Let the night do its work…

At the moment I’m writing a treatment for a movie on the sex trade of young children in South East Asia.

I’ve optioned a book on the subject, and I have interest from a financier out of Paris whom I’ve worked with before. I’d pitched him the story last year at Cannes, and he responded positively.

The film will be in the Jason Bourne movie tradition… an action thriller, but underneath it all it’s a very powerful statement about the evil of this horrendous trade in young lives.

So the financier wants an 8 page outline.

Writing an 8 page outline though is incredibly hard, because you have to work out the entire movie, structure it in three acts, and then condense it down into 8 pages.

Not only that but you have to create the main characters, work out their dramatic and narrative objectives and obstacles – in other words, you literally have to see the finished movie in your head, with all the major characters.

Even though it’s only 8 pages, a good outline can take months.

So I’ve been toiling away on this, and yesterday I hit a blockage. I was into the third act, and I didn’t know how to finish the movie.

There is an elemental truth in movies – it doesn’t matter how you start; the audience will only remember the ending. They will judge the film by its ending.

Anyway, I was stuck. Big time. I’d written my characters into a situation which was impossible to get out of – and I needed to wrap everything up. But I didn’t know how.

So I did what I’ve done in the past – a method that’s worked for me successfully before.

Just as I was about to go to sleep last night, I did a little meditation in which I laid out all the issues that needed to be resolved. I gave my PGS a bedtime shopping list of the things in the outline that I needed to work out.

And this morning, when I woke up, it was all there. I knew exactly how to end the movie. MY PGS overnight had figured it all out for me, and it was clear as a bell as soon as I opened my eyes.

I went straight downstairs to my computer and finished the outline in half an hour. I’d let the night, and my PGS, do its work…

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25 thoughts on “Let the night do its work…

  1. Sounds great Bill!
    I look forward to hearing more about your endeavor. Important subject to bring attention to.

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    • David! You’re all over this blog now!!

      Good for you mate!

      You know, and we’ve discussed this before – I only want to make movies now that are worth making.

      That give something back

      Bill

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    • Hi Pat –

      it’s very distressing. But there are some good people working very hard to stop it.

      I hope this film, if and when it gets made, will go some way to help.

      Bill

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      • Human trafficking is a horrible global malaise. Even where I live. Being a member of Soroptimist International, we work closely with local law enforcement and agencies to help victims. Until I joint S.I., I had no clue how widespread this is within Canada. I am talking about human trafficking between provinces, not just to and from overseas. It is very distressing. Ingrid

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  2. I love the: “I gave my PGS a bedtime shopping list of the things in the outline that I needed to work out.” and the cartoon you used to illustrate this blog 🙂 I’m not usually into thrillers, and particularly not on a subject that I know will depress and sadden me (I spent too many years with negativity being a major part of my life, and have quite deliberately worked on banishing negativity in all it’s forms from my life!) but happen to adore the Bourne films, so will now look forward to hearing about the process of you getting this project going. Good luck 🙂

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    • Hi Britta –

      yes, the arena is quite horrific, but the movie will be in the Bourne tradition of a fast paced thriller.

      Hopefully though it will shine a light under a dirty rock

      Bill

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      • I like the ‘picture’ of the dirty rock of child sex trade. Sets up all sorts of scenarios in my far too active mind. Good for the world to have someone with your insight and compassion ready to expose it to the light.

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  3. Bill, I was right in that I’ve just read your book in one hit; could not, did not want to put it down :). I was only able to give it 5 stars, as unfortunately there was no choice for more! Unfortunately, though, because I’m not on Facebook or anything else, I could not do a review from my Kindle. Can I do one from elsewhere without being on any of the social media sites? Found a couple of typos, but will send that info directly via email. From my perspective, a very impressive piece of writing 🙂 Loved the sentiment (which was covered some time ago in one of your blogs) of ‘change the geography of the world around me, by simply walking’. The concept of changing your world on many levels one step at a time.

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    • Britta – you’re a glutton for punishment!! Reading the book in one sitting! Wow!

      And than you for the offer of more than 5 stars!! Very gorgeous of you!!

      Yes, please send me a typo list if it’s not too much trouble, and delighted that you enjoyed the book.

      Bill

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      • Thanks, Pat, of course you’re right and I should just have checked with Amazon before asking in this blog! My review is now proudly posted (I’m so not a techno expert!) 🙂 Next, I’ll see how I go with posting a review on iBooks … watch this space!!

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        • Wow Britta –

          I’ve just read your review. It’s fantastic!

          thank you!

          I think I’ll have to shout you a jug of Sangria when we next meet!

          (You know all about shouting, from the book, yes?? 🙂 )

          Bill

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      • Hey, I done it!! Managed to post my review on iBooks too and very proud I am too 🙂 – and thanks for the offer of sangria, but not sure I want to go there ever again (had a youthful indiscretion involving said drink on a holiday on the Canary Islands … ‘nough said!). Incidentally, Bill are you aware that apparently you’ve also written a book called ‘God of the Whenua – Rural Ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand’?!! 🙂

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        • Britta – that review is a cracker – thank you!

          I have actually posted it on Ivar’s forum, in the Camino Resources forum, where you can list your book.

          That NZ book? Damn I thought no one would realise!

          🙂

          Actually there’s a very right wing conservative politician in the US named Bill Bennett – I HATE being confused with him!

          Bill

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  4. Did you know Houston, being close to a border and a major port, is one of the largest, if not the largest, hub of the sex slave trade in the US. This stuff is everywhere, not just in far off Asia.

    I haven’t the time for a one sitting read these days. I’m about half through, but I agree with Brita on the stars so far (and envy the one sitting enjoyment!)

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    • Dear Barbara –

      I didn’t know that about Houston.

      that’s very interesting.

      Where do the girls come from, do you know? Are they american girls – mexican – or have they been brought in from overseas?

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the book! I hope you haven’t picked up any errors – like the ocean liner kicking up dust!!

      🙂

      Bill

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  5. Almost forgot. You may well not need it, but keeping a pen and pad on the bedside table or even under your pillow can come in handy as sometimes those creative nights slip up on you even without your intentions.

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    • Hi Barbara –

      I’ve learnt though from hard experience that the ideas that peek through in the middle of the night are invariably under-cooked.

      I wake up in the morning, and look at the notes I’ve taken, and wonder how I could have got so excited at 2am. Sometimes though there is a germ of something that’s valuable, but not often.

      For me, I need the full percolation time of a full night’s sleep – and then the cold hard scrutiny of the day – to fully assess the legitimacy of an idea

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      • I read a book many years ago by Brewster Ghiselin, called The Creative Process. He recorded the processes of creative people the world over in all sorts of creative endeavors from scientists and inventors to philosophers and writers. Every single one was different. You have a well developed PGS and no doubt it serves you best of all. 🙂

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