A work of art is the expression of a feeling experienced by the artist: it is feeling fashioned into a fantastic form by the imagination. This is certainly true of a film script. The literal action of a script, the surface incidents, may be fictional, they may be weird, but the feelings engendered within them are true. This is much like a dream.
One night, during production for Distracted, I dreamt I was in a living room and there was a figure lying on a sofa. I didn’t know who the figure was, in fact, I couldn’t even see them, hidden as they were under some blankets. All I knew was that the figure was in the process of dying and that my task was to protect them. I could hear the sound of a television coming from another room. I turned to the people stood around me and asked them who it was. They said they didn’t know, they said it was an intruder who had broken in, and they said he wasn’t violent or disruptive, he was simply watching television. I thought about dealing with him, confronting him and getting rid of him now, because he might become more of a problem later. But then I thought that perhaps it was better to leave to him alone, contained as he was – confronting him might lead to an escalation of the problem and take me away from my task of protecting the ailing figure.
During production for Distracted and prior to the night of the dream, I was confronted with a similar dilemma. A problem had occurred that was unconnected to the film. As in the dream, I was torn between leaving the problem contained, hoping it wouldn’t develope, and confronting it head on but risking escalation, so taking my attention away from the production. The point is this: the scenarios, the surface incidents, were enitrely different, and one a reality while the other a dream, but the feeling engendered in each was identical.
A script is like a dream.