Writing & Screenplays
Give me a good book, no better feeling than to be lost in the landscape of words. As much as I love photography, my heart belongs to writers.
I’ve had a suspicion that many of us photographers turned to photography when we failed at painting or music or the other grand arts. I’m a failed writer. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that I’ve been checking equipment cases at the airport for a long flight somewhere that I didn’t wish I was traveling with a pencil and a couple notebooks.
But here’s the rub: when you see the bar set high, you’ve got to believe you can clear it yourself. Or, for such a person as myself, you’ve got to find a place you can claim for your own, and thereby screw up the absolutely necessary courage to string some words together.
For me that place has been in interviews, a bit of travel writing, a couple profiles, and, of late, screenplays. It took me a several years and a painful learning curve with Final Draft but I managed to actually write a screenplay. It took me another couple years to reduce 200 pages to 123, the upper limits of the screenplay form. Because getting someone to read your screenplay is about as difficult as writing one, I’ve sent “Deep Six” to some festivals, and have had some semi-encouraging results, it being recognized by the Los Angeles Cinema Festival, Los Angeles Movie Awards, and the Mountain Film Festival.
My second story, “Honor Code”, dared me to write it, but when I did, it practically wrote itself. It’s a work of fiction that tells the true story of the My Lai Massacre in 1968; it could only be fictionalized because the actual events are too horrific to show on a screen. And what happens after the massacre is equally compelling.