Quite a few years back a small group of friends and I decided to make a movie. All of us were already more than busy enough with our various pursuits but for me this came just before children and the end of free time as I once knew it.
I was charged with writing the script, which eventually became known as The Deal. I was also a key part of the production crew (because I knew someone in management at a nearby hotel AND I because had a very small, very old lake house).
We were very fortunate on the acting front. One of the leads in the small cast, who is affectionately called my hetero-lifemate, is a fixture in Houston’s community theater scene. The other lead had already had success in the film industry (if you’ve watched any HBO series in the past decade he’ll look very, very familiar).
Our initial director was another good friend. Unfortunately, he had too many irons in various fires so my first act as producer was to let him know we were moving on. Fun! We then turned to a guy that was new to our circle for the role of director, cinematographer, editor and several other things I’m forgetting. That turned out to be a great move and he turned out to be a good friend.
We eventually aired the movie at a screening at a local movie theater. The turnout of extended friends and family was amazing. The reaction was equally amazing. My hetero-lifemate’s mother, for example, jumped to her feet when the lights came back on, located me and screamed out, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
She was, of course, referring to the fact that the movie turned out to be a bit bleaker, creepier than I’d intended. As I have many times since, I shouted back, “That’s not how I wrote it!”
Yes, as hard as it is to get an idea from your brain to a piece of paper, it’s even harder to get that same idea onto a screen of any size without some changes, and sacrifices. If the script calls for a boat, and you don’t have a boat, there won’t be a boat in the movie. Similarly, if a poignant scene over a freshly dug grave backlit perfectly by a harvest moon is essentially ruined by problems with the digital camera that you don’t discover until post-production…. Well, you’ll see soon enough.
The script is found here on my site.
The movie can be found here.
I encourage you to read the script first, and then see how much it changed by the time it became a movie.
You may want to leave a light on.