Saturday, 21 July 2007

Free your mind.

Something to note.

With Requiem I pigeon holed it as the one hour drama from the beginning. Limiting its possiblilies to exist in any other length. I then reached a level where the one hour requirements were filled and then realised that for this to really be something special and truthful - the characters needed more development and execution. There were a few doubts along the way but i continued not wanting to accept them. But then the inevitable decision was made.

But every story should be approached with an open mind. Unless you feel instinctively that its a certain length or medium. But otherwise just stay open to the possibility it might not conform to what you think. Just trust your instincts, which should also include a critical eye. If its not what you originally thought and becomes something else then it doesn't matter; it shows you that your instincts are correct and opens the possibility for even better ideas to come.

This is also true for all elements within a story; characters, scenes, your favourite moments etc. Its not about keeping and losing ideas its about finding the right place for them and at the right time.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Returning Home. Pt. 2.

It's been a month since i've been back and all i've done - hang on this sounds familar! Yeah I still haven't got a job, which is getting worrying. Some agencies avoid students now and others have too many registered. I'm healthy and have two kidneys. I just hope i don't have to lose one.

Anyway, things have changed drastically on the one hour drama front and pretty much writing in general. Requiem wasn't meant to be. But there are a few possible ideas, which in actual barrels of drama surpass it. But none of them have a decent title, which is a problem.

Animation-wise i've given in to my lack of self-confidance and have abandoned them. I hope for now. Also short drama, Brother Sleep - the right mood for its gone. I just need a new idea to re-ignite it.

Television-wise things haven't been better. I now have a new series, which is one of the best i've come up with. Bet you didn't think i was going to say that! But at the moment i'm just trying to decide on its target audience and finding a new title as the one i had was ruined by an already existing show.

The sports drama series is moving slowly. A few posts have appeared on the forum and five of us are now registered. I think we've pretty much got our arena, which isn't just the sport its also in a specific location. A location that brings varied characters and constant drama. We're still open to other arena ideas so everyone can have their say. But time is passing. I think i need to start researching the two arenas because at this stage its more important than characters and stories.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


Requiem is no more. As the one hour drama anyway.

For awhile the thought about losing this story to the university had crossed my mind. But i thought if i think that about everything then i'll never be able to finish anything. So i just carried on. Everything about the idea and its characters just seemed to get better and better. I could see the film complete from beginning to end, from scene to scene, from motive to motive, how it would be filmed and acted, everything. So i decided it was time to start writing a scene breakdown. I only completed the first act.. At forty-something development pages and a month of ecstasy with it. I knew that this wasn't my one hour drama.

I came to the point where two things clicked at the same time. One, this story was a feature film and it would be an injustice to cut it short and Two, i don't want to give this up to the university. So after having the greatest feeling about a story and love for its characters i immediately stopped and closed down the file. A weird sudden-divorce. All i wanted to do was get a head start on the project to free up some time next term. I was way ahead but now felt like I had wasted a month and was behind. After the initial panic and self-doubt (I'm not going to top this!) I got down to business and followed my instincts. Even at the sudden departure i felt excited about finding a new idea because it was a challenge.

Many ideas came and felt great in terms of human drama and originality. But the more I developed these ideas the more they appeared larger than sixty minutes or didn't feel as good as Requiem. What was depressing is that in some cases they were more dramatic. But that wasn't the problem. I then got a bit paranoid because i knew that if i didn't top Requiem - then i'd never find an idea. But i thought that wouldn't happen. Not right away anyway. All i needed was time away as it was still fresh. So it was like a sudden divorce. I needed healing time, which is crazy if you think about it. It is only a script. And i might be taking it too seriously.

But its through this process that i believe (as corny as it sounds) that everything happens for a reason. If i didn't have that moment of realisation then I would have missed the opportunity of coming across some of my best ideas yet.

I've got a new indie comedy-drama feature, which i feel great about and within a few hours was fully formed. At one stage this was going to be my one hour drama but then got too good and i realised also that it was a feature story.

Also as a result i've got a great drama premise, which is too specific to post, but is very close to becoming my one hour drama. It's sad as hell and surpasses Requiem and anything i've written. All that's stopping it - is its title. I could have everything i want in a story but if the title isn't right then it won't happen. Its crucial.

One of the problems of getting the right idea for this is its end climax - it has to be explosive in its final moments of absolute drama. My last two scripts; for Narratives and Audiences had this element and its something i feel i need to top for this. If i don't feel that high octane/dramatic peak of everything coming together for the story's climax - then i won't bother with an idea. No matter how good it is.

I know its not a good idea to put unecessary pressure on yourself but in this case it seemed to work. For me personally i work better under pressure and having to overcome the next challenge - although to have time with an idea to fully explore and develop it is something else.

'Follow your instincts' is something that continues to amaze me. I don't know if its true for everyone but i know it works for me. But even with the bad choices or even losing notes on an idea something better ends up surfacing. What will be - will be. Shit happens. Damn i thought Requiem was the one!!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Returning Home.

Since I’ve been back I’ve done nothing but write - it’s been about two weeks and I now feel the urge to make an appearance into the outside world. Actually I think it’ll be my third. But I’ve been making the most of my free time and i know when i get back to uni there won't be any. Due to that I’ve also been developing and working on next terms projects; the one hour drama and the sports drama series. But what I really need to do is get a job whilst there won’t be no next term.

I’ve continued to work on Requiem, which I hope will turn out as I picture it. If so it will be pretty amazing. If not, a big shame. I’ve got 30 pages of development on that, which overall I think is about a third. Plus the sports drama series. I’ve had some good ideas for that. But I’m putting all ideas on that on hold for now and just focusing on research.

Outside uni-wise I’ve been working on a number of things. One of the best things is a thirty-minute short film, called Brother Sleep. It was the first idea I had for Narratives (from an old one) but passed on it because it was a bit thin. But I always knew I’d expand on it and write it someday so I didn‘t mind leaving it. And now’s seems like the right time.

I’m also working on some television pilots and hope to have one written and the other two planned by the end of the summer. I also plan to have a few short animations completed for next term to offer to the second and third year animators.

Since I’ve been back I’ve also looked at the last years unit guide at all the assignments given in the second year. That was a big shock and made me realise that the first year in terms of work load and limited free time was nothing. But the second year from what I see is ten times harder. There’s so much more development work, the assignments are bigger and we have to balance many projects at once.

Next year is going to take some serious self-discipline and effective time management to pull off. It's pretty worrying stuff. That’s why I'm trying to get as far ahead as I can with the one hour drama and the sports drama. I don’t want to go into next term unprepared. I'm now attempting to have a first draft of Requiem for next term.