As my post-production team continues to work on the edit, sound design and score for UNNERVED; and having produced the hell out of Erik Reese's DEAD BULLET on location in Nevada/Arizona finally behind me...I now have the time and, more importantly, the inspiration to begin writing my next feature film script.
There were a few false starts with other stories this year. In fact, it always seems to take working on 2-3 scripts before I realize those aren't the films I want to do (yet). So those drafts go back into the drawer and I tinker with more notes/ideas and dive into watching the films I love (see below) until one idea emerges; and it becomes clear on what I need to write and direct next. And that film is called CAPTURE MY HEART. Well...that's what the idea was called back in the summer of 2013 when I first toyed with it. I've since changed the title but will keep it under wraps for now as it may change again.
With every film project I tackle, I like to set challenges. I never like to just repeat what I've done before, which you can probably tell by my filmography. For the past few years I've been gravitating more and more towards seeking out (and preferring) films featuring strong female characters. Films are just more interesting when they're in the mix. So in my latest script, I plan to have lots of them. By "lots" I mean more than I've ever handled before, so this challenge excites and terrifies me to no end because I'm not talking about just "the wife" and "the girlfriend" roles. Fuck that.
This script will be a dark, twisted, sexy romantic drama/comedy ensemble. With real women. Real men. Real people.
Here are just a few films inspiring me as I begin the writing process:
NASHVILLE (dir. Robert Altman) – this brilliant musical performance and subsequent breakdown first had me mesmerized, then stunned and uncomfortable. I just love this moment in the film.
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (dir. Amy Heckerling) – So candid and authentic. When I first saw it, I'd never heard girls talk like this.
KRAMER VS. KRAMER (dir. Robert Benton) – when Meryl Streep nods "Yes" -- it's heartbreaking. You feel she's full of love, regret and is simply...real.
INTERIORS (dir. Woody Allen) - this is a lesser seen Woody Allen film that I rank among his very best. 3 sisters and a matriarch who rules them all. It's unlike any of his other works and it's one strong performance after another. Diane Keaton actually is much more interesting (possibly unlikeable as well) in this film and her performance for my money is better than in ANNIE HALL.
Geraldine Page is just marvelous as the clinically depressed and mentally unstable mother of 3 daughters -- and wife to a husband who has just told her he's leaving her for another woman. Talk about a subtle powerhouse performance.
OPENING NIGHT (dir. John Cassavetes) - Gena Rowlands commands the screen with this character who is holding on to her acting career as best she can as she deals with aging. An utterly unforgettable performance of a complex (both strong and weak) woman.
ATAME (TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!) (dir. Pedro Almodovar) - Such a twisted movie. And yet through it all, you just fall in love with Victoria Abril as 'Marina' -- as complex and fully realized character as they come. She's damaged. She's sexual. She's brave. She's vulnerable. She's real. And because of this I still remember her 20 years later.