Archive for the School Category

The Calling

Posted in School, The Ramblings Of ... on 21 February, 2010 by sonal

You know you’re homesick when* …

As I said in yesterday’s rant, I’m at the point where I feel I need to defend my voice or at least I now think I know what my voice isn’t (which is not as good as knowing what it is, but I’ll clutch at these few straws for now). I received a critique on how darkly I’ve been looking at the world with each draft and every time I been given the suggestion of something lighter or happier for the characters, something redeeming, I’m unable to feel the truth of that situation.

I wonder if I’m starting to fit into the idea of a cinema of unease … the style of story telling that I’m becoming more comfortable with comes from home. My story world is at home and now as I struggle with the characters and the story, I feel a need to reconnect, to stop running away from the landscape.

The mountains are calling. Dark, oppressive, foreboding, they’re calling me home. I can feel the call in my heart – every night I dream of them and the long shadows that they cast. My memories of them are not sunny or warm but cold and brooding.

This is a strange headspace to be in.

(* yes, I’m in a desperate state – I’ve got the Two Towers on for god’s sake! Yesterday it was Braindead, last week it was Eagle Vs Shark and now I wish I had a copy of Sleeping Dogs, Goodbye Pork Pie, Came A Hot Friday, Out of the Blue, The Price of Milk, In My Father’s Den …)


Losing My Way

Posted in School, The Reading Room on 20 February, 2010 by sonal

So for today’s 30 min rant we shall talk about why I haven’t done a 30 min rant since I promised to.

1. The internet died. No, really. For some reason our ISP decided to change something that identifies us to them to connect us, didn’t tell us and so no internet for a few days.

2. Storyline, deadline. No amount of 30 minute babble was going to help with what was essentially a basic structure issue with little prose … well that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

For the last week I’ve been wrestling with the feedback I received for my feature outline. To start with I HATE what I am writing right now. I really wanted to write a zombie film and came up with a couple of secondary ideas that I was a bit luke warm about to add to the pitching session because we had to come up with three of them.

Turns out, everyone latched onto the one I had made up an hour before class and so it became my feature. It’s a film about rugby.

Yes. I know.

anyway, there have been a couple of twists and turns along the way – at one stage the story was a satire about the commercialism of the sport and then it was about two brothers and their rivalry.

One tutor, pushed me to have something complete as a story line, a new tutor has pushed me into looking at the truth of a character. I’m unhappy with the results from both.

Firstly, yes, I now have an awesome character who I really like, but somewhere in creating him, I’ve lost what has left me really interested in the story and gone for something else. Now I feel I have to fight a little for my voice, which I guess is part of the learning process, but it is incredibly frustrating all the same. Especially when a rough draft of the script is due at the end of this week … yup it will be another all nighter for me on Thursday, I think.

Not being in love with this script is driving me insane. As it is, my mind has started wandering to other projects – I’ve now got a few ideas for some film and television, another couple of scripts that I want to start getting into and even found a solution to dirty creatures (I really do have a thing about zombies) … I chose to stick with this project as a lesson in just completing something. We all know how difficult that has been for me in the last couple of years.

At the same time, this screenplay is meant to serve as my spec script to send out when I start looking for an agent after school is over – I want it to be a fair representation of what I can do so I can get more work out of it. I don’t want to create something that is something I never intend on writing again.

In a sense it’s a good thing this isn’t the zombie film or the t.v. murder series, Shakespeare adaptation or even a film version of dirty creatures – we all know that these screenplays are the ones that will never get made and I really want to make my zombie film.

And on that note, my 30min are up (with some disruptions to plug in my mac and turn on the telly) … time to find my way.

Something for the Reading Room: A great summary from a writing event in LA. My favourite bit is this:

“Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, in response to a question about the script being his first produced screenplay, told the audience that he’d written more than 15 other scripts. “I’d heard that Oliver Stone wrote 20 before he got produced, so I”m ahead”

Looks like there’s a long way to go for me …

And In Other News

Posted in School on 7 February, 2010 by sonal

I’ve made it into term 2 of film school (you need to pass each term to proceed to the next – and given the massive surprised I received from passing all of my assignments, this now doesn’t seem as difficult to do).

School is insanely busy, all though this term feels a bit easier than last. This term my major assignments are the first draft of my feature film; my work and research journal and a minor seminar about Pinter.

As always with my writing, there are good days and bad days … and yes, still leaving plenty to the last minute, although I’m trying to change that (with little success). Last term I tried to find a routine and came to the conclusion that 4 hours of creative output on my own work was about all I could do before I was writing complete shit. Now I’ve just have to find a way to create the conditions to get those four hours of slightly less shit.

At the same time to this, I’ve been learning to run. Yes. Actually running, outside, sometimes even in snow thanks to the good old couch to 5k programme – tomorrow is week 9 and 5kms around West Norwood with Kathryn (after which we shall celebrate with a cup of tea). So I’m going to see if I can apply interval training to writing … build up to the 4 hour momentum slowly until my brain becomes used to it. We shall see.

As part of this, I’m going to use this blog as part of the 5 min warm up “walk” and just write a bit of garbage that has nothing to do with what I’m actually writing to get my head in the right space – slowly building up from, say 90min to 4 hours.

I’m not promising anything of quality – it may be me writing something along the lines of ‘oh dear god, how the hell am I going to write for 30min about sweet fuck all without resorting to “blah, blah, blah … I can’t think of anything” etc.’ OR it could be stuff that may or may not make it into my work and research journal.

Here we go …