Don’t Look Down

It’ll all work out in the end. It always does. One way or t’other.

Such thoughts – even if you include them in your post – are useless when you find yourself on a metaphoric ledge, looking down into an abyss, wondering how the hell you got there, and knowing full well that this is all your own doing.

A few months ago, I pitched an idea:

It’s a road movie with four longtime friends: an Apple, an Orange, a Banana, and a Kiwifruit.

They’re crammed into a battered VW Kombi, driving from grey Dunedin to perenially sunny Nelson[1] for an A&P show[2].

Along the way they reminisce over old escapades, rekindle old flames, and uncover some once-forgotten secrets.

It follows in the footsteps of “Goodbye Pork Pie”, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, and “Wages of Fear”.

Okay, so there are no car chases, cross dressers or truckloads of high explosives – but I argued that the script was ‘execution dependent’ – and I pretty much rock on those, don’t I?

It began, now that I think about it, far too easily: I’d put myself into that rare position of not only having a premise –

A bunch of fruit travelling in a Kombi.

– but I also had a theme:

What makes a friend?

Talk about getting it on a platter.

How freaking hard could it be to expand it into a script?

And then – another rare situation – I began building it in a logical fashion. Copious notes about the story, ideas about the narrative, snippets of dialogue that had to be said by certain characters. Before long, I had:

  • expanded the pitch into a two page document which describes the project;
  • plotted out the story; and
  • written character descriptions and backstories.

Thus informed, prepared and fore-armed, I began outlining the story.

And then the well ran dry.

Lately, I’ve been flashing on Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons’ Give Me Liberty, in particular when Martha Washington says after her baptism of fire, This won’t kill me. This won’t kill me.

This isn’t the end of the world. It certainly feels terminal on some level. But I know that, right now, I’m just treading water and, lacking strength or stamina to break this wall or block or whatever with brute force, will have to bide my time a little. Work on another project. Think about it while I’m driving. Take some time out.

I look forward to the project’s finish where, in the glow of A Job Well Done – or, at the very least, A Job Done – I will forget this dark moment and remember only the joys of creation, the eureka moments, of finding of the diamonds in the rough, and looking forward to doing it all over again with the next project.


I feel a certain camaraderie with Messrs Tripuraneni and Molloy at the moment. Yes, it’s hard. But – in sweeter times of generosity of spirit and all-round munificence – one can blithely say that it’s all part of the fun.

[1] [From] grey Dunedin to … sunny Nelson: for our international readers, the equivalent of travelling from small-town America to, say, San Francisco.

[2]A&P show: Agricultural and Pastoral show – I think this says more than I could ever describe.

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4 Replies to “Don’t Look Down”

  1. Hi. I read a few of your other posts and wanted to know if you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links?

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