‘Dakota Skye’ Behind-the-Scenes Pic(s)-of-the-Week #5
I love this pic but I’m not sure I know what to say about it.
This day was my attempt to be one of my heroes, Alfred Hitchcock. You see, that’s me in the back right, behind my buddy Chuck, down the aisle from Val and Sam, otherwise known as our hair and make-up department (if you watch the film closely, you will see these two as extras quite a bit).
I’m terrible in front of the camera. As soon as film or video starts turning over, I clam up. But I wanted to be in Dakota Skye. Just a glimpse of me. You never know if you’re ever going to get another chance to make a movie (and I haven’t thus far) and I wanted proof I was there.
Unfortunately, in the film, I wasn’t in frame. Oh well.
About the scene itself, though…
This scene contains the most quoted line of the entire film.
The driveway I-want-to-tell-you-I-like-you scene is by far the most popular scene in the film, but the movie theater speech, it seems to strike a cord with people. It’s been quoted on Twitter a bunch, made into Tumblr memes.
I honestly don’t remember writing it.
When you’re writing, not everything comes out consciously. You outline, you brainstorm, you spend untold hours pondering and obsessing, going through sentence by sentence, line by line, to makes sure everything is perfect and with intent… and sometimes the thing that people latches onto is something that just came out one day during rewrites.
I use a lot of repetition in my writing. It’s just something I do. I bring back the same phrase over and over again, each time at a different part of the journey. Sometimes I vary it; sometimes I don’t. The hope is that by the time you hear the words for the last time (like “Lucky me.”), they mean something very different to the viewer. I also do it to bring a sort of symmetry to the work, as in the use of the ‘cute stoner boy’ line. I don’t know when this became part of my style but it is. Some people like it. Others don’t. I’m sure I could do without it, but I don’t want to. I think it’s fun.
Originally, the movie theater scene pictured above had a completely different voice-over. I don’t remember what it was, but I’m sure it was lame. Now that I think about it, that scene may not have even existed. It probably came in way late into the rewriting process.
Either way. I had a vision in my mind of the three of them sitting in a movie theater, like above, like in the movie. Of course, the actors didn’t have faces, but I could see them all the same. And I just started writing. I got onto this structure of three sets of similarly structured sentences.
Looking at Kevin: Predictable doesn’t always mean boring. Lust doesn’t always mean love. Near doesn’t always mean close.
Looking at Jonah: New doesn’t always mean exciting. Different doesn’t always mean better. Far doesn’t always mean distant.
Looking at herself: Knowing everything doesn’t make you smart. Knowing the truth doesn’t make you superior. Knowing your problem doesn’t solve it.
Nine sentences, all with the word “doesn’t” in them. But it wasn’t done. It needed a button. Something to send us out on, something to sum it up. But something that still worked in the flow of the monologue.
I don’t remember writing it. I probably didn’t even think it was that good when I did. Sometimes you just type shit, you know, and hope you can go back later and make it good. But the monologue stayed in. The line stayed in. And a lot of people latched onto it. Which is great. It really just felt like a placeholder when I wrote it, though.
My favorite bit of voice-over is the ‘Sometimes I think I made him up’ piece in New York. Now that I worked very hard on. Every word was chosen carefully. Those lines rattled around in my head for years. And people quote that section, too. But not nearly as much as the movie theater.
C’est la Vie, said the old folks. Goes to show you never can tell.
This hasn’t been all that fascinating, but I really like that picture and wanted to share it. But that’s all that’s coming to me. My failed attempt at a Hitchcock and the most famous sentence I have ever written.
Whatever. I’ll do better next week.