The best lines and ideas come to me in three places: 1. out on a walk, 2. in the shower, 3. on the toilet. Yeah, I know (and if you did not see this coming, well… I will lend you SOME of my internetz for the day)…
But honestly now, I can’t really think of other places that I am able to truly think of good ideas. Yes, I WORK better sitting at the table but in terms of sheer creative opportunities… those are the three places where I reflect the most honestly and am able to create something out of my experiences.
It just so happens that today has been one of those rare “Gold Mine” days where one or more of those three places yields a massive amount of “stuff” (NO IT IS NOT A POOP JOKE. Grow up, y’all). Actually, most of it happened on my walk into campus and then returning from campus. Having an iPod certainly helps isolate my thoughts from the world around me and focus on exactly what I need to focus on and so… I plugged my grabber blue earbuds into my ears, pushed play, and did the whole “me time” thing for about 45 minutes.
I don’t know if it is unique to me or if everyone thinks of stories this way but often, I find myself working out some magical piece of dialogue or monologue or a very emotionally moving/jarring image before I ever spin out even a character from it, let alone a full story. This morning’s byproduct of my “dat booty too fine” time (reference to both the above picture AND Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law) was actually initially intended as a moment in an existing franchise that is successful but lacks any real sort of character depth (but not the potential for said depth).
If you’ve seen ANY of the Fast and Furious movies, you know that it is a franchise based around fast cars and well endowed co-eds with no speaking lines. Between the overt exaggeration of the effects of a Nitrous Oxide boost in a combustion engine (seriously, Hollywood, a RED SHIFT?! No) and asses/tits (yeah yeah, there’s hardly room between all of that for Paul Walker’s hair… or his facelift), the series has actually produced one or two very poignant moments where we get to see the REAL PEOPLE behind the wheel. My favorites are:
1. Dom’s description of the perfect woman for him-
2. When Han explains that if he were to race, it’d have to be for something important or else, why even do it at all?
(Don’t have the video clip for this one but it’s in Tokyo Drift)
3. Letty reminding Dom of what he used to say: “Ride or Die.”
Most people point to the infamous “I live my life a quarter mile at a time…” line but that always felt really contrived and I never really thought of it as something anyone could relate to.
So there I was, walking gingerly toward campus and thinking of all the things I wanted to say to a few specific people in my life. One of which, in the perfect world, would be set on a closed circuit road course and each of us would have a car of our choosing. I went back and forth, in my mind, about if this situation were to ever come to fruition (it most certainly won’t), whether I would let said individual win or not… and that’s quite a back and forth for me. (My world, my rules. As a writer, these are the things I get to decide… ain’t it great? :D) And so there I was… putting one very specific thought into both the mouth of the “imaginary me” and the mouth of the “imaginary Dom” as I was all but certain I would return home and write this exchange as part of the movie franchise, fully expecting it to go nowhere.
Dom: It ain’t about whether you win or lose – whether you live or die. In the end, most of us never get to even start living. You realize, after you’ve been around the block a few times, it ain’t about the finish line or how you get there if you don’t know why you got behind the wheel. You live long enough to one day see what you can’t have or can’t have back and you chase after it. Most of the time, you’re never going to get it but in those fleeting moments, when your foot’s to the floor and your stomach’s utterly weightless… you finally start to live and you realize the world whipping by your windows at 200 mph is what you missed and what you can now have.
Letty: So what happens when you get what you’re chasing after.
Dom smiles and gives a deep, introspective “haha.”
Now, yes, in my head this is all intercut with a car chase… a great way to start the movie with this conversation and a 60’s muscle car chasing after another muscle car while being followed by police… and then at the end, right after Letty’s question, we see the two cars sailing through the air over some chasm or something. Cut back to Dom’s smile and his laugh and then right back to the two cars landing on the other side of the chasm together. That would be pretty awesome… but that’s beside the point.
My point is that, as creators, we have to find a place in our lives, our existence, and our experiences that we feel comfortable expressing the things that we do not get to say and may not every get to say. As a writer, I put words (and instruct others how to put images) to emotions but the only way I can truly grasp what I do is to have it rooted in some part of myself. In this case it just happens to be rooted in cars and the emotions I’ve been feeling recently AS WELL AS attempting to stay true to something that has already been created and, for better or worse (and what it says about me), a franchise I have loved since I was in 4th grade and Tony took me to see the first movie at a midnight showing.
So that’s development. That’s how it works, at least for me. It’s also how I got inspired to start a new pilot… not that I don’t have about a billion other projects to finish or work on or……. le sigh.
I’ve rambled enough for now and haven’t put in nearly enough pictures for y’all to enjoy. My bad. I’ll get back to the normal routine sometime and have more eyecandy for ya later.
See ya, Space Cowboys.