Not Really a Writer

Now I don't say that to rule anything out; I definitely have the capability to write, however, I spent the afternoon watching some screenwriting documentaries, namely Tales from the Script and Dreams on Spec. From these films, I gathered the world of professional (that is to say paid) screenwriting is not within my personality set.

Tales from the Script featured more prominent, better-known writers sharing stories about their sold and produced scripts but also filling us in on the many un-produced, unsold scripts that it took to get there. Surely a real eye-opener for many; the same basic idea can be easily ascertained in film colleges if the push is for a film's marketability which, generally, why wouldn't it be? You spend the film school money to make money. The documentary showed quite a few writers, each with their own insights and wisdoms; likely there'll be one or more you agree with, which is good to see and it's nice they aren't all just prattling off the same or similar information worded differently. Truly it's a look into these writers' experiences in getting work made and what went into that.

Dreams on Spec embraced more of the indie, DIY spirit as it followed three aspiring screenwriters attempting to perfect and either sell their script or attain financing to produce and direct it; two writers achieving nearly nothing, the other sacrificing but overall pretty happy with the film he wrote that went into production. These are dreams I have, to some degree, as I try to get my own projects off the ground; sans budget, sans most everything outside of other knowledgable, passionate people. These are shorts I'm talking about, where the stakes are low, but the stresses are the same as any production. I enjoyed the cinematic nature of this documentary; additionally, to see one of the writer's production unfold on screen, it drew me in, like I had a stake in it too; I felt apart of their pre-production.

So why aren't I really a writer? I just don't have what it takes to go over and over on something written; I get frustrated, I move on if it needs 'that much work.' I think, early on, I had this gung-ho attitude like it'll be out of my hands in a jiffy and I won't have to worry about it. This is probably unlikely the case and the very nature of rewrites is to bring a project to marketable level not shelve it and try another, as that too would likely need to be rewritten for an actual sale.

Perhaps the most obvious problems is I've found it difficult to write anything beyond a short; I don't disparage in that too much but I know the interest in shorts is far lesser than features which already have plenty of competition. Shorts, outside of film school, I think become more personal affairs; short tales where you really hit home your points that might get convoluted and missed when the main ideas are spread out over 40 to 90 minutes or more.

All that said, one day, I'd love to write and direct a feature. Perhaps it'll be alone or with a co-writer but, ideally, despite not having the mindset for it, I hope to make it happen... and the captain.