Monday, September 18, 2006

Kinda Like...Though, Not Really

Okay, as previously promised (as well as previously reneged on), I'll talk a little bit about the premise for this anomalous script I've been working on.

Now that I've written enough pages and plotted the scenes that need to be written, I can talk a little more frankly about the new play. True, there's still no working title, but that usually comes in very late in the game.


How do I best describe this play without giving you an inherently false and distorted idea of what it's going to be?

I'll give it a try. Here goes.

The play is a very, very, VERY loose adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen.

I will say right here and now that I'm not kidding about the excessive use of the word 'very.' Whereas Sheila Callaghan referred to her play Dead City as more of a "riff" on James Joyce's novel Ulysses than an "adaptation," I would attest that Sheila's play is far more faithful to its source material than mine is to its.

Ultimately, it's about how the discovery of a man in the late '80s who can inexplicably deflect bullets and is impervious to pain affects the political and cultural landscape of the world (I'll give you a hint: quite dramatically). The bulk of the play takes place in 2005: the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are still standing, electric cars have phased out gas-powered autos and an arms race between the U.S. and China has escalated.

Anyone coming to see this show expecting to see a giant blue naked guy or Rorschach cramming a midget down a prison toilet will be horribly disappointed. Likewise with anybody coming to see this show expecting very stylized, comic-bookish action a la Vampire Cowboys.

At any rate, that's the best way I can describe it right now, and still I'm way off the mark in actually describing it. It's kind of like Watchmen, though, not really.

My suspicion (based on prior experience) is that the next few steps will now go very slowly. I'm far enough along to know I'm going to finish it (after I learn to ignore the little voice that says, "This is stupid and clich├ęd, James," my OCD kicks into high gear, which forces me to finish what I've got regardless of how shitty I think it may be), but I have no idea when.

(I'm approaching that stage where I'm no longer "writing," in the sense that I'm not making any more things up for the play, but have to just suck it up and ostensibly "transcribe" the exchanges between Characters A and B in a few scenes and Y and Z in a few others. It's the least fun element of the process and the most like "work," since I have to do it fast before the characters become less like three-dimensional characters and more like vague two-dimensional character outlines, yet drag my feet because I already know what they're going to say, have known what they're going to say for weeks now, yet have to make what they say still sound fresh. Yeah, it sucks, but it is very much one of those crucial "Rules of the Game.")

This will be the last entry for a while on this particular project. I may announce when I've finished a readable rough draft (next month? Two months from now? Next year?), but other than that, it's time for me to ramble on to you about other things while giving myself enough space and privacy to finish this script.

And to come up with a decent title.

Closing the door to my office again,

James "Hermetic" Comtois


Blogger Adam said...

cool. looking forward to when you come out of your office witht he full script.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Georgiana said...

You worry me James. Working on something derived from Watchmen sounds like a prescription for pain. Are you going to have to worry about rights? Because if so that's a pretty big worry. Or is it so loose that nobody will ever be able to tell it was inspired by the source material?

7:39 PM  

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