Monday, September 24, 2007

Scripted or Improv

I've been thinking for the past few days if a film is better off scripted or whether a story is best told by the technique of improving. Now I've been on many sets and I know the realities of filmmaking. We're always fighting the clock, and filmmaking becomes a financial race. I've never had or been on a set where the budget wasn't finite. People have to work, and bills need to be paid, but it seems more and more that better films are made if you work with your actors. The performances are enhanced, and the story does have a life of its own. Make no mistake films like "Nashville", or "Short Cuts" were and had been scripted, but it was the director who knew when to let his actors go and service the story better then what the writer could write.

The more and more I study film, or try and make a film that is realistic and engaging the more and more I draw on actors to flesh out the story. I'm currently writing, but what I put down on paper just seems so cold, and doesn't speak to the reality of life. An actor can give a look that conveys a thousand words that I could never do justice too.

I was always told that the script is a blueprint of the film, and like all blueprints they can be changed due to the reality of the scene. What I’m hurrying to do is put down my thoughts, and try the best I can to capture a scene, and then possible work with actors to make it spring from the page to the screen.

My problem is that money is always a factor. Maybe that’s why so many films suffer from bad performances, or amateur like performances. Some productions use people that they know, which isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t the right thing for the film. Sure you need a person who can show up, know their lines, and give something to the film, but expecting that on the cheap is a recipe for failure, and bad filmmaking.

I’m trying to put together a film about a man loosing his mind as he comes down with Alzheimer’s. Though from personal accounts, and personal experiences I know how that looks like, and what happens it’s hard to convey that into words. An interaction with actors is needed, and maybe a better story comes forward. AFter all the best actors are almost empathic, and that's how they draw out their best performances.

I’ve heard work shopping a screenplay or play is nothing new, but it’s a bit new to me. I believe that honesty needs to be addressed and when the film finally comes together that it isn’t my film as much as it is OUR film.

I know it’s still my financing, and it’s my story, but getting others involved may be a way to break out of this paralyzed apathy of mine, and create something better then myself. After all isn’t that the goal of art. To transcend ones own limitations, and create something bigger and better in scope.

Or am I just wishing too much!

No comments: