Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Projectile vomit, and meetings (never a good combination)

I must have seen The Exorcist at least 10 times now, probably closer to 15. Maybe even more. I've seen it *a lot* of times. And while there are plenty of moments that I can now just laugh at and enjoy for their extreme nature (the doctor getting backhanded across the face, the punch in the balls, the puking, the hospital injection where Regan spits at the doctor and shouts "you fuckin' bastard!"), there are a lot of scenes that still really knock me sideways. It still feels like I've been through all kinds of hell when the movie is over. Overall, the effect is undiluted, even today it is still one of the most powerful, gobsmacking movies ever made. I haven't got the director's cut with the spiderwalk, extended ending and so on, but I think I prefer it the way it is. Even with the "hello, I'm William Friedkin" introduction, where "Billy" wears, most horrifyingly of all, a peach-coloured cardigan over a peach-coloured shirt. And they say there's no such thing as true evil.

Tomorrow is the animation company meeting, the usual meet and greet: they say what they're all about, I tell them what I'm up to, we chit chat, it all ends really promisingly, and then I never hear a word from them ever again. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly - most of these general meet and greets seem to have no effect at all, even ones where they hint that they might have a job offer for me. The only people I've met up with again subsequently are a company who I got together with through something else entirely, and that cool director who I co-wrote the short movie with (hopefully filming at the end of this month). I'm sure I come across well, they always phone my agent and say they really liked me, liked my work, I really like all of them, so what's the deal? Do they just not have anything for me, or are they all waiting for new pitches or specs from me? My agent seems surprised too though, so it can't just be my imagination. It's great to meet them, don't get me wrong, it gets my face about town, I know who's who and all that - but I always get my hopes up, and then nothing happens. If I do have a new pitch or outline, it gets sent to any of them who might be looking for that style of thing anyway, so it's not like I need to come up with one particular thing for each of them. Anyway, enough moaning. The best thing to do is just get on with my stuff, and hopefully soon they'll be actively seeking me out. And remembering my name... I'm actually quite optimistic about tomorrow's one, as I already have an animation film outline all ready to go from last year, so if they ask me if I have anything they might be interested in, I can casually mention it. Plus, it doesn't sound like the usual general chit chat meeting, I think they're actively looking for people and/or projects. But you never know.

Friday is the meeting that was postponed from last Friday. Still can't say what it is yet, sorry...

6 comments:

Danny Stack said...

As an impressionable teen, I read William Peter Blatty's book of The Exorcist and oh, my, god, I've never been scared by a book before or since. And in a pokey 2nd hand book store, I found a book by Mr Blatty with his 1st draft screenplay along with a lengthy introduction about his process from book to script. I got it for 50p, I'm sure it's worth a lot more now. Unless of course it's still widely available. In which case I should just shut up.

James Moran said...

Just had a quick check on Amazon - if it's called "On 'The Exorcist': From Novel to Film", then it is quite rare - they've got some cheapie, tattered second hand ones, and a good condition "collectable" one for 20 quid. Is it the legendarily huge 1st draft?

The only two books to have scared me so much they actually made me jump are The Shining, and Gerald's Game. Both Stephen King. Both times I physically jumped, don't know he managed that with words on a page, but he did...

Danny Stack said...

That's the one. It's got a 42 page introduction, then the first draft script runs from page 43 to page 271. Next 'Why Changes Were Made in the Screenplay' from p271-284, then Transcript with Scene Settings (p285-369). And a few black & white production photos in the middle. By the way, the demon is called Pazuzu.

Misery by Stephen King was also particularly compelling.

James Moran said...

I've just read the BFI book on it by Mark Kermode, which is great - goes into all the arguments the two Bills had (and are still having) about what to leave out, what to leave in. I can see both of their points of view - it's always painful to have to lose stuff, but you've got to keep that screen moving...

Jools said...

I hope there isn't going to be any projectile (or any other kind of) vomiting in Severance. I bet there will be though, you evil git!

James Moran said...

There may be slight vomitage, but it's more of a sound effect, I don't think you see chunks coming out or anything. But it's totally necessary to the plot, just like the lesbian nurses and the escort girls.