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Conference Day

Today was filled with homework fun. Like most humans, I spend the overwhelming majority of my existence putting everything off to the last minute. Here’s an example of how much I don’t want to do my work: I sat around for an hour last night reading parts of the MovableType manual, learning the different tags I can use to customize my blog. This, to me, was more interesting than doing my homework.

Of course, I would have done it all last night because I wouldn’t have had time today. I was supposed to meet someone for lunch, but he canceled, so, in my efforts to be a perfect procrastinator, I waited until this morning to start the assignments that were due today. I actually managed to finish everything pretty quickly. The strange thing is that, though I really don’t like actually doing my homework, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it, so when it gets down to the wire, I can basically vomit my thoughts onto paper and be done with it.

The problem with this is that I rarely look at assignment sheets until the night before an assignment is due, so I don’t even know the assignment. Then I think about it for awhile, sleep on it, and do it the next morning. It’s a system that has kept me at a B average for the last three years so I can’t necessarily complain, even though one could make a convincing argument that if I looked at the assignment sheet the day I get the assignment, and then spend a longer amount of time thinking about it, perhaps the vomit stains on the paper would look a little neater, and I’d have an A average.

But that doesn’t happen, and chances are it’s not going to. Who cares?

At any rate, for those absolutely fascinated with the gritty minutiae of a film student’s life, this is what I had to do for screenwriting homework:

  • Write a step outline for my script*
  • Write a treatment for my script (3-5 pages)**
  • Write two character biographies for two major characters in my script (3-5 pages)
  • Write the first three scenes using observable action only (i.e., no dialogue)

I also had to construct a pitch of my script idea for my professor, but I don’t get formal about it. I am not a dumbass, I know my script, and that’s all I need to know. I’ve always been taught that the art of pitching is really based on the strength of your personality, not on your ability to summarize your entire script in a sentence. So I don’t write it out on notecards or rehearse it in the mirror—that’s just stupid.

The other big shit I had to do today were two assignments for my Intro. to Literature course. This is a pretty easy course, but I leave everything to (literally) the last minute, which adds a minor challenge to it. Basically, I had to write a paper that analyzed a poem, and this is a paper I’ve put off for so long I missed the deadline for the first and second drafts, and I barely finished it in time to turn in the final draft (the one that actually counts).

I also had to—and this, I think, sums up the cheesy simplicity of this course—read the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” (which I was assigned to read in sixth grade—man, I love intro courses!) and then, to the best of my abilities, draw up a map of the island. It’s nice to go to an art school with incompetent, sub-literate people. It makes coasting so much easier.

Homework aside, today was pretty humdrum. I had a conference with my screenwriting professor (as I mentioned earlier, I basically pitched my script and then he told me how I was doing in the class). He had Dunkin’ Donut holes, so I gorged briefly before heading home.

I also ran into the Filmmaker, whose conference was immediately after mine. He told me the film turned out fine, and he’d be editing it this weekend. They’re screening it in his class a week from Wednesday, and I have class so I probably won’t be able to make it without cutting one of my classes.

Oh well. I will not cry myself to sleep.

The commute was less irritating than usual. At the train station, I got stuck on the escalator behind a woman with a suitcase. Fortunately, the woman was extremely attractive, and she had the most aesthetically pleasing rump I have ever seen in my life (and I am constantly on the lookout for aesthetically pleasing examples of the female anatomy), and since she was ahead and above me, I was essentially able to stare at it for nearly a minute without seeming as lecherous as I normally seem when I stare at female body parts.

This same woman got off at the same stop as me downtown, and I got stuck behind her on the escalator again. I think the image of her ass, outlined by the tight pants of her business suit, is permanently etched into my corneas. No complaints here.

I really need a girlfriend.

*For those of you wondering what a “step outline” is, here is my answer: I don’t know. My powers of deduction have concluded it’s just an outline. I have no idea why “step” is added. I guess because instead of using Roman numerals and letters and tabs and so on, you just use regular numbers or bullet-points. [Back]

**For those unfamiliar with a “treatment,” it’s almost irritatingly complicated to get into. In simplest terms, it’s a script written like a short story in present-tense. Except there is very rarely dialogue (some do, some don’t; most summarize dialogue in a sentence or two, but will actually cite a specific line if it is integral). And paragraphs are, generally, chopped up by scene instead of by logical content flow. And sometimes—ugh, just trust me when I say you don’t want to know. Now let us never speak of this again. [Back]

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