This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Prestige

Evidently this movie was a first a book. Like so many others, I missed it. But tonight I saw the movie and I left the theatre changed. Again. (How many changes can one person go through, and consider every last one legitimate?)

Let me start off by saying the movie is good. Very good. It was one of those flicks that removes itself from the pack and makes you consider the craft. The plotting was good, and was the acting. The characterizations were complex. Just all good.

Okay. That said, when I saw Hugh Jackman's interview about the movie, and he said "You'll never guess the ending" I went into the theater with the gaunlet in my hand that he had thrown down. I had sat in "The Six Sense" and had guessed the ending. I would do it again, by gum!

And yes, I did it.

Now there are others, critics in particular when slamming the product, who say they guess the endings of movies because the writing is poor. Those types of movies I probably haven't even watched. I'm not that big of a movie person to begin with. But I think this one was well written. You have to be on your toes, because there are many flashbacks and concurrent storylines to consider. But that just means, to me, that there was some real work to do to figure this out.

And I did it.

I have, in the last few days, risen to a new level of respect for actors, which had nothing to do with seeing this movie. It had to do with receiving Matt and his wife Sarah's part of my audio play. I had to listen to it because I needed to do some editing (all self-taught, mind you), and I had begun to freak out. Freaked because this was Matt, my hero, saying my words. And not just saying them, but acting them. On my best days, I think I can act too. But I was freaking, not because I was so impressed, but because I was so scared of hearing Matt do and say the things I had wrote for him to do and say. My script demanded him to be scared, hurt, angry, and funny. I put him through the wringer. I was imposing emotions on him that I, myself, would not want to go through. Especially not for others to gawk at. And on cue, Matt and his wife did them.

("Feedback is an actor??!" We've been through this before. Let's move on)

So I was freaking out because Matt got vulnerable for me, and so did his wife. They didn't do it for actual circumstances, they did it for my audioplay. They opened themselves up for me first, then for everyone else who will be listening to the completed project. It was like eavesdropping on their bedroom conversations. I was freaking out.

Then I got serious and handled my business, as a friend who I called in panic advised. Then I was able to listen to the thing and be amazed. Yes, Feedback is an actor. And he's a software engineer. And a husband. And my friend. And a superhero.

What's more, he and his wife are GOOD actors. When I link to the finished production you'll see. Actually, they may be good in the roles because they are playing themselves. And Matthew is actually a superhero, so it came naturally to him.

So yeah, my respect for acting is turned up a few notches.

And after tonight, so is my respect for myself and my talent for writing. I figured out what was going on in the movie. It was as though I took over for the writer midway through the movie and began to figure out where I had to place what clues in order to make the revelation be sensible. Just as every line was spoken, it was as though I had written them, and was reading them back to myself to make sure they supported the clues.

There may be a big credit that has to go to Matt for his enthusiasm when he received my script and moved ahead on the effort to complete his lines and get it back to me. He followed up on it and is fully on board to continue the series. That boosted my confidence for sure. But I've already established that Matt is a decent, supportive, wonderful superheroic kind of guy (See; Hero, mine). He wouldn't have written me back and said, "Uh Alan, really sorry but--don't quit your day job."

But he also wouldn't have rented out a studio and completed the dialogue within a week, and committed to any more of this project admist pblic appearences and earning a living to support himself and wife. Not if it were bad material.

So why am I stroking my ego all out where you can see?

Because, if you haven't gathered over the past 4 years of my blogging, I have a bit of a self-image problem. I had just about crippled myself with doubt and condemnation of my adult living skills. And just as things are getting better--just when I am getting my finances together, just when I am losing a good deal of weight, and just when I am making real plans for my future that I actually am happy with again, I discover that I'm also a good writer. Just as I've always hoped I would be. Just as I always wanted to be.

PLUS, I'm a friend of Matt Atherton's! So that's all right then!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

if u weren't 300 miles away i'd smack u upside yr head for just NOW figuring out that ur an INCREDIBLE writer -- do u hear me yelling??
Also, I don't know who this Matt guy is bcuz I read random entries and it's all fine and good that he's doing yr recording but just remember who yr 1st friend is!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

lol! If I'm, such a good writer, how come you don't know who Matt is?

This is Matt.

3:42 AM  

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