Where did the idea for Tilt come from? Easy question. A dream. I dreamt it. It was right about this time four years ago. I remember because it was right before my daughter’s first birthday. I love being a dad, but sleep had been kind of rough on me that first year she was born. I would wake up from nightmares about having forgotten her places, or that she had quit breathing during the night. It wasn’t uncommon for me to check on her a couple times, even after she had started sleeping, for the most part, through the night.
The night the magic happened, the nightmare was a little bit different. My little girl was all grown up. It was so surreal that when I finally woke with my teeth clenched tight, drenched in panic, I knew instantly that it had only been a dream. The very next thought that popped into my head was to grab a pen and my notebook, so I could write it down.
I have what my wife affectionately calls “the hurt brain”. An illness, I believe, that may be common in husbands. Symptoms include… forgetting to take out the trash, forgetting to pick up milk on the way home, and sometimes the lack of fine motor skills that keep laundry from making it into the basket. My wife has given me a prescription of notes. These notes “save” me.
Having spent a youth (that lasted until I was almost 30) with the motto “you never know how much is enough, until you know how much is too much”, I have thought, maybe my wife is right about this “hurt brain” stuff. There have been times when, what I thought was a great idea, has flown out the door, because I didn’t write it down. Well, those days are done.
I use notebooks for all my ideas, stories, scenes, witty lines, and complete garbage that I come up with. I’ve tried many different kinds, but my favorite are the small moleskins. And no, I am not being paid with cash or free product to say that. They are handy, small, and I use them all the time.
Why yes, I did write in this one with a green sparkle pen. When genius strikes, you go with what’s available.
Just think, had I not jumped up in the middle of the night to write down an idea that scared the hell out of me, I may not have been able to pass it on to Julie and Jessica (@kingisafink) to write a script. It may have been just another idea that popped into my head and disappeared like any other bad dream with the morning light.
Four years have passed since that night. My little girl is almost five, and the story is now in Julie and Jessica’s capable hands. Things are really starting to come together. This idea/nightmare from long ago is finally being born with the help and collaboration of others. I never would have thought that writing down a simple paragraph in the middle of the night would lead to working on my very first feature film, but here we are. I hope you will find this process as interesting and fun as I do and perhaps follow along with us while Tilt is in the process of being born.