I was just reminded of this by Rob. I really have little memory of it,
but I guess shortly after he returned from school for the summer, we all
went out for drinks. No surprise there, but being the person that I was (which in this case, was
a person who wanted to make a film), after a little drinking, I was no longer able to resist mentioning
to Rob that, since he was back in town, we
should find some time for me to tell him my story idea and get the process going.
Apparently, Rob's response was to sort of look around like he had nothing better to do and then say, "Well, lay it on me."
The end result of the conversation that followed will never again be known, but those who were there witnessed Rob busily
writing on wet bar napkin while
we debated, discussed, and derived with all the energy and large hand gestures of two guys who had
just downed a small colony of Margaritas. When morning broke, no doubt Rob found it
hard to remember just exactly why he had a foul napkin covered with ink smudges
in his pocket. Upon sobering up, Rob and I made a much saner meeting plan.
As previously mentioned, I had
lots and lots of notes about the film at this
point. I was sat around the evening
before the meeting and re-worked the notes;
put them in order, got rid of things I felt like I would be laughed
at about, and stuff like that. The next evening I was running late,
my mot us operandi, and I had almost finished the five mile drive to Rob's house
when I realized I had forgotten my notes.
Now you would think that any sane person, having done that much work on one's notes, would turn around and go get them. Especially considering it is only five miles away.
You would probably be right.
I did, on the other hand, not. I told myself I knew the material so there was no need to bring the notebook. I probably told myself
other things as well. In retrospect, I would like to think, of
all the bone headed things I did during the making of this film, that this is one
that ended up playing in my favor.
That night, I sat down after dinner and spewed off the first half of the film from the top of my head. A few nights later I was to finish it in the
same form. I doubt that I would
have created such a cohesive and linear story out of my notes.
I was lucky my mind was clicking that night, lucky I didn't get stuck. I think a lot of things were made up on the spot, to fill in gaps I only realized existed as I was telling the story. Any thing that I had written down that had no place in the story was eliminated not through the painful process of self-editing, but simply because if it wasn't relevant: I failed to think of it.
I have never gone back and re-read those notes. I still have 'em.