Witch in the Woods

This is the end...

SO, I haven't written a blog in ten days. But there's good news: I haven't written a blog because I've been too busy writing a script.

But now I'm done.

That's right!

has now hit...

More as it develops, and the planning phase for the second script begins imminently, but for the moment, I'm going to get some sleep.

Play us out, Lizard King.

-Jake T.

Preach it!

For those who don't know, my father is a Methodist minister. Consequently, I've got a lot of sympathy for ministers in fiction, which tends to be rough going as more often than not if there's a religious figure in a piece of fiction they're evil, since a villainous pious person is a pretty easy hypocrisy to counterpoint a protagonist's goodness.

On the other side of the equation, I also get frustrated when religion is shown in a good way by providing cheap, easy platitudes. I love it when we see someone really wrestle with religion in films like WINTER LIGHT or CALVARY. Now, I'm not writing anything that heady, but when it came time to write the sermon that ends Act One of THE WITCH IN THE WOODS, I wanted my minister, a good but flawed man, to really wrestle with spiritual loneliness. It's something that hits any religious person at one time or another, and I think it would certainly be hitting the citizens of the town of Putnam at this point in the script.

Loneliness has emerged as a theme, maybe THE theme, of the script. It only seemed appropriate, then, to have my Into Act Two break center around a town, through its spiritual leader, giving into loneliness and despair, only to have the extremely lonely and isolated witch, ANNE, arrive to give them aid.

SO, I figured I'd share that bit of sermon and break here, just to show you proof of life for this crazy script. Here you go! FATHER CAVENDISH'S SERMON:


Most of you have heard about what happened yesterday, about the dire straits our town is in. Some of you have even come to me asking for guidance. There are things a pastor is supposed to tell his flock at such times. "Have faith." "Trust in God." "The Lord will provide." But those are cheap lessons, and in times like these cheap lessons are the ones we can afford the least. The Lord does not always provide. He did not provide for John or Sarah Latham, and in the coming days he may not provide for our water, our comfort, possibly even our lives. In the coming days, we may feel entirely alone.

But we won't be the first to feel that way, nor the last. Let us remember, the good Lord Jesus Christ was terribly alone on the cross and in his hellish sojourn the three days following. In our righteous journey to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, perhaps it is only right that occasionally we share in his loneliness. Let us take comfort and possibly, ironically, find communion in the realization that, at times, we are, all of us, terribly alone.

BOOM! The door to the church BURSTS OPEN! Everyone turns to see ANNE and HANSEL standing in the church doorway.


Oh, hey! Here you all are! Sorry, am I interrupting something? Anyways, whenever you're done here, I was thinking...maybe I'd help you take down some witches.

Sitting in a chair behind the altar, SISTER EMILY smiles.



More soon!

-Jake T.


On The Download

So it's come to my attention that the detailed breakdown of THE WITCH IN THE WOODS I posted earlier as JPEGs was not able to be easily popped up/magnified, so I'm putting it here as an embedded file, which will hopefully make it easier to get a more solid view.

Using the above embed you should be able to open a more full-sized version in another window or download a version, whichever you prefer.

Fingers crossed!

-Jake T.

The Time Draws Nigh

It has all come to this. Soon, I will start actually writing this crazy script. I've spent the past week staring at these planning documents, thinking about the holes, the storylines I'm worried about, the relationships that might not be fleshed out enough. Somethings have come together, some things have not, but it's getting to be time to shoulder on.

Here are some of the things I'm wrestling with. Firstly, I went in and graphed out the general feeling the town has towards the Witch. Here it is! A graph! I know what you were thinking. You were thinking "I hope there will be graphs in this project." YOU WIN!

How the Town Feels About the Witch

Secondly, here are some of the questions and thoughts I'm grappling with:

    • I like the idea of the familiar, and I think it could be a fun addition to the film. I've got thoughts on the familiar, but I wonder if it's a step too far?
    • Basically, I see the Familiars as their consciousnesses, their Jimminy Crickets. The laws of story would point towards our Witch's familiar dying in the final battle after a heroic sacrifice, which is a beat I don't have currently that I could probably use.
    • Also, our Witch's familiar could get us our patented "Save the Cat" moment at the top of the script. Her relationship with her familiar will make her relatable.
    • Just so you know, here are the other witches' familiar: Water Witch - Snake. Air Witch - Falcon. Earth Witch - Warthog. Fun, right?! Right???!
    • Originally, I was thinking the primary theme would be overcoming fear of the unfamiliar, both for the Witch and the Town. But now I'm leaning more towards moving past the prejudices of what's come before.
    • Can I at all pull off a reasonable, effective romance between the Woodsman and the Witch? This is possibly the part of the script I'm most worried about.
    • The part I'm second-most worried about. It's a lot of exposition, but I think I can seed large portions of it earlier so we can just tie a ribbon around it at the end. A movie I've been thinking about as I write this is Tim Burton's SLEEPY HOLLOW, a movie I have a huge soft spot for. That movie has MIranda Richardson do a huge exposition dump at the end which isn't the most graceful writing Andrew Kevin Walker's ever done, but I think he and Burton make it work by turning it into high camp, which is a tool I think we could use here and possibly elsewhere in the script. I think high camp might be a good place to pitch a lot of this story.

Anyways, that's where my head's at with the script. I start actually writing the script no later than Saturday, which puts me ahead of schedule, knock on wood.

Oh, also, I don't love the title. If anyone had any thoughts on that, or any other piece of this crazy puzzle, let me know.

Until then!

-Jake T.