Well, I’m up to page 96 of my screenplay. Sounds like a big number, but it’s really nothing much once you see it in all it’s 12 point Courier glory with accompanying huge margins. The unfortunatething is that I’m not so sure I’m going to make it under the 120 page mark. I’m aiming for 110 pages. It just seems right.
I know it’s only a guideline, but the industry is competitive as it is and 120 page or more and I’m just not going to get it read. I can envision one particular scene that can easily go, and I think that’s about 3 pages. But that means that I’ve still got to tighten up the script. I must practice ruthless deletion and ask myself at every scene: What does this do? Does it contribute to the portrayal of loneliness?
I have a tendency to let my characters run wild. I let the story unfold in a world of its own. But I’m not showing people an alternate reality. I’m trying to write a compelling story. Every moment must mean something, every scene useful in some way. In a way, it’s hard. Sometimes it feels forced. But it makes you realize that people are investing time and emotional energy, as well as money, in your story. And therefore it must be compelling. I want people to walk out of the theater and ask questions about loneliness. The key point of debate: is loneliness created from within, or is it a product of our environment?It is sort of a chicken and egg problem, nature versus nature. There is no definite answer. It is not clear cut, and more often than not I suspect that loneliness is a product of both internal and external factors. In fact, loneliness can be a paradox. One can wish to be a part of society,buthe does not fit in because of his ideals. He tries to fit in, but can’t because he cannot adapt to society. And therefore his loneliness and isolation increase. The more lonely he feels, he more he reaches out, and the more he realizes that he is, by nature, simply not one who fits into society. So loneliness can be a product of the environment. But then again through one’s own excuses, elitism, and other isolating attitudes, one creates his own loneliness. It’s a difficult question to tackle, and I don’t think one can ever really reach an end to it.Although I am heavily inspired by Taxi Driver and One Hour Photo, and partially The Assassination of Richard Nixon, my character study has one key difference. He is not a psycho. I don’t want this to be a movie that becomes one of the degeneration of a lonely man into a violent and murderous psychopath. I want people to examine loneliness, to walk away with a better understanding of loneliness. I want people to relate to my character in different ways. Maybe they will like and identify with him. Maybe they will think that he is an idiot for being such a loner. Or maybe they will not know what to think and simply empathize with him. Although I believe that creative works should not be abstract, I feel that I should leave room for interpretation in my work. Just not so much that one is lost after watching it, like in Lost in Translation.
I think that 96 pages is cutting it way too close. There’s no conceivable way I could pull the story off in the remaining 14 pages. I think I’ll write the story as it should be and then cut it down to size. Over all, I’m still aiming for 120 pages.