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About Jenna Cato Bass

I'm a director, writer, photographer, aspiring explorer and retired magician living in Cape Town, South Africa

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Writing... and visitations....

Posted August 20, 2010


So yesterday I kind of turned a corner. This is, with writing. David's on holiday in Mauritius, which I thought would make his emailed deadlines easier to avoid. Sadly, the sugared coconut rums have done nothing to dampen his alertness to the fact that the next script deadline is like, um, yesterday. Scary times. No doubt they will get scarier. But I think it will be OK. How did I manage? I will tell you. But really, you can't tell anyone...

So, I'm sitting there on the couch - my normal office being taken over by visiting cousins. So I'm writing from home. Seldom a good idea. At the moment it's proving to be not. A good idea. So I'm stuck. Seriously stuck. And then - I look up, and who is sitting on the next couch, smoking a Gauloise (despite the fact that smoking in the lounge is forbidden): Roman Polanski. So I say:

JENNA: Oh, Roman, I am so screwed. I can't work out this problem. What should I do?

ROMAN POLANSKI: Well, I found, that when situations became difficult, I would go to Paris. 

J: Um, I'm sorry, Roman, but that's not really practical for me right now. 

RP: Oh that is too bad, really. 

Then there was an awkward silence. 

J: But Roman, you've made some amazing films. Seriously, I still can't get over The Tenant, it's a masterpiece. 

RP: Well, I don't know. Maybe you should just listen to the new Arcade Fire album. I hear it is really good. 

J: Really? You listen to Arcade Fire in Switzerland? 

RP: But I will give you one piece of advice if you really want. 

J: OK, but just, will this be The Tenant/Chinatown advice, or will it be Bitter Moon advice, because if it's the latter....

RP: No, just listen to me, forget Bitter Moon, OK, just listen now. 

J: OK, of course. 

RP: I think this what you should do. Stop writing blog posts while you should be writing your film. We did not have blogging when I was working on Chinatown. Also, you should stop checking your phone all the time. It's uncomely for a young woman. 

J: Um...

RP: Just remember: you are either going to make a good film, or you're not. You know the answer already. 

At this point, he dissolved in a cloud of cigarette smoke. The faint sound of violins and.... the sea....

Still, this was an improvement on the last time I was visited by a fantasy director. The Coens just played ping-pong in the background, and I couldn't concentrate because of all the noise they made each time Ethan hit a great serve.

Anyway, better follow Roman's advice. I have a good film to make.