Wanna hear something sad?
Well sad for me, maybe not for you.
I haven’t written a post about John Hughes since last September.
Oh sure, I wrote about breaking and entering The Breakfast Club High School in April, I threw in the screenplay posts here and there, then I defended him against an article Molly Ringwald wrote, but a true John Hughes post has not come from these fingers in over a year.
WHAT HAS BECOME OF ME?
Instead, I am writing posts about how to style your mantel or how not to get lice.
It’s fine, it’s something I am okay with in my soul but sometimes my soul feels a little empty and you know why?
There’s no John Hughes in there.
It was as I began to realize that if you’ve been reading my blog for only the past six months that you may have no idea of my John Hughes dependence when I got kind of sad.
We’re also getting farther and farther away from when his movies were popular and relevant, which means we are kind of forgetting him.
Oh sure, I see the occasional reference to his movies in pop culture today.
The Goldbergs television show, for example.
I’m sorry, but their John Hughes-inspired remakes just aren’t funny.
Then a few months ago, I watched the documentary Don’t You Forget About Me for the first time when I was home sick with bronchitis.
I was hella excited because it was aboot (that’s not a typo) some Canadian filmmakers (wannabe movie stars) who travel from Canada to Chicago (because it’s warmer?) in their quest to find John Hughes.
It was when Mr. Hughes was still alive, so like 2008, I think.
Anyway, I was annoyed by it because they were being kind of overdramatic (see wannabe movie stars) about this journey to meet their “hero”.
Also, they all looked annoyingly in their twenties, so I started to get suspicious because in 2008 I was almost 40 and so was most of the generation who grew up with him.
I’m all for the younger generation loving movies from the past, but I get suspicious when that generation makes a film about a spiritual journey to the suburbs of Chicago to meet someone who made movies when they were still in the womb.
BUT I’m skeptical by nature so…
Then they completely lost me when they decided to HAND WRITE a note to MR. JOHN HUGHES and leave it with HIS GARDENER telling him to COME OUT OF “HIDING” and meet them for coffee the next day.
I was actually rooting for John Hughes and cheering loudly at the television screen when they fast forwarded and told the viewing audience that he sent their handwritten note back three months later.
Of course, the note was opened on camera, because why wouldn’t it be?
So after seeing this “documentary”, I realized that my screenplay shared the same name and it got me all concerned-like.
What if the millennials think I was inspired by their docu-drama? (I wasn’t) What if that’s bad juju? (It probably is) What if Simple Minds decides to sue me? (Don’t you forget about the fact that I am broke) What if I’m the only one who likes my screenplay? (Like, totally)
Anyway, in a bronchitis-induced haze, I decided hastily that I was gonna change the name of my screenplay as not to get sued.
Even though I was using all of the John Hughes characters names in my screenplay from beginning to end.
THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT.
I got inspired to work on my screenplay and do some editing, and in turn created a cool ending that would match the new title name: Dear John Hughes.
Did I Google the name to figure out if it was already taken?
GOD NO. ARE YOU NEW HERE??
Only I didn’t say fudge.
Did I also mention that I had submitted my screenplay to the website Script Revolution for the entire public to read with the new title, Dear John Hughes?
Did I also mention that while sure, the new title reflected a change to the beginning of the last scene, it didn’t AT ALL mesh with the real ending?
Side note- the ending is SO GOOD. SO GOOD. I want to tell it to you right now! SO. GOOD.
Did I also mention that summer was upon me and that meant less frivolous writing and more intentional writing (meaning=money)?
Then it hit me: when did my screenplay writing become frivolous?
If I wasn’t giving it the love and care it needed, it would never become anything other than words on a page.
But life happened.
I got some icky health news.
I celebrated 30 years since I graduated high school at my reunion.
I had a massive panic attack.
My husband lost his job.
My husband found another job but he was working much longer hours.
Anna went away to college.
I’m not saying all of this for sympathy but rather to give you reference points because right after the massive panic attack but before Mike lost his job, I revisited my old friends Kate, Regina, and Val.
And it was so good to see them again.
I told them about what was going on in my world and they agreed that I needed to come to sit with them more often.
Yes, I realize they are fictional.
Again, are you new here??
Over the course of a month, I carved out time to work on the screenplay; at four in the morning before the house woke up; at 10 at night before my husband came home from work but after Ella went to bed; in the notes section of my phone while waiting for sports and lessons to end. And during this time, I came up with some really good ideas.
Well, I think they’re good, but not sure if they are empirically good.
I completely changed the ending from the original ending because I honestly hated it. Then I took out parts of the middle and completely edited the entire thing in little places so it sounded more realistic; well, as realistic as a kidnapping the brat pack scenario could sound. Then I changed the title back to the original one because I couldn’t think of anything better, lawsuits be damned.
But it was during this overhaul that I began to have a terrible thought: what if it never gets made into a movie?
If you’ve been thinking this all along, welcome ME to the party.
Because all along, I did have faith that it would somehow get picked up.
Some small movie company that had no budget would make this screenplay into something pretty funky, creative, and in turn, amazing. A high school student who loves film would take it on as a pet project and it would gain this teenage viral following which is much better than a mainstream studio following, exactly what I envisioned for this in the first place.
I was just providing the blueprint for something even bigger than itself. Passing the baton on to someone with more experience, more creativity, more energy, and in some cases, more expertise, more connections. I just wanted to get the ball rolling.
I was waiting for some people so enthusiastic, kind of like those Canadian wannabe actor/documentarians (except nothing like them) to see my screenplay and yell HOLY HELL THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR.
The world is full of drama, why on Earth do we need to pay money to see it on screen, when all you have to do is open your smartphone and see it for free?
We need lightheartedness!
We need NOT think!
We need the fucking 80’s to come back!
SAVE OUR WRETCHED SOULS!
When I first shared my screenplay in this space, I was really stoked because I was receiving such a great response from all of you,
Especially because I was terrified that you all would be reading something I put a lot of time into and thinking, “that’s it??”.
But it was exciting that most of you were on the same page and were “getting” what I was throwing down.
THEY GET IT!!
THEY SEE THE VISION!!
THEY LIKE ME!! THEY REALLY, REALLY LIKE ME!!
I was browsing on eBay for used ball gowns in preparation for my future Academy Awards appearance when slowly, with the share of each scene, I started to see that enthusiasm dwindle.
No! No! It gets better! I PROMISE!! Don’t leave nowwwwww.
Fewer likes on Facebook, fewer shares on Twitter, one or two comments on each post, then sadly no comments on the posts.
It was sad for me, not gonna lie.
They don’t get it anymore.
They think I’m nuts.
Maybe I am.
It became less about my “vision” and more about you liking me. I hate admitting that here because it makes me seem shallow.
But it’s true and if I am being transparent on here, you need to know this. Because I spent a whole hell of a lot of time talking about this screenplay. I even have a tab up there at the top of the blog that has the word screenplay on it.
Do I remove it? Do I drop it altogether? Every time I turn on my computer, there it sits on my home screen, “Don’t You Forget About Me’ glaring at me, reminding me I am doing absolutely nothing with it.
GIVE ME A SIGN, JOHN HUGHES!
I’m not a good promoter of myself, a salesperson per se and I never have been. I envy people who can sit at a table with other people and sell themselves. I attended a blogging conference last year and had to “sell myself” to ten different brands in a small conference room, one table at a time. If hell had a conference room in a resort in suburban Chicago, this was it. I mumbled to each table about how I really don’t want to work with their brand, how I got free tickets because I wrote a blog post, and the true reason I was there was that I was going to see friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. Oh, and I wrote a screenplay too.
I realize that the reason this screenplay isn’t being made into something more is about me and not at all about you, so please know that I am in no way blaming anyone besides myself.
So maybe a chapter is closing, maybe it isn’t. All I know is that with each month, each year that passes so does the relevance of his films that would make my screenplay at all relevant enough to get made into a movie, to begin with.
When all is said and done, I still have a screenplay that I really love and if you want to see how it ends. you can totally hit it up at Script Revolution.
Maybe I’ll host a free reading at your local Panera Bread so we can sit, eat You Pick Two’s together while drinking coffee and talking about how those annoying Canadians needed to right the wrong of that documentary. Oh and hear the ending of the screenplay too. I TOLD YOU I WASN’T GOOD AT PROMOTING MYSELF!
At the end of the day, I want those who come to this blog for the first time to know of my love for John Hughes and his films, and how badly I still want a museum in his honor to be in Chicago. That it’s more than just a screenplay tab at the top of this blog, or a John Hughes category button on my sidebar. That I didn’t do it for pageviews (obviously), or bragging rights, or even to become a famous writer (because I already am, duh!). That I don’t only write sponsored material, paint pumpkins when I’m blue, or help you to create a fantastic holiday table using only Dollar Tree merchandise.
That I also I really, really dig John Hughes.
Oh, and I wrote a screenplay too.