Thursday, May 05, 2005

Basement Dream

In March of 2002 I was sleeping in a friend's basement in Cambridge, MA, when I awoke with the strangest sensation--my dreams were so vivid that I quickly wrote them down and I realized that I had just met a new person. That night, the 63 year old Darrel Weir was born. An aging Vietnam war correspondent, paralyzed from the waist down, with an angry chip on his shoulder. In the following years his son Owen Weir too became a part of my life. Owen, a Recon Marine dug in on the Saudi/Kuwait boarder waiting for the '91 ground war to begin slowly began to take his place as my protagonist and eventually the feature screenplay "Living-Room War" came into being.

Now, a little over three years later, I've just printed off the fourth draft of my 120 page script for the first time and I'm starting to feel ready to go out and try to raise the money to make it.


At May 06, 2005 8:14 AM, Blogger CJ said...


First I will say congratulations to you on finishing any film script, let alone a script about the drama contained within human violent conflict. I am having a memory of you explaining the outline of the characters some time ago at a strange Buffet resturant on Queen St. in Toronto. I am thinking that must have been about threee years ago now. I would ask to read it, at what ever point you feel as though you are ready to show it to friends and colleagues. I am assuming the script is pretty much locked at this point but I will suggest a few things about your process that might be helpful.

There is a million studies into this practice and I have found it to be invaluable when developing characters of any story line.

The idea behind it is simple. We all possess several personalities within our own. Several "voices" in our head. Controling/Critical Parent - Nurturing Parent - ADULT - Adaptive(Rebel)Child - Compliant Child - Natural Child. Although appearing a bit cheesy at first this idea is actually quite useful. Specifically when figuring out the "motivations" of any given character in a scene or story. Joseph Cambell talks about similar concepts within the structures of classical Myths. Put very simply, in life when we hear a Critical Parent voice(ie "Try but you will not succeed.") we respond with Rebel Child("Screw you") or Compliant Child("Ok, sorry i don't know why I bother.") Where as when we hear a Naturing Parent voice or action we respond in a Natural Child manner(ie "OK this did not work but i will try it again."). With this in mind I look at a character and think about what different "voices" had the biggest impact on him/her in there life, childhood and or potentially tramatic experience. As a result what voices do they listen to in there own head? When it comes to psychological training and conditioning, war and armed conflict, the interactions of these voices become even more evolved and interesting. For as much as I understand it, traditional military training and conditioning is about changing the alignment of these "natural" human responces.

You have a great deal more experience writing than i do so I have little knowledge to impart on the specifics of that. But over the years I have chosen to read about two things in my spare time, Military history, Tactics and equipment and The Psychological effects of violence and armed conflict on soldiers and civilians. With that in mind you might find the following useful to you.

A document that I would recommend taking a look at is "Rebuilding America's Defences - The Project for the new American Century" although this docment is relatively boring and political in scope, it talks about the end of cold war military planning and the beginning of Contemporary "New World Order" military strategy. If the story you are telling is about the most notorious "cold war" conflict and the first conflict in the "New American Century"(ie post 1989 berlin wall fallen, and eastern bloc coutries falling off the map.) you might find it interesting what the "Hawks" in the Pentagon actually have in mind for the next wave of Global military policy.

Well that's all from me for now. Congratulations again and i look forward to reading the script and talking about it some more. "Break a leg" with the coming process of finding development money and pre-production. - CJ

At May 06, 2005 9:50 AM, Blogger fiftyfootgirl said...

Today: the Blogosphere.
Tomorrow: World Domination!

I can't wait to see where this takes you...

Viva la resolution! Viva la blog!

At May 09, 2005 9:25 PM, Anonymous jeff c said...

Everyone visualizes a war inside their head, but it's possibly one family, with all different aspects playing respective partial but vital roles. For example, if I frame the "nagging nudge" as someone who loves me and expects great things, I'm more receptive to hearing things I may have overlooked if I ignore it.

On the other hand, Doug, you may have a war going on in your head.

At May 28, 2005 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug you make me proud everytime you set out on any whim or idea or thought that enters your head. Again and again your talent amazes me- anything i can do to be a part of your next production or endevour let me know- watching you work is Enigmatic.
- Laura Clark


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