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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Onto The Next Step (aka Starting Fresh)

"When the universe closes a door, it opens a window".

On my way up to the campsite on Saturday I checked out my email to discover that Karen Walton had written to me with an absolutely amazing proposal.

Long story, short:

I'm now the first-ever 'intern' over at Ink Canada!!

What does that mean and how will it play out? Well, I'm not entirely sure just yet, Karen's still working on all the hardcore details, but I think a part of it will be me helping to find, get and collate information relevant to us newbs (and hopefully all TV writers). I'm sure it's more complex than that, but for now I think that's where it's headed.

And, well, I'm still gobsmacked about it - though I've been putting the ol' noggin' into overdrive and I've got a few cool ideas for what I can do to contribute. Once I have a clearer picture of what Karen's looking for then I'll see if I can pop the ideas out into the open.

Hopefully, while helping others I'll learn the ropes myself and break my way into the industry. Will it work? Who knows. However it plays out it doesn't matter, on a personal level, I love the idea behind what Karen's got in mind. The idea of having an active community of writers (of all levels), looking out for one another while teaching and inspiring each other.

Her idea's already in practice and it's been working well. There's been such an amazing array of fantastic writers (and Actors and Directors and...) who've come out to share their stories or offer advice and insights. Between the notices of events, well-wishes and even get-togethers, this community is growing and growing strong thanks to wonderful people who see the value in making sure we're all connected.

As a newbie fighting to get into the industry I appreciate the open environment that Karen encourages. The opportunity she has provided, to interact with so many amazing writers, has not only taught me perspective and respect but has helped to keep me grounded. (Oh how easy it was to say 'I'm going to be a showrunner in a year'...) The combined patience and kindness of the community has already helped to shape me as I continue my fight to get out there and tell kick-ass stories on your TV box.

Hopefully as I work to add to the site others will come and we'll all continue to ask questions (of all kinds, dumb or not) and learn from one another.

More to come as it's figured out!

In other news:


That's how many mosquito bites I've managed to find on my lower legs alone. I don't care what the bottle says, 'OFF' is not what happens when you spray that crap. Here is how it plays out in real life:

1. mosquito bites you.
2. you spray bug repellant on self.
3. mosquito hovers for a few minutes, casing the joint.
4. lands on the 1x1 micrometer patch of unprotected skin.
5. laughs at you while gorging itself on your blood.

The trip itself was great fun: swimming and sunbathing by day, sitting around the campfire, drinking and telling tall tales by night.

Perhaps one of the best things about camping is the opportunity to sit back and watch other people in a natural environment. As a writer, I'm constantly looking for ways to make my characters feel 'fresh' and to have a spark in them as they speak. Sitting around and just listening to how people talk, how they interact - where conflicts arise, how the group works to douse them before they get out of hand - is quite a trip in itself.
And the slang! Oh my God, I had no idea how out of date my slang-o-nary was.

Of course, most of it'll never get used in an actual script (can you say dated...? :P) but it helps to get into the mind of the kind of people who actually talk like that.

I managed to get down a few solid ideas to incorporate into my Border spec and I've got a few interesting lines that probably won't fit into that show but might work well in Shears or one of my other pilots.

Also, Mr. McGrath was kind enough to point me to a post he made some time ago about Breaking Story - it's quite a good read, so hopefully you'll all pop on by.

Anyways, things are moving - not really where I expected but it seems like it could be something better than I'd ever hoped for.

Here's to something new and exciting!



Elize said...

Thanks for the link.

Seriously. I'm working on a piece for a friend and I've been struggling with the breaks.

Good luck with it, and congrats on that!

Peter said...

Another pretty good guide to breaking story was written by Larry Brody (he runs www.tvwriter.com).

Think I have a pdf kicking around somewhere if you're interested...