Big ideas

When I was young, I used to have big ideas. Once I realized you can write a dialogue-heavy movie script without much story and even less character, I’d just come up with ideas all day long and sometimes get around to them and sometimes not. They’d be based on a song idea or a concept. Even in my early twenties, after undergrad but before MFA school, I’d try to work some of these ideas out. I wrote a lot of screenplays in high school too. More than I can remember. TV adaptations, whatever. Once, in MFA school, I wrote an episode of “Cheers” (it had just come out on DVD and I was forcing my wife to watch them—she liked “Fraiser,” why wouldn’t she like “Cheers,” right? She did, but obviously not as much—“Fraiser” is a better show). I don’t have so many ideas anymore; a screenwriting seminar crushed most of my screenwriting dreams. Having to read Robert McKee crushed the rest. I always thought, post-MFA school, I’d find it an amusing exercise but I don’t. I tried it a couple times since and I hate it. When you work on something, shouldn’t it be what you’re working on? Then again, maybe I was just pragmatically out of hope.

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