November 22, 2017
We finally have all the screenplays available on michaelaba.com! My goal of having everything on this website complete and up-to-date by Christmas is slightly less-far-fetched than even two weeks ago. The last steps are completing the basement section and recording the new songs. Gonna have to start logging in some longer workdays, more than likely.
A brief word about the two full-length screenplays. “Chasing Tales” started with an idea from my old friend (we both did the Boston-NYC transfer around a year apart) Tim Hairston. He had a relationship story and wanted to call the film “Chasing Tail” - as in the idea that men are mostly dogs chasing their own tails when it comes to women, while at the same time having a slight bit of fun with the cruder implications of the title. I persuaded him to let me include more relationship stories, which would make the title we settled on more palatable, in my mind. He agreed, and I began to outline who these new characters and what these new plots would be.
When it came to writing, however, I discovered my good friend was more of an “idea man” than a screenwriter, and almost immediately the burden of writing the entire thing fell on me. The challenging aspect of this was I don’t share the same skin tones as the main character (based on him) and several others. Was it ridiculous for me to compose dialogue designed to be spoken by these characters? I don’t know, but there was no choice, and the whole “black vs white” theme turns out to be one of the most compelling aspects of the story, I believe. I actually love the finished product, and would never have considered writing in this vein had Tim not started the project with me. So there you go. “Chasing Tales.” Available to be read in its entirety on michaelaba.com!
“Getting it Right” came with a different dilemma. The movie begins with a series of vignettes, which are from relationship stories an elderly man is recounting to a few spellbound young basketball players. But the part where the movie turns around - when another stranger, who happens to overhear these interesting tales, offers the man an opportunity to go back in time and “Get it Right” - doesn’t occur till the halfway point in the script. I KNOW this can’t happen - it would be akin to having Dorothy meet color photography and those munchkins long after the audience’s popcorn had disappeared. But I choose to keep the vignettes with the hope some director - it wouldn’t be me anyway - will reduce the initial clutter into some kind of montage, thereby cutting a half-hour or so from the first fifty pages. You see, I - the writer - have a hard time deciding which one (or few) of these little vignettes should go. And I don’t have a movie deal anyway, so why should I set any of my little babies free? I personally think the movie works - if you can make it to that halfway point! Please let me know if any of you agree!
And other than that, the short film - Lori and the Landlord’s Grill” - will be available to be seen in its entirety soon, in the new Basement section of the Songs page. As I said - the goal here is to get everything up and going by Christmas!
I’ll be in touch next month, to report the extent to which this goal has been met!