I headed to the office yesterday to write some pages. I'd been writing at home but I was writing at the rate of one word a day, which isn't very good. I mean, the words were fine, I think last Tuesday I wrote the word "envelope" which I was incredibly proud of. But when you're trying to write a feature length screenplay, you need to write a little more. Being only 14 pages into the script - I decided I needed to sit down in a place with the specific purpose of writing a film. When I'm at home, it's like "Oh, hold on - forget the screenplay, I should just write a ten sentence blog about Nora Ephron," and then the script gets forgotten.
I managed to write 30 pages, taking me from 14 to 44 pages, (as I write that I realise you don't really need me to tell you how many more than 14 pages there are, you could have figured it out..). Anyways, I was very happy with myself. 30 Pages is a lot of pages, but that's how I write --- I float away onto a different planet and it comes out fast and quick, much like after you've eaten a good curry. I planned to write until half past four but by three o'clock I was done, I had nothing left to write. My energy was gone for the day. This was slightly annoying as I realised I had a meeting at five o'clock in Angel (that's a place, in London, not a person. I don't have meetings in people).
I left the office and started walking towards Picadilly Circus. Just before I got there, I got a text saying "Could we meet in Picadilly Circus?" - and of course, that was very convenient for me, so I said "Yes." Of course, having told you it was convenient it's unlikely I would have said no, I'm just enjoying stating the obvious today. With 45 minutes to spare, I decided to go to the cinema.
'Up In The Air' was just about to start. I wanted to see it for two reasons. One, because I'm actually seeing it on Wednesday with a friend - so I thought it'd be good to see the first forty five minutes in case it's awful. And also, having just written 44 pages, it seemed like a good idea, using the 'page a minute' ratio, to see 45 pages worth of a film so that I could compare. Of course, comparing your writing to an Oscar nominated film is perhaps a bit crazy. But then, when they nominate Avatar for best picture, it makes me think I should enter my seven year old cousins home movies to the Academy Awards.
I soon realised I wouldn't be seeing 45 minutes of the film because there were about thirty minutes of trailers. This annoyed me. But then, as if by magic, the actress I was meeting text me to say she'd be half an hour late. And by this point I was thinking, she must be psychic or something, I should definitely use her in a project.
Then it happened. A short, dense, low THUD to the back of my chair. I felt special --- out of a near empty cinema the couple had chosen to sit behind me. I was sitting one row in front of the back row, on the far far right. I sat there because it was nearest the exit and I knew I'd be leaving after forty five minutes. Why they chose to sit directly behind me on the far far right, I don't know. I can only assume they had to leave to go see a play after 46 minutes. Whatever the reasons, they wouldn't have bothered me- it was just the THUD.
It completely boggled my mind. It wasn't like I was being kicked in a traditional way, like the nine year old little shithead on the plane, or the sixteen year old on the bus who's trying to impress his friends by practically bullying you with a constant banging against your seat . No, this was more sophisticated than that.
Imagine Rocky punching someone in the face as hard as he could. Now imagine that slowed down by 700% until it is an agonizingly slow, meticulous THUD. That is what I had to put up with, every two and a half minutes, or so. I tried to figure out what was going on -- involuntary leg spasms? Was it some kind of code to invite me to the back row for a threesome? If I had been there for the whole film, I would have said something. Something like "DO YOU WANT ME TO TAKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S POPCORN AND SMASH EACH PIECE INTO YOUR FOREHEAD IN SLOW MOTION SO IT'S LIKE 700 UNUSUALLY INTENSE THUDS?"
Unfortunately, when I do things like that, people find me odd - especially if I'm with a girl. Then she's like "What Thud? What are you talking about? You're imagining things."
I'll let you know my thoughts on the rest of 'Up In The Air' tomorrow, when I see all of it, unless Mr & Mrs Dull Thud are there, in which case, I'll update you when my prison cell gets Wi-Fi.
And if you go back tomorrow, sit on the back row! Then no one can chair-thud you.