I. I forgot my favourite part of filming last weekend. I got to "act" (being the trained actress that I am). "Join This Group?" is a mockumentary, and we take an investigatory spin at one point, "chasing" our uncommunicative subject down. So it's Saturday, just before noon, and we're at the intersection of two of our busiest streets in front of our uni's Union. There's a huge fundraiser going on across campus and an annual marijuana party called Hash Bash in the Diag and it's the nicest day we've had all spring, so there're probably double the people around than usual. Because the camera movement was a little tricky, we probably did about twelve to fifteen takes of me running after my friend, screaming, "Can you talk with us? Why won't you stop and answer a few questions? Hey!" I'd chase him into the Union, and then we'd stop and laugh and walk back outside. One time we came out of the Union and a woman was waiting there, looking confused, until she saw our camera. She said, "Oh, I see - you're shooting something." It was so much fun, filming out in the real world with people who had no idea what was going on.
II. I used the word "uber" in class discussion the other day, in my most academic class, in front of my most respected professor. I kept talking quickly hoping that she wouldn't notice, but I think some of the other students did.
III. This week I had two very polarized screenwriting experiences on Wednesday:
1. I submitted "The 4:05" to a contest here at school. I would like to win contests because I would like to pay for school. I got an email the other week saying that while it hadn't won, it had gone to "nationals" (what does that even mean? It was a university award - how do we go "national"? I think we figured out that it just meant top 10 or something) and if I picked up my manuscripts I would have comments from the judges. Well, that was kind of cool because at least I was getting feedback. So I went and picked them up and took a minute to read the comments.
I've never read such negative comments about most people's work, let alone my own.
I'm a little surprised my script didn't come back with holes in it from the judges' laser eyes. One woman went on and on about how my characters were weird and boring and my dialogue was stiff and force and the plot as paper thin and how the reader is left wondering why this story needed to be told. I'm really not sure what other negative things she could have said - I'm half convinced that she went to the thesaurus from the start.
I'm not really fussed, though. It made me a little hesitant about letting my screenwriting professor see it, but when I thought about it, sure this story needs a lot of work, but I'm willing to do that. Because, unlike that judge, I do see a story worth telling. And I'm the writer, so I get to make that call.
2. I finished my Current Draft for screenwriting class. I also found a better title. I can definitely see how I've improved as a screenwriter since "The 4:05" and all the lessons I've learned. We all stood up at class and dropped our scripts on the table - ah, the sound of completion. My screenwriting professor suggested taking the entire summer away from this script, but I just don't see the time. I am taking at least a week and a half away from it, maybe two weeks. Then we'll see.
And there's Script Frenzy to be thinking about.
IV. Apparently I'm a music sell out because my favourite song is "Drops of Jupiter."