When my little friend Dave was a child, he went hiking with his family and saw what he swears is Bigfoot. After spending weeks searching the newspapers and watching TV for any information to no avail, he came to the conclusion that the government is hiding the ten foot tall man-beast in the redwoods of northern California. Since then, Dave has become a self-proclaimed expert in conspiracy theories. In both life and on screen. His ideal vacation spot is Area 51. He studies The DaVinci Code like it’s the Zapruder film. Bless his heart.
In our writers group he’s working on a non-linear script. He likes to shake things up. My little friend Dave is great at giving notes to shake up scripts. He can pick scenes apart and re-order them to deconstruct the plot and reveal character. His (amazing) note to me is blowing my mind. My first draft of an indie feature was written as a logical, character-driven, straight forward drama. I pitched it as Romeo & Juliet with a twist. It’s a nice little script about a shooting, if there can be something nice about getting shot, but it’s nothing that will set the world ablaze. Which is not good for an emerging screenwriter. Dave’s solution to my nice little dilemma is to deconstruct the way the audience sees the story by telling it in reverse chronology. In short: I need to shake things up.