History of PRETTY-Part 1

10 06 2005

Late 2002, I sat down to do a free exercise. Pen and paper, simple. Wrote the first few lines and read it back. Didn’t make sense. The character’s name had appeared only, Stacey and Josie. I only write dialogue and almost never worry about descriptions in the early stages. In fact, I’d be happy if somone else did it for me. Also, I always write with myself as the director in mind. The first page was essentially Josie and Stacey chatting, until one of them says, “Has he stopped bleeding?” ‘Wow’, I thought, ‘I probably have something cool here’. Within the next couple of days I had a one act play called ‘Pretty In Green’, a dark comedy/murder story. I wanted to stage this for our ‘One Night Stand’ series at the Producer’s Club. Couple of my friends and I had started this series where we’d write, produce and direct our plays when no one else would produce it for us. The three of us would always have our works, and invite one new writer each production. The only rules were, bare stage and minimal props. Each shared the responsibility of inviting a certain number of their own people, depending on the number of seats at a certain Producers Club venue, something I had learned from playing clubs and bars where if you didn’t invite your guests, you didn’t get paid. In short, the ‘Pretty’ was staged for the 2nd ONS show, January 2002, and it was sold out. I did lighting for my play and did the flashback sequence by turning down and up the lights and having the actor who played Stacey tie her hair back for the flashback scene.
Flash forward to Fall 2003. I am, by now, sick about talking about making a movie, and the talk was boring everyone, including me. I had started my MS program in TV/R at Brooklyn College and realized I could make a movie with the department’s DV camera and equipments. As an MS student, I technically had no access to the equipments. I didn’t want to be in the MFA program. Frankly, it would have been a waste of time for me. All I wanted were the equipments. Filmmaking, no matter what your theoretical background, is really learned on the job. You approach it fresh off the boat, you develop your own solutions, and shortcuts. Then, the time came for me to convince the department why they should let me use their equipments. (Continued)

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