Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Out Of The Bag Baby! Out Of The Bag!

Firstly if anyone on my course is reading this, I can only hope you won't mind my revealing my true feelings about our Tuesday session. Gone is the false modesty and deflecting self deprecation! Instead here comes the big bouncing ball of ego!

This Christmas was completely shitty. My Dad was taken into hospital Christmas Eve with what turned out to be pnemonia. He was only discharged last Saturday. My Mum was sick with a chest infection, she reacted really badly to the antibiotic and was put on a second. Only this week has she started to make real improvement. Christmas was spent going in and out of the hospital, cooking dinners, shopping, saying the same things to a million people on the telephone every day and generally getting zero time to do anything but worry, basically. I ended up staying an extra couple of days as a result. The upshot of all this was that I got no work done whatsoever on my script. The first draft of the treatment was due in on Monday of this week, to be emailed by 6.00 Sunday night. I got back from Dublin New Year's Eve, went straight out, got back to my room around 5.00pm New Year's Day and did a little work but, being quite hungover, didn't do very much. The real work began on the Tuesday.

Now, I had a pretty good feeling about what I produced. It was definately promising. Given how much time I had lost over the break, it was better than it had any right to be. Plus, many of the lessons that had been drilled into us over the last term, it felt like, were starting to sink in. But the Monday sessions (held on tuesday this week as we had a guest lecturer on Monday) are invariably very painful for one reason. You think you've done well. You've worked hard, feel like you've improved on the week before, and then have your work summarily executed by our course leader with whom you can't argue because you know he's right. So despite my good feelings about the work, the overiding feeling was, why would this week be any different? He began the session by saying we had a long way to go, our work was nowhere near distinction level, he wasn't despairing because we had produced good characters but the stories were all over the place. He then went through each of us individually in front of the group as he does every week, the idea being that we can all learn general points from specific mistakes made by individuals.

And then it came to me. And he told me it was good. That my synopsis actually read like a proper synopsis (which was interesting because I felt and still to a degree feel that I don't have my story fully yet and so therefore can't properly synopsise it), that the dramatic points were all present and accounted for, that my central character had a clear goal and a visible objective correlative and that it was well written. He then made me read it aloud to the class as it was essentially a brand new story no one was familiar with. And it got a round of applause. You have to understand, everyone gets crucified on the Monday class. It's simply how the world works. One or two others have had good Mondays. I had never had one. Until the last one. The best part was how supportive and genuinely full of praise the rest of the class was. I was so worried going in and so sure I'd be shot down that it was all a bit of a shock. We had short personal tutorials in the afternoon and when I walked in for mine, he smiled and told me I had pulled it out of the bag.


So it would appear my big gay drama in the Congo (working title The African Queen) is off to a good start, probably because I actually care about the story and in fairness because I've been turning it over both consciously and subconsciously in my head for a few weeks now so when I came to put pen to paper I had something to say. On Friday afternoon I'm going into the London office of Medecines Sans Frontieres to meet with an aid worker who has spent time in Darfur and who is actually heading back there next week so it'll be great to do some proper research and meet with someone who has lived the life I'm trying to describe.

In the meantime I'm just enjoying the fact that for the first time since I started the course I appear not only to have learned something valuable but have applied it to my work. I appear to be on the up!

Until next Monday.


Blogger Kevin Frostick said...

You go girl!! Proud of ya, man.

8:28 pm  
Blogger rosieburgin said...

Didn't someone already make a film called 'The African Queen'?! Damn, the best ideas always come too late. Any lesbians in it?!

3:45 pm  

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