Meet 2022’s Best Picture: Frank

The movie poster for Frank (The Movie). Illustration by Abby Emrich.

Drama, intrigue, joy, pain… sadness, truth… but above all, greatness. These are just some of the ways critics have described Frank, the newest hit movie I’m currently producing.

Making a movie is hard, and requires a level of dedication I was NOT prepared for. The hit action comedy Turbo (starring Snoop Dogg) wasn’t created in a day. It took months of focused work with a large crew of animators, script writers, artists, and Dreamworks’ funding… I have one writer, a composer working off GarageBand mobile, and a cast that doesn’t seem to realize they might actually have to be in the movie. Never say never – Taylor Swift circa 2012.

The moment I sat down to write the screenplay of this movie I was met with harsh criticisms from many people, most of whom I live with. They would say things like  “Max, do your other homework,” “ If you’re going to put that scene in the movie don’t put our last name on it,” “You have no potential,” and even “There are plot holes everywhere.”

Smh (shaking my head). It is crucial that you tune out any and all feedback, even if the feedback is helpful. Taking feedback in any form is a sign of weakness, and Hollywood will jump on you if they see you listening to other people. This will stop you from freely expressing your best ideas. Being an artist is 99% luck and 1% whether or not Ms. Kirsch lets you do it. 

I started out by outlining the story on a Google Doc which really helped me flesh out a solid structure for my movie. Believe it or not, I actually put a lot of effort into this document. However, somehow I quickly lost that document, and along with it upwards of 30 minutes of blood, sweat, and tears. 

After losing my original draft of the screenplay, I attempted to use an actual script writing software called StudioBinder. I had written nearly ten full pages in the program when I realized that most of the necessary features were locked behind a paywall. Out of pure rage, I deleted the script, but because the deletion had refreshed the program, I couldn’t hit control z. Another loss. 

I finally found a program that could run on a chromebook. I wrote like a mad man. Day and night I was grinding. One day, nearing the end of winter break of 2021, I decided that I had enough material to begin editing. When I scrolled up through the pages, though, I was shocked. As it turns out, I had only written six pages in what I was envisioning to be an hour long movie. I was dazed, I thought I had written at least a hundred pages. Those six pages over the course of three weeks were the hardest I have ever worked at anything in my entire life.

As I am writing this very sentence, I have six pages of script, riddled with plot errors and punctuation mistakes (I seriously spelled abandoned wrong eight times). We currently have one month to finish writing, filming, and editing the movie. If you know ANYONE that knows how to do all of those things, please contact me. 

Assuming we somehow finish the script, get actors that will be there willingly, find cinematographers, and have real filming locations, I still have to direct the movie. Let me be VERY clear… I DO NOT know how to direct a movie. Despite my shortcomings as an artist, I have decided that my best strategy is simply to fake it. The first day we arrive on set, I will be incredibly mean to all the actors (steal their snacks, say they will never amount to anything, etc). I am planning on flipping a table. In terms of actual stage direction, I will attempt to break down my lead until he is at the verge of tears, then I will gaslight him into believing he was imagining all of it. I hold far too much power as the director, and I fully intend to wield it recklessly. 

Wowza. Frank is set to be released in the next month, but absolutely do not expect that to be the case! I will be writing an update on my movie next issue if I am still alive. 

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