Archipelago – Almost Done
Here’s the short version:
In 2005 I wrote a screenplay, then directed a movie based on that script called “Archipelago.” It’s a non-nuclear family drama about a brother and sister at odds over what to do with the seaside inn left to them by their deceased parents. Other characters include the brother’s former girlfriend, the sister’s wife, and a young widow — the only guest at the inn.
Some dear and talented friends sacrficed their holiday to shoot the film with me, and I’m forever indebted to them, but I was never satisfied with the end result. The conflict was too internal; that’s weak material for a feature film.
Later, it occured to me that the story would be better as a novel. I set to work outlining the book and correcting the mistakes I made during the production of the film. I had learned a lot from the experience of making the movie, and I always say you never know how to make a movie until you make it.
Once I finished breaking down the book, I wrote the first ten pages then put it away for two years. Other things. Then I pulled it out, dusted it off, wrote another ten pages and put it away for another eighteen months. On my trip abroad this past summer, sitting on beaches and staying in cheap hotels, I felt inspired and started writing the whole thing long hand.
Once I got back to the States, I came down with a pretty bad case of Procrastinitis, and my writing slowed down. Since then, I’ve been writing in wind sprints. Now I’m finishing the mother up. I should be done within the month, but here’s the problem. It feels a little like a transcription of the film … like nothing is all that different, and I’m making all the same mistakes over again. Maybe I’m hyper sensitive, but I don’t know. And I don’t know how to fix it.