A man on a vision …

My quest continues. Not a ‘mission’ (don’t like the word), but on a vision to find the most innovative and talented director in films today.

Came across this advice a few years ago: ‘Don’t Market your Script to the Wrong People.

When all is written and done, and you’re ready to get your script out there, don’t just look for the top agents, managers, and producers to query them. You have to choose very wisely who you approach.

This applies even more so when you have a ScreenplayPLUS to take forward!

I am daily inspired by the words of one of my mentors, the incomparable William Blake, 220 years ago:

On 16 August 1799, Blake replied to Rev’d Trusler (a local priest) in a letter ‘brimming with the curious coalition undergirding all of his art – vexation with the status quo, deep personal torment, and unassailable creative buoyancy.’ writes Maria Popova.

“I find more & more that my style of designing is a species by itself, and in this which I send you have been compelled by my (Muse) or Angel to follow where he led; if I were to act otherwise it would not fulfil the purpose for which alone I live.

I attempted every morning for a fortnight together to follow your dictate, but when I found my attempts were in vain, resolved to show an independence which I know will please an author better than slavishly following the track of another, however admirable that track may be. At any rate, my excuse must be: I could not do otherwise; it was out of my power!

I know I begged of you to give me your ideas and promised to build on them; here I counted without my host. I now find my mistake.”

Blake was adamant. What prohibited him from obeying Trusler’s demands wasn’t just  the impossibility, but the sacrilege, of disobeying his Muse.

Blake by Thomas Phillips 1807

The unconventional film director Randall Wallace…

The unconventional Randall Wallace. At university he studied Russian, religion, and literature. A karate black belt, to support his graduate year studies, he taught martial arts. 

Randall reminds us that ‘epic’ is not all about size – whether it’s the cast, budget or any ‘physical’ aspects of a production.

‘Epic’ is a measure of the scope of a character’s inner journey.

“The ability to make a film is built upon the sense that there is something inside us that is shared by the people out there who will see our work. And part of the journey of making a film is to encounter those who do not yet see what you see.”

To qualify as epic, a story must have the universality of myth and the enchantment of saga. “An epic is more than an exciting story; it tells us something we’ll always remember; it makes us leave a theatre and whisper into our own hearts, “I’m changed.”

Randall Stone

“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.” William Blake.

A shamanic journey is not the product of logical reasoning, conscious manipulation, or a thought-driven endeavour. It is all about ‘primeval’ or primary material – which my ‘reason’ has helped me to adapt and arrange into a screenplay.

And just as the ‘fugitive stag’ is the result of non-rational impulses and spontaneous intuitions, taking it to the next level within the film industry, will not be via a logical, calculated, traditional ‘cause and effect’ route.

I may be a novice screenwriter, but my vision for the ‘fugitive stag’ demands nothing less than the best and ‘right’ director, and producer, to collaborate with.

To paraphrase William Blake: I cannot do otherwise; it is out of my power!

Manto the prophetess …

In a very real sense, my desire to transform my ScreenplayPLUS into a film is also my pursuit of the perfection of Beauty.

In Goethe’s ‘Faust’, Chiron, the centaur, is unable to carry Faust directly to Helen, no more than he can appreciate how passionately he loves her. Instead, he carries Faust to Manto the prophetess.

She can help Faust find Helen, for when Chiron half sarcastically tells her this is Faust’s longing, she replies:

“Him I love that longs for the Impossible.”

Prophetess by Charles Landelle

Beauty …

I hope that during/after watching ‘The Fugitive Stag,’ people will be touched in a way beautifully described by C S Lewis (d 1963):

“We do not want merely to see beauty … we want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it …” 

Apocalypse! How?

What sort of film is ‘The Fugitive Stag’? A perfect mix of the brutal realism and ethos of Apocalypse Now (1978), with a sprinkling of Excalibur’s (1981) myth and magic, Tarkovsky’s “seamless weaving of time, dream and meaning”, and an infusion of BBC TV’s Peaky Blinders (2013-19).

Apocalypse Now poster
Excalibur poster
A poster for ‘Stalker’