I’m currently wrapping up a full revision of “A Different Life,” the feature length screenplay that I’ve been working on since September. It’s not done by any means, but I feel it’s time to step away for a couple months and have some people read it before I start another revision.
“A Different Life” is very loosely based on real life stories that my wife has told me over the last few years about growing up in Siberia. I’ve taken hundreds of stories, combined them, spliced them, expanded on them, made them my own, and created totally new characters in a totally different time period than my wife’s childhood. There are light political subplots that run through a story that is essentially an all too often occurrence in Siberia.
Visiting Omsk last year, for the first time, was an eye opening experience. It really is a different way of life, a harder life, than I could have ever imagined while listening to my wife’s stories. I found the countryside to be so beautiful, yet the living conditions to be almost third world. It made me think about the day in and day out farm work that my wife and her family had to partake in, and the prevalent need to get out (though it hardly ever happens). Getting out of my small suburban town about 90 miles outside of NYC was tough, never mind getting out of a village on the outskirts of Omsk to find a new life, a different life. That was what inspired me. Writing this screenplay was more about discovering what it would be like to live that life than anything else.
As I put this project to rest for a bit (not really to rest, just out of my mind while some others read it), I’ve been considering what my next writing project will be.
I have two possibilities. First is a modern day (actually, slightly in the future) political drama dealing with love, lies, adultery, immigration and politics. That’s a mouthful. Second is an adaptation of a short story that I read last year and was immediately inspired by the story, themes and visuals. (I’m currently in the process of optioning the rights to the short story, so I’ll hold off on publicly discussing the specific story until those negotiations are complete.) Overall, the story deals with some pretty timely and provocative themes which drew me in immediately. It’s already quite visual in the poetic prose that is presented in the book. I will at some point work on both projects, but which one is next?