“What makes you angry?” the teacher asked.
My immediate response: “How much time do I have”
Of course all of us have things we’re angry about. I never thought it would make it into film studies, but I understand the notion of writing from emotion, dragging something you feel strongly about into your storytelling.
Each of us told a story that was close to heart, something that was unjust, something that caused the anger to swell up not only in the person speaking, but in the rest of us as well.
I’m not going to tell you my story. But it kept me awake the other night. I started thinking about someone whom I considered a friend. Well, two friends, actually, who independantly of each other – and probably without realizing it – greatly hurt my feelings. I lay there awake in the dark, my two-year old daughter snoring into my ear, writing an angry email in my head and trying to think of the perfect way to phrase the question of what and why.
After a while I realized; This is stupid. It’s 3 am. I should not lose sleep over these jerks. It’s not worth it.
So I asked myself, how I could apply this experience of feeling wronged into my script.
I put my main character in a similar situation, let the scenario play out in my head. I realized this scene solved a motivational problem I had been working on. This was good!
5 minutes later, I was asleep.
The next morning I talked to my wife about it. I told her about the email I had considered sending, what I wanted to say. She adviced against it, clever as always. The straight answer I was looking for, was something I would never get. It simply would not be constructive.
What WAS constructive, however, was using it in my story. And today I got to telle the story to six other people who understood why I felt wronged. Over lunch I talked with one of the others about the overall arch for my main character, inspired by some of the other stories told in our anger class, and was suddenly completely sure what my movie was about.
A lot of things fell into place today. Thanks to my fellow students and the teachers at the Danish Film School.