Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jamie Blaine's "Midnight Jesus"

Jamie Blaine is a licensed psychotherapist and crisis interventionist who has worked in mental hospitals, megachurches, rehabs, radio stations, and roller rinks. His writing has been featured in such outlets as Salon, OnFaith, Bass Guitar, Drummer UK, The Weeklings, The Nervous Breakdown, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

Here Blaine dreamcasts an adaptation of his new book, Midnight Jesus: Where Struggle, Faith, and Grace Collide...:
My influences are not that common for Christian writers. I didn’t read Buechner or C.S. Lewis or Merton. Not much, at least. I read screenplays and scripts like Raising Arizona and Escape from New York and Mean Girls and Freaks and Geeks and The Gilmore Girls. If you want to learn how to write great dialogue, read The Gilmore Girls. If you want insight into poignant without sentimentality, get both volumes of Freaks and Geeks, The Complete Scripts.

Midnight Jesus was written with adaptation in mind. It’s a screenplay turned into memoir. That hopefully will get turned back into script again. But my vision would be more Orange is the New Black than feature film. I like television. You can take your time telling the story and mine are episodic anyway.

Inspirational writers would do well to study scripts. Show, don’t tell. Cut needless words. Everything must move the action forward. Dialogue is king.

As for directors – I love the Freaks and Geeks / Undeclared era of Apatow and Feig. Love some of the Coen Brothers work. I mean, we’re just dreaming, right? Anton Corbijn’s ability to capture dark elegance. Certainly, David Lynch. Mike Judge’s clever touch with parable. Amy Heckerling, of course, the mastermind behind Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless. Do I have to pick one? Can’t they all work together? How about a team of Amy, Mike, Feig and Anton? Let’s throw Amy Sherman-Palladino in as well. Ah, wait. We gotta have Cameron Crowe.

How do you pick someone to play yourself? Hard to be objective. Heath Ledger that’s about 88 percent 10 Things I Hate about You and 12 percent Joker. Keanu Reeves split between Speed, Bill & Ted and Point Break. Kurt Russell equal parts Snake Plissken, Overboard and Tango and Cash.

In reality? I’ll likely get Dustin “Screech” Diamond or that kid who played Napoleon directed by whoever lands the Hallmark movie of the week gig. But that would still be fortuitous. Everyone dreams of getting their book translated to the screen.

Long as I get a cameo as a psych ward patient or late night crisis call. I want to see what the other end is like for a change.
Visit the Midnight Jesus website.

The Page 99 Test: Midnight Jesus.

--Marshal Zeringue