Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Draft of Zombie Script Done; Shooting Starts Sunday

Even since school end, my friend Ben and I have wanted to use the summer to make short films to build a portfolio between ourselves. Needless to say, my new job got in the way, and it isn't until now that we are finally going to actually shoot the film.

It is a zombie film called The Departure about a group of teenagers who survive the meltdown in their town, but now must get out of town. That's pretty much all I can say without spoiling the surprises, of which I believe there are enough to match a Coen Brothers' film. We came up with the idea during the last days of school when trying to find a movie idea that could be done within our limited resources. Luckily, The Departure is within our reach (I believe), so shooting should go very smoothly. It will be our first completed production (our first attempt at shooting a zombie film ended horribly because of creative differences between Ben, generally the director, and I, generally the writer) and it should be very fun.

All this summer, I procrastinated in getting the script finished because of my fear of the writing process, my laziness, and my new job. Hell, it wasn't until Ben called me last Saturday that he boosted my spirits up for the project again. Last night, I went on an all-out writing spree. I'd write at least a page or so, and then look at more things on the computer, and then write for more time, and back and forth I went until two-thirds of the first draft was completed.

Now, the interim between conception and solidification was never too bleak. For one, I learned how important personality was to art. One of the reasons I procrastinated had to do with my disinterest in zombie films in general. The solution: make it for me. What kind of zombie film would I want to see? I also started looking into film history and my favorite filmmakers again (speaking of which, I need to start Surrogate Fathers), especially Quentin Tarantino, since his new film opens in two weeks. David Bordwell's great On the History of Film Style is an excellent read, an examination of different views of cinematic development. Then, yesterday, I watched A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies again, and came out much more enlightened (particularly by John Cassavetes' archive footage) than I ever was before.

The result for the first draft: an overlong, very talky, stylish but realistic, post modern take on the zombie flick. Revision is in order (Ben will read it tomorrow), but I like it so far. I can't wait to start shooting.

Habit Check:

1. Read summer reading book everyday - haven't started yet
2. Stop messing with hair/biting nails - unsuccessful with hair
3. Add a new entry to blog everyday - done
4. Stay positive - tested by theological discussion; so-so
5. Be compassionate - so-so

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