Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A very merry Christmas to you all

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you all for your kind support and feedback. You have all been part of making this my so far most successful year as a screenwriter.

The next three weeks will probably be less updated than my regular tempo. If you wish to get an e-mail when I update you can click here to subscribe.

I'll be back.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Scars will give the story depth

In my current project “The Beautymaker” I have a manipulative woman nesting herself into a group of people with the intention to sabotage their project.

I wasn’t clear about how she did this.

And then of course clueless about how the group would handle it, because they must still deliver their project in time.

The point with this is that their project gets involuntarily better. The saboteur’s actions and the group’s efforts to hide the damage makes the final result better.

The project is a film.

First I thought that she would manipulate them to act wrong, but how visible is that? How do common people in the audience see that the acting is bad or wrong? It can’t be bad-bad acting because it would not be plausible, but simply a matter of timing and beat.

No way that I could make this work.

Compare this with a story containing excellent dancing, writing or something that others admire and brings the main character to fame and glory. Then we are told that what they do is extraordinary. We are told that in this world, in this particular story, what they do right now is worth a gold medal.

In my story the bad guy would manipulate the actors to do a bad job and the director does not notice. So nobody is there for the audience to tell them that something is wrong, that the actors make a mistake.

No way would it work.

But the solution revealed itself on the bus on my way home yesterday.

There are more visible things for her to sabotage.

And when they try to cover this, the "scars" give their story a depth they didn't intend, but for which they are praised.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On a quest for finding an art form

I’ve been thinking about short movies. What makes a good short movie? What kinds of stories are best for this art form?

Quite a few years ago when I attended the annual film festival in Gothenburg my only clear memory of what I saw was a short movie. Maybe it was as long as half an hour.

It was called “My bearded mother” and was a somewhat surreal story about a mother with plenty of embarrassing hair growth – face, legs you name it. It was a bit surreal because it was from a child’s point of view and what her two kids saw were their mother transforming into a horse. What more likely happened were a divorce between the parents and the kids left with their father.

Could this theme be transformed into a feature movie? Nah . . . Not likely. Not without getting more complex at least and to me that would make the story loose its charm.

The latest short script project is about a mother in a hurry to get to work in time but has a kid who wants to play instead. Neither this one is a story that could be stretched into a larger format.

“Paralyzed in Paradise” which I wrote in collaboration with Robert A Vollrath has a theme that would make a grand thriller, but would it keep its genuine feeling as such?

What makes a good short movie? What kinds of stories are best for this art form?

I have no answers. Not today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The unexpected success

When this year started I promised myself that I would finish ”Kim”, send it to contests and hopefully start with my next project.

I have not only done that, I have begun working with no less than three feature scripts and written and sold three short scripts.

I’ve been thinking that me getting stuck on Sunlight and starting two new projects as a result of this is not a real success. It would have been better if I had been able to finish Sunlight.

And that is true. One finished script is better than three in progress.

But what is one finished feature to three sold short scripts?

It is only when someone is ready to buy and produce what I write that I can make my dreams into some form of reality.

And I have, within two months, sold three short scripts to two different producers!

I’ve always been focused on features scripts, like they were the only thing that counted. But that is not true.

I didn’t promise myself I would write three shorts during the year. Like number of feature scripts were the only measurable unit.

Maybe I should rephrase my promises to next year.

I mean, I fulfilled what I had promised, but the real success came from elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When dreams feel closer (than healthy?)

There have been a few days without updates.

This is because my oldest kid have been ill and the little time I have had I have spent on rewriting the second draft to Sx3 Productions on Åland.

This is the first script I have written in Swedish in years.

I saw their “scripts wanted” on Internet and contacted them and pitched two stories. One of them they liked and asked for a synopsis. Once they read it they said it was a great story, but they would not have the budget to produce it.

And asked in return if I could write a script from the synopsis they attached.

I did and they liked it. Liked it very much it seems.

I got a contract on the e-mail and a request to rewrite the script, adding more details.

So, I’ve soon sold my third short script. And the dream of making a living out of this feels closer than ever.

I’ve even start to think about a suitable company name and logo. It is pretty nice to feel like a teenager with big, fabulous dreams again.

I’ll send them the second draft today and hope for a gloooorious future.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blog found: Man With Problems

Though I am a blogger myself I must say I find most blogs rather sad stories. Most of their writers live on a vain hope of getting rich and famous by writing stuff about themselves and clog every empty space with commercial. And in most cases their writing skill is on the level of fitting a private diary.

So every time I come across a very personal blog that I really like I have to take a deep breath and look again and again, just to make sure that it wasn’t just that particular blog entry or my current mood that caused the sensation.

I would like to share one of these findings with you.

The blog is Man With Problems.

The writer presents himself as “I'm a man with problems. Period. Messed up in the head, but unlike most people, I know it. I know it and am here to share it for your enjoyment.

I find the way he uses the language appealing and he really succeeds in taking me inside his mind.

Which is not a pleasant experience.

He seems very different from me in attitude. He seems more aggressive, more unforgiving, and in a way I feel sad that maybe he expands this attitude by writing about it.

But reading the blog is helpful in learning to understand other people for me as a writer, but also as a human being living among other people.

It may not be a mood riser to read his blog, but it is very interesting, never the less. I feel that I actually learn something about another human which can help me understand other people geographically closer to me.

And he writes well. Focused, to the point, begin-middle-end, all that. Some entries are every blogger’s dream in structure and language.

And no £@#¤% ads!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't stay within safe boarders

English is not my native language. It never will be. And sometimes this becomes very apparent to me.

Like when I wrote the story about my fright for deep waters. I have no idea if “pier” is the proper word for what it actually was. According to my dictionary, yes, but the word is very similar to a Swedish word of something much bigger and robust than what I was thinking of.

I wrote “wooden pier” to make it a little more assuring that you would understand what I meant. But the fact remains: I don’t know if I’ve used the right word.

Just as much as my blog entry “you perceived it wrong”. Is “perceived” used like that? It does in Swedish, but I couldn’t find any good example of that use in English.

I want to write flawless English here, on my blog. Who knows who might be reading? I don’t want to appear as someone who can’t handle her written language.

But still, this blog is a tool for me to learn and to exercise. If I only use words and phrases I feel is accurate I will limit myself. Something my teacher a long time ago warned about.

There will be so much untold if I stop writing from my heart and stay within safe boarders. And that is not the purpose of this blog, nor with my life.

But, if I'm never told about my unique use of a word or my questionable grammar, I’ll never learn. So, please feel free to correct me.