Remember way back in the day (which was
[in which I also first shared Zuppa del Giorno's idea for
]), when I mentioned wanting to script a clown film? Well, thanks to the gracious support of my fellow Exploding Yurts and Friend Davey, I've actually made a really strong start on it. As with most projects, I'm finding that actually working on it (as opposed to just going on and on about it as an idea I once had) is teaching me a lot and raising interesting questions. I thought I'd share some of these questions with you, Dear Reader, and solicit your opinions. Don't be shy if you're new to the Aviary. I'm an actor. The only thing I crave over approval is attention.
- Why is it so flim-flammed important to me to make something involving a red-nose clown? (This might be a bit rhetorical to start out with, but it's come up for me lately.) As I write, I see that more and more what I'm writing is something like a silent film, full of visual (physical) behavior and sight gags. And the silent film clowns pretty much proved that no nose is good nose. (Sorry, sorry. That...I really couldn't help it.) And everyone I talk to seems to respect that, from performers to non. Yet for some reason apart even from a clever plot device, I find the nose necessary.
- Is it important for me to track a specific learning curve for my character? In a conventional story, I would be inclined to quickly reply: Yes. This one, however.... In many of the silent films of yesteryear, the storytellers didn't so much worry about that, and many of such as these films are the funniest and most memorable. Buster Keaton was fond of saying that a good movie should be able to be summarized on the back of a postcard, and then extrapolated upon. That would certainly describe my conceit. It's just possible that the key is to tie it all together in the end in a satisfying way, and make the journey there as unpredictable as possible.
- Am I screwing myself by planning almost everything to be shot in public places?
- Should I start filming it as an episodic web series? I'm a little sick of these; everyone I know seems to be doing them, but few do them well (Friend Jason has a good one: Three Percent Enemies) and frankly it seems to me the market is a bit glutted. Still, I understand the appeal. Low budget, near-instant product and feedback, not to mention the ability to disguise oneself as a tourist whilst filming in public places. The outline I'm developing definitely lends itself to this format, too, divided as it is into segments comprised of short incidents of action. Still and all, I have my reservations.
I continue to write on it when I can. The trimming -- which is always the tricky part for me -- will be arduous, but perhaps made slightly easier by the constraints of time and money. Just like at the beginning of a collaborative process, I find myself relishing right now, when all is possible and the ideas fly about willy-nilly.
Update--4/2/08:Friend Davey seems to think that my movie is going to be optioned, taken over by mindless Hollywood moguls with warped priorities, and recast. At least I have to assume that's what he meant when he sent me this link. Thanks, Fuzzy.