Thursday, January 10, 2008

December 20, 2007 WGA Theater

Day 5 Part 3/3


Spyre said...

What a gift these talks are. Prime examples of internet content at its best.

Thought-provoking, challenging, from the heart -- straight from a guy who makes full disclosure that he's just the crap at the center of the universe.

I made podcasts of these for personal use since I hate watching videos online, loaded them up this morning on the iPod and have been enjoying them all day.

You've probably thought of this but since you guys have the source audio, I think you'd reach more people via podcast versions either on this site (or on iTunes) since many people don't have the time to watch but would enjoy listening to it. Although the body language is important, the meaning comes across well as a podcast for the most part although some of the questions seem to get lost in the audio.

email me if you want help with anything or advice on how to do this kind of stuff: pawlr at yahoo dot com

Rhett said...

After listening to these seminars, I was watching The Jewish Americans doc on PBS, and I kept thinking that many of those stories would make really interesting premises for series: Early Jewish socialites intermingling with Christians, assimilating to the culture and attempting to hold onto their heritage. And that's just one of many possible stories.

The John Hopkins drama is fascinating. I'd love for Mr. Milch and the others to develop that. Just listening to him talk about it, the story came alive in my imagination. It'd be great to see him actually cast that.

For whatever reason, the racetrack series resonates especially with me--and not through a fanciful connection. The setting suggests such rich, damaged, and complicated characters. And there are so many stories that you could tell. I love that. The more you think about it, the more it comes alive. Mr. Milch's ability to find and illustrate the subliminal humanity of a character, however dark, would make this one particularly compelling. No one else could do it right though.

And his suggestions for the series about the kid going between the religious cult and his private school were fantastic. His ability to envision something like that is so gratifying, humbling. The idea for Bubsy Berkley-type shots for the scenes at the school was just brilliant. {Maybe juxtaposed against tight, slightly off-centered shots of cult members.) And the suggestion to have the Cult's leader be particularly interested in the young man at the center is perfect. I found myself casting various actors in the part of the cult leader. I hope the guy that pitched the idea from his own experience runs with Milch's suggestions. I'd watch that show.

Considering the Jewish assimilation idea made me think of a series about the lives of modern Native American's on the reservation; struggles to maintain their culture in the modern world, the devastating effect of Alcohol on so many of reservations, the disconnect between generations, ect, ect.

This all further illustrates what Mr. Milch said about the genesis of a story. To focus on character dynamics before getting bogged down in prologue.

I can't say thanks enough for posting these seminars. It's a f'kin' privilege to hear Mr. Milch talk. His humor, intelligence, and courage are so goddam heartening. It's like the best lit class ever.

Thanks again.

Spyre said...

You get a fuckin' amen from me on that - absolutely I have the feeling that in 50 years people will look up what he has to say and say that these talks were seminal.

I mean just listen to the passion and commitment he has to his art, it's clear that it's a manifestation of spirit wide and deep, something beyond him, something moving through him, but not him. What is so great is that he is a *servant* of art not secretly trying to be a capitalist. So what if he's got more money than God, its an artifact of his strong commitment and his unwillingness to compromise.

Write the other way I cannot, motherfucker. As said Melville, so says Dave. And he walks the talk.

He's not making an idol of himself or living on his credibility alone, but sticking with us, serving and sharing.

Pulling for another writer. Damn right. Feels nice too.

jj said...

rhett -

Me finishing that script and you getting to see the show don't quite have the kind of direct cause and effect relationship that we would wish for but certainly the latter can't come without the former, so thank you for saying what you did, because it has inspired me to revisit the idea.

I started it, then put it aside, favoring more practical priorities, but Milch sure put me on an interesting path and I would certainly find it a shame not to see where it leads.

What a gift this seminar was for me. It profoundly changed the way I work and the work itself is so much better for it.