I call my movies 'the kid.' It's like I'm giving birth.
I'm in the cocoon, you know? - Lee Daniels
The development stage of my web series is finally COMPLETE!!!!! There's an old saying: "Great things take time." which took a lot of faith and trust on my part. At the finish line, I can now look at my entire six episode season (along with three killer 30 second long promos) and the work simply speaks for itself. From the depths of the writing cocoon, I have crawled out born anew and am elated to feel the warmth of the Spring sunshine.
Through the virtues of patience, care and focus; my characters are now strikingly tangible. They live and breathe from the heart and gut. On a mountain top with my flag whipping in the wind, I proudly stand and claim my original voice! A marvelous world has been created and I am excited to say that I will be welcoming some of you to listen and/ or take part in it via an upcoming reading. I will reach out to you soon.
The phrase "I couldn't have done it without you" must have been created for people like my husband, Doug Rossi. Like all couples we still have some lessons to learn, but as a writing and collaborative duo I am astounded by the vision we've created together! He has never stopped believing in me as a screenwriter (long before I even thought that I was one) and fellow actor and has constantly egged me on to keep raising the bar with my work. He allows me to do that through skills that he has carefully honed from working with countless wonderful writers around the country for decades now; providing the kind of useful feedback to them that is laser-focused and immediately applicable. Whether your problems are pace, structure, character, tone or clarity related; he possesses a transformative magical ability to always know just what needs to be added, subtracted and/ or rearranged to maximize the impact and unlock the full potential within any scene.
We are often like an Olympic relay team when writing, I start off strong from the blank page and then his keen eye does the editing. Between differing schedules, we additionally carve out time to work together by bouncing ideas back and forth; inspiring each other and further elevating and polishing each episode through every draft. Our deep passion for film and its auteurs has brought the series up to an undeniable cinematic level, yet our love for theatre and its playwrights echoes in the dialogue and, in key scenes, even allows actors to take on moments from these classic characters with relish. Pleased as punch, we stand by "the kid" and are next itching to write a killer proposal to apply for grants, competitions, fundraising etc. Concurrently, we are organizing audition invites to actor friends and interview slots for meeting with potential producers, directors, DP's etc. (and if you know of any wonderful folks who you've worked with in these areas, please let us know) to come on board and be part of our bold, unique and ambitious project. Although I got his services for free (but what he charges is extraordinarily reasonable anyway), the truth is that the contribution he provides you with is priceless. To fellow writers (or actors who are picking up the pen to create their own work), if you ever find yourself stuck or your script is in need of heart resuscitation contact Doug -the ultimate script collaborator! - at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two notable films we absorbed this month are: this year's Academy Award-winning documentary O.J: Made in America which runs for seven and a half hours as a five part miniseries on Hulu. Trust me, you will be riveted to the screen every single second of the way! This masterpiece has deeply informed me about the American culture in regards to race and civil issues, the LAPD, domestic violence, celebrity obsession and how the tumultuous climate from the 50s spanning all the way through to the Rodney King event in the 90's has shaped and marred this complex character whose epic fall we track (with thorough detail) from beloved American hero to reviled cold-blooded murderer and beyond. It's odd how, before I watched, I only knew of O.J Simpson via a fuzzy news clip of his Bronco being pursued down some highway. I was a teenager then and while AFL was our national pride, American football is received with more of a "Huh?". But I am so grateful to this documentary for bringing unexpected insight and perspective to some of my early experiences of confusion and alienation as being one of the "other" in this country. It's an essential part of my self-composed "America 101" curriculum and I truly recommend that, regardless of where you are from, you make time to watch this.
Only God Forgives is a surreal international arthouse film by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, who makes acclaimed stunners such as Bronson (Tom Hardy) and Drive (Ryan Gosling). He calls himself 'a pornographer' in the sense that his stylized depiction of violence is equated to sex; with just as much fascination at the build-up (tension) as on the actual moment itself (climax).
Apparently, he was inspired to develop and produce this film solely as a vehicle for Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm who carries an extraordinary physical presence in his face and body. He plays an ominously magnetic badass cop with a grace that literally ripples with exquisitely controlled slow-mo movement, yet (as evidenced by carefully chosen devices like the steady spinning lights of a disco ball) is being captured in real time. He has black belts in Kendo and Japanese fencing, but I've discovered that he also practices ballet at his wife's studio! It's that special secret sauce that places his skills in the Martial Arts within the realm of the supernatural. Check out how this man commands and steals scenes right out from under Ryan Gosling!
So, for now, I part ways with an uplifting gesture of a rockstar pose. After all, the developmental phase of my webseries is cause for great celebration! Please press the rocker image or hashtag below as I make my bow to the accompaniment of 80's classic rock band Boston and their song that brings nothing but...
Love Dianne xxx