Saturday, June 25, 2011

Film School: Part Two

Grant was sitting on the couch, orange and tan stripes, in Mike’s room, throwing a tennis ball at the ceiling and catching it on the way down. He had perfected the art of very nearly almost hitting the ceiling.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like I’m doing?”
“I see that.”
“You know that movie we were going to make, but never did make?”
“Which one?”
Grant sat up, catching the tennis ball in one quick swipe and placing it on the couch beside him. “The one that won us several Oscars.”
“Oh yeah, that one.”
“It’s our Good Will Hunting.”
“Bro, are you saying that you want to make Good Will Hunting?”
“Yeah, you are.”
“No I’m not.”
“We can’t make Good Will Hunting. Someone else already made it.”
“I don’t want to make Good Will Hunting. I want to make a movie the same way they made Good Will Hunting.”
“Mmmm, yeah. Hey, Adam Sandler? I was wondering if you could come over here and write a screenplay with me. Can you bring Matt Damon too?” He mimed, with his phone.
“You dumbass. If they can do it, we can do it. Get me a piece of paper.”
“I don’t have any paper.”
“Fine.” He pulled a wadded up receipt out of his pocket. “We’re gonna have a character. Main guy, the one who you root for, the one who’s a better version of you.”
“Not you particularly, but a general viewer.”
“I see.”
“Yeah. We got the good guy, we need a bad guy.”
“Oh, I see, it’s a deep, artsy film about a couple of superheros and evil villains? Yeah. Cool.”
“Who peed in your mountain dew?”
“What? It’s a possibility.”
“We need an antagonist. They make plot.”
“So I’ve heard.”
“Do we want a person? Do we want someone to be out there, trying to get them?”
“This is your thing, not mine.”
“I know, dumbass. I’m bouncing my ideas off of you.”
“The world’s just going to be angled against them. Everything out there hates us sometimes.”
“And so he’s going to go out into the world. Because when he was a kid, he got this idea in his head, this idea that everyone was against him. Right now, he’s just trying to see if it’s true.”
“Personal journey.”
Mike nodded. That sounded okay, even when you said it out loud. Good sign, he knew. “A personal journey makes a good story.”
“But it’s been done before.”
“Your mom’s been done before.”
“You’re hilarious.”
“I know. But really, is that an okay story?” He needed confirmation, reassurance before he went any further. He always had that, the worry that it wouldn’t be okay, that he wouldn’t be successful. Weird. Unwanted.
“Yeah, it is. If you do it right.”
“How would I do it right?”
“Don’t hit anyone over the head with your message of deep, touchy feely, personal growth. That’s gross.”
“I’m not an inspirational speaker.”
“Look in a mirror once in a while, okay?”
“Truth. It hurts.”
“Whatever. I’ll try not to talk about feelings too much. You’ll police me on that front.”
Grant stood up, theatrically. “What? What are you talking about?”
Mike scrunched his eyebrows and spoke in the kind of voice usually reserved for explaining very complicated concepts to unintelligent people. “Well, when we’re writing the script for our film, you will tell me when I’m writing something that is more emotional than you’d like. Get it? You can make changes so that it’s not sappy, which everything I write is, apparently.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Didn’t I just explain what I was talking about?”
“No, I didn’t catch that one bit. There was something about me changing things, I think, and that seems like it was out of place and very unlikely. I’m not doing this. This is your stupid little project, and you can do your own thing with it.”
“Yeah, I guess. I’ll just screw around with it myself, and you can do whatever you want. You’re right, you’d probably just make it all suck.” Mike said, feigning a lack of confidence.
“I would make it all suck, even more than you would.”
“Why even bother making a movie, right?”
“This is what I’ve been saying all along.”
“Shut up.”

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