Shinho is my professor for Screenwriting. He's a gay, plastic surgery obsessed, Korean who writes violent (like banned in America violent) movies and loves drunk karaoke.
Every week, he has me watch two movies on a certain theme (love, addiction, jealousy, etc.) and then put together a film pitch based on that theme. This week was "losing a parent." For the NSA members reading this who don't know me, I've sort of lost a parent. It's all very complicated and sad and I don't like talking about it.
But the deadline for my pitch came and I only had one idea, my life. Ah... The write what you know thing is a bitch sometime. At the end of my pitch, I said: but I won't write this for years. I don't want to touch it.
Shinho lit a cigarette and told me I needed to write it now. I needed to be okay hurting myself. I told him that wasn't why I didn't want to touch it. (I actually like crying sometimes. I watch "To End All Wars" and "Fox and the Hound" just to make myself cry.) It's that writing about these event makes me feel like I'm wallowing in self pity and it's pathetic. I don't want to be a writer who thinks my pain is worth watching.
Turns out Shinho isn't the stereotype I introduce him as. We ended up having a long in depth conversation about abandonment. He said he used to be afraid of the same thing. He gave me some ways to distance the story from the truth and told me to write it. Write the thing I don't want to write.
So... why am I sharing this with the internet? Because it was important. I was a weird morning coffee moment that will have a lasting impact on my life. I think I'll look back and think of Shinho differently from now on. I'm sure that this person he showed me today is not the person he wants to show to the world, but I feel lucky to have had such a moment.
Next week, we talk about romantic comedies. Shinho loves romantic comedy, in spite of having written Chaser. But hey, Doug Wright wrote Quills and Little Mermaid Musical, so who knows. We have a history of him trying to get me to write rom coms... it's challenging. He's already told me I'm only allowed to kill one character.
Here's hoping for another weird insight week.