wannabetvwriter

I be a good righter.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Living by The Edge.

Okay. My eyeballs are bleeding from boredom. I could be writing. Or I could whine. I'm choosing whine. Or wine, when it's evening. And when it's my evening, it's your morning.

That's right, good people, I'm on the other side of the pond. I'm searching for flats near where Bono and The Edge live. Not because they live there, but because it's close to the hubby's office and close to the ocean. Basically, I'm going with Plan A. Which, depends on a variety of factors, like if one of the network diversity programs chooses to "hire" me. If not, I'll go with Plan B. Or, if that fails, there's Plan C. I've actually worked out a number of "If X happens and is added to Y then that will equal P..." type equations. I'm bored.

A subtle transition...

Here's the thing. I hate reading scripts. I don't know why. And it's not hate hate, it's just work work. And I hate hate work work. Even if it's fun work work. So, you know, it takes an extraordinary script for me to read it all in one sitting. Usually, with great scripts, I'll interrupt my reading to check my email, check to see if eyebrow hairs have sprouted where they shouldn't (like my toes) then I'll go back to reading. It's nothing against the writer of the script. It just feels like a chore.

To date there have only been two times where I've not interrupted my reading. One was the pilot "Prison Break." See, I'd been sent a number of pilots from my old hip-pocket agent. I looked through all the titles, and knowing that reading all of them was going to suck for me, I chose what I thought might be the worst of the bunch to read first. To get it out of the way. That was PB. I mean, come on, a show about some guys breaking out of prison? Bohooooooring. Except, you know, it wasn't. In fact, I loved it so much that I read it twice. In. One. Sitting. I loved it so much that I called hip-pocket agent and had him courier over Scheuring's other pilot (Briar & Graves) even though it hadn't been picked up. Though extremely well-written, I was able to put down Briar & Graves a couple of times. Prison Break it was not.

The second script that caught me unawares was Studio 60. I'd been prepping for a meeting (guess which network, oh yeah, I'm cagey) and reading a bunch of scripts. Seriously, I was in hell. Don't get me wrong (I just hate homework) the scripts were great. However, Studio 60 (and we're going to get a bit graphic here, folks, so lock the kids in the closet) was sitting there, staring at me. I thought, "I'll just read a couple of pages and then go pee." Because, as you can logically surmise, I needed to pee. Well, an hour later I finished the script. Then I gushed about the script in my notes for my pending meeting. So, basically, about 75 minutes later, I finally peed.

Note that both of these scripts that enraptured me were produced scripts written by fairly veteran writers. Or, at least, produced writers.

I know a lot of unproduced writers. I know a lot of assistants. I know a lot of unproduced writers who are assistants. I've read most everything that any of my friends have written. Even though I hate reading scripts, for some reason I don't mind it as much as reading scripts by people I don't know. Even though the latter is usually because I'm trying to get a job. Maybe it's the whole pressure to read versus choosing to read. Who knows.

ANYWAY.

Before I left LA, I tried to see as many people as possible (apologies to those I couldn't -- I'll be back soon!). However, there was this one gentleman I wasn't able to get together with, because he had a meeting meeting scheduled the next day and he's an assistant, so time's valuable. I told him to send me some of his recent work, since I'd not read him in years, back when he was an assistant on a show I was trying to be an assistant on... so, he sends me his scripts. And, they sit in my inbox for a while. Until my eyes started bleeding from the boredom. So, I opened up the script that got him his meeting meeting. And holy fucking jesus christ on a saltine, Batman. This fucker can write. I read the whole fucking thing in one sitting. I can't stop thinking about it. I want him to get this pilot made so that I can clean his toilets, just to be near his genius.

Thing is, it's sort of split me into two halves. One half is insanely jealous of his brain, so much so that the jealousy is making me doubt my writing ability and every time I open Final Draft, I end up closing it up within minutes. The other half is completely competitive. Not in a "I can write better than he can" way. But, in a "I could write as well as he does if I put in the time." And, when I recognized this half, that's when I realized that I've become completely complacent in my writing. I've been skating along. Not writing the greatest scripts I could, but not the worst either. I've lost my edge. Apparently, my friend found it. Now, I just have to ask him nicely if I can have it back...

Maybe living near The Edge will help?

3 Comments:

  • At July 26, 2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Scribble94 said…

    Trying to write a pilot like that myself. I don't suppose you're allowed to forward it? Good to hear from you again.

     
  • At July 26, 2006 4:33 PM, Blogger odo coileus said…

    Somehow, I don't see you cleaning anyobody's toilets. Not even your own.

    I get the metaphor though.

    Ever thought of writing for the BBC, or are you just over there short term?

     
  • At July 27, 2006 2:01 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    Scribs, you're a damned fine writer, I have no doubt you'll write a great script, if not one of these In One Sitting kinds of scripts. However, yeah, I would feel awkward sending his script around. That said, Studio 60 and Prison Break should give you a clear idea of a tight stylish way of turning a phrase, which is how this guy's written his pilot. It's just... polished to a shining gleam as well as being a great high concept.

    Odo, I've cleaned many a toilet in my time. Most often my own, and for a bad two week period a bunch of other people's at a hotel...

    In terms of writing for the BBC, yeah, that's one of the lettered plans. Though, I'll be in the Republic of Ireland, not part of the UK, which means a bunch of travel. Did I mention I'm lazy? Because I am. But not so much that the opportunity to pitch to the BBC couldn't cure that...

    Basically, if Plan A, B or C goes ahead, I'll be back in LA soon. If not, I'll be here...

     

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