Going for The Dream Movies

I am a member of a couple screenwriter’s peer review forums, and I’ve noticed that there’s a particular kind of script that seems to be increasing in numbers.

Perhaps it’s because people are feeling desperate and just need a feel good story – but I have to wonder how good it really makes you feel in the long term.

The movie is that Last Chance for the Big Dream.

There’s two critical elements you need for a movie – a lead character who is likable or sympathetic enough for the audience to want them to succeed in their quest and the quest itself.

The quest part is usually tricker, since it has to be big enough to be a movie, as opposed to a movie of the week (MOW) or an Afterschool Special. What makes the quest big is the consequences of failing.

But,  in the Going For The Dream movie, the consequence of failure is, well, you have to accept that the dream isn’t achievable and build a normal life for yourself.

Which is, in movies and in life, made harder by that a single minded pursuit of a Dream tends to not encourage people to hang around you and the ones that do, are related to the dream in the form of trainers, coaches, agents, other people pursuing the same dream, be it sports or arts.

Pursuing the sport or art type Dream is different than something you can accomplish by going through school and then setting up or joining an office – basically any profession like doctor, dentist, lawyer, a scientific field endeavor.

But movies rarely focus on these you really do need to work nad study hard and you can become them.

They focus on the long shot dreams of being a sport or artistic celebrity.

So, what are the consequences of a close to burned out middle age person trying for that last title fight, that last music contest or audition that will land them a contract or the young person making their first break attempt?

Well, if they fail, they have to get a life like everyone in the audience presumably has done.

Seriously, Boo Hoo.

That hardly seems like a feel good for the audience movie – that what their life is, steady job, marriage and maybe kids, you know, generally being a responsible grown up,  is the worst consequence for the character onscreen.

There are two bad messages that I think movies have put out in the world.

1. That everyone has One True Love.

2. That if you try har/long enough or want it bad enough, it will happen.

Both are entirely dependent on Hope – the evilest thing in Pandora’s Box if you are classicially minded.

Hope means that no matter the probability, the person will dust themselves off after each set back and continue to put time, effort, money and at the cost other opportunities and relationships in the pursuit of a dream that they are not going to achieve.

This is usually referred to as resiliency, determination, confident and stubbornness in a good sense of that word.

When, really, it seems more like an utter inability to recognize reality, understand probability and poor judgment and project management – with more likely a large dose of arrogance and lack of self assessment in the talent arena.

I think too that people often focus overmuch on the dream – like being an Ultimate Fighter, a Model, Singer, Actor, Musician, what have you.

So even if they do get it, it becomes unsatisfying and they end up dead early from drugs or alcohol.

This is a common tendancy everyone does – focus on the how and never consider the what.

What does the person get from the dream? fame, money security, a home.

Is being a celebrity the only path to those things? No.

Well, maybe for fame, but a lot of people seem to have been famous for being famous – but also, what kind of fame – international, national, local?

Could it be enough to ahcieve fame in your community for your contributions and good works?

Wouldn’t running a non-profit to help youth, homeless or some disadvantaged group do better to inspire other people to good works than a hit record or a fight title? Especially the fight title.

The other important thing in movie scripts is that more often than not, there’s a switch in the quest towards the end, where the character realizes that what they thought they wanted – isn’t what they actually need.

So, I am not saying don’t dream or don’t dream big – but know yourself and what that dream means to you.

Figure out what you need, not what you want. Satisfying needs makes you satisfied – satisfying wants only satiates them for a while.

Having your needs met will ultimately make for a happier and more satisfying life than merely having wants met.

Cooking – Pork Loin Roast

I made a pork loin roast last night with my new amazing ingredient:

Lava salt with activated charcoal.

It seems to really kick up the flavour of any dish without overpowering it.

For this dish, you’ll need:

pork loin roast

Pinapple spears

Spices: Paprika, Ancho Powder, Lava Salt

Roasted Garlic

Oil.

I started by rubbing the roast with Spanish Paprika, Ancho powder – the Ancho adds a smokey taste, not a spicey one, and roasted garlic. I sprinkled the lava salt over the roast as I turned it. And you don’t need very much, as it melts nicely.

I browned the roast on all sides for searing in the juices.

Then moved the roast to the roasting pan (with a couple tablespoons of oil in the bottom), while I quickly seared the Pinapple spears to give them a smokey tint.

Move the spears to sit on top of the roast, then put in the oven for 90 mins at 350 degrees C.

A green salad and boiled nugget potatoes make for lovely side dishes.

I have even tossed some lava salt into butter being melted for popcorn.

It turns the butter a pale grey, but once it’s on the popcorn, all you notice is the amazing flavour.

They Just Don’t Understand Me/My Work

The pitiful and often ear shattering cry of artists and teenagers alike.

Well, certain kinds of artists, but that didn’t scan as nicely.

For teenagers, yes, it really is a phase and you will grow out of it. Every adult has been a teenager and while you have many more entertainment distractions and far less responsibilities – that hormone upheaval has been experienced before you and after you.

As for the complaining artists – well, sometimes I think that you didn’t grow out of the phase.

When I hear this phrase from adult artists – regardless of the kind of artist they are – writer, painter, sculpture, mixed media, dance, singer, whatever….

I point out that the created work is a communication between the artist and the audience.  Each art form has it’s own rules and expectations

That’s a failure on the creator’s side and  I think that arises from one these scenarios:

1. The creator doesn’t really know what they are saying (or has nothing to say), so there can be no clear message, commentary, statement from the work

2. The creator is being too clever or precious about the method of expression that they lost the connection to the message

3. The creator has overreached their abilities, and simply lacks the ability to express the meaning either with their current craft or via that means of expression – sometimes it’s better to do a documentary than a fictional movie.

4. The creator’s a whiny brat who’s sulking and feeling sorry for themselves – and it’s not about the audience getting it, but rather that the audience doesn’t like it. The creator is confusing the two things – insisting that if they “got it” then liking follows – so if they didn’t like it, then they didn’t get it.

5. Sometimes it’s not directly the creator, but rather that they’ve chosen a message that  just isn’t big enough or appropriate to be supported by the expression method, so it’s like not having one.  Wanting to tell an entertaining story, isn’t really a message, it’s a career aspiration.

my favorite one:

6.  It’s usually by a person who has for no apparent reason ignored, broken or simply refuses to learn the rules and conventions of their chosen genre of expression.

These rules and conventions are the pact between creator and audience,
and until you master them, you ignore them at your peril.

The audience has certain expectations of the movie, the novel, the painting, the poem – and when they are recklessly broken or abandoned for no clear purpose, then indifference and dislike should be expected.

I think this is why poetry has pretty much lost it’s hold as a major art form – poetry abandoned all rules and structures that audiences came to expect.

And these rules weren’t limiting to the writers in various editions of the Norton Anthology of Literature.

Poetry went from structured works to anything goes – it’s like you’ve gone to a football game and everyone’s wearing different uniforms and sports gear and there’s 5 different balls and a puck on the field -which is half covered in ice – and everyone runs around independantly of anyone else – then they announce that the final score is Eleventy-Q to pink butter and goodnight.

You have no clue what you’ve just seen.

Well, put the created work you just did away and look at it again in 6 months to a year – can you figure out what it was you were going for?

Spring is Sprung

Gallery

This gallery contains 13 photos.

We’ve been enjoying the spring weather – we seem to have by-passed winter all together – which is funny considering we’re hosting the Winter Olympics. Ah well, it’s childish, but you’re supposed to stay in touch with your inner child. … Continue reading

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Valentine Dinner

This year, we decided to do something fun and make a Valentine themed dinner – everything heart shaped and in the pink genre.

Tandoori BBQ chicken breast, red potatoes with roasted garlic and tinted pink and beet slices – little hearts and slices with a heart shaped hole!

The chicken was marinated the day before in coconut milk and tandoori power – then cooked on the BBQ over lump charcoal for that silky smoke flavour.

The potatoes were boiled, garlic was roasted with both combined with red food colouring.

The beets were boiled, sliced, had hearts punched out, then back in the bowl for a light butter coating.

For desert:

A heart shaped red velvet cake with white chocolate icing – also tinted pink.

You need to make sure you have a lot of red food colouring, because the cake took a full bottle!

Enjoy

Scaritual makes sense

I like to play on this public forum – mostly because it’s fun to hone your arguments and meet other atheists.

Recently an online pal wrote a really good post, so I asked if I could steal it for my blog and he said yes, so, today I offer a guest blogger :

From guest blogger – scaritual from Chattanooga, TN

This is just an observation, and I have noticed this quite a bit, especially of late. Its almost as if a segment of society has decided there needs to be official meeting halls , buildings, malls and atheist  services” held therein, and additionally we (atheists) should enumerate a set of standards to “be” atheist.

Religions… and how do I say it?, “ALL INCLUSIVE LIFE PHILOSOPHIES” , all seem to be trying to make substantive and comparative points of favor or preference in relation to atheism…*you should prefer (insert belief system/philosophy) instead of being atheist*

Its funny.

I really see it as a statement similar to:  “You are an atheist, while I believe in something for which I have no reason to do so….how dare you.You should all join a group with silly rituals and beliefs, it makes the rest of us look bad ”

As atheists (only bound the definition of the word and nothing else), we can’t help it if we as a group don’t have a huge codified system with tome after tome of unfounded reasons written down to convince us that we should ….BELIEVE THEM.

Honestly, I find that tends to be the basis of many of the arguments when an atheist is confronted by any number of adherents of “belief systems”.

I think they are more upset that an atheist asks the question “why?” as opposed to the question that seems to be the inverse and opposite (they hold) “why not?” when it concerns these discussions we have.

Just to be clear, atheism is simply a lack of maintaining a faith in a belief of god(s)for which there is no clear reason or proof to do so.

Its just a aside effect I think, that once you figure out that simple fact about god belief, that it then spreads to other areas.Once you question the “unquestionable” question of god, by extension (for myself)once I figured out there wasn’t even a reason to think there was , it branched into other areas.

The difference being as an atheist, I wouldn’t dare to speak for another atheist as to what the things are that the individual chooses to believe , should or shouldn’t believe.

I think that drives those of religion and faiths mad.

My two cents. (that I hope made sense)