Millennial Misfit by Andrew Yorke

Starting this on a somber note. Fair warning.

Just after Christmas, my family had to say bon voyage to our two cats. Seventeen years of memories that came to a natural end. I thankfully had the chance to say goodbye to both. As a result, I look at my friend, my mascot, my biggest cheerleader and realize she's getting older and closer to the wild frontier beyond our carbon-based capsules. I've been giving her far more hugs and snuggles than she probably wants. Thankfully, she's always reminding me that life is an infinite and transient thing. Death is but a small part of that transition. Yup. It's true. She says that to me all the time.

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I have officially become the crazy dog-dude.

I've also been thinking of an old buddy of mine, who died several years ago around this time. When I found out (roughly a month after it happened), I was living in a glorified shithole trying to get my career off the ground. He was one of the people in my life who supported without judgment, stubbornly reminding me to "prove the bacon eaters wrong." Once he was gone, a big piece of me left. It took a while to process and grow from it. Still, every year I'm reminded of that loss.

Life really is a funny thing, ain't it?

All of this has created a sense of urgency that, frankly, isn't productive. I look at how far I've come, but then immediately think it's not far at all. I think about all of the obstacles I face daily (money-issues being the biggest), and I consider the amount of luck that goes into the business. I think of all the stories of people's whose dreams fell short. I think about my age. It's really stupid. So many bigger problems in the world, right?

What the hell, Drew. The glass isn't half-empty!

It's times like these when I lock the door, turn off the lights, and sink into cinema. This habit goes all the way back to my early years, watching "The Trouble With Angels" in the living room at 4:30 in the morning. If I had a problem that wouldn't go away, an answer would appear in 120 minutes.

Last month, I revisited "Tora! Tora Tora!" along with "Donovan's Reef". While on opposite ends of the spectrum in a lot of ways, the two films rattle my brain with awesome vibes. The first is an excellent reminder of humanity containing infinite amounts of anomalistic tendencies. It's honestly beautiful to watch.

"Donovan's Reef" is the constant reminder to let loose and be free. It also reminds me of my grandfather. The toxic level of sexist undertones in the film has made it more difficult for me to enjoy as the years wear on. However, the sense of liberation still remains, and I need that reminder every so often. On a more personal note, these two films were recorded on a VHS tape by my grandfather years and years ago. I still bring that up with him, asking why those two? He still can't remember.

I've also watched several Asian films, including Hiroshi Inagaki's "Samurai" trilogy. Damn, these are beautiful films. Masterful editing. I have to remind myself these films came out of the 50's. They're on FilmStruck, in case you were wondering.

Lastly...
"The Misfits"
1961
John Huston
Arthur Miller
Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift.

Anyone who questions or criticizes the acting abilities of Marilyn Monroe needs to see this film. Alongside her iconic roles in "How to Marry a Millionaire", "The Seven Year Itch", "Some Like It Hot", and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", Marilyn had a hell of a streak in drama and thrillers. "Niagara", "Don't Bother to Knock", "Bus Stop"...these show someone far more grounded, intimate, and lost. "The Misfits" sums up the whole package. There are moments that are iconic Marilyn: the smile, the giggle, the walk, the look. Then there's the rest of this human being, and she bares it all. So much sadness, so much reflection. She should've received an Oscar for this performance. 

All of these cinematic prescriptions helped me get over the January hump. However, there was a week or so when I kept thinking of new ideas for projects. One after another after another…it sent me for a loop. I had to take three days to get a hold of myself, slow myself down, narrow down the ideas and then march forward. I'm just an impatient son of a bitch when it comes right down to it. It's part of what keeps me going. It's also part of what sometimes paralyzes me from not trying anything.

It's times like these when I'm thankful for yoga, meditation, and ultimate frisbee.

There's a lot of work to get done this year. We've entered the next stage in our feature script, which calls for meticulous dissection, multiple revisions, and numerous additional drafts. At the moment, I admit the idea overwhelms me. Hell, this is always the scariest part. Once the train gets going, I'm on board, blissfully scared with a big-ass smile on my face.

In addition, I began work on a limited-series podcast. More details on that as it comes closer to fruition. I kind of wish I could put it off, but this is an idea that needs to be tended to sooner than later.

My "secret project" is still moving forward. I've been obsessing over it for the last several months, and my brain has started turning to mush. It's getting to the point where others need to see it and give me the brutal reviews. Once the project is completed, I'll talk quite a bit about it. It's challenged me in a lot of ways..ways I never expected. It's also pushed me harder than I predicted. Those are always the things to keep in life.

Death begets new life. That's the saying, right? Close enough.

 

Thank You, 2017 by Andrew Yorke

After coffee and a stale donut, my buddy encouraged me to take exactly twenty minutes to list everything I want to thank 2017 for. Sure, it's just a year. But hell, we all know it's more than that, right?

So here we go…

  • Thank you for starting off the year with both myself and Queen Holley Elizabeth sick as…well…dogs.
  • Thank you for allowing me to question myself and my motives over the last ten years.
  • Thank you for the depression.
  • Thank you for the anxiety.
  • Thank you for the impatience.
  • Thank you for the reminders of community and communal bonding.
  • Thank you for the strangers who waved.
  • Thank you for the stranger who flicked me off when I was in a hurry to get to a meeting.
  • Thank you for the many cloudy days in early January.
  • Thank you for the many days of sunshine that soon followed.
  • Thank you for letting me rediscover Richard Strauss, and particularly "The Last Four Songs".
  • Thank you for encouraging me to attend the Women's March in Dallas.
  • Thank you for forcing me to be humbled by said march.
  • Thank you for not allowing me to be lazy.
  • Thank you for allowing me to be lazy when not being lazy was no longer an option.
  • Thank you for a bed I call mine.
  • Thank you for friends that came, friends that left, and strangers who became more than strange.
  • Thank you for Donald Trump.
  • Thank you for Doug Jones.
  • Thank you for checks and balances. Doesn't work all the time, but damn it does work when pushed.
  • Thank you for encouraging protests in the United States.
  • Thank you for scaring the shit out of me.
  • Thank you for exposing/re-exposing me to the works of Denis Velleneuve, Jane Champion, Jean Renoir, Otto Preminger.
  • Thank you for "Big Little Lies". Seriously. That's a hell of a show.
  • Thank you for transient abstinence.
  • Thank you for scaring the absolute shit out of me in regards to my talent and future.
  • Thank you for comforting those fears and forcing me to put life in a certain context.
  • Thank you for reminding me of mortality.
  • Thank you for reminding me of infinity.
  • Thank you for redefining both mortality and infinity.
  • Thank you for scaring the shit out of me some more.
  • Thank you for forcing me to find a way to get to the Toronto Film Festival this year.
  • Thank you for allowing me to meet Kevin Spacey in a Toronto elevator.
  • Thank you for wrecking that experience a few weeks later.
  • Thank you for bursting the Weinstein Bubble.
  • Thank you for reminding me that artists create, create, and create some more.
  • Thank you for showing me the world of cinema in a new light.
  • Thank you for reminding me that cinema = home.
  • Thank you for giving me the clarity to take the plunge again.
  • Thank you for the anger.
  • Thank you for the insight.
  • Thank you for false promises.
  • Thank you for the clarity to see those promises as false.
  • Thank you for the countless stories and countless lessons from all those around me.
  • Thank you for the woman in Toronto who stole my heart for fifteen minutes.
  • Thank you for the women who spoke to me this year.
  • Thank you for their courage.
  • Thank you for their honesty.
  • Thank you for their bravery.
  • Thank you for allowing them to be comfortable talking about their personal struggles with this lanky S.O.B..
  • Thank you for Lake Ontario.
  • Thank you for not letting my first movie become an international blockbuster.
  • Thank you for yoga.
  • Thank you for FilmStruck.
  • Thank you for Spectre.
  • Thank you for David Lynch's return.
  • Thank you for letting me grow my hair longer than I ever thought I would.
  • Thank you for the onslaught of bad news at every corner.
  • Thank you for lighting a fire inside my heart and mind.
  • Thank you for all the nutty ideas that have come from said fire.
  • Thank you for letting me embrace the madness.
  • Thank you for the many walks through wilderness, both rural and urban.
  • Thank you for doggy kisses.
  • Thank you for the chill sessions at friend's homes, filled with alcohol, kale chips, and other assorted hipster offerings.
  • Thank you for shame.
  • Thank you for handshakes.
  • Thank you for hugs.
  • Thank you for your honesty.
  • Thank you for being you.
  • Thank you for reminding me to dance like a wildcat while cleaning the dishes.
  • Thank you for reminding the world that 'weird' is fucking in.
  • Thank you for encouraging my obsession with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
  • Thank you for fulfilling promises I made to myself years ago.
  • Thank you for the opportunity.
  • Thank you for the challenges.
  • Thank you for the failures.
  • Thank you for pushing me, just like the years before you.
  • Thank you for letting me smile at the little things, the big things, and all the curious madness in between.
  • Thank you for all the memories and moments I promised to remember but couldn't.
  • Thank you for being the best god damned 2017 in the history of history.

I will admit -- making out the list was a bit cathartic. Actually more than a bit.

Who the hell knows what's going to happen in 2018, but I'm looking forward to the new roads a new year brings. 

One last thing…

I discovered this while researching the films of Powell. I honestly pulled this from Wikipedia. Powell sent this in a letter to actress Wendy Hiller in the early 1940s. After reading it through, I decided to steal it and adopt it into my own philosophical outlook.

  1. We owe allegiance to nobody except the financial interests which provide our money; and, to them, the sole responsibility of ensuring them a profit, not a loss.
  2. Every single foot in our films is our own responsibility and nobody else's. We refuse to be guided or coerced by any influence but our own judgement.
  3. When we start work on a new idea we must be a year ahead, not only of our competitors, but also of the times. A real film, from idea to universal release, takes a year. Or more.
  4. No artist believes in escapism. And we secretly believe that no audience does. We have proved, at any rate, that they will pay to see the truth, for other reasons than her nakedness.
  5. At any time, and particularly at the present, the self-respect of all collaborators, from star to prop-man, is sustained, or diminished, by the theme and purpose of the film they are working on.

Wise words, even though blanketed in idealism. Great things stem from idealism. 

Here's to 2018, everyone.

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Toronto & Beyond by Andrew Yorke

I promised myself daily updates on this thing, but the whole experience took me over. Honestly, the time I could've used to write was spent in a quasi-permanent state of reflection. I mentioned in one of the previous articles that I was tackling several things at once.  I also underestimated the experience at TIFF, and the city of Toronto. First…

 

TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the biggest in the world, and it showed me nothing to the contrary. People blanketed King Street, which housed the Filmmaker's Lounge and also TIFF headquarters. The day I picked up my festival pass, I looked through the program of all the speakers and screenings available. I was recommended to plan ahead, and I did…sort of. But the internet is a cooky place, and there are endless stories about the great things/bad things about TIFF. You have to wait seven hours to get a ticket. They overbook their screenings. Nothing is done right. They're fart nuggets.

For me, all of the volunteers at TIFF were outstanding, considering the amount of people they were assisting on an hourly basis. They always answered my questions, repeatedly pointed me in the right direction, and forgave excessive naivety I displayed throughout. I had no problem getting tickets, and some of them were rather in demand.

I wasa small fish in a deep ocean.

So much information, so many people with delicious stories of failure and success, and a library of films that could wrap around the globe several times over. I met too many people to count, and many of them had 20 - 30 years in the industry. A humbling experience.

The discussions were insightful and the screenings were pretty crazy. Having conversations with individuals in a theater from opposite sides of the planet…always fun. I will say this. Brie Larson's upcoming directorial debut "Unicorn Store" is exceptional. So is Brie Larson. It was also pretty neat to catch "Brawl in Cell Block 99", which comes from the Dallas-based production house Cinestate. Good movie, and good vibes. Vince Vaughn kicking ass is nothing short of pure adrenaline exploding from the screen. Each day began at around 7:30 and ended around 2 - 2:30 in the morning. There were no shortages of discussions. Thankfully, I brought a journal along. I'll be going through that for a good long while before I remember everything. Weeks later, I'm still recuperating. It's a great feeling. My phone kept acting up, so pictures were limited. I managed to grab this one, looking far more awake than I actually am.

       3:30 AM.

      3:30 AM.

TORONTO

Right now I'm living in Texas during one of the weirdest periods in our modern socio-political history. There's extremist opinions on both side of the fence, and there's a mist of unending global armageddon. It's been claustrophobic and I have fallen into the cloud of"being used to it".

Five minutes in Toronto brought me to Jesus.

In the airport, I stood next to a family from Mogadishu, and my cab driver was from Punjab, India. Walking around the neighborhood of my Airbnb, I noticed trash cans everywhere. Upon closer inspection, the trash cans were also recycling bins. Consequently, there was very little trash on the ground. People kept to themselves, but if I took a gander and said 'hi' to a stranger, they would always smile and reciprocate. The city has a million more people than Dallas and over 300 languages, and yet there was very little conflict. I even heard cars honking less.  Believe me, it wasn't due to a lack of traffic.

There was a shortage of homeless folks, apparently because they are housed and fed by the government. I spoke with an elementary school teacher, who went into considerable detail about the education system up there. Suffice to say, you have to work your ass off to be a teacher in Canada. You need to know French, you need college, you need post-graduate work. On top of that, it's crazy competitive. The teacher explained that his job wasn't easy, but in the same breath spoke about his weekly massage (courtesy of his benefits package).

He's a teacher, getting a massage through work. I can think of a few of my teacher-friends who could use one of those.

On the third day, I shared an Uber driven by a Pakistani with two Vietnamese folks riding along. I asked how the driver's day was going, and he sighed heavily. "Man, the last client was in bad shape." I asked how, and he explained the individual was coming down from a serious drug-infused mind bender. I asked where he took the customer, and he replied without thinking. "Oh, I dropped them off at the Wellness Center." Rehab, essentially. He continued, "The Wellness Center pays for the ride within a certain distance. I mean, you wouldn't expect someone in that state to be able to pay."

I mean, obviously. Right?

The weather was unexpectedly warm for that time of the year,  a moderate 75 degrees (F) during the day and mid-50s at night.

 Boy, it sure is purdy.

Boy, it sure is purdy.

Most of my evenings in Toronto were spent on this shoreline, looking out at Lake Ontario. I must've stared at the water for over two hours most days.

All this rambling could be summarized in one short sentence. Toronto was awesome.

 This one wouldn't leave me alone.

This one wouldn't leave me alone.

 

THE SCRIPT

Several months ago, Kevin and I dropped by one of our favorite food places in Dallas, a nice little place called Kozy Kitchen. Fresh ingredients, friendly service, and a low-key atmosphere. Over the years, we've developed a solid friendship with the folks working there. The many nights we worked on Videotape and lost track of time…those guys came through. When we walked in one afternoon for a to-go order, they introduced us to another individual in the film industry. Fast-forward and we were offered the opportunity to submit a script their way. It's our first offer since Videotape's completion, and I was anxious to get something in their hands. Among other projects we've worked on, this individual wanted something we didn't have: horror/action/thriller.

Enchiladas everyone wants these days.

I needed to do research. So research, I did. I revisited and studied several horror films, including "Rosemary's Baby", "Night of the Living Dead", "Split", "Vampyr", "M", "Psycho", and "The Witch". Starting the idea was not easy. I tried, tried, and tried again. Is one direction better than another? Should I take a risk here or play it safe? Will producers want this?  It's part of the process. I'm an artist. I've made peace with it.

I suppose I've just been stubborn the last several years. I've focused more on what other people want. I suppose the experimental delivery of my first feature put me in that slump. Toronto - and the people I spoke with - allowed me to embrace the more selfish side. One individual told me at the conference, "Every idea is a cliche. Every idea has been attempted. I guarantee you, no one would approach a cliche the exact way you would. So embrace that. Make a damn good cliche that's your own. It's always refreshing to look at the same thing from a different part of the room."

Is there a happy ending? No ending at all. Just more beginnings. I took an idea I'd been working with for several months and pushed forward. The result: a film treatment with the first several scenes attached. Less than a day later, the producer asked for a full script. I've got a month to get that done. In this business, you never know. Nothing may come of it. But in my experience, if you try something and you put yourself fully in it, a door is always unlocked. Which brings us to…

 

THE SECRET PROJECT

There have been numerous examples in the history of re-editing movies. It seems like there's a fan re-edit of "Star Wars" every year or so. There there is Steven Soderbergh's fascinating re-edit of "Heaven's Gate". After viewing Soderbergh's re-edit of both Heaven's Gate and 2001: A Space Odyssey, I felt it was something I should try. My first attempt was 1963's "Cleopatra" with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Martin Landau, Roddy McDowell, and many others.

The film insists on paying special attention to costume and set design. Don't get me wrong. All of that is stunning.

However…

When I was fourteen years old, I volunteered at a local playhouse for kids and teenagers. I worked behind the scenes, learning how to use lights, raise curtains and set design. On our first day, our teacher spoke of "Titanic", which had swept the Oscars and blew away box office expectations earlier that year. Everyone was still talking about it. So was he. He asked us, "Did you notice how amazing the special effects were? And of course, the set design. He practically built the Titanic from scratch." We all nodded. He paused. "Did you guys notice just how cornball the script is?" We chuckled, but he did not. He was dead serious. "This is the biggest lesson you need to learn. If someone only talks about the work we've done, we have failed. We are supposed to compliment the story, not mask it. People will grow bored of our work if that's all they notice." Several years later, my father and I sipped on his home-brewed coffee when he said, "Just remember, it all begins with the story. Everything else is a distraction. Sometimes necessary. Other times not at all."

After several months of re-editing certain scenes, I kept feeling unsatisfied. So much dialogue, so many long takes. Perhaps I was too ambitious and too removed from that period in cinema to do what I wanted to do. Eventually, I gave up. I've promised myself to return to it at some point, but it won't be anytime soon.

I looked at other potential candidates. Finally I came across a movie that felt like the right candidate. Beautiful cinematography, immersive characters, and an interesting story arc. It also belongs to a franchise I love. There is another component to the project I did not see coming, which should provide an even more engaging experience. I've made significant headway with this experiment. Consequently, I've been re-reading old editing manuals. Walter Murch's "In the Blink of an Eye" has been essential.

I did half the editing on "Videotape" and the whole process took me over in the best way possible. Unfortunately, due to the experimental nature of the project, I didn't have an optimal atmosphere for editing. We did very few multiple takes, and many shots were only captured from one angle. The conventional approach to editing had to be severely modified. With this project, I'm finally working with more traditional set-ups, and it's allowing me to further hone the skills of editing. Nice change of pace.

With everything else going on, it's hard finding the time to work on this sucker. But hey, that's what late nights are for. There have been many of them.

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*thanks toronto*

Toronto Diary: Day Two by Andrew Yorke

I woke up to this view, not knowing what would happen by the day's end.

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I jokingly had one goal today: get my industry pass and nothing else. I had no idea how funny that joke would be by the day's end. I'll go ahead and warn anyone who reads this that my writing will be on the lazier side this evening. I'm more pooped than poop.

I left the condo at roughly 8:30 this morning, marching down to the bus line. While waiting for the bus, I decided to take the subway instead. After all, it was only a few blocks according to the map. Well, yeah. Never trust the map. Never, never trust the map.

I ended up going through a series of residential neighborhoods that went in all different directions. Before I knew it, I was lost. I'm sure I looked like a deer in headlights, but I couldn't help but grin the whole time. I ended up getting a sense of Canadian culture that everyone talks about. There were loads of people mowing their lawns, walking with their children, raking leaves, on a Friday morning. There was no sense of anyone feeling rushed. I tried to get photos, but the phone kept acting weird. I'll need to go back to that area before I leave.

I ended up at a bar off of Prince Edward Drive (which was in the opposite direction of where I needed to go), and had a lovely conversation with the bartender, who once went on a press tour with Terry Bradshaw selling chewing tobacco. The act involved kissing him with a big wad in his mouth. She wasn't much of a fan of the tobacco, but she loved her time with Terry. "A big goofball with a gentle heart" she said. By the end of our conversation, she informed me of the subway station - the very one I was looking for - was no less than a couple of blocks away. So off to the subway. Finally on my way downtown. The camera started working again as well.

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I listened to this guy for a bit, and boy he could wail. He was from Jamaica, which brings me to another point. Toronto really is a cultural melting pot. I've overheard several different languages, most of which I do not understand. But that's all right. I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

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It was on the subway where I discovered one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. Unfortunately I couldn't (and decided not to push) for a photo with her. Honestly, I probably looked like a complete stalker. She got off one stop before I was supposed to, and I got the sudden urge to act on temporary insanity. I bolted out the subway and caught up with her on the stairs. I told her the truth. "Listen, I hate to be this forward, but you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. I just wanted you to know that, and don't worry. You will probably never see me again." She smiled, thanked me, and we went our separate ways. Thankfully, I managed to jump back on the train before it left. I'm sure she thought I was a goofball, and I mean…let's face it. I am. But I'm glad I told her. To point out the cliche, we should say things like this to each other more often. Far more often.

The subway helped me get closer, but damned if I wasn't still an hour and a half away on foot. The bus system, while efficient, was delayed due to the enormous traffic the festival brings. So I called an Uber. The Uber finally got me where I needed to go. At this point, it was 16:30. It took way longer than expected, but finally I saw TIFF with my own eyes.

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It was a beautiful sight. The TIFF volunteers handled the large crowd like real pros, and I was able to retrieve my pass and a whole box of goodies. However, once I sat down, I realized that my head was a bucket of marbles. I was a bit on the hazy side. Clearly I was far too overstimulated with the journey. So I spoke with a few industry folks, and decided to head on back to the condo. For those asking if I ran into any celebs, I did. Three exactly. They were cool folks, very relaxed. I even gave one of them a spare travel thermos I got on accident. They didn't have one. Why the hell not?

I spared myself navigating through the public transit system getting back, and I hired another Uber. This guy drove like a pro. Uber is an enormous help with events like TIFF, and I will definitely be using them more often.

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As I walked back into the condo, I spotted this crane straight chillin'. I had to get a photo.

Toronto Crane.jpg

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little less hectic and more productive TIFF-wise. I imagine it will be. I'm beyond tired, and honestly feeling a bit homesick at the moment. A lot happened today, in ways I didn't see coming. That's always the most exciting part of every adventure. But I had one goal. Thankfully, that goal was accomplished.

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Toronto Diary: Day One by Andrew Yorke

So I decided to do something a bit rash. I completely redesigned the site, scaled it down, and gave it a funny (and true) title. I figured at times we need to reformat, and the digital age really does provide opportunities to do so.

I'm in Toronto for ten days to attend the Industry Conference and represent my feature "Videotape" at the annual international film festival, and my anxiety/excitement is getting a little bit away from me. I've been overwhelmed by the whole thing, honestly. But that's what meditation, chamomile tea, a new album by The National and fig newtons are for. Not much happened today, aside from leaving my pooch in the hands of a kick-ass lady (thanks Mary Katherine!) and traveling a couple thousand miles north. For the record, Airbnb is insanely great.

I'm hoping this festival will give me a much-needed boost, work-wise. I have an October 1 deadline for a script and I've been going in circles for the last two weeks. One idea works for a little bit, and then it doesn't. I start over, find something interesting, and then it veers off into oblivion once again. It's tough, and at times I wonder if "Videotape" continues to hold me back from pushing forward into unknown territory. Thankfully, I felt a certain liberating excitement on the flight up here. I made a left turn with the story, and actually made some progress. Hopefully, this particular direction will stick.

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For me, creating the story is by far one of the most enjoyable experiences about the cinematic process. I put on countless films (old and new) in the background, loop the same song five hundred times, and experiment with worlds. What the hell isn't fun about that? However, when working on a deadline, there's a little less freedom. Some times, many times, there's a lot less freedom. It's the business side of it, and it is what it is. Honestly, I've considered throwing in the towel with this deadline because of everything going on with Toronto and other deadlines. There's just this perpetual feeling of being a fish out of water. Then I talk with other screenwriters and filmmakers, and they all share that experience way more times than they can count. It's just part of the process, and it's a further declaration to the screenwriters out there who do this for decades. Talk about endurance and stubbornness.

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I've always liked the flag of Canada. Random thought.

The script falls into the genre of horror, which poses a unique challenge for me. I've been captivated with horror films over the years, but they are usually for odd reasons. Many times I call certain films 'horror' when they are not in the traditional sense. Recently, I've been re-visiting and studying two films from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. "Black Narcissus" and "The Red Shoes" are beautifully crafted and utterly terrifying to me in so many ways. Powell (I believe) once called "Black Narcissus" an erotic film, and I see what he talks about. Almost every scene from the film is wrapped in some kind of sexual tension, which helps bring about the destruction of each character and the world they so desperately attempt to mold and uphold. I suppose that's what I find most terrifying about it. There are so many stories of people who pursue a dream only to find a nightmare they themselves created. It's a nightmare I consider in my own life many times over.

I suppose that's the overarching theme I'm going for with this script. I have certain characters in place, and there's a certain direction that follows. However, the devil is always in the details, and my meticulous pursuit of those details is what drives my anxiety. It's still about creating an experience that's real for me. I'm not unique in that case.

I'm also working on a "secret project" that's quickly turning into an obsession. It's not a paying gig, and sometimes those are always the best. I need to keep it under wraps for now, because I'm pretty sensitive about it. I say sensitive. Actually, it touches chords of my childhood that resonate to this day. I'm hoping this project will bring those chords to the forefront. As it gets closer to completion, I'll be sharing more. Who knows when that will be, but hopefully soon.

So now I need to finish unpacking, sleep, and get ready for an overwhelming (and exciting) day. My first day at the festival. My first day of school.

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