Clearly I need no excuse to watch horror movies... but heck, I'll still take any. Today is Friday The 13th and along with Halloween there is no better time to consume stupid amounts of scary stuff. On any other day I will have no reservations in watching whatever the hell pleases me... but on these few special occasions I like to include my kids in the fun and so making a family-friendly choice is important. I don't cotton-wool them but obviously some parental guidance is necessary. They are 12 and 14 years old and each have different thresholds. Violence doesn't phase them but aesthetic does.
I can be very vocal when it comes to the importance of horror and exposing children to it. Certainly, there are degrees to what is appropriate but horror in story-telling is as old as literature itself and once upon a time some of life's important lessons laid within it. The Brothers Grimm would conjure up nasty fables of witches cooking up children and L Frank Baum's magical Oz books told of vicious flying monkeys and nomes dwelling beneath... Roald Dahl's wonderful and beloved books detailed maniacal chocolate makers and witches gobbling up children... and I'm sure everyone remembers the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Horror challenges children. Horror builds resilience and most importantly horror prepares them for some of life's uglier realities. When I was a child I watched some very scary movies like Ghoulies, Gremlins, Ghostbusters and The Dark Crystal to name just some and I feel so much stronger for having been exposed to them. I talk to parents all of the time about the movies they allow their kids to watch and it concerns me. Generally speaking most parents would rather their kids be dumbed down with fluffy shit like Hop or Space Chimps rather than fuelling their minds with movies like The Goonies, Bridge to Terabithia or Coraline. Of course I don't expect that kids should ONLY consume scary movies but having a taste of it every now and then doesn't hurt.
Thankfully my faith in humanity is slowly being restored with a newfound resurgence in scary kids movies. Up until now these types of flicks were few and far between (for every Monster House there were 10 movies like Madagascar)... but now the genre is bouncing back and movies like Paranorman, Frankenweenie and Super-8 are dishing up some frights that will not only freak 'em out but also fill their heads with wonder and excitement.
And so for tonight's Friday The 13th viewing, with my kids a little more resilient, these are the type of movies we might be watching...
I'm not suffering from writers block. In fact I have several ideas bouncing around in my head and two of them are developing into scripts. I like my ideas and I think that my vision is good. My problem is motivation and concentration. I don't like to force my writing and I prefer to let it flow... when its ready to make the journey from mind to paper then it will flow but until then I think about the script and the story plays out in my imagination. I like the movie I'm creating very much and can't wait for people to read it, let alone see it... but alas, too many distractions. Between working a full time job, maintaining this website and performing all of the other fatherly duties, I find myself chewing up downtime by watching and reading other people's creations. When I should be sitting at my keyboard in those late hours of the night, my attention turns to other films that require less of me.
As I write this the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. I have a lovely set-up outside with a table and umbrella and the breeze is beautiful. The kids are out of the house and this moment of serenity is begging me to get creative. Finally a moment to muse over my ideas and continue fleshing them out in script form. And so I bite the bullet. With a fresh cup of coffee and itchy fingers I open the file to my current project and continue from where I left off. One page down and so far so good - oh look, an ant - I re-read previously written pages to make sure the flow is fluent. It is. Excellent. - oh look, two ants - another quarter page written and - I wonder how many ants will come if i leave a biscuit on the table?
Clearly the outdoors is too distracting and so I move my work-station to the lounge room. The ants have been removed from the equation and I get another page down - whats that spot on the table? I lick my finger and rub over it... ah, just a small blemish. One of the kids must have been eating there... oh dammit, my script. Yes yes. Focus. C'mon Glenn! The movie is in your head, just fucking write it.
I'm sure you fellow writers struggle with similar distractions. I'm in no hurry so perhaps I should just wait until that unquenchable creative impulse surges through my being. I get those randomly and when they hit, I'm unstoppable... but the key word is "random". Who the hell knows when the next one will hit. I need more motivation and I work well under pressure. Setting myself a deadline is useless because it's easy to break my own rules. Ah fuck it. Rather than working on this script today I think I'll just blog about how fidgety and unfocused I am right now.