I know I could get some local producers to read this script, if I only had a script.  I could get producers I have no connection to yet to look at it.  I feel I could talk my way into directing it, too.  It’s a great concept for a production (concept courtesy of Jamie Nash). …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - (Not) Writing TAKE 28 (Yet)

(Not) Writing TAKE 28 (Yet)

I know I could get some local producers to read this script, if I only had a script.  I could get producers I have no connection to yet to look at it.  I feel I could talk my way into directing it, too.  It’s a great concept for a production (concept courtesy of Jamie Nash).  I just don’t have a concept for a Great Story.


I can’t force this; I’ve tried to. It will have to come ‘organically’; I have to be patient.

We can only do so much to guarantee an audience’s enjoyment of a story; everyone’s opinions will always differ. But speaking for my own self, I think I had a Great Story for, say, ‘Z, or, Zombie High School Massacre’, or ‘The Unfamiliars’, or ‘Lawrencium-5’ before I began writing those stories. I may not have always nailed it entirely, but I could ‘see’ or ‘feel’ a Great Story that I was uncovering. If I had a Great Story to put into this Great Concept, I’d have 4 or 7 drafts behind me already.

Last week, I tried to patiently push this project, and I thought of running through Blake Snyder’s Genre List.  Actually, I found it pretty helpful.  It didn’t give me any Story ideas, but it gave me some solid reflection and, I think, a direction.

An Incomplete Hero (each actor), a Counterpart (the other), a Complication.
Obviously this one is heavily involved; I don’t think it’s The story, though; it’s this movie’s sub-plot.

A Monster (a celebrity couple who can’t work together), A House (the film set), A Sin (Jamie suggested that, SNOW WHITE-like, the Director has slept with the Female Actor).

A Road (getting the shot, or, the day), a Team (the crew), a Prize (the final, good take)

This was the real clarifier for me. I realized that DAY FOR NIGHT is strongly Golden Fleece; I should re-watch that movie. LIVING IN OBLIVION, the filmmaking scenes in HOLLYWOOD ENDING, HITCHCOCK!, CELEBRITY and other “movies about filmmaking” are all Golden Fleece scenes (and the Prize is just about always a Good Take or Good Movie). I often think of filmmaking as similar to working on the Enterprise, because of the teamwork/co-crew/co-department aspects, or in other words, as a “Team”. And making a film is a classic “Road” experience (one I actually prefer to road trips).

Whatever happens with TAKE 28 (Jamie Nash could write it as a play someday), it’s a Golden Fleece story, and that’s helped to direct me.

A Group, a Choice, a Sacrifice. I don’t know what those would be in TAKE 28, but I can see a dark satire about Hollywood (a la SWIMMING WITH SHARKS) working as this kind of Institutionalized story. It doesn’t hit me as what I’d like to do, though (or what audiences would want to get out of this show).

A Fool (a Director), an Establishment (the Studio System), a Transmutation
I think the Director of the Hollywood movie would be in most genre circumstances the protagonist of TAKE 28; if there was some way to believably insert an unrespected director in the role of leading this production, I could get into this kind of story. It’s conceivable that someone is brought in as a hired gun director to do what the producer/studio wants, then turns around and creates magic through intense effort where the production only saw quick potential. Richard Donner making SUPERMAN is a prototype; he worked harder and worked everyone harder than the producers could imagine would be necessary for a superhero movie, or would condone paying for; yet he pushed the production into creating an Iconic Movie and was ultimately shown to be right, and transformed into a wanted, respected director. There’s plausible possibility here, to some extent.

A Life Problem (the actor’s relationship woes), a Wrong Way (their sensitive egos and miscommunication), an Acceptance (a new synthesis and new, rebooted love – just in time for the final takes)
I don’t think this is a Rites of Passage movie, but there’s probably a Rites of Passage “B-Element” to the Buddy Love B-Story.

An Innocent Hero (almost certainly, the Director, but could even be the A.D.), A Sudden Event (the actors break up), a Life-and-Death Struggle (a career is at stake over this day’s shot).
There’s obviously application possible here; it doesn’t feel enough. It feels like a remote background more than the right story circumstance.


Overall, I see two scenarios for this movie: one, the Director and Crew cope with a celebrity couple’s breakdown hampering their efforts at nailing a great take. Two, the Male Actor is also the Director, and he has Relationship Troubles with his Co-Star Girlfriend preventing him from creating the film he wants.

I think the Director should be a male; for whatever reasons, “directors” are typically male in most peoples’ minds.

The Director has potential to be a really Machiavellian mind gamer toying with the Actor Couples’ emotions and insecurities to get what he wants; one ideal outcome is that he manipulates them back into love without their realizing that they’re not even really right for each other — but it satisfies his needs and he uses their naiveté for the purpose. It could be dark and fun. Also, stealing from THE STUNTMAN, he could be a dark, indifferent character who toys and manipulates them, but is ultimately revealed to be a cool cat who’s a-okay.

Cinema is part-truth and part-spectacle; I’m searching for the truth that TAKE 28 will bring to meet its spectacle.