Dream A Little Louder

They say not to talk about your dreams. I suppose it’s because if you’re talking about them, you’re not chasing them. Obviously, that’s not true, many people talk about their dreams whilst pursuing them, it is their passion and drive for their objective that engages others, persuading them to help or join the ride. A conscious dream is a goal not yet realised.
My dream or goal is to be a working screenwriter and filmmaker. Like everybody, I feel I have stories to tell, it just so happens that I want to tell them on a screen. I do have some specific jobs or dreams I would like to do as a screenwriter/filmmaker. I would very much like to tell a definitive British black story. For a race that has graced these shores since the seventeen-hundreds, there are very few stories in fiction reflecting that on film or on television. My other dream is to reboot the X-men franchise because it is all wrong.
Another dream of mine is to work with Joss Whedon. Or maybe not. Is it good to meet those you admire? Especially in writing terms, it might be quite intimidating. No busy screenwriter has time to nurse a nervous sycophant through a starstruck induced writer’s block! So that also rules out Aaron Sorkin, Jonathan and Lisa Nolan and possibly Amy Sherman-Palladino, though she only really smashed it out of the park with the Gilmore Girls. How I would love to have that on my C.V.!
Once the dream or goal is defined, it is time to get after it. As long as it remains in one’s head and not out in the world it remains a dream, not a goal. So I write. Should I, perhaps, be writing screenplays? Probably. And I do, just not with the same proliferation that I produce blogs. I still need to take that plunge, that step to push my writing to the next level; writing a screenplay on a consistent basis.
So how would that look? The thing is, with a blog there is an audience. It may be a small one, it may even be only one individual, but that individual will read your words and feel however they feel about them. A screenplay is a blueprint for filming. It is designed to be watched, not read. When writing a screenplay, it should feel incomplete without pictures, there should be things you want to see. Otherwise, I might as well write radio plays.
The aforementioned Aaron Sorkin writes the most beautifully wordy screenplays. His characters are erudite and command wide vocabularies, utilising their words to devastating effect on many an occasion. But a lot of his screenplays can be understood without any visual reference. Michael Bay, he of Bayhem fame, using unnecessary hero shots in every film, volume cranked up to eleven, teal and orange colouring, regardless of the subject matter and generally explosions aplenty, directs screenplays that I would guess do not read so well. Visually, however, they work.
Still to achieve a dream, the goal. One has to do. The ‘do’ for me is writing screenplays and I suppose making films. I think I need to look at writing a screenplay a week, just purely as a discipline. The reasoning behind that is, my favourite type of television is the series – Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Sorkin’s The Newsroom, there are others….the Nolan’s Westworld! – and even with the changing landscape of television, it no longer being a medium where one waits for the next episode, the various streaming models giving would be viewers all the episodes at one time, I still think in terms of writing at least, you need to write episodically, almost wondering what might happen next.
Of course, that might be utter nonsense, but for me, it is a starting point, a sort of plan to get to. Now that I think of it, you’re supposed to tell everybody your dream! Apparently, it helps to make you feel more accountable, thus more likely to follow through. Whoever came up with that notion, never met a writer. Though I think it might have been referring to weight loss. Anyway, keep dreaming, keep doing.

Before I die: 101 Things to do – part one

I was watching a video on YouTube on Xmas night. Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup For The Soul, was giving a talk – see it – here he makes a lot of interesting points, speaking positively, he encouraged the listening to follow their instincts and do that which they loved. Not the most original thing ever said in a positive thinking seminar, but always worth repeating. Amongst the many wonderful titbits Jack offered, was the idea of listing things that you want to do before you become worm food. He suggested a list of one hundred and one. That is a lot of stuff for a person the wrong side of thirty! Anyhoo, what the hey, what is life without challenge eh? So, in no discernible order and – for some at least – no concrete plan, here is my list of 101 things to do before my final parade.

1.) Win an Academy award.
This is a, not to state the bleedin’ obvious, big one. I love making films. I would do it for free. I have done. Ultimately I want what everybody who works wants; to never feel like I am at ‘work’. Making films gives me that. I don’t want to make films to fill up YouTube however. There are plenty who do that already. I want to make big films, memorable films, Oscar winning films. Is that too much to ask?

2.) Visit Japan.
No reason. Just interested in visiting a culture vastly different from mine.

3.) Reboot the Xmen franchise.
This one is like my ultimate dream. It is a massive one. I will need to work really hard and get so, so, so lucky, I know this, but it is still going on the list.

4.) Take three months holiday
Because working only nine months of the years and living the other three would be awesome!

5.) Learn Spanish
I have been to Lanzarote over twenty times. Been to mainland Spain twice and can still only order beer, say hello, thank you and goodbye! It’s laziness and a certain English apathy on my part. Habla espanol?

6.) See a boxing match at Madison Square Garden
There are not too many greats about in the fight game anymore. Money, attention span, mixed martial arts and a paucity of genuine, mouthwatering match ups – the Klitchkos having singlehandedly made heavyweight boxing pretty much unwatchable – have all contributed to the decline of a once dominant spectacle. Still a show at the home of boxing would be worth it.

7.) Meet Joss Whedon
They say you should not meet your heroes, as it might disappoint, but the works of Whedon are probably the most inspiring reason for me wanting to be a writer/director, it would be great to meet him and thank him. Even if he turns out to be an arsehole.

Okay, seven in, ninety-four to go. I will put a few more in the coming weeks – or months – onward and upwards.