A few months ago, I was chatting with my manager about what I was working on. I pitched one of my projects as “something just for fun, it won’t take much time.” This is a code for saying, “I’ll still have time to work on stuff that could make us money.” He instantly made his own point: “You only have so much mental real estate.”
Years ago, I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman doing a Q&A after Capote. When asked about his reputation for being “difficult” on set, he talked about how most people wake up in the morning, put on their armor, and go out to face the world while keeping their private selves private.But his job is to be private…in public. And that’s just not easy.
It’s something we take for granted. We marvel at someone’s brilliance, the way they can reveal something truthful and authentic about the human condition. But what’s the cost of doing that every day? What’s the cost of making a living being private in public? We’ll never know for sure.
We can only feel the sadness for an artist gone to soon, and thank him for letting us inside his private self, if only for a short time.
Number of times I’ve attended the Sundance Film Festival, including this year: 9
Days we attended this year: 4
Films we saw this year: 5
Amount of films we usually see: 7 to 10
Amount of time we spent cursing the terrible new waistlist system: too much
I’m not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions. They’re usually about creating a new habit (like going to the gym) or breaking an old habit (devouring brie like it’s my job). Making positive changes in your life is an awesome thing, but the problem with making a “resolution” is the instant understanding that it’s only a matter of time until you break it. It’s usually accompanied by a smile and a shrug as we say, “wow, made it two days without eating all that brie”.
Sometimes it seems like there are as many people trying to teach screenwriting as there are screenwriters. There are gurus who have written books, and there are working writers who give back by doing podcasts or answering questions on their blog. But there are also plenty of people who write articles about screenwriting who seem to have learned everything they know from reading articles about screenwriting. There’s that same list making the rounds, usually titled something like Top 10 Mistakes That Will Get Your Screenplay Shredded By The Hollywood Readers. The things on the list are pretty basic i.e. spellcheck, proofread your grammar, get your format right, etc. Still with the ease that it takes to find these basics on-line, it still stuns me how often I see new writers making the same mistakes over and over again.
I just checked and there’s technically another month of summer. But it doesn’t feel that way. This summer for me was about two huge events that took up plenty of time. One was prepping for a very difficult Kenpo test. The other was my duties as Associate Producer in charge of community outreach for the Sacred Fools 17th Season Launch Party: CAUGHT DARKLY DREAMING. In between those two events, I bounced back and forth between two writing projects I’ve been developing. It sounds manageable and I guess it was, but man, I’m glad it’s all over.