Monday, April 16, 2007

An over-elaborated metaphor for screenwriting

There's a spider in the bathroom. Come to think of it, there's probably a whole nest of spiders [spiders nest, right? Right]. But the biggest of the spiders has been sat in the bathroom since first thing yesterday morning, trying to climb up the sides of the bath. If I had to guess, I'd say the next is down the plughole, maybe in a side vent that links the main wste pipe with the overflow pipe. Not many spiders make it up the waste pipe into the bath. There's probably dozens of them down there, dreaming about getting up into the light, savouring the wide open expanses of the bath. How many of them try to climb up the waste pipe and don't make it? I don't know, because I never see them. Maybe they fall, maybe they give up, maybe they reach the top and find some bugger has put the plug in, maybe they get washed away when the bath is emptied. They had dreams but didn't make it past the first, gigantic obstacle.

You can see where I'm going with this, can't you?

Once the spiders make it up and out on to the bath, they find a vast plateau. It took guts and persistance and hard graft to get this far. They've had a breakthrough, they've achieved what some many others couldn't. Congratulations. But that was just one part of the journey. Now they've got to get out of the bath. And that's even harder. The sides are shiny and smooth and slippery. Just when you think you've gotten a good grip and are making progress, the slop gets too steep and you're liable to slide back down again. You can see all the possibilities that lay beyond the bath, but you can't touch them. YOu can even see a spider's web up in one corner of the ceiling, with a fat juicy fly stuck inside it. Find a way out of the bath and maybe you could enjoy that sort of success, a place of your own, with big fat opportunities coming to you. No more chasing your next payday, your next meal.

Of course, the life of another spider always looks easier when you're stuck in the bath. Think about all the work that spider in the web had to do to build that web, all the effort that goes into maintaining that web. From down in the bath, that looks easy, hell, they make it look effortless. Sure, maybe one day you'll have a web of your own and you'll be sitting pretty. But first you've got to climb out of the bath. And that'll take skill and talent and persistance and a bit of luck. You never know when somebody gonna turn on the taps. Once that happens, you'll be swept back down the plughole, back to where you started, maybe even further. Wipeout. So you don't get many shots and you've got to make your chance count, right? Right.

Hmm. Think I'll go help that spider get out of the bath. Everybody needs a helping hand every now and then, don't they?

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