Welcome to Josh Sully’s World

It must be a decade since I first read those words.

And now I’ve seen the trailer. The Boy watched it with me – he was a little bemused by my admittedly reverent whisper of Awesome. Mr Ebert has seen a fifteen minute preview (twice, the lucky sod) and has reserved judgement on the finished product.

That’s okay – I’m a little jealous of their innocence.

The Avatar scriptment has been a treasured D F Mamea Script Library item for the past ten years, something I often referred to in my early writing career as a kind of ‘how-to’ bible.

Yes, the finished product will be whatever it will be. But until then, anticipation and expectations are high.

Postscript: Late in 2008 Motorbike Steve asked what I was looking forward to in the new year. I shrugged and mumbled that maybe there was Watchmen but otherwise… nah. My outlook didn’t really change until around last month. Besides, obviously, Avatar, there’s Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies I want to find time for, and Pixar’s Up next month. ‘S nice.


The Actual Writing – Part Two

The moment of glibness having passed, I remembered James Cameron‘s superb description of the process in the introduction to his 1993 scriptment of Strange Days:

I find the writing follows a logarithmic curve. Plotted against time, the curve is almost flat at first, then curves upward until it is nearly vertical.

I offer this not as an excuse but as a possible explanation of how I write.

I’d like to think I’m a regular kind of writer – y’know, bang out five/ten/whatever pages of script per day, no matter how long it takes, come family crisis or no. But try as I might, I’m not that kind of writer. (Nor would my family allow it.) I have to set aside a fixed number of hours per day to write. Sometimes they’re productive, sometimes they’re not. What’s important, for better or worse, is that I have the time to be creative. I need the discipline.

My first feature script followed that curve for the most part. Well, it would if you saw it from the far end of the room; up close, the peaks and valleys leading up to The Big Upward Curve represented the failed attempts to turn it first into a novel, then a comic. It was a combination of extreme boredom and some depression that put me onto screenplays. Everything clicked. It was game on.

After missing a couple of self-imposed deadlines, and in the lead-up to a Meaningful Birthday, there was a blurry month – this was pre-Goddess – where full-time work took up a third of the day, and the remaining waking hours were spent hunched over a keyboard. And then, for the first time, I got to type in the magic words:



D F Mamea

It felt good.

Still does, each time I get there.