It’s time to begin discussing the reason I started this blog: the production of my first ever film. Well, I don’t consider it my film. It belongs to my entire team, a terrific group of people who are excited to work on this project. I just wrote the script and will be directing. I realize that means I have the final decision on all things creative, but this will be collaborative. I want to hear the ideas of everyone. That’s how I wrote the script. I came up with the story and put down the words, but many people made contributions.
Let’s start with a little background. Yes, I said I would not discuss my personal life, but this relates to writing, so it’s okay. I have always loved creative writing all the way back to early childhood. In elementary school, I was thrilled when we were assigned to write a poem or short story. I actually wrote a lot of poetry growing up, right up through my one year of college. It’s something I would like to go back to at some point and truthfully, I wouldn’t mind having an anthology published someday.
When I was in fifth grade, my last year of elementary school, they gave out awards as schools typically do for graduating students. One of the awards was for creative writing. Each fifth grade teacher nominated two students and we were all taken to the cafeteria. We were given several writing assignments, one of which was a short story. I looked around the room as I brainstormed for an idea. My eyes fell upon the clock, a typical analog school clock. White face, black numbers, in a cage. It inspired me in an offbeat way. I thought about what it must be like to be that clock, sitting on the wall day after day, watching kids eating lunch, janitors cleaning and the occasional meeting. It could not have been fun.
I won the award. The teachers who judged the contest were amazed by what I wrote. After all, what ten year old pens a story about a depressed cafeteria clock that becomes suicidal? The story was passed around to every teacher, the principal and vice principal, the guidance counselor, pretty much everybody. Now, what you should know, is that I grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, the same neighborhood that produced Woody Allen. He was greatly respected in Flatbush, even then, early in his filmmaking career, before the Oscars. For days, teachers came up to me in the halls and told me how impressed they were with my story. Many of them told me it reminded them of something Woody would write. I knew who he was, I had seen him on TV and I had seen PLAY IT AGAIN SAM earlier that year. I can’t fully express the thrill I felt to be compared to him. I loved writing, wanted to excel at it and I was a kid, just ten years old! From then on, I watched all his films, read all his prose, spent countless hours listening to his stand up albums.
Suffice it to say, he has always influenced my work. There are others, but he is the main one. That’s not to say I imitate him. That’s not my style. I strive to be uniquely me at all times. It was during my stand up years that I found my own voice. I pride myself on the fact that when people read one of my scripts, the Woody Allen influence is clear, but it is equally clear that he did not write the script. My personality, my outlook, my concerns are all on the pages.
I’ve rambled on enough. More of my background to come in part two. Then we can cover what I’m doing in preproduction for ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? the comedy short we are planning.