Friday, May 21, 2010

Jaafar Off Day

I took a single off day, today. With the dubious circumstances of a movie premiere I wanted to go to - they only confirmed I had tickets after I told them I won't be going - I decided to spend almost the entire day in bed, reading Lucifer - a comic book series published by the Vertigo imprint.

It was a good decision. I needed some time in bed. The mattress was a gift. An expensive full-latex affair which I didn't have a lot of time for on any given day.

I only really got out of it at night, when I went looking for food. Got back, and started writing at around 12.30am. I am working on several projects at once, in the hopes that at least some would make it to the silver screen.

A producer called me up, and we discussed work as well as payment arrangements. I can do synopsis on a pro bono basis, but I won't write a single word of script until I get at least 30%. This is not diva-ing off, but simply because a lot of movies never get made, so my time must be invested wisely, and I will not be the only one at risk for spending my precious time on something that will never be.

Things are looking good, I think. I asked for two things:

1. Creative control

- granted, the director will be makiing the final calls to the script and the movie. That is a given. But I no longer want to do crazy rewrites to any script. To protect myself, the creative integrity of the story as well as everyone else, I asked for better creative control of the story. Meaning I can say no to some things which I deem unnecessary.

2. Payment details

- If you're getting paid for stuff like this, make sure all details concerning payment are clear from day one. One of the issues that saw a lot of scriptwriters I worked with - as well as technical people in the creative industry - quit to sell burgers, or join the Government service is because there were no concrete agreements as to how much and how payment will be made. Also, WHEN?

I have been promised a lot of payments for scripts - most of them, as of today, will never see the light of day. Things happen. People get replaced. I lost interest in some projects, they lost interest in some projects. No funds. Fights break out. Shit happens, man. Bada bing, bada boom.

People can promise you the sun, moon and stars. I can do that too. In the end? To me, it's always 70-30. As in, 70% of projects never get done.

In this regard, you need to be a bit strict, without being a bitch. No need for rudeness, just simple questions would do.


These days, I only do projects that interest me. And stuff that allow me more creative control. Thank God for my day job. I can say no to a lot of offers. Time is becoming more and more precious. I aim to put 30 movies on the screen before I retire. I don't need to, but I guess a target wouldn't hurt.

If I continue my plan to produce, though, that number will have to be cut down. I will not direct, as that will cut my time even more. Normal directors get to do maybe 10 good movies in their lifetime. If you're in Hong Kong or in the Indian movie industry, then that's a different story.

ANyway, after race, religion will raise its ugly head. I foresee a lot of fighting about religion soon. Like, duh. Religion is a powder keg just waiting for a match, for an excuse to explode. Sorry, I mean, EXPLOD!

It all stems from people's desire to be right. To be told that they are right.

I am not right at all. I am not left either. I'm just wrong in so many ways. I'll never get to heaven, according to some people. And I don't give a shit. Not my business. God's business.

I have no desire to be right. I don't need people to tell me I'm right. I KNOW I'm right.