I spent part of today going over the script for the short film I’ll be shooting this coming weekend. Tomorrow night we’re doing some table work and rehearsal, which I’m now looking forward to more than ever.
I play a guy who’s had a recurring dream—for 216 nights in a row—which he’s begun pursuing in real life. He has a valuable notebook where he writes it all down. Last week I picked up the prop notebook, and I’ve started filling it per the writer/director’s direction.
It’s a great tool, not only for the plot but for me to develop this guy’s life. I’ve had to make all sorts of choices: there things that need to appear in the book, and I need to fill in the rest. So it’s quickly pushed me in to specifics about things like:
What time do I get up in the morning?
What clothes do I wear?
What’s my morning routine, and what do I eat for breakfast?
How often do I ride my bike? And where do I go? What do I see?
Just the volume of pages and detail alone are almost overwhelming, and after sitting for an hour, writing random (but specific) notes in various parts of this notebook (with the goal of filling the thing to the brim, less a few blank pages) I started to get a sense of the character’s obsessiveness with this recurring dream. I started to feel the anxiety and the drive, and the power of the dreams.
I started to find a path to the character.