Ever watch a film that was all over the place? No clear focus, no clear direction? Good chance the script began with no big idea. Or too many writers. Or cocaine.
It's time to get personal. It's time to figure out the story. What is this movie really going to be about? What's the big idea? There needs to be a clear purpose before any writing, or even an outline occurs. I want the audience on the same page about what the movie is trying to say. I want to know what the main character is trying to achieve and how that factors into the big idea. Sure there can be a handful of themes. After all, the journey Jaime took in her blog covers 7+ years (and continues here). A few things can happen in 7 years. But I need to find the core theme from which the entire movie is going to be built.
Here's a partial list of themes I'm coming up with... with which I am coming up... with which I'm developing:
- Coming of age story from girl to warrior.
- About marriage/relationships, finding love, finding oneself. Loving yourself for who you are.
- About growing up but never giving up (on dreams, talents, love, friends)
- Need for home, for connection, success, love, redemption, purpose.
- Whether we are destined for things or we create our own destiny (or both).
- What it means to be a writer and the sacrifices of being an artist.
- The struggles (and psychology) of mental illness, depression, suicide, self-harm, insomnia, and the creative mind.
- From dependence on meds to coping/resolving problems - healthy living, healthy relationships.
- Figuring out how to escape an awful place and persevere.
- The struggles of the poor/working class.
- Perception vs. reality - what we want to see and what is actually in front of us.
- The effects and need for change and how it affects us all.
- Things don't turn out the way you expect.
- America circa 2009. Great Recession. Slow journey back from the brink. Life before Obamacare. Allegory for American journey/dream.
- Being reborn, starting over, moving on.