Creative frustration

Lately I’ve been coming up with story ideas that I think are really cool, only to find out they’ve been done before. It’s kind of a bummer. For my senior project I’m gonna have to make a short film – the best yet. My first idea was to make a movie called SuperFocus Me, wherein I take Adderall daily and document the effects on my attention-span-enhanced life. But then I did some research and found out that Adderall is just an amphetamine, and I might as well be doing cocaine daily. So that ended that idea.

I had that other idea that I mentioned a few days ago about a repressed housewife living the 1950’s who does some really deviant fucked up stuff to get a release when her husband goes to work. I still like the idea, and I want to make the film as dark and disturbing as I can. I’d like it to be the kind of thing that people keep thinking about days after they see the film. But it’s hard to reach that level of shock in audiences these days. Back in the 60s audiences who saw Psycho were equally shocked by the revelation of the killer as they were by a toilet being flushed on camera. Just a few days ago I wrote an extensive analysis of Eraserhead which is probably the weirdest film you’ll ever see, but that was only disturbing because of the surrealism used. I don’t want to result to surrealism to freak people out. I don’t think I could do it very well anyway. So I’ve been toying with a few ideas, but shocking todays desensitized audiences is going to be a real challenge. But I desperately want to. It must be this horror class I’m taking. These days you can’t really scare an audience anymore, but you can always disturb them and leave them feeling uneasy which I think I would have a lot of fun trying to do.

I also had this interesting idea about a groom at a wedding, based on some of my experiences at weddings I’ve shot. The bride is sick and spends the whole reception puking in the bridal suite, so the groom is out mingling with guests and he has a lot of female friends that he’s kept in touch with through the years from college and whatnot. And while he goes around and talks to them he starts imagining what it would be like if he married them instead, and how his life would be different with each one. The concept of choices and their consequences are always interesting in stories, but this basic premise has been done a few times before. In film there’s of course The Family Man with Nic Cage (who Steph hates but I enjoy). There’s also a great little-known indie film starring Bill Murray called Broken Flowers which not only has a great and simple plot, but a really awesome unique soundtrack featuring lots of Ethiopian jazz. Jim Jarmusch is a crazy dude. Also I recently found out there’s a play called Some Girls about a guy who visits all his ex girlfriends for some reason. So this has been done many times, but maybe I could bring something new to it.

As dumb as it sounds, it all really comes down to believing in yourself. Myspace didn’t stop Mark Zuckerburg from designing Facebook. IBM didn’t stop Bill Gates from creating Windows (or whatever). All it takes is for someone to go “Yeah I know it exists, but I can do it better.”

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