So this blog has basically become snapchat – who knows which posts I will leave up and take down….
I’ve started screenwriting. It’s silly to think it will amount to anything and I’m not really sure if I want it to, but it is fun. The first idea I had was actually a tribute to my hometown because I have loved and romanticized it my entire life. There are a few distinct types of people in my hometown, and lots of traditions, patterns, stories. You see the same families over and over, but they have a unique commonality that brings them here. The people in my hometown are both pretentious and unassuming, exclusive and inclusive, changing and traditional, smart and self-deprecating. It’s a family-oriented town with lots of government employees. The buildings on Park and 123 alternate between exposed brick and pristine painted white every few years, like clockwork; that would be a simple way to illustrate the passing of years. Vienna has about 30,000 people, so I always felt like I recognized everyone from all the house leagues and travel leagues and switching school pyramids. It’s small enough to easily find your friends, your tribe, but it’s big enough to not know everyone’s business (and clearly misconstrue some). I love the history, the West End cemetery, the old houses, the same groups doing the same things, the high school plays every year, the folklore from the people who were at that one event where that one athlete did that one thing and ended up winning/losing the game/meet/tournament. There are streets called Lover’s Lane and Walnut Lane and they have 100-year-old houses on them- In 1954 Maple Avenue expanded from a dirt road lined with maple trees and Victorian houses to a paved road with no maple trees and no Victorian houses and lots of post-World War II baby boomer families flooded in. It’s had the same cyclical waves of change and growth since then, but when I was growing up it was still a small town where generations stay, including Black families that lived in Vienna since the Civil War. This plot would be an excuse for me to dig really deep into the books I’ve found at the library about it. I once found a book about Vienna that was written by someone who had not been taught to spell or capitalize. It was long and so romantic to me, like reading Huckleberry Finn, except it wasn’t fiction. I have so many little anecdotes, like of the day that Wolf Trap burned down and when they were deciding whether to make Vienna Woods an ice-skating rink or a pool. Unfortunately, I can’t do justice to my story because it needs a linear, measurable plot and I don’t want one for my hometown. I want it to feel immersive, like an ocean, and I don’t think I can do justice to the setting that I love so much, at least for my first one. The few stories from my hometown that resonate with me, I don’t want to touch because they feel too personal. (There is already a movie about Robert Hanssen that they filmed in my hometown, although that’s definitely a different feel). I love my hometown. But I feel like I am trying to play Rachmaninoff with this one and I need to stick with chopsticks.
All the experienced writers say that the enemy of writing is fear. And if you’ve read my blog, you know that I am not afraid of saying something stupid, so this should truly be a cakewalk for me.
But in keeping with the goal of writing a simple, straightforward plot, my next idea is superimposing a modern story onto Empire Records. That movie has a simple fun feel and I have a few ideas. I just don’t know exactly what to do with the scenes with Liv and Gina throwing themselves at Rex Manning. Do those scenes leave you feeling confused too? 🤔🧐 Am I the only one?
There have to be some recent history hidden gems in the venture capital world and I would love to do a movie about a fake kidnapping/murder story with paid actors that is sold to the media. I also love the ancient Hindu epics although they have some very uh, antiquated (offensive) themes. I could do a modern retelling of a Greek Gods story and I honestly like a story with a kid just simply saving money for something he wants all summer long. I like the story of a haunted pool house like at Overlee and I think it would be interesting to write a Truman Show sequel or prequel, but with a focus on the people who set it up. For some reason, I don’t think Hollywood would fund that one… And if no one makes a movie about the ah/em/Johnny Depp trial, we will all be robbed of an incredibly entertaining tv series.
I hope you are having a wonderful week! I’m going to see Spiderman tomorrow and am considering a trip to the beach or New York. xx