Something Good #53: Never Happened
In 2013 I threw a big New Year’s Eve Party, staggered home at about 4AM, and woke up in China. (I was going to China with my dad and the flight left at about 7AM, so I just stayed up all night; technically, the above is true.)
One thing I like about travelling is it disrupts my (already fucked-up) sleep patterns. Most, if not of all of my best ideas have either come in dreams or in the hypnagogic or hypnopompic states just before or after sleeping, respectively. (I gave a talk about this once, memorialized in a podcast here.) While on the road and in different time zones, I tend to wake up at unusual times, often in the middle of REM sleep, making it easier to remember my dreams and the ideas that accompany them.
One morning, a few days after arriving, I woke up in my hotel room in Beijing with a fully-fleshed idea for a short film script in my head. I got up and tapped it out on my iPad in my underwear and promptly forgot about it.
One day I will write about other things that happened on my trips to China, including getting an MRI at a local hospital (where I witnessed an angry scene caused by a patient, who, it was explained to me, was the spurned lover of one of the doctors), and a revelatory, less-corny-than-it-sounds, experience in a Buddhist temple in Guangzhou. Those stories are for another time, though.
Several years passed.
One day, my friend Brendan Steacy, a cinematographer, called me and asked if I had any short film ideas “in the drawer,” so to speak, as he had just finished a big TV gig and wanted to do something fun and free with his equipment. I remembered the script I wrote in Beijing and a few short weeks later we were making Never Happened with the generous help of our stars, Anna Hopkins, Aaron Abrams and Mia Kirshner, composer Graham Van Pelt, VFX creator Michael Winder and editor Matthew Hannam. (As well as many other people who gave us their time and effort.)
The film played at Toronto, Tribeca and a bunch of other places. Since some of you readers may not know that I make movies when not writing newsletters and games, I thought I would share it with you.
You can watch it here:
Going through some very old photos today, I found this beginning of a short story tucked into a picture sleeve. I have barely any memory of writing this but from its location it seems to be from high school. What is the “favour” the narrator is about to ask for? What was I doing writing about “broad-shouldered” glass-blowing women at the age of 16? Some questions may not have answers.
This week’s #nojacketsrequired was submitted by Fiona Foster and then forgotten in a sub-folder for months. Apologies and thanks to Fiona; go read her book and when you’re done, send me a de-jacketed find of your own. At this point, you must know where.
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