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Monday, January 05, 2009

Looking ahead

129 Days remaining.

Just did the math and if it all holds up, if the May 14th submission date doesn't change, I have about 129 days until my next CFC application is due.

Sooo, about a 1/3 rd of a year.

Considering where things are at right now, that'll be just about right. *fingers crossed*

The hardest thing this time around is creating my own Pilot - my spec script is close to done and I'll have a ton and a half of time to make that birdie sing. My pilot, well, that's the head-and-a-half. Toss in a dash of wedding planning and even a few attempts to get some freelance scripts on the side and I'm going to be one busy beaver.

As of right now I'm in hardcore research mode - learning all that I can about my chosen world. It's a definite departure for me in pretty much every possible way. Usually I'm all about writing the dark stuff - horror and 'genre' stuff. This new project is an ensemble character drama, very, very gritty/realistic.

Actually, everything is different this time - I'm coming at it from a whole different angle. This concept started out as a 1 line pitch that survived a group of about 50. I walked around pitching this list of ideas to as many people as I could, strangers, friends, etc. and this one was undoubtedly the winner. From that pitch I sat down and created a 3-page pitch document which I've shown off to a few choice people who also went 'wow, good idea'!

Definitely makes me feel like I'm on the right track here.

The old way, I basically sat down and wrote a script then spent months and months polishing that stone to a silvery sheen. This way, I'm spending months polishing the concepts and the characters, creating the outlines and beat sheets before finally sitting down to write the script. Definitely a change of pace for yours truly.

Even more so considering I only really learned how to do all that in the last year.

Looking back on what I knew the last time I applied to the CFC, well, I can understand why I didn't get in - frankly, I wasn't ready. The amount I've learned in the months that've followed has indeed made me a better writer. Am I there yet? I dunno, but I'm a damn sight better off than I was.

And so, research. Lifting up rocks, delving into caverns, learning all about this world and how it's going to work. Putting the bones into my characters and seeing if they'll stand on their own two feet.

The funny thing is that the character I'm having the most trouble with, feeling the most disconnected from is my antagonist - my 'asshole' character. I've been scouring my data banks, thinking about all the macho assholes I know that I can draw from and I realized that, well, I don't know any.

And not that I'm complaining or anything but it's kind of an interesting observation: I've taken such pains to surround myself with decent, honest, intelligent, GOOD people that I'm finding it difficult to find realistic dialogue/mannerisms that haven't been regurgitated from other shows.

Needless to say, that won't do.

Luckily, the characters that I've created have been getting pretty good responses overall (which is good for a character drama) and I'm hard at work on character studies in the hopes that I'll know these people well enough to tell decent, honest, stories about them when the time comes.

Speaking of which, I'm also starting to put together springboards - as many as I can - with the idea that I'm going to try and start pitching them in the same sort of fashion: to strangers and friends. I'm hoping to see what people grab onto, what makes them go 'ooh!'. Sort of my own impromptu writer's room where it can be guaranteed that only the very best suggestions will survive. (Tho' don't ask me about the state of my ego :P)

In other news, we're starting to try and figure out WHEN we're going to get married -- and It might be sooner than you think. I'm pushing for this summer (yeah, none of this 'engaged for a year' crap :P). I figure once you both know you want to get hitched, why wait around? 6 months should be more than enough time to set it up and get'er done ;)

But that's only my opinion. Who knows how it'll all turn out?

Cheers!
Brandon

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