"You only fail if you stop writing." - Ray Bradbury, Author of the original story treatment for It Came From Outer Space.
The crit was an opportunity to have our scripts read by a brand new mentor, giving us a fresh perspective on our stories. After a gruelling final push where I scrapped about half of the script and replaced it in four weeks, it was incredibly encouraging to hear that people generally felt it was edging in the right direction. For the first, and almost certainly the last time in my life, my crit kicked off with the words "I don't have that many notes, because I don't think that much needs to change." I'm not getting used to it. The course is over, but it feels like work on the script is just beginning. Only now I have to set my own deadlines... and try to take them seriously.
This year has pushed me to reveal more of myself to a room full of strangers than I would neccessarily be comfortable with. Through writing, not flashing. Okay, one time I flashed. Anyway, that's not to say that my protagonist has the same issues as I do, I'm surprised as much as anyone to find that we're not twins, but I've had to do a lot of soul searching to get to this point.
In the words of Charlie Kaufman, "When I'm writing, I'm trying to immerse myself in the chaos of an emotional experience, rather than separate myself from it and look back at it from a distance with clarity and tell it as a story. Because that's how life is lived, you know?" Yeah, I haven't exactly had to try. If anything I've been trying not to. It's been intense and challenging but ultimately very rewarding.
SAI has been a great experience. I've met filmmakers and friends that I hope I'll know for life, especially as at least three of them have promised me a thanks in their Oscars speech. Thanks to Stephen May for running the course, and Mike Wells and Lauren Dark for their most recent notes. Thanks to the eleven people who read my blog, too. In a way, you deserve the biggest thanks of all.