In 2013 I was sat watching a documentary about a plane crash in some mountains somewhere (I’ve never had great attention to detail) when I suddenly had a spark of inspiration. I’d always been interested in film and filmmaking, but as with many people who grew up in certain areas, you quickly come to the conclusion that other people make films, you don’t make films. You are merely a consumer of films; the one who hands over the cash to watch them.
I was suddenly inspired to change this – not the whole structure and fabric of society, I selfishly just wanted to make my own film. I wanted to turn from a consumer into a creator, and so began my ‘journey’ to make a film. A journey which took me from my little living room, in my little flat, in little Bristol, England, all the way to my little bedroom next door – where I kept my laptop. The first step to making a movie is writing a screenplay – I think. I’ve never written one, but the clue is in the title – screen play. A play that is on a screen.
So how does one write a screenplay I hear you ask? Well, it is a good question, mainly because I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I have never been to film school, I have never written a play, or even written a story since the age of about 10. Not to worry, life is about education, and if I can’t get the knowledge formally then I can self-educate, the answers are out there, I just need to leave no stone unturned in my quest for screenwriting gold. Plus back then it was 2013, and I had a tool called ‘The Internet‘ at my disposal, so I immediately googled ‘Screenplay for Drive the movie with Ryan Gosling’, and there it was, 3rd result, a PDF of the Drive screenplay – education is easy. I read the first page and
got instantly bored, put it down and never opened it again decided that I didn’t want to trample all over my style and vision by reading someone else’s work.
With my creative vision intact after such a close shave, I began writing my screenplay.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, I’m telling you because you are now my accountability. Some social scientists somewhere at some point did a study to show the motivational effects of telling others about your goals. They discovered that telling others about your goals means you are more likely to achieve them because you feel obligated to act on them. If you didn’t act on them you’d just be known as
the lying little shit down the road the dreamer.
Also, ignore the mountain of other studies which state that sharing goals is counterproductive because you inhibit the goal without actually achieving it. For instance, if you tell someone you’re going to be a fireman or firewoman, you will begin to see yourself as one before you have actually done it. Then comes years of conversations where you refer to yourself as fireman or firewoman but that injury or those bastards at selection didn’t see your potential, meaning you never realised your dream.
That is why my goal is to win an Oscar because I can’t really inhibit the role of a gold statue or become a metaphysical representation of female oppression in the last 89 years. You see, my goal to win an Oscar as a screenwriter or screenplay, or whatever the award is for people who write films, is not for some deep love of the Oscars. It is merely because most people know what the hell they are. If I said my goal was to be nominated for the ‘Best Short Script’ award at the Final Draft Big Break Contest, you would rightly have no idea what I was talking about.* Not to mention it would ruin the title of this series.
So the series has begun from today and it won’t stop until I’ve won an Oscar. Seriously.
In the 4 years since I first had the idea for a screenplay, I have managed to write approximately one-third of it. At this rate, it will be another 8 years before I’ve even finished the darn thing. I needed motivation and you are it. Each week I will write an update on what I have done in order to achieve my
dream ambition very recent and unambiguous goal that is conveniently better for a clickbait title and simultaneously extremely difficult to achieve whimsical idea of winning an Oscar. I imagine at first this series is going to be largely based around writing, and then when I finish writing I will document my attempts to bumble my way through a world I know nothing about.
You will be able to keep up with the series every Friday.
So just to summarise, I have no writing experience, no writing education, no film education, no big hitting Hollywood executives as friends (thank god), I don’t know anyone who has even made a film, nor do I know anyone who has even been near a film school, my parents aren’t film stars, I don’t own a camera, I don’t know what a film is, I’ve never seen a TV, sounds have no impact on me, I can’t comprehend moving images, I don’t have loads of money and I have no idea about the processes involved. Suffice to say this series is probably going to be a long one.
*No disrespect to the women and men at the Final Draft Big Break Contest (which is a real thing).
P.S. For those people who follow me purely for the mental health updates, these will still be posted occasionally but the days of blogging my mental health every single day are over. I will write about my mental health separately whenever it comes up.