I hope you have had a good day. As for me, it was a bit hard. I’m coming down from doing a massive push to complete my Sundance Feature Film Program application. http://www.sundance.org/programs/feature-film#/ It was intense from the perspective that life ended up being super busy for the last while. That did not give me much time to work on my application.
And I also faced a dilemma. It was that I kept vacillating between two scripts on what one I wanted to submit. The fly in the ointment for me was the film “Swiss Army Man.” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4034354/?ref_=nv_sr_1 I know that this seems odd except this was the first movie I saw from that Program with so much whimsy. Most of their other films I have seen all tended to be dramas with some heavy duty messages.
The other exception was “Smoke Signals.” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/?ref_=nv_sr_1 It is just that that movie is over 100 years old in movie years. But both “Smoke Signals” and “Swiss Army Man” also still had that heavy message while having a nontraditional love story at their core. It’s just that that did not help since that was the heart for my two scripts.
In fact, I came close to creating a complete application for both. Some of you may think that it was crazy to pick just one. It’s important thing to consider that I do not seem as committed to my individual stories with multiple submissions.
Well… A variation on something my mom would say is… It’s like throwing shit at the wall to see if it’ll stick. That is also probably why places like Sundance say they will take up to three submissions, but they prefer one. A program like Sundance is not just about selling your script and moving onto the next one. They are looking at your story as one they may possibly produce into a feature film.
After being so involved with the making of “My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving,” I can now say that I totally get it. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6205888/?ref_=nv_sr_2 It’s not that I didn’t before my other film experiences. I was just not as intimately involved in such a marathon. Therefore, I needed to be honest about what script I felt I could stick it out for the long haul. This is especially since I also want to direct it. I can thank Charlie Unger for that. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0881135/?ref_=tt_ov_dr His passion for “My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving” from the time we brought him aboard to the present day is just so incredibly inspiring.
So… The answer became clear: I submitted the script that I have been working on in some form for the last 12 years even though its latest version is still very raw. This is not to say that the other script is a lightweight for it was one of my thesis scripts. However, its story does not burn in me the same way that the other one does. I’ve also decided that I want to find a way to make it regardless if it gets into the Sundance Feature Film Program or not. And it’s putting it mildly when I say I have no clue on how I will pull that off if they do not accept it. I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
My reason for putting this out there is to get people to consider their own stories. Do you have ones that keep you awake at night? How about ones that make your toes wiggle some days and make you want to go postal on others? Do you work on it only to chase the market? Could it be that it is the one that says what you’ve been trying to say except your characters are far more eloquent about it? Are you fine if it sits in a draw for the rest of its life?
What about considering the world will not be the same if it gets made? I realize that this last one is particularly dramatic. It’s just that the world is made of up people. Let’s say that your story sparks an idea in one person. I know that this is small except that is how most ideas start out…
Have a great night!