IT’S QUITE STRANGE HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND A PHOTOGRAPH OF YOUR MENTAL IMAGE OF AN ACTOR
The above illustration is of Keeley Hawes, a highly regarded actress who is arguably best known for her role in the TV series about M-I5. Confusingly, it’s known as SPOOKS in the UK (where it originated) and MI-5 in the U.S.
Here is the even more confusing thing: Although Keeley is eminently recognizable in the above photo, it still does not look quite like her as she appears in Mi-5. It under-sells her.
Well, she is no longer in character, I hear you say.
That’s an entirely reasonable explanation, but I don’t think an adequate one. You see I have encountered this issue many times previously—when trying to cast the movie versions of my own books, for example—and have come to the conclusion that it is more an issue of still photography being out of sync with modern video and film. Still photography remains locked in tradition. Other media have moved on. More is the pity.
I started the day by reading through the latest printed version of my screenplay through again—and it passed the test. True, my refreshed mind came up with a few more ideas—but it is time to send it away. But is it as good as I can make it at this stage?
I then tried to think of comparable movies. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO certainly comes to mind—though the ending is dramatically different. So what movie has a similar ending? I can’t think of a single one.
Not sure that is a good thing. A great deal of lip service is applied to creativity, but, at heart, movie people prefer to stick to a proven formula. On the other hand, I’m sure audiences will love the end.
Very tired. I think I’ll take a nap.
Back to work after a couple of hours. You know, it truly amazes me how, after all this time, I still find something else to improve, change or correct after each iteration of reading through this screen play. Or maybe I have fallen asleep and am dreaming.
To be fair, I am no longer making up major changes, but I’m continuing to find small errors—albeit not many. And a few additional ideas are speaking in. The polishing process is primarily getting a mass of small details right—and that, in many ways, is the hardest part; and it requires both patience and stamina.
Could it be I’m becoming obsessional about all this? Or merely just trying to make it as good as I can?
Damned if I know.