Our rough drafts are written!
Excitingly, Hillary decided to write a short proof-of-concept for a series she is developing.
The idea I chose to pursue was the following: "Couple arguing at home. (I originally imagined this as one couple having another over for dinner, but actually idea could be adapted to restaurant / outside on hike / etc.) Door bell rings: “we are not finished!” Second couple shows up for dinner. Couple 1 tries to continue argument without couple 2 noticing. In the end, couple 1 finally leaves the room. As soon as they do, couple 2 immediately jumps back into argument they are apparently having. (Goal for this is physical comedy. The maneuvers of a couple trying to continue an argument without another couple noticing. Punchline at the end that the other couple has in fact been arguing too but it’s a pretty incidental little button.)"
I tried this out -- first draft script here -- and it ended up different than what's written above, but fun. My good friend and often-collaborator Randy read and provided feedback. He enjoyed it but said one strange moment is when Anita hangs by the door. It depends on tone, and what her intentions are when she enters the room. Does she know she's going to tell 'stories' or is she trying to be good and just can't help herself?
Randy's notes were helpful, as he said he never believed her, he just thought she was lying. He thought this was random and funny, but it wasn't quite my intention. My objective was actually that the audience is never sure if Anita is lying or not.
Do you know the kind of people that just lie? About weird stuff, like how their brother dated some celebrity? That is what I was thinking about as I started Anita, but as I continued, I thought it would be funnier if, for instance, so-and-so's brother really did date that celebrity! And we are asses for not believing them.
I went back into the script -- second draft here -- and Hillary generously provided notes, in advance of our deadline. She made several good points, but the big question was about Anita's motivation, once again. Was she trying to steal and hoard attention, or was she actually trying to help her husband Sang, because she knows he's boring?
So, in my second draft it did become believable that Anita has been to the moon / is friends with Alanis Morissette, but why is she talking about it? I think this is a step closer to what I'm after, but now needs to come back a bit. I really want the viewer to go back and forth between believing her and not, as you might with someone in real life.
The thing is... I like this script, and it's been fun to write, but it's not THE script I want to make this spring. Making projects, as I've learned, takes a lot of work, and at least a little money. While I like this script, I also know there's another idea I wrote on that initial list I am more excited about, and which feels more like me.
AND SO -- I wrote a first draft. Hillary yet again (thank you Hillary!) provided notes, as did my good friend Estefania, who has a penchant of thinking about movies / books in very big conceptual terms -- their meaning, their context. Each of their input was helpful, and I am going to fold it back into the next draft. I am going to say less about this project and not publish the script as I continue to blog about its production. At least until I change my mind about that : )