For a while there I tried to break into Hollywood by writing screenplays. I got into the habit of reading them, which is kind of a chore. It takes a lot of the Hollywood magic out of things. But I had a good feel for it to the point where I maybe wrote five scripts on my own. One of them got roasted alive during the first year of Project Greenlight. The idea is, you have to review three other scripts when you submit your own. I read a few so-so scripts and one that was good. But every review I got back for mine was brutal. It was about a guy who finds out his abusive stepfather finally killed his mother, so he goes on a road trip with a friend to kill the old man. I thought it was pretty good, and I even turned it into a novel that no one wanted to publish. Ah well.
I've also helped friends make their own films. I was in a friend's movie as a shoplifter at a video store. I also helped the same friend with another movie, but I was a grip on that one. And then there was the time that a friend at the library was making a student film. He wanted me to be in it as a gunslinging sheriff type character. While we were filming it, though, he ran out of time and had to clock in for his shift. I wound up directing the rest of it and got, I think, the nicest shot in the movie.
But then there was Blood Diamond. My friend, Jesse, and I cowrote it. I'm terrible when it comes with collaborations. I don't know what it is. Every one I've worked on never made it to the finish line except whenever I worked with Jesse. He wrote the only serial I published in Tabard Inn. Anyway, he had everything lined up. Actors, special effects, locations, you name it. He just didn't have a script, so he asked me to write it with him. My memory is a bit shady at this point, but if I remember right it was about a Canadian ninja who has to face off against a mob boss with sorcerous abilities for . . . reasons? I probably have the script somewhere. It was pretty good. And we actually got to film some of it!
I remember it was Halloween night, and we gathered together to throw a party that would be part of the story. I played a couple of roles because I also had a mask that I could wear so I wouldn't be recognized again. We had an acrobat who could do flips and all kinds of crazy ninja moves. And I even got to meet two close friends that night. It was a lot of fun. Too bad the movie died that night. It could have been pretty cool. I would probably kill to have an opportunity to watch the footage we got, but I'm pretty sure no one has it anymore.
It's been a while since I worked on movies. Sometimes I miss it, but if there's anything more difficult to break into than publishing, it's movies. Maybe someday. I have this insane idea at the back of my head that maybe Jesse and I should novelize the script. I'll probably talk to him about it next time I see him. But indie film is a lot of fun. If you ever have the chance to do it, then do it.