I am in the last hours of “Fortune and the Devil”. I’ve been working on this screenplay for a long time now. A long , long time. Much too long to work on any one feature film script. But it has been a real labor of love and at one or two stages in the writing I could honestly say to myself that the script was almost everything I hoped it might be–which is a rare thing to be able to say.
The original length of “Fortune and the Devil” was tremendous – literally tremendous, a word which at its original Latin roots means “to cause to tremble”. Not satisfied with my first long, long, long draft (if you beg me, I may post the page count for you), I made it even longer and coaxed a mini-series out of it – or alternatively the introductory episodes of a cable romantic adventure series for adults and big kids.
My job in this last week is plain and straightforward and practical and far away from the misty visions I had early on of Sergio Leone-meets David Lean-meets “Excalibur”. It’s the other side of the coin, turning my dream into something that can survive in the real world of Hollywood. I had hacked and slashed the script to less than 120pp – a miracle for me on any project – and turned my massive adventure tale / doomed-love story with a dozen fascinating and complex characters into a lean, mean medieval action movie. I, of course, prefer my “Epic x 3″ romantic adventure. But now that I’ve finished it and had time to reflect, this Hollywood draft is nothing to sneeze at. Quite damn good, even if I say so myself. And I don’t often say so myself.
Today and tomorrow, I finish final tweaks for my manager. We had a story conference a couple weeks back and he, to my chagrin, had some good ideas that I – yes, even I – hadn’t had. And I’m incorporating a few of them. Okay, probably most of them.
So on Wednesday then, the manager gets the final version of “Fortune and the Devil”, and then…sigh…I will be ALL FINISHED.
Oh, wait…no, that’s not right. Almost forgot that this is screenwriting, so on Wednesday then, the manager gets the final version of “Fortune and the Devil”, and then…I’ll be getting started.