Movies For The Mind

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-13 00:00:00 No comments

At various times I've mentioned my personal profile could include the line "frustrated filmmaker". I always wanted to make movies, but I never got my ducks in a row, especially after I really sunk into writing as a creative outlet and decided filmmaking was too much like actual work. (My other profile description is "Lazy workaholic.")

One funny result of this is how I sometimes model my approach to a book as if it were a movie: the casting process for the characters; the soundtrack/score; the way things are visualized and realized; etc. The other day when a friend asked me if Unmortal would be readable anytime soon, I answered in movie-making terms: "All I have right now is not even worth calling an assembly cut, let alone a rough cut. It's more like dailies."

In truth, my whole use of the "moviemaking in my mind" metaphor is just that, a metaphor — a way to amuse myself. At the end of the day, I know a book is nothing else but a book, but this is yet another way for me to stretch my imagination with regard to the whole process, not just what goes into the book itself.

Another thing I need to be cautious of is letting the metaphor dictate the direction of my work. I don't want to end up in this situation where I'm writing stuff that is essentially the sales pitch for a movie. (Pfft, right. Like anyone is ever going to option my work.) Not everything expressible as literary prose is filmable — Charles Willefort's legendary noir Pick-Up would be impossible to film effectively, for instance — and so I shouldn't limit myself to prose that could only be filmed. I have a couple of projects in the works that lean hard into this -- Shunga-Satori being one — and they represent for me the outer limit of my current skill envelope. The more I can do to push that envelope, the better.

Tags: creativity filmmaking writing