October 22, 2017 – The Idea and the Off-Screen script

The last two months, have been dedicated to tough decision making.  The big ones have been mostly about sound.  Before updating y’all on the details, here’s a little glimpse inside my brain.

This story came out of my subconscious having been subjected to a kind of violence.  The violence of  “The injustice of Justice”, a theme that is finding its way into more and more stories as we move into the 21st century.  That sounds kind of cryptic even as I write so what does it mean?  Well it’s one of those things that we could “discuss” or you all can wait for the movie to come out, watch it then send me some feedback.  I like discussions but the movie way is more fun.  The problem is that conversations can start to sound academic-y when you start using terms like conventional wisdom vs. alternative wisdom, and “rationality of man”.  These social themes are pretty broad and timeless so, they’re not unique but the characters and story are.

When I wrote the script, the goal was to get into the undergraduate thesis class so that I could write and direct for a career.  I loved film school and the film tribe, the technology (ancient though it was), and even the tedium of the post-production process and all of its technical problems.  It spoke to me from the first semester, and I knew this was what I wanted to do.  When I told my parents I was going to switch majors from Advertising, they told me that I should take whatever path I wanted, however, as my mom pulled me aside later, she impressed upon me how important it was that I go ahead and get the advertising degree…just in case.  I took 12 hours in the summers and 15 during the school year and two and a half years later, In the fall of 1999, just two weeks before what some believed would be the end of the world (Y2K bug), I had all the credits I needed for both degrees.  Right there, I could have ended my glorious career as a college student on the 40 acres, but….three things happened that would move me from the class of 99 to the class of 2000.  1) I had written a brilliant short script (I thought to myself).  2) Racheal, the instructor for the first thesis class of the new millennia, had accepted my script and, therefore me, as a director.  3)The world had not ended because, now super-wealthy COBOL coders had worked overtime every day for a year to fix all of the bugs at government agencies and corporate admin departments around the country.  So I anty’d up and began the epic undergrad project which would make the entrepreneurial risk-junkies of the McCombs business school squirm.  The project turned out be epic indeed.  I’m surprised I was able to finish production and editing.  Years later, the obstacles that stopped my progress have been leveled by new technology.  The Land is back and the biggest problem, SOUND, has been dealt with!

Here’s where we’re at.

UPDATE: THE SCHEDULE

The sound work is the highest priority and has been coming along well however, it’s been delayed due to writing obligations and needs from other projects that I’m juggling along with this one.  One of the writing projects is a series of O.S. parts that were always intended to be in the script for The Land (Off Screen).  The O.S. characters never materialized fully when I wrote the original script.  It was always part of the plan and I knew generally what the characters were going to be, but I didn’t know exactly who they were, what their perspectives would be and it’s hard to write characters that just sit in your head and don’t say anything.    I’ve rewritten the O.S. dialogue four times in as many weeks and have scheduled meetings with the voice actors who will have input that will likely bring another rewrite.  I welcome their collaboration because I got the actors I wanted.  Their backgrounds are going to give them a relevant perspective and should thicken the soup.

I’ve also been writing and shooting on a story concept that I created which is somewhat experimental and if it works will likely be a web-series called “Keepin’ Weird”.  Lastly, I’ve been writing on one other idea that is a feature film concept that I feel confident will become a finished script in a year or two (or three).  I’ve also been working on a production in conjunction with a fellow UT Longhorn, and a native Texan.  Stephen is an episcopal minister with an educational psychology degree who runs a post-modern mission within a local church (A perfect addition to the cast for a “Y2K film“!)  We’re shooting and editing as we develop the concept based on the general goal of explaining to an audience what exactly post-modern church is in a society where people are leaving traditional churches in droves.

More to come on sound and picture post for The Land!

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