Disgusting day yesterday, in that I didn't get much work done, and I don't really know why. It was a conspiracy of small bullshits that somehow added up to a near-complete loss of productivity. I need to make up for it today. I've hit the halfway point on Ciudad, which feels great. If I'm going to make my goal of finishing it by July, I need to really get on that thing. Today, I will write some of the quieter moments in the script... a dinner scene in which we get our only real glimpses of the main character's past. Soon after that, really horrific violence!
I can name one of the little bullshits that kept me from working yesterday. While eating lunch, I finished watching Gone Baby Gone. It left me with a sensation I get only after seeing a really great piece of work... a mixture of elation and envy - creative inspiration and creative depression. It made me feel thrilled about telling stories, but a little disgusted that I haven't done it better. Fortunately, I feel like I'm getting better at my craft almost every day, so there's still hope!
While watching Gone Baby Gone, I was really struck by how amazing Casey Affleck is. He blew me away in Jesse James, and he was almost as impressive in GBG. So, I went to IMDB to see what he was up to now. Holy Shit... turns out he's filming The Killer Inside Me, one of the best Jim Thompson novels. The lead role, to be played by Affleck, is one of the most twisted protagonists I've ever encountered, and he is perfect for it. Damn, I hope they don't screw this up! Kate Hudson concerns me.
Finally, watching Gone Baby Gone after attempting to watch Frank Miller's The Spirit (haven't finished it yet), it hit me that Gone Baby Gone is the kind of project Frank should be handling as he moves to Hollywood. That path may not be available to him now, as the guys with the money apparently want him to deliver the stylized Sin City thing. Maybe Frank can't or doesn't want to write crime stories like Gone Baby Gone anymore... I don't know. I do know that Frank once could have written a story like Gone Baby Gone, and he once could have created thrilling visuals to go with that story.
Maybe an artist's path is only half determined by the artist himself. It's easy to sit back and look at someone's career and decree that it should have gone this way or that way. Careers aren't linear, though... they're organic. Things interfere that no one but the artist can really appreciate. Opportunities arise and fall away. Financial situations do the same. Shit, sometimes you watch a movie like Gone Baby Gone, get inspired, and dedicate the next two years to telling a gritty, urban crime story. Sometimes, in the middle of that process, you realize you just don't have that story in you.
In short, it's pointless to guess about what leads an artist one way or another. I hope my career will unfold a certain way, but it may not. As I've said many times: In ten years, I could be a successful screenwriter, or I could be managing a Taco Bell... one is about as likely as the other.
And... I'm off to work. Can't afford another Monday.