Friday, 3 August 2007

Trial & Error - the start of my screenwriting journey

I'm one of those unfortunate souls who was cursed with "writing" at birth. I guess my Fairy Godmother has a wicked sense of humour -- but since I suspect that she is in fact a cat, I'm not surprised.

You've probably already guessed that I'm a little eccentric ... well, okay, mad. But I figure as long as I'm not a danger to myself or others, where's the harm?
Erm. Don't answer that. Where was I?

... Writing.

The curse of writing.

I've been writing snippets of stories and making up worlds for as long as I can remember, but then in 1992 something happened that changed my life. I saw Batman Returns, and it sparked against an old thought I'd had watching the Batman & Robin TV series (well over a decade earlier), and that was that. Inspiration. Struck down by the Muse.

Over the next two months I watched the film 8 times and rewatched Batman 14 times, investigated the Batman comics (Arkham Asylum - from Vertigo, is a favourite), and then went on holiday to Tuscany with my family and spent half of it locked in a room writing.

My family thought I was mad - why this seemed to be a new concept to them, I have no idea ... or maybe I just hit a new depth of insanity as far as they were concerned? Quite frankly, I don't care. I loved every second of it. While they were enjoying Italy, I was staring out of the window at the sky.

Best. Holiday. Ever!

By the end of it, I had written Batman's Grave, and thus committed the first major error of many aspiring screenwriters: creating a spec sequel to an existing franchise. I then made the second error -- convinced of its excellence and thus gaily ignoring the rules of format, I tracked down an address for Tim Burton and sent it off.

Oh boy. I cringe to think about it now.

I can only apologise to any one who had the misfortune of trying to read it back then. Hopefully it hit the bottom of the round file unopened.

But that was when I first really realized that someone, somewhere wrote a screenplay for each film that was made. And that possibly, just possibly it might be something I should be doing with my life. -- The length of a screenplay was less daunting than that of a novel, AND it was moving pictures and moving emotions ... and that held a magic for me - a sparkling desire - to see my story playing on the big screen at my favourite cinema. I was hooked. My Fate sealed. I had glimpsed that screenwriting is who I really am, who I'm supposed to be, my destiny.



There's a cat laughing somewhere, I know it.

What have I been doing since then? Procrastinating.


Elinor said...

Of course there's a cat laughing somewhere. Just look at your label. Attack of the muse. MEWS - geddit? Oh please yourself.

Eleanor said...


Hi Elinor, ...

... Oh no! A reader! Argh! That means I might have to blog a bit more. Darn!