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Friday, January 04, 2008

Holy. Sh*t.

I'm quivering as I type this - I just thought you should know.
That letter I wrote to Mr. Robinson has paid off in spades, it has --

You ever have that moment where a bolt of inspiration hits you, where you realize where you've been going wrong? In one sentence he put everything into perspective and changed the entire direction and motivation for my show.

"Jack is the Hero".

He also said a good many things that are pretty plot specific so I'm not quite comfortable posting them online - just yet - but the overall message was that I'd gone and made things FAR too complicated, especially for people just getting into the series. I'd thrust the people headlong into the world and not really taken the time to set the ground rules. With no real lead up the viewer has no reference point when things get hairy. Slow things down, lead them to it.

He also felt that I had two people competing for 'Hero' status when there should only be one:

Jack is the Hero.

And SHAZAM! it hit me. He was right. And instantly my mind was racing - How did he get there? Why is he doing this? Why does he start this journey alone?

Then it dawned on me, the story could be told so simply. Take it back to basics. Everything else, all my meticulous plans, all my wonderful ideas, they could still happen - just give it time.

Mr. Robinson also offered some great advice in the letter:

As a development person, I’m not usually keen on big bibles – a simple script and maybe a one or two page pitch document is all I really need to see, if it’s well put together I’ll know pretty quickly if it’s something we’d be into. Bibles are good for the writer’s room, and can certainly be accessed to answer nit-picky production exec. questions when they arise. As well, the language in your bible should be more clinical. Fun to have the character descriptions written in their style of speech and a bit cheeky too, but you don’t want to drown the meat in gravy, if you know what I’m saying.

Other than that, my best advice is to stay with it. The CFC has a great program, and don’t give up if you don’t break through the first time, keep trying. Never stop writing every day and do your best to aquaint yourself with the business end of things too – there are lots of weekend long pitching workshops, that kind of stuff, offered in the city through various groups and those are a great way to get your feet wet with how the trade works. You don’t have to aim to be a producer, but it’s good to know how they think. The National Screen Institute offers some good programs too.

So, like most things in my life, I'm finding myself in a bit of a situation. I've just had that bolt of inspiration, my mind is RACING with ideas - but it's for the wrong show.

I have a spec script to finish and I cannot let myself fall behind. Inside it's killing me not to start a whole new draft RIGHT NOW of my show, to get this thing underway while it's there. But I know that if I do, that's it, I'm done. I'll end up following this stream until it ends - because this is my show and it's what I'm passionate about - and completely screw myself in the process.

And so I'm taking copious notes, I'm writing every little thought down in the hopes that I can use it when I need it, hopefully it'll re-spark the fire inside me again when I have the time.

I just thought of something:
One of my requirements for the CFC entry is that I have to write a "One paragraph synopsis of two original television series ideas, which will be developed during the course of the program"

What better place to refine/redevelop my show than there? The groundwork is laid, I know this inside and out already - I can, maybe, overhaul the show there. Wouldn't that be something?

Alright, back to making notes and then back to Battlestar. Oh, right, and back to work too.

Cheers!
Brandon

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