I just saw Interstellar again with my Dad last night and I loved it more the second time. The vision and the scope is so huge and the film itself managed to match its creative and artistic ambitions.
I feel that they wrote the script without care about how much it would cost and they found a producer who was willing to spend hundreds of millions to make it possible and to do it right; they could afford to execute the film in the way it is written.
Writing in local cinema, when I get a project, I always ask before I start: What’s the budget? Because I then work within that limitation. I work within the parameters of what my producers can afford. There’s no point in writing a script and then having to revise sequences because it’s not within the terms of the budget. I had to do that many times before, especially when I wrote for television. So I’ve stopped dreaming big and always ask what the budget is so that I can adjust my vision to fit what we could afford.
There is always the dream of writing for Hollywood. I would love a shot of writing a film for a director like David Fincher or Alfonso Cuaron or Christopher Nolan and write characters for Cate Blanchett or Christian Bale and have it seen by millions of people around the world.
But I have no idea what it would be like for me, having worked with such limitations before. I don’t even know the very steps with which they work. I’m sure their creative process in Hollywood is so different because of the economy of their industry. They can spend years perfecting pre-production before they actually start shooting.
I’m so used to writing quickly so that the creative team can start pre-production and start shooting. Everything is done within the span of half a year. I wrote Sonata in a 2-month period, 3-months if you count revisions to final draft, while I wrote T’yanak in less than a month with only 2 revisions.
I’m used to working fast and having a quick deadline because the whole shoot will be based on the work I’m going to submit. I’m usually the first to deliver.
But I imagine Hollywood gives huge money to develop scripts and then, I’ve read in articles and trivia sections in IMDB that some scripts get passed along to other writers to add their input or submit their revisions and then it ends up back with the original writer and they fix it one last time. I read somewhere that Jonathan Nolan wrote Interstellar back in 2005 or 2006 for Stephen Spielberg and when he left the project, Jonathan Nolan asked if his brother Christopher Nolan could do it and Christopher Nolan then reworked the script with his brother for the film that I just saw. How many versions of that script are out there in some hard drive in Jonathan Nolan’s computer?
Could I do that? Take years working on a script? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I’m so used to getting everything as close to right on the first try because I’m working within the limits of the economy of the local industry. And I’m working on so many other things that if I leave a script to work on something else, I don’t usually come back to it. I’d rather work on something new.
It’s scary because as much as I would love to write for Hollywood, I’m scared that I’d have to learn a whole new way of writing all over again; a whole new process. I’m not scared of learning. I’m not scared of trying something new. Let me just make that clear. It’s the whole idea that the way I do things now (which has worked for me so well in my last two efforts) is basic or elementary.
There will be a fear of inadequacy. There will be a feeling of being overwhelmed. It is a total rewiring of the brain functions. It’s daunting.
But I know that if I get the chance, I’ll go for it. I’ve changed so many times over the course of 35 years. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago as much as I am not the same person I was 3 years ago or 5 months ago.
It’s just the idea that I’m not there yet — where I want to be as a writer. So many more hills and mountains to climb.
Time to put my boots on and my climbing gear. I’ve got scripts to write.