Thursday, December 14, 2006

Where are the cattle?

I have a movie screenplay I want to write. I cannot see the movie. I hear murmurs from the place where it hides, but I cannot decipher the messages. Here is what I have written so far.
FADE IN:

EXT.
That is all. Yesterday, I took a big step forward by typing “EXT.” I hope it is more than a guess as to how the movie begins. What exterior? Is it or day night?

After watching Nashville Saturday night, I lay awake wishing I had written the screenplay for it. I feel that way about some movies as I do about some books. I admire the work; yet feel that if I tried hard enough, I could do something nearly as good.

I do know a bit, in the abstract, about my movie. It will have a large cast of characters and no particular protagonist to drive the action forward. The movie will explore the territory where improbability meets inevitable fate. That is not much to go on. It does fence in the movie like a big ranch somewhere out in the western plains. Now, where have the cattle run?

I wish the voices I hear would become more audible. Even better would be if those people attached to the voices would step into view.

One trick is not to ask for too much all at one time. Trust the blank page as much as the page completely scrawled.

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