It may just be down to crippling self doubt but I always ask myself if I’m clever enough to write. I know I CAN write, probably better than some people I know, but I also look at other non professional pieces of work and think they are so clearly head and shoulders above mine in terms of content, language and just all round…there, see, I couldn’t think of anything else to write! Some peoples prose seems effortless, like they have swallowed the proverbial dictionary and are now spewing out endless amazing words.
If I was to compare myself to others I would say I feel like the salt of the earth tradesman, a rough diamond who has no airs and graces, doesn’t speak in the Queens English and reads the tabloid newspapers. I don’t feel flashy or prone to using big words or audacious (oops!) sentences. I guess I just don’t feel ‘deep’ or ‘arty’ enough.
If I write a movie review it’s usually short and too the point and says if I liked the film or not. I read a review of the same film by a different blogger and it is full of technical flourishes and deep assessments of the films merits. I just don’t have that ability to look at things beyond the surface I don’t think. Hidden meanings in songs? Forget it. I listen to a film review podcast and the resident critic, Mark Kermode always refers to Jaws and says that it isn’t about a shark. It is to me. Literally just about a shark and Roy Scheider.
So, with all that in mind, what do I think about when I sit down to write a script? Do I need to have a deep understanding of cinema. Or is the fact I like films enough? Does it say a lot about me that my most recent script is about a village cricket team in1960’s Yorkshire? Should I really be looking at writing scripts about clever stuff like existentialism (not actually sure what that means) or stick to stories about bungling bank robbers?
I would love to say I will write the next Cloud Atlas or Matrix or some equally over my head, bafflingly clever piece of work, but I’m afraid it’s going to be about four rubbish thieves who can’t catch a break. If you ever see it in a cinema one day, just don’t look too hard for hidden meanings, because there won’t be any!