Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

I just heard the news that they are going to shoot my script "In Old Arizona" which will be filmed totally in the outdoors. It's a western and I can't imagine a western without the outdoors and a horse or two. These days it is not practical to film a horse inside a room. It has been reported that Lord Berners had a pet horse that ran freely in his home in England, but alas, I don't feel that's natural, and a Western by all means and definition is 'natural.' 

The good and bad news is that our leading actor is Colin Clive. The bad part of the news is he's English with a very strong accent, and also he is drunk 90% of the day. I was told by the producer that I would have to slightly re-write his character as a drunk 'dandy' (due to his accent) cowboy. When you are a writer and especially working in the film industry one has to compromise, and I do so knowing the responsibility of the work itself as well as the production costs of making such a film. To give the film its retro western look, which I visioned being like watching it as a child on Channel 11 (Los Angeles) on Saturday mornings, we will be using old stock Fuji Film, that was transported by air from Japan. 

This will be my first script that was filmed, and already I feel successful. To celebrate my once-in-a-lifetime mood change, I put on a recording by Juan García Esquivel, who by his nature is always lively and fun. The one thing that is missing from my life on a daily basis is a sense of fun. Writing this Western was my attempt to approach 'fun' from a distance. I feel I can never allow myself the luxury to feel good. 

To give the film the authentic touch, we tried to get the music rights of Slim Whitman, who I think would be perfect for this film. The first thing I wrote for this script is the Colin Clive character on his horse (which I wish had the same color of fur or skin as Lassie) riding towards the darken skies of the Arizona landscape. At this point the Slim Whitman song will come over the soundtrack. The very thought of this made me cry, but it gave me the image to work on to finish this script. Once you got the ending, the rest of the writing becomes easy. One reason I like death, is because it is such a natural ending for a narrative.

I often wished that Federico Fellini had made a Western. One of my literary references for “In Old Arizona” was the French novel by Eugène Sue called “Mystères de Paris.” Although Arizona seems so far away from Paris, I still think of landscape as a place that only exists in one's mind or imagination. I hope everyone who will see this film, will and can enjoy it.
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