Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Friday, November 30, 2007

CTV's Writer Only Drama Development Program


So, I'm not sure how many people are aware of this thing but after doing some research I decided to apply even though I technically don't fit the profile (no produced writing credits).

That was about a month ago. Since then I've had some contact with a Ms. Kathleen Meek and sent her off a copy of the 27-page bible for my show (Savage Knights) along with the hardest resume I've ever had to write. She's been on vacation for most of the month but she made it clear that, with the help of one Mr. Michael Grassi, she would read through my show bible and get back to me by the end of the month ("or sooner").

Well, today's the big day. End of the month. My show bible's been in their hands for just over a month (38 days to be exact) and hopefully I'll hear something back soon. I've got my pilot script all gussied up with one of them Tuxedo T-shirts and a splash of Polo - ready to be sent out into the world of Television.

Will I hear anything from them today? The realist in me says "not likely" but my hopeful naiveté is still plucking away in the background, whispering "don't give up hope".

Guess time will tell.

Cheers!
Brandon

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Must. Not. Geek-Out!

Someone joined the rally yesterday, I tried to be a good boy and withhold the burst of geek-filled joy.

How awesome is it that David Cronenberg came out to join the rally?

I wanted to go up and say hello but I realized very early on that there would be no way for me to form a cogent, cohesive sentence structure while I was gushing all over his shoes.

Nevertheless, I did manage a knowing smile and nod - which he returned with a grin.

I'm not used to running into my role-models - hopefully I never will be.

Cheers,
Brandon

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Standing in Line" or, Brandon gets a Reality Check

You know, it's easy to make fun of the weather in Canada come winter time.

Sure, the jokes are a tad one-sided (it's DAMN cold here some days) but there's a certain unifying factor in the sense that we Canadians are all bundled up together trying to keep our wobbly bits from becoming decidedly less wobbly.

And so it was that at the crisp, pre-winter-y hour of 10 AM I joined a group of like-minded and well-bundled writers in line for the International Day of Solidarity: The Writer's Guild of Canada's rally in support of those brave souls down in the US of A fighting for the little people like myself. (Well, themselves too, I'm sure.)

All over Canada - nay, the world - people were coming out in droves to show their support for a Writer's right to be paid fairly for their work in ALL circumstances. It's actually quite moving if you think about it for more than a passing moment. Something big is going on here and though I'm far too new to the game to appriciate exactly WHAT, I can certainly be impressed by the scope of it all.

So we walked, mostly in circles, sometimes jumping back and forth in line as new friends and familiar faces beckoned. It was a great time and together we trudged, waving signs and chanting all sorts of things. Quite possibly the best chant came from one Mr. Denis McGrath (whom I met for the first time today) who got all Military on our asses with this brilliant piece:

"I don't know but I've been told"
"The internet is paved with Gold"
"Now they say that they won't pay"
"It's colder here than in LA."

According to his blog, he didn't come up with that last line - that, in fact, is due to the creativity of Jeremy Boxen, so credit shall go where it's due.

Other chants went something like this:
something, something "corporate Greed"...
and
"Internet, DVD, We're not gonna write for free."

I tried my hand at Chant-weaving and sent my own out into the world - where it quickly sank like a certain, unnamed cruise-liner:
"In Canada it's really cold, Our Writer's Guild is good to go"

Okay, now that I've written it down I can see why it floundered but I think I'll blame poor insulation and lack of coffee-like substances for it's demise anyway.

Perhaps the most interesting thing for me is how many people I didn't know there. 100 writers showed up for the Toronto Rally and I knew two people. Big hugs go out to Beatriz Yuste and Daniela Saioni for being kickass, friendly people and letting me hang out with them as my toes began their inevitable descent into icicle hell. Side note: Wearing a single pair of 12 for $1 socks to a winter rally = really bad idea. One would think I'd know better - apparently not.

After the rally I joined a group of writers at the local Shopsy's and got to meet Denis McGrath, Peter Mohan and Jim Henshaw. I, for the most part, sat there in kind of a stunned silence as they regaled me with tales of the Real world of Canadian TV. Needless to say, I won't be getting much sleep tonight.

What they told me also pushes my previous post out of the realm of improbability and into the more realistic world of "Are you just plain-out fucking nuts?" I mean, even as I wrote my last post I had an idea that, to a point, I was talking crazy-talk; but to hear the tales of people who've actually been in the trenches - well, I must be some sort of astringent-based narcotic if I think my 'goal' is actually going to happen as previously stated.

I'm not sure how I'm going to revise my "mission statement" but DAMN. Reality checks are fun, aren't they folks?

Cheers,
Brandon

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I tend to take the Hard road...

So, let's get started.

Who am I? Well, chances are that you have no idea and since I've only just figured that part out myself, it's probably best to start with a statement of what this is all about.

Stated as simply as possible my Goal is this: To break into the Canadian TV writing biz. More specifically, breaking into said business as a show runner on my very own show. Even more specifically, to have said show produced and on the air for the Fall 2010 season.

With no prior experience.

And blue hair. (Okay, I don't have blue hair).

It's a ridiculously tall order, yes, I know. But it's the only kind of order you can really put in when you're standing firmly on the other side of the glass. You either grip the rock, pull back and put your shoulder into the pitch or you go home and find something else to consume your free time.

I'm not known for taking the easy way out.

Of course the Hard road is made a little more complicated by these teensy-weensy factors:

1. I'm a self-taught writer who has no real connections in the Television Writing industry.
2. I'm 27 and just figuring out what I want to do with my life.
3. I'm currently working a 9-5 job that I need in order to pay my bills - thus meaning I have only 'this' much time to devote to writing.
4. I want to make a TV show about Canadians in Canada.
5. Oh, yeah, it's a Horror/"Dramedy".

So, yeah, pretty much every card in the deck is stacked against me. The chances of me succeeding are somewhere in the low .0001th percentile (being generous). And yet, here I am.

Why?

1. I'm in love with Television. I'm 27 years old and I've finally figured out what I want to do with my life: I want to tell stories on that big ol' black box in your living room. I want to do everything in my power to move you, entertain you and, hopefully, make you as passionate about my characters and their world as I am.

2. I'm determined. I've been telling my own stories in my spare time for years but it's only in the last few that I've come to understand my potential. Luckily, as much as I'm a dreamer I've been blessed with a sense of realism (however tenuous). I'm trying to go into this new world as open-eyed as possible. I know that I've still got a lot to learn but I'm working every day to make myself a better writer.

3. I am not afraid to fail. Let's be honest here: I'm SO going to have my ass handed to me. It's not something I can really avoid but if it's the price I've gotta pay to see this through, well, then so be it. I've been lucky enough to be raised with the idea that failure is just the prelude to success; Lot's of people - many way more intelligent than myself - have failed on their path to success, who am I to think myself any better than them?

4. My Ace in the hole: An idea. It may not be the most original idea ever made but it's a Great one and one that could go pretty far. Actually, it's more like a thousand small ideas orbiting one large one that contains the past, present and future of a world not unlike our very own. Within that kernel lies the hopes and dreams and fears and adventures of every person, good or bad, who ever lived. From that idea I created a Mythology. A mythology which I used to write a Bible and a Pilot. That idea has since blossomed and I've drawn characters, made storyboards and imagined entire potential arcs of heroes and villains.

I've done that work and continue to do the work because I love and believe in my show and I want you to love it too.

So, that's where I am right now.

Cheers,
Brandon