Revision 3 of Storybook Park is finally finished. I've never worked on a screenplay, without interruption, for so long. And I still love it. The vastly revised, improved, and completed version is right here.
Magical realism. Everything should be slightly elevated. Characters should speak a little more interestingly than real people. Images should be a little more crisp. It's a romantic comedy. Sub-genre, fantasy adventure. It should get your heart going, make you laugh, leave you believing in love, or at least aching for it. It should be a fun ride, but should offer up deeper, simpler truths, when reflected upon.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
First, it's about following a dream, a goal, a desire, even to doom, or the grave, even if it seems clear there's nothing to be had at the end. Otherwise, life is backing into the grave, moved by fear, by what is unwanted. This is about questioning reality and answering dreams. About passionately following something, in hope that following it will make it there. Because even if death catches you before you can it, at least you went to the grave chasing something beyond the mundane. At least yours senses were filled, life-long, with the sight of it ahead, driving you onward.
Second, it's about sexuality, relationships, and love. About old-fashioned obligation and guilt, how they trap people, back them into commitments that don't work. Practical sex. And it's about modern cruelty. Sex for power, sex as a game, sex as a commodity. Cynical sex. And it's about something better than those. Love were your heart is stolen. Not reasoned with, not bargained for, not guilted, or obligated, or persuaded. A love that defies reason and calculation. That cannot be rationalized. That is a victory over self. That kind of love, it must be risky, or else it's chosing someone too safe, someone you're not afraid of hurting. If there's no risk, there's no love.
Third, it's about Death and Sex. It says: they're what life is about. It says: they're the magic. We shouldn't hide them from ourselves. We shouldn't hide them from our children. Death makes us mortal, and Sex (and its sister, Love) makes it alright. This story is a celebration of sexuality, a celebration of mortality. Neither are bad. Neither are to be ashamed of. Neither are "dark." Both are magical and wonderful and life would be meaningless and hopeless without them.
Fairy tales remember this.
Death, mortality, love, sex, hope, dispair -- these are the only transcendent things. Not the petty things of day-to-day life. These are the things we must turn our eyes to more often, because we're forgetting them, and it makes us selfish. We've confused reality with experience. Experience is often petty -- bickering, relationships, possessions, status, the physical, and the selfish. The important aspects of reality are those that transcend individual experience. They are fiction truer than fact. And they are the truths that this screenplay is celebrating.