I graduated from film school last May, so it’s been officially a year since I’ve been a MASTER OF FINE ART. Last year’s memories are hazy with exhaustion, but one thing I remember: I had decided to write the idea of my next screenplay as a novel instead.
No one around me really understood this, and I didn’t really, either, myself. Everyone around me was in a frenzy of lining up work, consolidating their contact lists and renewing any connection that could get them a job, a deal, a project. I did have a small web-based video project in the works, but here I was, embarking on writing a novel.
What was I doing? Did I really just spend five years and huge amounts of money….just to start writing a book instead? In this video, I go into some of the making-of for that decision…a few moments that set up my disenchantment with film, and the moment when it all opened up for me.
This is kind of a long video blog! (Think of it as making up for my last one being two weeks ago.) It’s a very personal question, actually, and well, if someone’s willing to listen to 12+ minutes of me talking about it, then I’ll be more than happy to give them a personal answer.
I actually shot this vblog a bit ago but held off on putting it out there because at first I was worried about sounding like a big whinging idiot. But it’s a pretty honest account of a few moments that connected together to bring me away from filmmaking into fiction writing. I think it’s also pretty honest about the difficulties and problems facing the film industry as a whole when it comes to gender. I do a bit of feminist irritant-ing about it, I guess, but it’s very true. You look at the participation of women at the leadership level in filmmaking and then compare that to the visibility that women have in literature, and I’m sorry, you actually just cannot compare.
I did cut some bits for time (!!!) — I went a little into my other building frustrations with narrative film as a medium, mostly because it takes so long to get a film from page to screen, especially contrasted to blogging, which I’ve been doing since 2003. Another thing I cut was my growing realization that I didn’t want to wait any longer to GET WORK OUT THERE. I wanted to produce work faster, get work out in the world faster. Vite, vite, vite! And finally: it costs thousands upon thousands up to millions of dollars to make a film. It costs me much less to write a novel!
And also: writing stories in novel form just feels great, and right, and true for me right now. You can’t discount that.
The unspoken question is whether or not I see myself going back into film. At this point, no, not in the conventional sense, although I think after this novel I’d like to shoot something small, personal and just very, very “for myself.” I think I will always work on screenplays, because I genuinely love the form and it keeps me in practice on the parts of storytelling that I find most difficult (economy, action, plot.) And also: I’m having too much fun with my books right now, and I think I have a few more novels left in me. I always follow the fun, so look forward to more and more stories coming here soon.
I think I’m enjoying the video blogs a little more, now that I settled on the Q&A format to guide me a little. I get a few questions on screenwriting, film school and blogging, so I might tackle those in future video blog entries, but if anyone has a question they’d like me to talk through, please email me at kat (at) nogoodforme (dot) com.