Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Winds

After talking about my work this past weekend with Chris Vesper of the Sundance Channel (and resident stud Ben Robbins) and then watching the presidential debate last night, I'm more than ready to serve up another brilliant metaphor. Brace yourselves.

I'm feeling a new form of energy.

Is it sustainable? It fucking better be. Is it renewable? If there's coffee. It seems to depend on what kind of momentum I tap into each morning. Is this reinvigoration partly because I've spent much of my time here thinking, and now I need to generate? Absolutely.

It's windy out here in Nantucket. You hear various perspectives on your script-in-progress, and they're all truthful because they're real reactions felt by real people whom you admire and respect. It's not always easy to stay on course. You can get lost, or think you've discovered Asia when you're bashing into the Bahamas, or find yourself in irons, feeling rudderless.

How'm I doing? Getting sick yet?

Gimme a second.

There's a compass in writing. A North Star. Let's call it your instinct. Your gut. And although it's well worth harnessing gusts of insight from everyone who's passionate about your work - even when they're blowing in different directions - when you catch that wind that you can ride North - which is over here, by the way, not over there - it's a powerful thing.

I'm feeling it.

Let me guess. You have a note.

I'm mixing metaphors. Sailing? Turbines? Yes, they both use wind, but it's too easy. Lazy, really. Just pick a direction and go with it!

Ah. Welcome to the winds of Nantucket. May I take your order?

See what I did there? Bringing in globalization. This is serious business.

I need to convert this wind into energy, and this energy into pages, and these pages into good pages. Pages that meet the needs of our people for generations to come.

Give me four years. It'll get done.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Screenwriter Silka Luisa talks about settling in, writing, procrastination, and working with Mentor Jeremy Pikser (Bullworth, War Inc.)

Aside from getting lost in the moors, this week has been a dream - a steady stream of gourmet meals, afternoon jogs and seal watching. In addition to being pampered, I also started a sci-fi script. I’ll be writing this script for the first 3 weeks, while I get notes from my mentors on a thriller that I’ve already written. After I’ve collected a few rounds of notes, I’ll revise the thriller in the final week. Starting new pages on the sci-fi script has been… interesting. Whenever I’m starting something new, distractions seem even more tempting. De-activating Facebook became necessary pretty early on. After a few days of settling in though, I’ve finally hit my stride and the pages are starting to flow much better.

My meeting with my first mentor Jeremy Pikser was one of the best notes sessions I’ve ever had. We met for breakfast, which carried into lunch. After first figuring out what I was trying to accomplish, he spent five hours giving me page-by-page notes. He posed specific questions and helped me figure out how to clarify certain scenes. This left me aware of the script’s problems, but also gave me an idea of some ways to fix them. In talking with the other writers, we all agreed that the attitude of the person giving you notes is what makes all the difference. Is the person helping you write your movie or are they implementing their own vision? Jeremy was all about helping me clarify what I am trying to say. He was incredibly generous with his notes, both in the time he spent with me and the time he took to read the script closely. Most importantly, he pointed out the potential of my script and encouraged me to keep fighting to achieve it. Even though there’s still work to be done, the session left me energized.

The acceptable period of settling in is officially over. Hopefully, productivity this week will be much higher. I promise myself less seal watching and more pages.