My mind has been in some form of turmoil as of late, kind of a slow boil. Nothing is immediately panic-worthy, but things on the horizon are troublesome.
Apparently there are some things about which I have a great deal of insight, like an uncanny amount. It doesn't necessarily help everything, as some people can only learn through their own experiences, but it does let me prepare for some things in advance.
Of course, there are other things about which I am completely clueless, so there is balance in the universe.
Something that's come back to me is a short screenplay I wrote back when I was in the Gulag. It was extremely violent and brutal, and not something that I let very many people read; it really wasn't so much meant for human consumption as it was the emotional equivalent of passing a gallstone. Thing is, there are some elements of it that I really like: it's got some great character work and some massive potential for the actors to get into roles that require some emotional rawness. Most actors that I know relish roles like that.
The reason for writing it has pretty much passed, or at least morphed into something different. I'm thinking of bringing it back and changing it somewhat to give it more of a character arc for the lead. It's a short, so it's pretty much concentrated on one critical event, and it's still brutal and violent, but the character grows from it. Maybe not in the happy Hollywood sense, but there is growth.
I don't know that I'll actually take it anywhere. It might still be too brutal for any but a select audience to appreciate. I'm pretty jaded when it comes to that kind of thing: I know that movie violence isn't real, that it's all illusion, and I think of it as a great method of catharsis. I do have friends that I know wouldn't be able to watch the movie, and would be pissed off at me for even being able to consider something like that much less make a movie about it (thus missing the point entirely).
The thing that makes me hesitate is that it's a roundly serious piece. There is no humor in it at all, not even situational, and that carries a risk for me. I have to write-- and shoot-- something that is true enough to the characters and compelling enough to be watched for the twenty or so minutes of its length, and strong enough to be affective (as opposed to effective) and not just sensational.
Then again, if there isn't risk, why do it in the first place?
It may not be something that I can put together. I remember a few years back (a lot of years now actually) when I had auditioned for and got the part of a priest in a movie that had some graphic masturbation scenes in it. It wasn't porn, it was just seriously sacreligious, and the producer ended up dumping the project because he couldn't find an actress willing to take on the main role. I loved the story: it was seriously dark and quite funny, and it was offensive as hell. I probably still have it buried somewhere in my collection.
Why does this come up now? I'm not entirely sure, though I suspect it has a lot to do with the Barb-creature getting the hell out of Dodge and the awakening of some old memories. There is some other stuff, too: filmmaking projects that I've been attached to that have lost funding at the last minute, movies that I've watched that really should never have been made (three feet tall! two inch fangs!), the dawning realization of just how powerful something has to be to get noticed and garner more than a ho-hum reaction, and the primary knowledge that first and foremost there needs to be a story behind everything, a story about people, a human story.
And I could miss the mark with this one. Chances are quite good on that, kind of in the same order of magnitude as winning the lottery or having Axe Body Spray actually attract hordes of swimsuit models.
Winter is here. I'll see where this takes me, and if I can actually write something that I feel deeply enough about to actually make.