I officially started writing my script today! Exciting stuff, but before that a little housekeeping is in order.
On Day 7 I left you with a couple names – the name of my script and my two main characters. The title “Good People” might be straightforward to you or not. It might become more evident as my writing continues or again, it might not. To me it is strangely simple, yet says everything I want, tackling themes and cravings.
Normally my characters’ names are inspired by the people of my life in some way or another. Not the case here. I wanted a short name that required little thought, the by product of that became Greg. It’s weird, but my thought process was to put as little thought into my main character’s name as his father did… in the imaginative back story when he was born. Kind of ridiculous, I know, yet it somehow makes sense to me.
I felt by having Greg Sr. and Greg Jr. share a name it adds a tiny twisted layer to their relationship… though the audience won’t know the Father’s real name until well into the story. Which brings me to the Father’s nickname, “Soul.” Here’s the reaction I’m looking for when the audience first hears that name: “…Really?!”
Now back to the script. Besides the title page, I got almost one whole page in the books (again, it’s a process). I’ve been back and forth on whether to post the pages I write in these entries or just talk about them. The former would definitely make the posts more interesting, but the latter would save me from most embarrassment. The former could possibly help me in the long run, perhaps making me a better writer, but the latter would save me from most embarrassment. Then I remembered the words of wisdom my writing professor told me, “All first drafts are shit.”
So here goes nothing:
INT. APARTMENT – BEDROOM – DAY
A SUITCASE and a few EXPENSIVE SUITS lie on the bed of a
nicely furnished room. Paintings on the walls, a hanging
flat screen, and a sculpture on the night stand.
GREG walks into the room dressed in a suit and brushing his
teeth. He approaches the PHONE and hits play on the voicemail
machine. A MAN’s somber voice begins to sound.
Hi Greg, it’s Tony
As TONY’s voice continues, Greg leaves the room. Returning
to what we can assume is the bathroom.
TONY (O.S.) (CONT’D)
I still haven’t heard back
from you. I know it’s a
hard time, but I want to
make sure you’re coming
to the funeral… Okay, call me back… Hope to
hear from you.
Tony’s message ends. The machine’s automated voice comes on.
The machine clicks. A WOMAN’s voice begins to sound. Her
voice sounds weak, broken.
Greg reappears from the bathroom walking straight towards
WOMAN (O.S.) (CONT’D)
I don’t know what to do.
I need your–
Greg ends the message. He keeps his finger on the button for
a few moments then moves to the bed and sits down. He rubs
the crown of his nose then zips up his suitcase.
Tony is Greg’s stepfather he never met. His character’s only purpose is to serve as the messenger, he perpetrates the MacGuffin that sets off the entire story. We never meet Tony, because like the MacGuffin he really doesn’t matter – the only reason I gave him a name was because I believed his character would have left it in the voicemail.
The Woman is another character we never meet. Yet she is the reason Greg is even going on the trip in the first place. The Woman is his girlfriend and is pregnant with his child. Greg’s natural instinct (which he inherited from his parents) is to stray from conflict, but at the same time he fears he will become the father he has. Throughout the script she will be trying to contact him and he will put it off.
Finally, the apartment is my subtle way of showing Greg’s character (I’ll be doing the same thing with Soul’s house). His apartment shows success, financial success. What it lacks is an emotional attachment of any kind. No pictures or personal mementos. He’s been putting up a facade for many years, now sadly it seems that facade has taken over. Greg is lost in many ways, his apartment is just the first hint.
Well now the game is on. Day by day I will be grinding through this story. Maybe a page or two, perhaps five, or just a line. It’s hard to tell what I’ll get done any given day, but then again that’s what this is for.
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