Time For Assessment
The deadline I set for myself to complete the script is this weekend. Probability of that happening: zero. Now that is a serious claim. Probability of one dying in a plane crash is not zero. Probability of one dying along with the rest of the world due to asteroid impact is also not zero. Get the point?
So I think it is fair to bring myself down and face facts.
The script is too difficult to write – maybe it would never work, even if you give it to Kaufman or Haggis. Maybe that's how impossible it is to write the script.
Now, I don't want to say that I'm giving up. Coz then friends would be saying stuff like, oh, don't give up, just try harder, don't be so hard on yourself … I wish, I don't have any friends like that. They couldn't fucking care less what the fuck I'm doing – I'm just a laughing stock, an imbecile who wishes he could be in Hollywood and talks about films all the time; in other words, someone to avoid.
The problem could be this though – I'm supposed to be giving up, but I'm not.
Coz the fact is this – I'm beginning to think that I'm not mature enough to write this script. What, you ask – isn't this a film about a student? I think when I presented this idea to a few people, the film they imagine in their head is, yes, a student production.
Hell, no. I'd rather not do it if it turns out to be just another cheap-ass student film. Anyone can make student films. Not everyone can make a serious, mature, thought-provoking and at the same time, emotional film. Yes, this is the nature of the film I'm making. It has to be good enough that people remember it, think about it. It cannot be a forgettable story.
Which brings me to the next point. You probably read that and felt – well, yeah, everyone wants to do the best film they can. That's not the point – the problem is, I couldn't articulate the point. Half the time when I talk to people my mind goes blank. In the first place, the ideas in my head are muddled – it's like locating for stars in a galaxy: there are billions of them, but they are so far apart that you can only see one clearly at a time, and you can't see the relation and association between them unless you see the big picture; but if you finally do see the big picture, the details get obscured.
Point is, I can't talk to people articulately. How am I supposed to direct if I can't talk to people, express what is inside my head?
So basically, I can't write, and I can't direct. Maybe, maybe not. But at this point that looks to be the case.
I tried, tried so hard to think about what could happen in university – but I can't, becoz I happen to think that university is boring. Nothing much happens here. What can happen here that is dramatic? Yet real? I mean, it's so much easier for me to engineer a story about a virus spreading in the university … if I can blow up some buildings, even easier. But to write an ultra-serious story that requires dramatic moments to work, but not being able to find them coz I'm locating it in a place where nothing much interesting happens (within a day) … I'm screwed.
And, I realised, that as much as I want to make this film a bit of a thesis about why university is a complete waste of time - I can't even reason out why I dislike university so much. I know it's partly because I'm not doing as well academically as I used to be, partly because I don't have any close friends around, no one to spar and debate with on the same level, and partly because I didn't achieve anything here. But that is just me. For this film, I have to find a reason why we all don't belong here. All this while, I know that university is pointless, that we should all find different paths into our careers instead – but when I tried to find the reasons in my head:
You might say – well, that's coz you're wrong, uni is a great place, a fun place, best years of our lives, plus we need the degree to survive in the work place today – the usual cliched reasons one writes into high school-type essays.
My answer to that would be that university doesn't do a lot in terms of giving you the necessary knowledge to survive in the real world. You're here for three years and more – and what comes out of it? Thousands upon thousands of whiny graduates who lament about being in debt, at the same time lamenting that they spent too much, most of them without a clue what financial health is, hence the insecurity about debt. We're not taught the practical knowledge in schools. We have to learn them by ourselves from others who don't have much clue as well in university. Then the real learning starts in professional/unemployed life – a few years too late.
Your reasoning's flawed, you say. University can be a sort of training ground to prepare us for the real world. A time to build up networks, when we have time to do so. Who knows, the guy next to you might be an MP and might come in handy in future times? It is a time where we can make mistakes – and not having to suffer too much from it.
And there goes my flimsy reasoning right out of the window. Along with the film. Scrapped.
And yet I was so sure I had the answer to that in my head a few months ago. Serves me right for not writing it down.
So what now? Scrap it and go back to a life I hate into a future that my university education did not prepare me for because I chose to come here when I did not belong here?
I'm saying no to that. But saying isn't anything. So what if I say no to that – what am I going to do about it? Sit there for a few more months trying to think of what else I'm trying to say through my script?
Should I consider turning it into a short? Should I consider writing a new story, something easier? No, writing anything's hard. I've had this story in my head for two fucking years. Should I just abandon it?
I'm really trying to say no.
I can't do this for long. Something must happen, and soon.
(Fog of disillusionment and hopelessness sets in. Author gets buried deeper and deeper like quicksand. Slowly he begins to give up hope and accepts his death.)