Life is stranger than… (29-40/365)

Nearly every day life gives me little opportunities for observation. Some small moment or some seemingly random thing happens and I think about how it ties in with the rest of what I’m experiencing, the timing of it, the people I’ve met recently. I wonder if there’s anything to be learned, or if there’s a little point/counterpoint that might be drawn out of it.

And then there are other times when the contrasts are so unmistakably obvious that it borders on trite or predictable as a storyline, a metaphor lacking in subtlety. Right now my creative world is bobbing about in a sea of obviousness.

Much of my time is currently split between two films: Seeking Asian Female (a documentary) and the as-yet-unnnamed fiction screenplay which I’ll just call “J’s story.” Both projects are years in the making, having encountered obstacles which placed them in limbo, and both projects have very recently started to rapidly gain momentum.

In both films the same thing needed to happen: We needed to find the last main character.

“Finding a character” means vastly different things in fiction and documentary. For SAF, my director had quite literally been meeting people who were looking for and finding other people, and we both hoped that this trail would lead us naturally to the right person for the film. For J’s Story, I’ve simply been thinking about my main character, imagining her meeting people and, well, hoping that somewhere along the way the right one would show up – in my imagination.

This summer we met & “met” the right characters for both films. And now I’m struggling with a goofy situation: Trying to flesh out my fictional characters so they seem realistic and their actions make sense, while struggling to explain the fully unbelievable things that the real people in our documentary are doing in real life.

Go figure.


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