It’s 6AM in the morning and light is peeking along the sides of the drapes. The room is pitch dark otherwise. I haven’t been to sleep yet. I’m laying in my bed writing. I’m standing, writing. I’m sitting on the edge of my bed writing. Rinse, repeat. All the while, receiving glimpses– a snapshot of a scene, a line of dialogue. Sometimes just a single word. Every ‘flash’ important.
A misconception is that this is a form of insomnia. It’s not– if I put my head down for a few minutes, I’ll fall asleep– but I’ll lose gold. I’ll wake up back where I started: Go. But with no two-hundred dollars. Maybe I’ll remember pieces, but what good are pieces when you know you had the whole enchilada in your hands, but it drifted away like an enchilada might, if it could float. (You see? Similes like those don’t come to me during the working day.)
Terrence Malick shot the majority of Days of Heaven during the ‘magic hour’, the time just before sunrise or sunset. The magic hour isn’t just beautiful on the outside. I believe it possesses inner beauty as well. Wisdom that creative types (let’s be honest, psychics) can tap into while in proximity.
Do I have any science to back this up? Not a shred. But I’ve written two screenplays, the majority of them between 3 and 7AM or just as the sun is setting. And I’ve received ideas for a plethora of future films during those times as well. See if it works for you. If not, I’m sure you’ll find your muse elsewhere. She’s waiting.