Had a great meeting with film director Dani Menkin last week. Dani is based in Los Angeles but born and raised in Israel so he has a great perspective on Tel Aviv in the early ’90’s, the setting for my love story screenplay Seeing Maya. We’d spoken before, but this was the first time we met in person, and the conversation really flowed. I had to run him to the airport or we could have easily kept going.
I find when I’m writing there is this wonderful point where something seemingly foreign enters the recipe, whether originating from myself or someone else, that causes me to step back, gain some distance, and bang, the clarity comes.
I commented to Dani that my protagonist, Danny, like most Americans I know who moved to Israel, were escaping something here, as well as being drawn to something there. In other words, the personal is at least as important as the ideological. Usually more so.
Dani accepted this and innocently suggested that Danny should have a very literal reason for escaping the US to Israel, which led to some really funny brainstorming on the spot, which led to an overall reconsideration of humor for Seeing Maya. There were already funny moments, but more humor helps take it further away from the predictable “heavy” of the setting.
It was a great turn in the road, and I am looking forward to implementing into the screenplay.
We also talked about some of the mechanics of moving this project forward, and I like the path that I see emerging.