Monday, July 19, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 133 - Inspired by INCEPTION

Like millions of other people, I went and saw INCEPTION this weekend. (Don't worry, no spoilers to come for any of you who haven't yet seen it.) And, like some people, I also went to the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this weekend. While Pitchfork didn't inspire the writer within me nearly as much as INCEPTION did, but escapes helped draw my mind from my post-Apocalyptic spec, which was going though one of its more important reads this weekend. 

As the week drew to a close, my manager called me to let me know that the current draft of the script (which I turned in Monday at just about the close of the LA workday) had gone off to the second executive at the production company we've been working with, along with a top reader there, to do a final logic/consistency check. That weekend reading (hopefully now completed) has the potential to generate more rewrites this week if anyone finds a flaw in any of the logic or story elements. Ideally, though, those issues won't arise. Barring any problems - which we would have missed by being too close to the material at this point to see it very objectively - the script goes on to the producer who heads the company. From there, in theory, he starts making his decision on his involvement, and I pack a bag for a trip to LA. Of course, this is all (knock on wood) on the optimistic side of the scale. 

Perhaps by pure coincidence - well, that's not entirely true; I was pushing myself to get the draft out before I left - I was out of town and out of reach for most of the weekend. Why is that good? It means I wasn't staring at my phone or email waiting for news on the script. Granted, at this point, I've become accustomed to waiting for feedback and updates. Still, when email is right there, it can be hard not to check compulsively. Out to Chicago I went to see the show, visit a good friend, and take my mind of my script. But that didn't mean I had to ignore writing completely. 

On and off throughout the weekend, I toyed with certain elements of various other projects I'm working on, trying to nail down which one I really want to dig into next. Then, on Saturday, I took some time off from thinking about my scripts to watch Christopher Nolan's INCEPTION. To say that I was humbled would be an understatement. Much in the way fans felt like the bar had been raised almost unreachably high by Watchmen when the comic book first hit shelves in the 80s, I too felt that INCEPTION attained complexities well beyond my scope. Granted, Nolan's been working on it for over a decade, but the sense of urgency, along with the depth of the story just blew me away. I know, I know; you're all looking for the plot holes and inconsistencies, for the questions that his logic seemed to overlook. I am, too, to a degree. But still, sitting in that theater, watching the film unfold, I just got to wondering, could I ever do something like that? Can I ever hope to craft a story that intricate and brilliant?

I don't necessarily think I can now, but if I said no entirely, I'd have to suspect that I'm pursuing the wrong dream.


The Kid In The Front Row said...

Good luck with the screenplay! Exciting times for you!

Cake Man said...

Thanks! Yeah, it's been quite the ride so far - can't wait to see where it goes. Thanks for reading!

radiantabyss said...

I think the point is to resist the temptation to compare ourselves to someone like Nolan. As you say, he's been working on it for ten years to try and find the emotional core of the movie. Some would argue he still hasn't done it. We have to write out stories; if every writer was paralyzed by the shadows of those gone before there'd be nothing new, no growth, no evolution. Nolan was like us once!

Cake Man said...

You're totally right - to compare myself to Nolan would be foolish and probably demoralizing. Still, to sit in the theater and think, "Damn, one day I hope I can do that" is the same reaction I get from watching the Oscars. I can't kick myself for not being there (yet), but I can let inspiration come from knowing that I don't have to settle, that people like us can get there, some day, some how. One day, some aspiring screenwriters will watch our films and wonder if they'll ever get to that point, too.