Saturday, February 10, 2007

I am a leaf on the wind

So. Curfew has been handed in. Secret TV Episode outline has been handed in. BBC One-Off Thing outline has been handed in. Pitch for New Movie Thing just needs a polish. And the Sort-Of Secret-ish But Not Very Secret Movie Thing Collaboration is nearly done too. I'm feeling sane again.

Yesterday I had a big, important meeting about the Secret TV Episode, which went incredibly well, and mainly involved about 6 of us just sitting in a room and laughing heartily for half an hour, which was great. All meetings should be like that. I now have to write the first draft of the episode, if possible by the end of the month. But I'm going to Portugal for a film festival on the 25th, which only gives me 3 weeks to get the draft done. So I started it on the train home, and got a page and a bit done. I rock. But now I need to batten down the hatches, and pump out 60-ish pages of quality entertainment. Can I do it in time? Of course I fucking can. I can do ANYTHING. I am a leaf on the wind. (You have to believe that of yourself too, otherwise The Fear takes over and you end up a babbling wreck in the corner, soiling yourself). I work pretty fast anyway, and the story's all worked out, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Feel free to refer me back to those words if I post a blog entry saying that it's all gone horribly wrong.

The cool thing about writing an episode for an existing TV show is that I get to play with someone else's toys. But also, all the characters are already created, all the setup has been done. And I don't have to worry about getting their voices right - I've got a whole season of episodes to watch to tell me how everyone speaks. I've already seen them, but they gave me a bag full of the DVDs in case I needed to go over any of it again, which will be really helpful. I asked if I could borrow a CD of some of the incidental music, to listen to while I write, so they're sorting that out for me, as well as sending over a copy of one of the scripts, just so I can see how they work on the page. They couldn't have been nicer or more helpful.

I'm suddenly Mr TV at the moment. Last week I met some nice people who are working on a new action adventure series, and got a voicemail yesterday about a different telly meeting happening soon. It's cool, because there are less people to answer to, usually one or two (as opposed to film, where you can get notes from several different people at once), and things move a lot more quickly, because they have to get the stuff made and broadcast on time. In film, you've got one chance to make the thing and succeed, and try to get people into the cinemas, whereas in TV, you're on every week, and people don't even have to get up to watch your stuff, you are in their homes already. The downside is, it's a lot easier for them to change the channel if they lose interest. But then the upside is, you're already in their homes so you can butcher the fuckers in an orgy of violence for having the sheer AUDACITY to change the channel while watching the fruits of your hard work. But then comes prison. But hey, free cable TV.

And now I have to go and write. Fast...

7 comments:

Blarneyman said...

Good luck, I'm rooting for you. 60 pages huh? So is this a half hour show? Most of the 1hour scripts I've seen for the BBC are a whooping 154pages.

I wish you well, by the way, my script is being read by Dan Films so fingers crossed.

Bayou said...

Hi, James? Is the BBC thing their horror series? (Sorry, am writing this at work and am frightened of being caught by cloven-hoofed manager, so no time to read all prev. blogs). One of the writers on the first series of said horrors has read a short of mine and passed it on to the producer. Wish me luck, as I wish you!

Pillock said...

Rock? You orchestrate.

Lucy said...

I'm not a leaf on the wind, but a leaf that's been buffeted by the rain, plucked screaming from its branch, dried out in the sun, covered in paint then splatted on paper for a kindergarten printing project then DISCARDED in the bin.
Arrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

James Moran said...

Blarneyman: It's a 50 minute show, and this show is usually 60ish pages, as there's lots of dialogue over action. That's assuming standard film format in Final Draft, I think they use Movie Magic Screenwriter though, so I'm not sure if that would affect the page count. Good luck with your script too, sir, hope all goes well.

Bayou: It is their horror series, if it's the same one I'm thinking of, there may be more than one - it'll be a different story each week, different writer, different cast, etc etc. Still at outline stage, so still time for them to consider you too - good luck!

Pillock: As long as I'm not that "classical rock", cause that's lame...

Lucy: No more coffee for you today.

Amanda said...

So, what you're saying is: TV has an upside, AND a downside?

Interesting.

Blarneyman said...

Oh, Masters of Horror BBC stylee! Awesome! I am officially stoked now.