One question I might be asked at some point is “What attracted you, as a highly sought after screenwriter, to A Monster In the Attic?” Since this is no doubt burning in the minds of everyone who will read this blog, I’ve decided to take a break from my informative “Writing a Monster” series, and address this and other related questions.
As mentioned in a previous blog, Monster began as a short film in the summer of 2004 as a potential project for Danny’s undergraduate thesis film. As he continued to write it, he realized that the scope was too big for a short and expanded it into a feature. As Danny’s colleague in school and trusted associate, I read every draft of Monster since its inception, and would often give Danny notes and feedback on its progress.
In the summer of 2006, we considered the idea of writing it together. It seemed a natural choice, given my familiarity with the script. This was particularly attractive for me, as it gave me the opportunity to write outside of my “safe zone”, in that I had almost exclusively written comedy scripts until this point. Monster would present a challenge to me, as it is in a genre that I have very little familiarity with. However, the story is based on something that everyone experiences, childhood fears and I felt I could bring a fresh perspective and another point of view to the project.
Like everyone else, I have (and continue to have sometimes) many fears as a child. For me, there is nothing scarier than the idea of aliens, particularly alien abduction. When I first heard of this phenomenon, the idea of something being in my house and trying to get into my room was the most fearful thing I could imagine. The idea that the thing was not even human was even scarier. My imagination would often run wild, and things I thought I heard or saw would instantly turn into alien intruders, and I would hide completely under my blanket, since no one can find you if you are completely under your blanket. This is a technique I continue to employ today, and has so far proved successful.
Many of the feelings and emotions associated with my childhood have found their way into A Monster In the Attic. I have had to look back to those times to remember real fear, one of the trade-offs I lost while growing up.