I met my deadline. By Friday afternoon, after having pushed shit up hill and struggled to get words on paper since February, I'd written the first draft of the script/treatment ('scriptment') for the self-imposed, self-promised, impending zero-budge feature.
Coming in at a modest 30-something pages and 60-something scenes, I was convinced it just needed a little meat on its bones to start to run with.
By Sunday afternoon (in consultation with producers), I'd turfed the whole thing.
By Monday afternoon, I had a do-over. A return to some strong influences which I'd been toying with for some other projects, and recapitulation of two core ideas I've been tossing around for a good few months, on the sidelines of this thing.
What was going on on the sidelines in effect turned out to be the main game, and seems to have more structure, clarity, solidity and really... a feeling of fervour around than the project I'd been trying to meticulously chip away at for close on half a year now (I'm not going to lie -- fucking ARGH).
This happens, though. The stars were mis-aligned for that film, and the stars are drastically well-aligned for this one as evidenced by the fact that it seems to be (for the most part) plotting itself.
Part of the ease of shifting to this new project is thinking about form, re-telling, mimesis and performance. Artificiality vs verité vs. truth vs. simulacra; reportage vs. myth. What can be done convincingly on no budget (without resorting to always being shot hand-held or made comedic).
Can something operatic be done on no budget? Can we forego a recognisably mimetic realist performance for the sake of something much more presentational? If so, what kind of container does the presentation live in? Who has done this before? What has this to do with memory? What of the inconsistencies of memory?
If we are working with no budget, but with the operatic, the performative, the reproduced, then continuity is a built-in issue, so let's make it a built-in quality of the work. Let's make it a feature and function. Continuity is discontinuous in memory and in perspective. In testimony, and in different people's idea of truth. In the interpretation of myth, story and intention.
Let's start with that.
Until soon, MZ. x