Earlier tonight I watched a 2011 film called "Twixt" written, produced, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Val Kilmer plays Hall Baltimore, a horror writer on a book tour who makes a stop in a small town. Sheriff Bobby La Grange piques the writer's interest with tales of a past massacre as well as a more recent local serial killer, whose latest victim is a young girl in the morgue. Baltimore's creative juices really get stimulated by the dream he has that night in his motel room, which is presented in a beautiful black and white cinematography with certain colors accented- red, yellow, etc. Otherworldliness is achieved.
I enjoyed watching this film, but I loved watching the Behind The Scenes documentary on the making of the film,made and directed by Gia Coppola, one of Francis's grandchildren. Here, we learn the story was conceived in the Dreamtime, for Francis Ford Coppola was in an inebriated sleep in Istanbul when he dreamt the dream portrayed as Val Kilmer's Baltimore's first dream. The morning call to prayer woke Coppola before he could find out the ending, but he recorded what he had anyway, and it became Twixt.
I love this story, because it mirrors my own. Well, except for the fact that Coppola is an established film genius creator writer director producer and I am not, at this point in time. But, we are both storytellers. I have had many dreams, filled with fantastical elements, funny moments, poignant scenes, quirky characters, and even star casting. I've even had some dreams with titles and credits. But, I'm not looking for a career as a filmmaker, although, as a writer, I envision some of my work transitioning onto film.
He took this story, that his subconcious mind presented him, while, I might add, he was in a slightly altered state of mind, in a foreign land-- like I often am when I feel my creative juices charge-- and turned it into a finished film, a finished story. This is what I need to practice doing. I haven't yet figured out how to flesh out the characters in my dreams, or fill in the missing parts of the story. Maybe it's because I'm too close to the elements I have that I have difficulty expounding upon them, or maybe it's because I haven't formally studied the process of constructing and deconstructing a story, but I want to be able to do that.
Mostly, there are a few stand-out dreams that are begging to be polished into stories:
- The Story of Peter and Grace and The Bridge
- The Story of Time Traveling to the Barn in the Seventies Run By Piggy Mama
- The Story of The Little Boy on the Bridge in The Storm
- The Black Demon King
- The Faceless Black Cartoon Things With The Big Smiles
I've worked with the last one in a short story that is as yet unfinished. I also based a large portion of a novel on no. 3, but that, too, is unfinished.
I hope to complete something with my dream stories. When I was painting canvases, my best work often came from my dreams.