Friday, April 23, 2010

i brush my teeth with TOOTHPASTE, not a bottle of jack, you unhygienic party woman.

So I've been bursting with creativity lately, probably because I've been reading and writing nonstop, even moreso as my screenwriting and English finals approach. I just finished one script-- the one for my adaptation class. I wrote it based on David Stenn's "Runnin' Wild," a biography of Clara Bow. I've been obsessed with her ever since I went through my watch-ever-Best-Picture-winner challenge and saw Wings, the first in the Oscar tradition. Bow has a key role in it, and although the movie was interesting and all, I couldn't help but be drawn in by how natural she was, despite all of the usual silent-film "motions" she was going through. She had a very interesting presence, and I loved it. Some research provided me with some fascinating information about her, and after renting and watching "It," her trademark movie, I watched the attached documentary, and then tore into Stenn's book. Stenn is a fantastic writer and an excellent, meticulous researcher, and he doesn't write to sensationalize. I completely fell in love with Clara's character and I admire her, despite her many indiscretions she was an honest person who only wanted to be herself, and happy, and she rarely achieved either goal. She was generous and good to people and she was trod upon by those in power in return. Anyway. She has a good story, and I couldn't resist the idea of a movie being made about her. So I wrote one.

I recently read somewhere that a film was indeed in the works, but the script sucked. Due to rights issues, the breaks were put off. Well I think it's high time the breaks were taken off! Baha!

Annnnyyyhooo. Creativity, bursting at the seams. It appears that all I can do in my English classes now is savor tasty trivia bits and jot down ideas for scripts, short stories, characters, etc. Here are some ideas that have been weaving in and out of my mind as of late:

Puppet-maker romance: I have a friend who has a father who is a puppet maker. He was making puppets from an early age, and wrote letters about it to Henson. Fascinating fellow. He does quite well for himself now. I would like to write a character like him, preferably in a romantic comedy that doesn't make the audience want to puke. The fellow in question actually met his wife, a nurse, in a hospital where he volunteered to work with autistic kids using his homemade puppets. How marvelous.

The Anti-Flirt League: I want to write a movie in the style of the stupid teen/adult comedies that take place over a night or a day or a few hours-- movies like Dude Where's My Car (which I must confess I never saw), Empire Records (which I worship), Superbad, Go, The Hangover... that kinda thing. Anyway, the thing about all those movies is that the humor is broad, the time span is small, and there's always ONE SIMPLE GOAL (find car. get weed. save the store. get laid. find groom. etc. etc), and it usually revolves around some youthful, party scene. However these formulas are getting tired, so what better party setting to throw back to than the ultimate party decade, the 20's? I want to make it about The Anti-Flirt Club, a real club formed by girls who objected to being objectified-- both hilarious, cute, and kinda cool.

Anyway, I won't base it at all on anything historical about the girls involved in it, but I want to feature the club, its very clear rules, and focus on a few invented, dedicatedly anti-flirt girls as seek out alcohol on the eve of the stock market crash. Because they are recognized as the anti-flirters, they are shunned from speakeasies etc, and over the course of the night much mayhem occurs. By the end, all of the girls have settled with new boyfriends, except for the staunch leader. The next day, the stock market crashes and all of the rich men that the girls had hooked up with wind up poor. The girls come back together again, but obviously times are changing and suddenly alcohol doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

The For-Real Anti-Flirt Club

A short: I've carried around this idea ever since I was 13 and heard the song "Pictures of You" by the Cure. It was before Eternal Sunshine came out, so you must understand that at that time the idea was rather original: Snippets of a relationship in reverse, from its crumbling to its beginning, strung together by the narration and present-day life of the male protagonist. We stay with him and experience his current life without his ex, and he occasionally appears in his own flashbacks to comment on what is going on or to talk to himself in the third person or consult with the audience. I'm scrapping this idea because it really is far to Sunshine-y, blah, but there's one element that I still love and want to keep: I planned for his present-day-life, as he talks to us the audience, to be bombarded with a specific visual pattern, like argyle, but more apparent. The tiles on his floor are in the pattern, the chalk drawing on the sidewalk, the bricks in the wall, the clouds in the sky, the soup cans at the store, the doodles in his notebook, etc etc, until he starts to notice it and it bugs him. It all comes to a head when he finishes with what we think is the last flashback to his relationship with the girl-- they introduce themselves and talk. Now the fellow in present day is just a mess. The pattern is everywhere. He gives up. We then conclude with the for-real last flashback-- the very first time he ever saw her, a memory now tucked into his subconscious. He's sitting outside with his homies and looks up to some building for a split-second and sees the girl walk outside with her friends. Her scarf blows over her face, and we freezeframe: it is the pattern he continues to see. And that is how we end it. Lately I think just the basis of that would work for a very short film, and I still love the concept because of what it says about people-- we have such a powerful effect on one another, moreso than we will ever know, be it subconscious or not.

Pluto Is No Longer A Planet- Today I was reading on Nova or something about the fallout after Pluto was removed from ze official planet list. The National History Museum removed it from their solar system model, and tons of kindergartners went crazy and wrote disgruntled, large-print, crayon-etched letters to the institution. Some of the letters are hilariously beautiful. There is a movie there-- perhaps the connection of a few families with said children, perhaps a child who writes the letter, one of the deciding scientists/astronomers, a clerk in the museum. Potential for sweet, mild comedy/family drama.

There are more, but I suddenly feel self-conscious.


Sonja said...

Your idea for the Anti-Flirt story sounds amazing. I'd go see it. ;) And Pluto is No Longer a Planet sounds so adorable. One of my classmates at school has a t shirt with a bummed looking Pluto and the text: it's okay, Pluto - I'm not a planet either.

I hope to see the finished projects (or as finished as they can be) some day. :)

Katrina said...

Thanks, you :) Always nice to hear a fellow writer's opinion. AHHH I get to see you soon!!!!! Perhaps we can shop talk!! I'm exciiiiited!

Also: I want that shirt.

Emily Gant McGuire said...

Anti-Flirt Story, inspired by me.
Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Katrina said...

and it is very true.