Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Summer of roller coasters...

So for those that still have feeds or that even care any more, the reason that this blog as started in the first place was to track the progress of an indie feature called "Heist" that my partner James Tauber and I are working on. Well, at long last, I've finished another draft based on some changes that James and I had discussed back in March. Yes March :)

Between finishing the school project and getting an edit of a TV show proof of concept edited that I'd put together back in December, things had just gotten a bit crazy and distracted. In addition, an LA production company had become interested in Coaches back in late May, and I spent the better part of the summer talking to them and chasing down the local PBS stations to try and generate some type of interest in "This was America" (which as of today seems to have finally paid off - more on that in another post).

Rather than give detailed updates on all the other projects that I have in the air, I'm going to get the blog focused back exclusively on Heist and try to stay focused personally on it so that I can get that moving in the right direction.

James purchased that camera that we'll use to shoot the film a few months back and has since invested more money in a special adapter that will allow us to use a much wider variety of lenses than we could otherwise. So I'm pretty excited about that.

I'm looking forward to James' comments on the new draft. I've also sent a copy to Todd Poudrier who will be taking on the lead role of "Eddie". Once I have comments back, I'll make some more adjustments and send it out for another coverage report. I found the last coverage report pretty helpful and though it did identify some problems with the story, I felt that it was largely positive and I was left feeling like the things that I was trying to accomplish in the script were not only working but for the most part were executed pretty soundly.

The new draft however is a pretty significant departure from the last version, but I view that as a good thing, because the twists are much better in this version - though it remains to be seen if I've exceuted them well enough... I threw out a bunch of stuff that I'd worked pretty hard on in the previous draft, but I learned long ago that you just never justify the amount of time that you spend on anything. If it's not working, it's out - regardless of the amount of time you spent on it.

Todd pointed out that the Eddie character is starting to feel a bit like a working class version of Dean Keaton (the Gabriel Byrne character in The Usual Suspects) which is cool. It sort of funny because Todd looks a bit like Gabriel Byrne. While the story for Heist may not be quite as complex, or clever as TUS, it's starting to feel as though it could have its own moments that give you that "boy that was a fun film" feeling. We'll see... :)

Another local filmmaker that I'd met through Todd recently finished a feature that he'd been working on since 2003. When I saw the initial screening in early 2005, I have to say that I was pretty impressed with a good many of the performances and with the technical quality and execution of the film. The story however, seemed to suffer from having too many unresolved and disjointed plot lines. I don't want something like that to happen with Heist, so getting coverage from external sources to me is key. While I don't want to sacrifice my integrity as a writer by allowing too many outside forces to shape my project, what I do want is a well executed story that has great characters, excellent moments, good writing and "oh my god" twists. I just don't see how you get those elements by working entirely on your own. You need to be open enough to hear what's wrong or not working.