January 20, 2009
Ollie asked me the other day, "Who's Martin Luther King?" I explained about the Civil Rights movements and the marches and all that. He smiles and says, "No, Daddy, you're wrong, that's not Martin Luther King." I said that I was right, and he responded, "Nope, Martin Luther King is Martin Luther King Jr's daddy. You got them confused!" Clever boy. He set me up! Turns out he knows all about MLK(J!)
Lyric asked me yesterday what I was thinking about. I told her that I was trying to figure out an equation in my head that I could use to make one set of data we have about smaller towns' crime rates work with another set of data we have so we can arrive at the crime rates that we need for Lethal, since we're trying to get more specific information for LETHAL. She laughed and said, "Wow, Daddy, that's hardcore thinking. I was just thinking about cute baby animals!"
After my marathon writing session last week, the producer has already read my script. She said:
"Jason, good job on this draft. I really like it, especially when I got into 2nd and 3rd act! I'm writing up my story notes, when do you have time to meet and go over this draft? Thanks for your great work again, we've got a good start!"
I'm really glad she liked the draft - especially that she liked the 2nd and 3rd acts. I believe that for me, a first act is always pretty easy to write, because that's the setup, the initial idea that made me think "Wouldn't it be cool if..." But it's in the 2nd and 3rd acts where you really have to tell a story, not an idea and not a setup. The people who say something will "write itself" don't really understand all the work it takes to get through those acts. AND, I was actually personally disappointed with the 3rd act and I know it needs some work. But overall it is a good draft. I agree with her assessment. Good scenes, good characters, good stakes, good story.
I want to take a moment to comment on how unbelievably cool it is that people I don't really know are liking my writing. That this specific producer read some of my scripts, liked them a lot, and then wanted to work with me on what is her thesis project, the most important thing she does in grad school... is incredible to me. That my agent, who isn't taking on new clients, loved my Tovenray script enough to make an exception and add me to his roster... again, incredible. That I recently came in first place in a screenwriting competition where thousands enter. Unbelievable. I know I like writing, and I do believe I'm good. But I honestly believe so many things are good that ultimately most people ignore or dislike, so to find this kind of recognition is still just dreamlike (and of course I haven't sold or produced anything yet, but even so.)
One of the major factors that pushed me to leave the comfortable cocoon that is home on the east coast was my realization that wherever I went - school, work, etc - eventually I could win people over and they'd like what I did. So I thought, if I really want to make movies I need to be around those people so I can win them over with what I do. And INCREDIBLY (and honestly it's more impossible and incredible than I ever realized when I was on the east coast, if I'd known the real odds I might not have made the trip), I've had a large number of people recognize and appreciate things I've written.
It's almost too good to be true, so sometimes I just think about other things...
Posted by jason on January 20, 2009 04:43 AM
how awesome, jase--it is dreamlike but at the same time your working so hard to make it real!
And tell Lyric that I often think of cute baby animals too;-)
Posted by: Jessica on January 20, 2009 12:43 PM
Jase, I have full confidence in you that you will work your magic in LA...just can't wait to see it happen! I think really do think you have a special talent to capture and create very entertaining and interesting stories. You just have a very unique perspective on life and it's great to see that come out when you tell a story.
Posted by: Anonymous on January 20, 2009 09:37 PM
That Ollie is a smart boy!
Jase, that is all so amazing! Keep walking through those open doors!
Posted by: kathiek on January 21, 2009 12:38 AM
I think it is funny that Ollie insisted on wearing a party hat on MLK day.
Posted by: mers on January 23, 2009 10:26 AM