Death and Screenwriting
In my screenwriting class, I wrote a script about people dealing with death. Why? Well, the script idea was really born out of procrastination. The night before a summary of the idea was due, I spent my time working on another large project that was due the same day. I didn't have any ideas for short films, so I just thought "Hey! Why not use an idea from a novel I plan to write? I already have notes on it." Thus, my death script was born. My teacher really liked the idea, and even though I didn't think it was well thought out, I was kind of happy that I wouldn't have to think of a new one. Little did I know that by the time I got into the script writing process, I would be wishing that I had.
You see, I wrote the script based on my own death-related experience. When I was in my early teens, one of my siblings passed away. This began years of hearing one of my parents complain about stupid things that people who comfort mourners say, and how these people aren't just not comforting, but don't know how the mourners feel. So, I thought, what better thing to write about than how mourners really do feel? Unfortunately, even though I went through it, I apparently still don't know how they feel.
Throughout the whole process, I was very, for lack of a better word, logical. I was sad that my sibling had died, but I quickly realized that he was in heaven now (according to my belief system) and that what happened was for the best (also according to my beliefs). When people would tell me these things, I was annoyed that they were telling me things I already knew, while others in my family were annoyed at them telling them things they couldn't accept. I even went so far as to think it was selfish for people to be sad about the death, because it was only bad for them, not for the dead person. Of course, I tried to keep quiet about this so as not to be insulting to others' feelings.
So here I am, writing this story about mourning when I clearly don't know how the average person feels during it. I quickly realize there's going to be a problem when my story outline is read in class. I ask people what to do, and they say I should go ahead with my point of view despite its "uniqueness." This is what I do.
Today I got comments from my teacher on the script. He doesn't believe the character who lost a family member would be so logical. And he thinks that the young characters wouldn't express themselves as clearly as I have them doing. He says that the kids he knows don't express themselves that clearly, but the kids I know do. Argh! I'm totally stuck. I don't know how I'm supposed to write a script about something I don't know about without being cliche, but if I write what I know about, no one will believe it. What on earth am I supposed to do?