#Momentum – Week 2 and 3 – WWW

I’m back and I’m not even pretend to be sorry because of my broken promise. I really wanted to blog last week but WWW (Whiteworms Work Week) was a success. We worked hard on some new projects and old projects and I think it’s fair to say, that I feel energised and motivated to hit the keyboard again. But what I liked most about last week wasn’t the actual writing it was the way to get there. We had some heated discussions and I think our new project is the better for it. I don’t want to spoil too much but I just finished a new draft of the new project’s first act and I have a pretty good feeling. It is so much better than it was a week ago. I now where the characters need to go, I have a pretty good idea about their journey all I need now are some interesting set pieces which force them to change and become better… I don’t want to spoil anything.

All I’m saying is, it’s not a sequel to “Skyscraper” but in a way it is. It’s set in a different part of world, a different time and everything is different but there’s a similarity in tone and theme to “Skyscraper” that seems to be the thing we/I aspire to when writing. If I write something I need to say something, it actually doesn’t matter that much whether or not the audience gets it, I just need the story to mean something to me and both “Skyscraper” and our new animated feature have something to say that is very personal.

In fact, the new project is probably one of the most personal things1 I ever attempted to write, but not in the sense of an actual story, more in an emotional way. It’s not that I lived through these events, it’s more that similar events and experiences made me think a certain way and this story is a way to share these ideas and feelings. I think it’s probably my version of Finding Nemo’s Andrew Stanton realisation that he was an overprotective father that led him to write Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo‘s roots back to a 1992 visit to Six Flags Marine World  and started Andrew thinking about the amazing possibilities of capturing an undersea world in computer animation. The film was inspired by a fleeting moment of realization in which Stanton observed that his overprotective fatherly instincts were preventing him from properly bonding with his son. It tells the tale of a young clown fish who is whisked from the ocean to a dentist-office aquarium and his father’s quest to bring his son back home safely. As with Stanton’s other writing efforts, Finding Nemo focused on character development and provided an emotional resonance and heart rarely seem in animation. – http://www.pixartalk.com

I’m not saying that my story is as good as Finding Nemo but I think the fact that I the idea had a similar way of coming into existence is probably a good sign. As I say before, writing is not just for entertainment, it’s also about ideas and communicating those ideas. Even blockbuster movies, actually especially blockbuster movies need something to connect them to an audience and it usually helps if the writer or the director or preferably everyone who works on the movie has a personal, emotional connection to the core theme or message of the story.

I actually think that’s what good writing is really about, finding that emotional center, and it actually doesn’t matter if everyone in the audience gets it. Maybe someone takes something different away from the movie, who am I to judge. I’m not going to explain to anyone what he or she should feel after reading or (hopefully) watching one of my stories. I’m going to share with you what it means to me but if it means something different to you, be my guest.

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No Spoilers!

  1. Well, the most personal is it probably “The Passion of the Geek” but let’s not go there, it’s a silly palce.

Writing is Rewriting

So, I finished the first draft of the outline of my new yet untitled project this week. Obviously I was quite pleased with myself, it’s the first important step in a long journey but every journey starts that way, problem is, apparently the first draft is really bad. 😩

But no worries, that was to be expected. First drafts are rarely good but as I said, they are an important step and I think it’s really important to write stuff (even stuff that’s not gold yet) down. Rewriting is so much easier than writing. I really like editing and improving my work and I usually need this first version to help me find the story and the characters. I have a pretty good idea about what I want to say but the problem is the how.

How am I going to let my characters express my ideas and my themes, how are they going to react to each other in order to convey their differences and similarities and how will I be able to get them to change? I love finding the answers to these questions even though it is probably the hardest thing about writing.

So what am I going to do about this. Well, I have my work cut out for this weekend. After this blogpost and I’m going to start rewriting the shit out of the first draft. I’m even considering switching languages to make me really rewrite it but I have to check that with Orlindo. Next week is the first (of hopefully many) Whiteworms Work Week, WWW if you will. I visit him in Berlin, I haven’t been there in a while and we are going to work on our projects with the goal of developing some new ideas and polishing and/or improving on our existing material. We definitely have our work cut out for us and I’m sure it’s going to be an interesting but also exhausting week.

I’m planing on keeping you updated, who knows there might be more than just some writing insights coming your way next week.😉

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Wise words.

#Momentum – Week 1 – Breaking the Research

The 1st week of #Momentum is almost over and I’m happy to report, that even though I didn’t meet all my guidelines, I consider week one rather successful. I spent most of the week thinking about the follow-up to “Skyscraper” and I’m happy to report that I made some progress. I’m far from finished and I don’t have a story yet but I have a feeling about the characters and their journey. But let me tell you bit about how I approached this project.

Usually, I have a story I want to tell but this time I decided to force myself to approach the script from a character perspective. For the last couple weeks I had an idea about the kind of story I want to tell and what the theme, the message should be. So all I had to do is come up with characters who could experience this emotional journey I planed for them. I narrowed down the theme and suddenly I knew what characters I had to pick and how their journey looked like. It’s obviously not polished yet and there will be many things that will change but looking at the character breakdowns, I get a feeling for them and I think I want to get to know them better (which is really important when you decide to write 70 to 80 pages about someone).

Ok, so now that I have some ideas for the characters and a sense of what I want to say it’s time for my favourite part, research. Where do I set the story? Do I use animals or humans or both? What kind of animals, what kind of humans? What external forces play a role? etc.

I love this part, the possibilities are endless but as soon as you hit on the idea, it just clicks, and yesterday it did. I’m not going into details but I had an epiphany yesterday and I could feel how the pieces started to fit together. It’s a nice feeling and probably one that every writer cherishes. It doesn’t feel like work yet but It’s a huge leap forward. The only downside, now the real work starts.

Now I have to distill all my ideas and all possibilities into a treatment that Orlindo and I can (hopefully) develop into our new project. Ok, back to writing now, I never said these updates have to be long. 🙂

Football’s (not) coming home

I promised you some content so here we go. But first, this happened:

Three Lions on the Shirt.

Three Lions on the Shirt!

It might come as a surprise to most of you, but I’m not the biggest fan of organised sports. I rarely watch sports on TV or anywhere else and I don’t really follow a team, I have sympathies though and there are a few exceptions to the rule, a ski race, mostly the big downhill races, and the World Cup and the Euro.

It sounds a bit silly but I get quite emotional during the World Cup and especially when England plays. Being an England supporter is obviously a bad idea but I’m happy that I turned out that way and I’m pretty sure that England is the only team I can get this emotional about and I’m going to the you why. I think it has something to with their history or maybe even myth and in some sense, their lack of success.

There’s 1966, the only Championship England has ever won and I think that the biggest part of being an England supporter is the fact that we’re waiting for that moment again, it’s almost biblical, waiting for the messiah, the second coming and in a way that’s what being an England fan is all about. We’re waiting for it to happen again, every time we start to hope again, every time we get this feeling only to get disappointed again.

I said that I don’t like sports but I love sports movies and being an England supporter is probably the closest you can get to a sports movie story in real life. You have the drama, you have hope only to have that hope crushed all over again… but no, we don’t learn. It’s a feeling probably best described in one of the best sports songs ever:

It’s coming home
It’s coming home
It’s coming
Football’s coming home
Everyone seems to know the score
They’ve seen it all before
They just know
They’re so sure
That England’s gonna throw it away
Gonna blow it away
But I know they can play
‘Cause I remember
Three Lions on a shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
Thirty years of hurt
Never stopped me dreaming
So many jokes, so many sneers
But all those oh-so-nears
Wear you down
Through the years
But I still see that tackle by Moore
And when Linekar scored
Bobby belting the ball
And Nobby Dancing
Three Lions on a shirt

It’s not fun being an England supporter, especially when you consider tat were now at more than 50 years of hurt but every two years the feeling returns and you start to hope again until that moment where against all odds the underdog, yeah England, where football was invented is the underdog now, wins the championship. Isn’t that how the movie is supposed to play out? But on the other hand, not winning is what the myth is all about. England fans are used to supported their team no matter what in good and let’s be honest especially the bad times. Obviously, reaching the semi-final was a big feat but nobody cares about third place and the dream is to get the Cup. This is real life and not Cool Runnings or Eddie the Eagle but it sure feels like these two movies at the moment.

So, what am I actually trying to say here. Well, I’m disappointed but I support my team and I know that there will be a happy end at some point, it might take some time but “Football will come home one day”.