Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 201. Stripes. One of my all time favs. In the first act of the film, Bill Murray’s character tells Harold Ramis’s character that he’s going to enlist in the army. Bill Murray sets out to do some push-ups to show his military potential. He slowly gets down on the floor and lies there. Harold Ramis says, “That’s none.” Well, that’s how I feel about my movies right now. I’m in my seventh month of my yearlong experiment in prolific creativity and, well, that’s none. I have not one film in the can yet or even close to being in pre-production! In fact, somehow, all three projects have magically lined up to be in almost the exact same stage: script rewrites. The first two projects are both in a rewrite and mine, well, I’m still technically writing the first draft but I’m rewriting the first half in the process as I go along, so, close enough.
Here are the official updates on the projects:
Project 2: I trust that Screenwriter Cindy has not gone rogue. But I’m not going to lie. It has entered my mind as a possibility. Our last meeting was two weeks ago. We went over some of the new direction she was working on—it was all awesome—but we have set no actual deadline for her to deliver any part of her rewrite. I did see a promising post on Facebook last night—no, don’t be ridiculous, I’m not stalking her. She was talking to herself in third person about having to write and then later she posted something about writing 12 pages. Fingers crossed it was for this project!
Project 3: Screenwriter Me. Well, I’ve undoubtedly gone rogue on myself. I’ve been reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac for like two weeks now and I am adamantly calling it “research” to the outside world although I internally know it would be better described as “avoidance of doing any actual writing.” Score one for Screenwriter Cindy’s version of going rogue.
Project 1: Screenwriter Monica delivered a revised outline last Sunday, which I gave the green light to—it was really good. She set a deadline to deliver her rewrite on August 31st. Six weeks is very reasonable. I’m scheduled for my next oral surgery mid September, which will begin the process, fingers crossed, of getting my permanent tooth—stick with me, it all relates. The dilemma…I can’t shoot Screenwriter Monica’s movie (Toothless)—or at least the scenes I’m toothless in—once my permanent tooth is in. The topper though, Director Brenda is moving away in two weeks. So, I’ll have no in-state director and only 15 days after receiving the rewrite to shoot the toothless scenes. It could be quite a challenge to pull it off.
I’ll say it again, that’s none! But, you know what? That’s okay! I’m all Zen’d out right now because I finally got to meet with my Women in Film mentor, Hollace Davids, this afternoon. We met for lunch at Mo’s in Toluca Lake—Screenwriter Cindy and I’s regular spot for notes. I know, I know, totally a sign! In a nutshell, Hollace is awesome—funny, smart, no-nonsense, seasoned and a total renaissance gal. She’s produced documentaries, produced narrative features, written books, and through it all maintained a happy family and steady gig as the Sr. VP of Special Projects at NBC/Universal. Incredibly impressive and inspiring! I had a list of questions a mile long. We didn’t get to all of them but we got to the pertinent ones and some I didn’t even think of. I went over all of the aforementioned updates and went into where the documentary is at in length. And you know what? She guided me to see that things are actually exactly where they are because that’s exactly where they’re supposed to be. “You have to let things unfold,” she advised. Ahhhh, wise woman! I could get used to this mentor thing.
The reality is, things are unfolding. I can’t force, control or panic about anything. All I can do is keep doing what I can do, see how it all unfolds and then respond and act accordingly. And as my mentor pointed out, “that’s what a good producer does.” Copy that.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…things unfolding.