The image above is copyrighted ©2016 by Marc Alexander Valle
I finished four screenplays as a teenager while my grades suffered. The first was called Land of the Lost River. It was a Spielberg-inspired story. It involved heroes fighting Nazis and dinosaurs, looking for the fountain of youth and messiah-like aliens saving the day in the end.
Then there was An Unserialed Surreal Christmas Carol. It took place in a small mid-west city. The main character, who attempted to move to Hollywood to make movies, got stuck in this city on his way there. No need to get into detail. Nearly all other elements resembled Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.
Worn to Perfection was a script that I wrote for Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It was about two aging con-artists bonding together for one last heist.
Finally, there was Abduction. It was about a teenager who abducts the man that he believes molested him.
This is what I see now:
Land of the Lost River was about being saved from myself.
An Unserialed Surreal Christmas Carol was about being lost
Worn to Perfection was actually about the pain of absent grandparents. Elderly relatives that would have put my household’s anxiety in balance had they been present.
Abduction was about anxiety, depression, mental illness and my desire to be diagnosed with one. Because if you were as strange as I believed people saw me, and if you were alienated as I felt, than you’d want a mental illness to explain it too.
But like many teens did with their comic books and baseball cards, I threw out all of those pre-graduation drafts. The only thing I bothered to continue to work on for years was Abduction.
I cringe at the thought of reading a draft of that. And hope that I always will.