A few years back, possibly many years back, I had this idea for a film.
I didn’t really have time to write it, nor did I know anyone who could afford to/be interested in producing it – so I put it firmly on the back burner … and then turned the burner off.
It’s kind of simmered there in the back of my mind. Every now and then an image or a scene presents itself and gets filed in the same mental drawer – but to all intents and purposes it’s an abandoned idea.
Or was, until the other day.
I was thinking about ideas for Shine Picture’s Big Idea competition, remembered that barely warm pan and thought it was probably time to bring it back to the boil. So I sat down and picked vaguely at a logline … while a persistent thought poked me in the back of the mind – haven’t I written at least a logline for this at some point? Possibly even a brief synopsis?
A brief file search brought up a forgotten document – a list of active projects for a guy who was vaguely interested in managing me before coming to his senses. Included in that list was a very short paragraph describing the film.
Cool, so I can take bits from that and rework it to —
Hang on. Hang the fuck on. What’s that?
“Currently a treatment and step outline.”
It’s a what? A treatment AND a step outline? For an idea I’ve never committed to paper?
Ah, this must be one of those ‘lies’ I used to tell to people. You know, along the lines of the ‘Yes, I have got a completed script ready to show you’ type. Back in the days when I was confident I would have the completed script within a day or two of anyone asking. You know, back when I was stupid.
Yes, that must be it. I didn’t actually write a treatment or a step outline because I’d remember.
Although, now I come to think about it, I do seem to have an awful lot of detail stored in my cluttered brain regarding this project. Proper detail too, not just the woolly detail you get when you’re merely thinking of an idea – the kind of woolly detail where you realise you’ve mentally covered about an hour of the script with a phrase like ‘and then there’s a bit of a chase across Africa’.
No, this is the proper kind of detail, the kind detailing what actually happens during that chase, how many lions there are and what they’re wearing. The kind of detail you get when you’ve sat down and written a … well, a treatment and a step outline.
Fuck, I’ve written a treatment for this idea and completely forgotten I’ve done it! Writing a 700 word synopsis is going to be easy!
Except, no. I don’t have a treatment for this puppy. I’ve checked, double checked and … something which sounds like I’ve done more than just checked again.
Scrutinised or something.
It’s not here, I don’t have it. It should be here. If it exists, it should be on my laptop, my desktop, my phone and online – how can it not be at my fingertips?
I should probably explain I do an equal amount of writing on my laptop and my desktop in numerous locations around the world. I use a service called Soonr which automatically backs up every document online every five minutes and allows me to access the files from my phone. It also provides a cloud drive so I can remotely access the files on whichever computer I’m not using. The contents of which should be exactly the same since I sync them on an automatic and daily basis. I also save a copy of my scripts on my phone so I’ve got them with me at all times.
I don’t lose files.
At least, not permanently.
Although, I’ve always had a vague fear of syncing computers, along the line of Doctor McCoy’s objections to using the transporter. If you delete something from one computer, it automatically gets deleted from the other.
If you alter a file on one computer, it deletes the original on the second computer and creates a new copy of the altered one … what if that goes wrong? What if it gets halfway through and forgets to create the new copy? Next time it syncs, it’ll see the file’s been deleted on the second computer and delete it on the first. Soonr would then follow suit and delete it from the online storage and the next time I copy my scripts to my phone it’ll get overwritten there too.
I’m a victim of cyber-stupidity! And possibly over-thinking. I’ve lost a treatment. And a step-outline! And, since every project gets its own unique folder, the folder it was stored in!
Which, now I come to think of it, doesn’t seem likely.
But it is possible. I haven’t got it, yet I do remember writing it.
Actually, I don’t; I don’t remember writing it, I just have a head full of too much detail to have not written it.
Now I’m all confused, am I the victim of cyber-stupidity or just plain fucking stupid?
Maybe I’m imagining a treatment I can’t remember writing?
Maybe I’m imagining not-writing a treatment I’ve accidentally deleted?
Maybe my computers ganged up on me, decided the idea was shit anyway and deleted it for the good of humanity? Which is weird, because if movies have taught me anything, it’s that the machines don’t give a fuck about humanity and intend to wipe us out someday soon anyway. Or perhaps use us as batteries, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, since I’ve tried to charge my phone by shoving it up my arse and it blatantly doesn’t work.
What the fuck’s going on?
Am I losing my mind or losing my information?
Which is scarier?
Will anyone ever want to borrow my phone again?
I have no answers. Neither do I have a treatment or a step outline. So I’m fucked whichever way you slice it.
Probably best to ignore it and get on with some work.