I don’t know whether you can consider this a good thing but in a subconscious attempt to duck massive rewrites for Mehta, I’ve started writing another piece, Bump.
Two old school friends, one who left town, one who didn’t, run into each other at a hospital, where their wives are about to give birth and (entirely inspired by the Hunt-Michel Leveson blurb) share a night of anxiety. Basically, it’s about two men who share a past, but whose children face very different futures.
Due to the queasiness that Mehta has left me with, I’ve tried to be much tighter with my brief on this one. While I was writing to discover the characters and the situation, I was making sure I was forming some questions in my head that get to the core of the piece. So far I have:
– What does it mean to be a good husband and father?
– Do you have any obligation to the person you used to be?
^^ Primarily these two, but also these sneaking in at the back…
– What life can you make for your kids when you see nothing for yourself?
– How can you live a life of value in a world that doesn’t want you or need you?
So not too divorced from my previous ground. Looking at the twelve pages I’ve written so far, I’ve basically taken everything from the last year and reconfigured it: two people in a room, something about change (in the monetary sense), parenthood, someone filming a message for a kid, a dash of death, and a touch of football.
However, the emphasis on this one I feel will be lot more on authenticity and masculinity. That will make a lot more sense to you soon, I promise. It’s currently running at twenty minutes-ish, and I’d like to get it up to forty five. If I feel it has the legs, I might push it to an hour but certainly not full-full length. Hey, might even be able to double bill it with Free Fall (which I’ve nearly finished bringing up to an hour long) one day, even if they are similar. Need to shake up my life to write something new.
So on that note, I think this will be the last piece that I write that’s in this vein, and will attempt something more structurally interesting after, but I just wanted to master the art of the long scene. I still think it’s the hardest thing to do – can you engage an audience, a casual audience, for a full hour with “just” two people talking? It’s been worthwhile already – whenever I write film now, I find it liberating and I’m a lot more creative with the visuals: it’s the result of the pure joy you get from playing around after restricting yourself so heavily before. (Insert whoring yourself about post break up analogy here).
But all of this is dicking about. Back to the Mehta Mines.