Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Depression Era Comedy

I'm about to embark on a rather ambitious screenplay for a feature film. One of the reasons I've started blogging is to get myself in the habit of writing and unloading some of the junk in my head. I imagine there will be a great many posts about how insufferable writing is and how I wish I were dead. If not, it'll mean something went terribly wrong.

I now realize that the story I want to write would benefit enormously by being set in the Depression era, and by "Depression era" I mean 2009. So really, the present. Realistically, an independent film project like this could take several years, depending on just how far I want to go with it. Who knows how long this economic depression will last? Okay, I'm not exactly praying for it to go another ten years (I mean, not really). But I don't want to put all that work into something and have it become irrelevant. See my dilemma? It'd be like if I decided to post a "Five Facts About Me" video on YouTube a full year after it ravaged the website like a norovirus on a cruise ship. I'd look silly. Well, sillier.

Another possibility would be to set it during the Great Depression, which is always relevant, and I could draw really obvious parallels between then and now. But then I'd have to do a lot of yucky research. Perhaps even gain some insight. Where's the fun in that? Not to mention that doing a period piece on small budget would be something of a nightmare.

So I think I'll proceed by setting the film during the Depression of 2009. If Obama comes in and fucks my shit up by making everything wonderful, it'll give the film an added quirk of being set in the not-too-distant past when things were still awful. Sort of like The Big Lebowski.

I remember watching that in 1998 and thinking "Ha! President Bush. Gulf War. How quaint."

6 comments:

cloakandbadger said...

You can always set your story in the "not too distant future". This way you either get to be a prophet or a stark reminder of what could have been. I have a 'breakfast club' meets free market economy book idea that I plan to flesh out after I get some short stories finished which utilizes that approach. Good luck with the screenplay! You using any particular formatting software?

deltajuliet said...

"Another possibility would be to set it during the Great Depression, which is always relevant, and I could draw really obvious parallels between then and now."

Perhaps you could set it today and draw really obvious parallels between now and then.

Dan Guenther said...

sounds a bit like Idiocracy (that's a movie you've probably never heard of).

Jeremiah said...

You can always set your story in the "not too distant future".

I thought about doing like Brazil and setting it "somewhere in the 21st century", but ultimately I've settled on the present.

You using any particular formatting software?

Celtx!

Perhaps you could set it today and draw really obvious parallels between now and then.

Yeah. I'll probably make a few choice comparisons and quickly move along.

sounds a bit like Idiocracy (that's a movie you've probably never heard of).

Not only have I heard of it, I enjoyed it quite a bit. But this'll be much different.

lynndeepoo said...

I don't think you will have to worry too much about ANYONE making things better. The mess is too big and complicted for anyone to fix any time soon. That being said, I highly recommend reading Henry Miller's accounts of traveling through the US during the depression. Makes Kerouac's read very boring. You'll never look at the South the same again, I guarantee that. Anyway, get out in a really unreliable car and drive to places that you have a preconceived image of. And then let the places change YOU. You'll get a lot out of something like that, and it's fairly inexpensive. If you make a film that is condecsending towards working class people it will never work. It will end up on the shelves with every other stupid independent film that shows middle America as "quaint."

Freckled Derelict said...

Why not 2000 when everyone thought the world was coming to a drastic end just because the year began with 20?
PS - Post more of your drawings please.