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2005-06-22 7:41 AM
ILY: Origin and script
When entries have to do with the new film, I'll use the prefix "ILY."
I'm not that concerned. Legalwise, it's registered with the WGA. That doesn't mean the odd plagiarist won't steal bits, but that's how it goes.
I LOVE YOU, I'M SORRY, AND I'LL NEVER DO IT AGAIN is a musical number from CUPID & PSYCHE, a feature-length musical screenplay I wrote. I won't discuss the politics behind that project, but I will say that about 6 weeks ago, there was a parting of ways between some of the primary people. CREDO was, to a great degree, the result of my frustration with CUPID & PSYCHE, as well as being a first step toward producing feature-length musicals. I LOVE YOU, I'M SORRY is the second step; it's got more characters, more settings, more choreography, and a bigger budget.
Each project builds on what's learned from the previous, so 1 IS FOR GUN, SELL IN HELL, and CREDO have all contributed to my ongoing improvement as a writer/director--however, I don't think any of them "informs" the others. If I've got a recurring theme or obsession, I'm not aware of it. (That's in my films. In my novels, I know what my themes and obsessions are.)
Let "P" represent the number of alternate planes and "R" represent my total royalties. Here is the formula:
Here's the screenplay. Italics indicate sung dialogue. Traditionally, lyrics are indicated in ALL CAPS, but I don't like how that reads. In the screenplay to THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, lyrics were italicized, and I thought it read much better that way. (And in this case, most of the lyrics aren't sung so much as recited. With the exception of the repeated refrain (the title), this is basically a patter song.)
In the original version (in CUPID & PSYCHE), the Maguffin isn't money; it's an object with relevance to the overall plot--a symbol of one of the main characters. Lifted straight out of that 120-page screenplay, the I LOVE YOU, I'M SORRY scene doesn't stand on its own. The version you're reading keeps the basic concept--and will use the same music track--but introduces a simplified conflict (Eddie owes Thugs money and this is his last chance to pay up or he's dead) and a new punchline at the end. It's now a self-contained story, not just "a scene from the feature-length etc., etc."
This was fun for the writer--but the writer is no longer involved in the process. As the director, I'm freely changing his concepts and ideas to suit my vision for the project. For example, he set the main action in a gas station; I'd prefer (for both aesthetic and technical reasons, which I'll explain in a future post) to shoot in a factory. He didn't escalate the conflict in a visual way; I'm adding notes about where violence occurs, as well as about makeup needs (blood and bruises). He didn't describe the Thugs; I'm doing the "tall/short duo" thing (with a twist, which again, I'll describe later).
When we're done, we'll have a new film to send to festivals--and we'll also have an addition to our investors' presentation for CUPID & PSYCHE.
That all sounds very career-oriented, but beyond all of it, the fundamental motivation is don't wait to get paid before you do the things you love. I decided three years ago to make screen musicals. Wrote a long one, made a short one, here goes another.
If we couldn't get there the easy way, we'll get there the hard way.
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