[ pre-production: film reviews; structuring step outline; book work]
In this recent period, I have continued pre-production tasks:
Alongside my own direct preparation, I have reviewed and charted main plot points of 56+ films, principally of the horror genre, especially films that intersect with issues of mental illness. These have included popular recent output by Jason Blum's blumhouse production studios; also transnational works from Spain from 90s and 2000s and recent Korean output as well as classics in the genre, including two parts of the Roman Polanski Apartment trilogy that I had not yet seen: Tenant (1976) and Repulsion. (1965) I also viewed the French 50s classic Diabolique (1955). Through all, I have charted major plot points.
In addition to studying these works, more directly on preparation for production: through a chance acquaintance, a studio theater director from the UK who has recently moved here, I have begun preliminary talks concerning securing actors, whether local or bringing in a small cast here and possibly using a single location for the filming, perhaps renting a house for the 20 day shoot. (it occurs to me that I should approach him about helping to produce the film.)--he mentioned that he has a very talented method actor acquaintance who he thinks would be a suitable actor for the unhinged Dr. role; the actor also is interested in assisting in as a producer perhaps: promising lead.
On the writing front, the bulk of my efforts have been on structuring the story on traditional three act structure and identifying the main structural points:.
As part of this I have used the book Three stages of screenwriting– – which has been a principal aid for structure and developing preliminary step outline.
Concerns have included clarifying dilemma, stakes, also considering the work through mythic structure and re-envisioning work through all principal characters' central goals, and paying attention to the tracking of subplots.
I have also used Liz Blazer's book Animated Storytelling for its preproduction section: specifically for creating a creative brief, working on tagline and pitch notes.
In this coming period, It is essential that I lock in my outline, using the index card structure and cement my step outline using those.
During this most recent period, I have also submitted the final version of my film studies textbook Transnational Horror Cinema, after addressing all of the publishers queries and communicating regarding them with all authors. It is now in the process of having the index compiled. We are to be given a final pass before it goes to publication. Through the process of working on it, and after reflecting on my summer residency I am finding that the horror genre is becoming an important influence on the work, and I anticiapte using a lot of genre conventions from it that I had not anticipated when I began initially formulating the project.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!