Has anyone ever saved your life?
What would happen if the 18-year-old you were to show up and pass judgment on the current you? Would he be impressed? Would you have to make excuses to him as to why your life turned out the way it did? Or would you laugh him and his unrealistic adolescent expectations out of the room?
This is part of what “Dead Guy” is about. The night of his high school graduation, Pete Hawkins is shown a website by his best friend. What you do is write emails to people in your life – emails that you don’t want them to read until you’re dead – and send them to the site for safe keeping. You tell them things you wish you had the nerve to say, things you could never say, things which would make it impossible for you to ever face them again if they knew. After you die, the site sends them out to their intended recipients. Sixteen years after that graduation night, Pete is alive and well… but his emails get sent out mistakenly. Complications arrive in the form of Christine, that high school crush who got away, and Pete has to look at his current life through the eyes of his 18-year-old self.
Websites like that are real – www.lastwishes.com and others – and they got me thinking. The 18-year-old me was an arrogant big-talking know-it-all (kind of like the current me, only younger, but that’s a subject for a different post…). There are plenty of ways I think I have “grown up” since then, and in a good way. But on the other hand, the arrogant 18-year-old me was more ambitious, confident, and unwilling to take “no” for an answer. Some of his unrealistic expectations gave him strength, strengths which have faded as I’ve gotten older and “grown out” of this kind of behavior.
I guess what it comes down to is the difficuly of “growing up” without “selling out.” Can you stay the same in some ways while changing in others? Looking back, did you choose the right things to change about yourself and the right things to keep the same?
Now that the site is up and everyone is here… I think I’ll go on vacation.
Michelle and I left this morning for two weeks in Italy (at least I hope we left – I’m posting this from a few days ago) with some of her family. Two weeks without kids. Let me just let that sink in for a moment. I’m still having a hard time believing it myself.
So if I don’t respond to anyone for two weeks, or move forward on either of the scripts, that’s why. But there will be some content popping up from time to time while we’re gone (more stuff posted from days ago), including a Random Question or two.
One more time: two weeks without kids. Man I hope we made our flights.
This is part of an experiment. After taking some time off from writing to take on a comfortable day job and enjoy the birth of our new son, it’s time for me to get going again. Knowing that I’m a competitive guy who needs some external motivation at times like these, my wife gave her blessing to a challenge cooked up by a friend of mine: I should write a “mainstream” screenplay which can be enjoyed by a broader audience than the material I usually come up with. Initially skeptical, I realized I had nothing to lose. After debating between two competing ideas (a romantic comedy/drama and a psychological/suspense thriller), I embraced the spirit of the challenge and committed to write both. The goal is to finish both by the end of the year.
So why a blog? To put it all out there: Progress reports, random questions and story discussions, whatever. Again, I have nothing to lose. Maybe people will stop by to see how it’s going. Maybe this will help move me along when I need a push. Maybe we’ll get some discussions going that will feed into the scripts or serve as good procrastination material. Worst case: no one cares but it gets me back into the flow of getting ideas down and keeps me there. We’ll see.
You can subscribe by RSS or email through the links on the right. You can email me through a link there as well. Those button headings on the top of the page link to a regularly-updated status report (The Challenge) as well as a list of my other projects in various stages of activity (Projects).
Congratulations, you have found Robb’s second attempt at a blog. Maybe this one will take. The “Active Projects” thing below is the same thing found in “Projects” above.
- Psycho Ex: 12 pages (22 with outline). Moving quite nicely. Momentum = 10.
- Dead Guy: 22 pages (31 with outline). In Act 2 hell. A lot of thinking going on. May actually be a novel and not a screenplay. Momentum = 6.
- Who Wants To Be A Supervillain?!: complete and currently under option.
- Aftershocks: complete and viewable through inktip or through me. Placed in top 10% of all scripts submitted to Bluecat Screenplay Competition – semi-finalists and finalists notified later this month. This also may become a novel at some point. Novel Momentum = 2.
- I Hate That Guy!: complete and viewable through inktip or through me.
- Stuck: complete and dormant.
- Cheesy Rider: complete and dead (but fondly remembered).
- The Thinking Man: complete and just plain dead.
So, what else do you want to see here? Any suggestions? God knows you have all been waiting for yet another blog to visit.