Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stepping Up.

There's a lot about this business that I don't know, that I'm not going to learn, unless I get knee-deep in it - or go back to school.

I've been agonizing over the idea for a while now: Is this something I need? Is it something I can afford? Truthfully, the answers are Yes and No, respectively. I need to learn about this business, I need to learn how to give what I Love a solid backbone, how to make it a job that I can actually expect to get paid for. Can I afford to? Well, let's not ask that question.

It was the CFC's Prime Time Program that caught my eye. I've heard that it was the Best, I've heard it was very competitive but man, I wasn't quite aware that they only took 8 people in all of Canada. 20 weeks of full-time, neck-deep-in-the-thick-of-it kind of work? That's HARD CORE. It would mean that I'd have to take a six-month sabbatical from work (assuming they'd allow it) and kiss my social life goodbye.

Would it be worth it? Hell. Yes.

So, I've decided that I'm going to throw my hat into the ring and try my best - learn what I need to do to get to the level where I can apply and not embarrass myself.

Talk about having to step up your game.

I've been reading through the package and apparently I have until January 28th to apply for the next round. That's not a hell of a lot of time but I've decided I'm going to shoot for it anyways because 1) it's going to give me a solid Goal to work towards and 2) even if I don't get in, well, I'm sure I'll be a damn-sight better off than when I started this (can't hurt, right?).

So. January 28th, 2008. That leaves me with... 48 Days if I count weekends and holidays. Realistically, I've got 40 days (chances are I won't be getting much work done while I'm at home with the 'rents) to get this all together. Ouch.

Okay, so...

My Goal: To get into the CFC Prime Time Television Program by completing the application requirements for the January 28th, 2008 deadline.

Checklist (Provided by CFC):
- Application Form
- Checklist of Required Materials
- Proof of Citizenship
- Letter of Intent
- Curriculum Vitae
- Letters of Reference
- Top 10 TV List
- Spec Script for existing TV Series
- One paragraph synopsis of your spec script and one paragraph synopsis of secondary spec script for an existing series which will be developed during the course of the program.
- Writing Sample: original Dramatic Screenplay (Short film, MOW, feature, one hour or half hour.)
- One Paragraph synopsis of writing sample.
- One Paragraph synopsis of two original television series ideas, which will be developed during the course of the program.

As of right now I have:
- Application Form
- Checklist of Required Materials
- Proof of Citizenship
- Writing Sample (my pilot script)
- One paragraph synopsis of writing sample.

My Biggest Obstacle: I've never written a spec script before.

Letters of intent, CV's, all of that stuff - I can do that, I've DONE that (not very often or recently, mind you) but I've never written a spec script for an existing TV show before. Everything I've written has been for me, my own stories, my own set up. I've never had to write other people's characters before or follow their structure - kind of a must if you want to work in TV.

So here comes the first real step to this challenge. If I can get past this, the rest - well, it won't be easy but it'll be easier. I gotta write me a spec script. My FIRST-EVER spec script.

Double Ouch.

It's going to be one hell of a process. First of all, I have to pick a show that I know well enough to even attempt to write a script for it. Off the top of my head these are shows that I'm currently watching where I could see myself writing a decent spec:

Doctor Who
Battlestar Galactica
Farscape (re-runs)

Whoa. Talk about a one-sided list! Yes, that's pretty much all I've been watching as of late. I've got a bit of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy bent to my viewing habits these days, not sure why. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been watching much in the way of Can Con these days.

Anyway, it is what it is at this point. If anyone wants to take some time to plug some cool Canadian shows that I'm completely missing out on, please, feel free.

I'm going to sleep on it for now, think about these shows and see if any cool story ideas come to me.

Yes, I realize that I've just bitten off more than a mouthful here, that I'm walking myself into a world of hurt. But, you know, like my grandpa always says: "That's how you learn".

Back tomorrow with more (and hopefully a decent story idea).


1 comment:

Peter said...

Hey Brandon,

Just stumbled across the blog, nice to see another aspiring writer up here in Canada.

Just wondering where you got that date for your CFC app from. I was planning on applying as well, but everything I've dug up points to a deadline sometime in May (unannounced as of yet)...