours and gave up on the project.

But invigorated by watching Almost Famous on telly the other week, I'm back in the mind set.

The pitch is thrills in the Glasgow indie music scene 2002 to 2007.

I'm following the wikipedia entry on film making, writing a step outline, then a treatment, then a screenplay, and so on.

But self-doubt fills me, and distractions abound. I keep drawing the storyboard when that should come later. I keep pondering whether to get actual Glasgow scenesters to play themselves or should I use actual actors, isn't that a decision for the casting director, not me. How far ought the characters on the page deviate from those in real life, that should be a job for the script editor, not me.

Should I get funding or find someone else to do that for me. I'm doing it for free, but will anyone else? Is this another of those damned madcap schemes that fails miserably the moment it gets out of my bedroom?

If so, should I give up now?

Just how much nudity is really necessary?

Anyhoo. Gotta focus on dialog now.

If anyone reading this fancies reading the treatment its on googledocs here.

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