Last night I got home, checked the mail, and there was a shiny package, containing the contract from Producer Dude.
Read through it. Everything seemed in order. The terms we all agreed to seemed to be in order. TV rights? CHECK. MOW rights? CHECK. Backend participation? CHECK.
Yup. It all looks pretty good, with one exception.
The title of the film is misspelled.
Now... God knows I've transposed the I and E in SIEGE a thousand times right here on this blog, so no biggie, but it does mean some contract tweakage.
Well... that, or we quickly bang out a new screenplay called "SEIGE," the moving story of Helmut Seige, the double-amputee 200 meter men's hurdles runner from Germany in the 1940s.
In the meantime, as Dave mentioned, we've been plugging along on the Ghost Pygmy Tribe project, with a caveat.
As you may recall, he sent me the first 30 pages, and I volleyed with the next several scenes. Interestingly, this forced us to pause and realize that we hadn't really flushed out the concept terribly well...
DAVE: Um... so Charlie? Why do you have this "silo"-esque room, other than that it would look cool? What's the purpose of it?
CHARLIE: Beats me. Why do you have the "cavern"-esque room with the bones?
DAVE: Touche. Beats me, too. Well... what about the guy who looks down from the dark window? Who's that?
CHARLIE: Ermmm... a mysterious figure? You had some guy in your scene... what the hell's that tribal shaman fella gonna do?
DAVE: Um... I dunno yet. Something, though. At some point.
And, thus, a consensus was born. We would step back, actually THINK the whole freakin' thing through, and apply some gen-u-ine process and procedure to the thing.
See... a lot of writers will hash out every major beat of a screenplay, often going to far as to put them down on index cards, which you can then pin to the wall, allowing you to see the flow of the story, and rearrange "virtually" before a word is really even written.
Dave and I have a term for those kind of writers: Uptight assholes.
Sure... the rest of the industry calls them "professionals" and pays them lots of money, but we look upon them with scorn.
I kid, of course, but we did get ahead of ourselves with this one. So we've regrouped.
We've written one-page bios for all our major characters. We've written out the "mythology" behind the dark happenings we're writing about. And we've researched and documented the geography and native culture of the film's setting (wrapping that into a larger backstory for the tribe of ghostly pygmies we've mentioned).
In short, we have a mini-bible at this point. YAY DAVE AND CHARLIE!
Now we're working out the major plot elements and beats. We don't have index cards yet because... well... as I noted, we look down our noses at those guys.
Ok. Fine. Until we get paid for
Point is, we're hitting all the major beats. And THEN (and only then) once we've done that, we'll start over and revisit the actual script.
See? We can do structure!! We can do order!! We can do chronology!! We can do character development!! We can do STORY!
(Robert McKee... feel free to give me a call)
Keywords: b movie, Siege, screenwriting, screenplay, scriptwriter, movies