Mr. Jack: A New York Story - a Greek Tragedy
Mick Lexington is a writer who switched from wanting to write books to writing for streaming media. He has a TV series in development, and he is working on an indie film script that will be funded through both traditional fundraising and crowdfunding. We have conducted an interview with Mick.
How did you switch from wanting to write books to writing for streaming media?
As Kurt Vonnegut once said of writers, “One day we will all be writing for actors.” While researching a novel I came across some information, and I got the idea for the story behind Shanghai Shanghai. After spending some time writing the outline, it became apparent that there was more here than for a novel, further, not to write this for the screen would be a waste of words. I began outlining stories for a three-season TV series as studios and networks such as Netflix, etc. started talking about the need for “Original content.” It was a natural progression.
Which are some of the challenges you are facing on your current project?
I’m currently adapting the novel, Mr. Jack, into a screenplay. The challenge is in knowing what to cut, and what to keep. When compiling the 300 pages into 100 or so minutes of screen time, you have to stay focused on the message driving idea behind the story and take away all that doesn’t support the story. Michelagloe talked about sculpting as taking everything away from the block of marble that wasn’t the sculpture.
What or mainly who inspires you to write about issues like self-denial?
Self-denial isn’t of itself a topic of interest as much as Existentialist Philosophy. Thematically, Mr. Jack addresses questions of self-awareness and the cause and effect of the denial of self. We are all come into this Universe as emotionally naked entities in a hostile and competitive environment. Our experiences send us cascading and colliding into each other and other experiences, each one having some influence over the other. We learn as we go, getting it wrong until we get it right, then on to the next challenge on the way to the perfection of our being. The story of Val Shepard, the protagonist of Mr. Jack is just one of those experiences.
How different or similar is it to craft your characters in your film and novels?
In all fiction, whether for the page or the screen, a character is a vehicle with which the author tells a story. More so than the development of the characters is listening to what the characters say to you. I don’t feel I write, as much as I channel the thoughts and feelings of my characters.
What genre do you write?
I devote myself to dramas that address the elements that make us human. In my writing, I dig deeper than love, conquest, vengeance… I want to develop the emotions of a character which define its humanity. The love story where we betray our best friend to get our heart's desire? These are the secrets we don’t even tell ourselves.
In Mr. Jack, the obsession of the protagonist Val Shepard sets a series of events in motions which destroys all that he cherishes. Every entity has a responsibility to be true to their obligation to the Universe. Whether you are Neil Armstrong taking your first step on the moon, or a tramp eating your first meal from a garbage can, we all have equal importance in the grand scheme.
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