Sunday, September 13, 2009

stay loose and write fast

About 10 days ago (Damn, feels A LOT longer!?), I answered a post on Inktip for a Canadian writer, and sent in my script as a writing sample, and got a contract (thanks Steven at the guild for all the great advice!) to write a one hour action movie for TV. It still makes me giggle, as A) I've never written for TV before B) the audience is all male, blue collar, beer drinking, fight loving, sports lovers. C) They start shooting in Nov. Which is when we deliver the effects for Avatar, and I'm already working 70 hour weeks without the writing gig. But when it rains...

And what the hell, you can sleep when you're dead, which, at this rate, might come sooner than I think.

But I'm having a blast. Despite the fact that I'm writing this on spec and as a writer for hire (read free till they use it, and I own nothing) this has been an invaluable experience for me as a writer. Quick story changes, working with notes from the producer/network, trying to write what they want to see, in a style in which they want to have it in.

And for the first time, I'm working with a "consultant" (not exactly writing partner, as I still write everything, and the producer has said there is no credit available for him, but of course, i'll split my dosh with him if we get paid) to help me out. He's a marial arts expert and a fight correographer. As well as an ex-prison guard and ex-cop. ha! How awesome this that?! So, he's agreed to help me, and it's been awesome to work with him, bounce ideas around and get some cool action scenes from him. I think knowing exactly what our arrangement was from the get-go, and who was doing what, playing on each other strengths, has really made this work. We're both having a laugh.

And I love action movies. Seriously, I will nearly every time, pick an action movie over any others to go see. And I love writing action. You can let your imagination run so crazy, and do lots of dumb ass sh*t. It's fun. And my producer has told me that there can't be enough action. Our audience doesn't want a lot of chit chat or any of that drama nonscence. Fair enough.

But the story isn't quite locked down, although I have complete the first 45 page draft. We're not quite sure exactly how to play our main character. It reminds me of many Fox movies I've worked on. It's not decided until it's done. And it's not done until we run out of time. That's cool. I can stay open. And write like the ever changing wind.

I'm planning some time off when it's all over (Dec??) to calmly work in my garden.


  1. Congratulations! It sounds like a great opportunity, despite the craziness of schedules. One thing I've noticed about myself and people who want to work in/already work in the film/creative industry... we never seem to know when to say 'no' when projects come up, and have no good sense when it comes to sleep/rest time.

  2. Thanks Kirsten, you're so right! For now I'm a bit of a wind up toy... but eventually, I'm going to run out of hop. Saying no is such a big deal. It plays on my fear of regret. That and thinking I can do more than I should. Admitting one's limits is a bold and humbling discovery. Every time.

    How's your short coming?

  3. Canada... That's the 53rd state of America right? Kidding. Good luck with it, sounds like a real challenge. Seems they have been looking for a lot of canadians lately. did you know they send out emails with two different free emails leads to some. So if you sign up with another email address you could get all four leads sent to you. I don't know why they don't just send all four to everyone. Good Luck with your short, Kristy, I remember doing mine with a difficult crew that wanted to be somewhere else and a camera operator in the midst of a nervous breakdown, film school sucks.

  4. Careful Jabber, teasing a Canadian about being part of the States is like teasing a Kiwi about being part of Oz. You can say kidding, but actually, we don't laugh. ;) And yes, seems it's a good time to be a Canadian writer. My guess is that Canada has upped their tax breaks again. Awesome. I didn't know that about the leads. Maybe they do that for the free one, but not the one that you pay for. The free one also withholds the names of companies and contacts, etc, using "company A" blah but the one you pay for doesn't. I guess they have to make their $ somehow, and make it worth it for people to pay for the better newsletter. Maybe. I dunno, just guessing. I actually really like InkTips. I've gotten a lot of good leads from them. And good tips on loglines, etc. Plus, they're really nice. Very helpful folk. End of promo. ;)