I be a good righter.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

That self-indulgent post that I hate...

... is the one I'm about to write.

How amusing it is to me that my last post was all about procrastinating. That day, yes, I went to play poker -- did quite well, too. After that it's been a mad dash of work and vacay.

We went to Minnesota for a looooong weekend (brrrr!). I started the trip off with a bang, wrote the entire way there. Made HUGE progress on the pilot I've been rewriting. Completely mapped out the procedural aspect, got more in depth with the relationships, basically was really proud of self. Got off plane and began dervish of revisiting old haunts. And creating new ones. Our Saturday night reminded me of how to write a great script:

We went to the only place near my sister's that hosted Karaoke (so we wouldn't have to brave the icy streets driving drunk, natch), strangely the VFW. Now, I don't know if any of you have ever been to a VFW, but I've been to one particular one many times. My grandparents have all of their events in a VFW in a small town in MN. So, I'm well-aware of what a VFW holds in store. Our group decided to try this VFW out, and if it was lame, move on out. Of course it was going to be lame (no offense to our Veterans, you do a great job defending our country!) it was the VFW.


We expected it to suck, and it did. At first. Kind of a lot of dregs showed up. So, it was your typical script. But, the beer was cheap, and we were getting our drink on, so it was an amusing read. However, the big reveal happened at 9 PM, when karaoke was due to start, The Beautiful People arrived. Apparently, this VFW is the best kept secret in MPLS. We left the bar when it closed down, drunk off our asses, a fantabulous time had by all. This was the kind of script that gets you hired, imo.

The looong weekend ended, and we flew back to LA. Dreaming wistfully of the easier life that Minnesota holds (read: buying a gorgeous five bedroom home for WAY under a million, ice skating on Lake of the Isles, sledding down King's Hill, cheap beer, good cheap food, easily navigated traffic -- all things we experienced during the weekend, except the purchase of a home...). I didn't write on the plane back, because it was too fucking early (6 ayem flight), and I slept.

Tuesday brought me back to reality. I had the pilot outline due next Tuesday and I was in bad shape with it. See, I received this awesome email from my instructor where he'd been thinking about my premise and thinking about the episode I'd written for said premise, and he felt as though the two didn't match. When I started this rewrite, I knew the story was the worst part of it, and the premise the best part of it. So, I'd changed the story, going in a more NBC at 10 PM slot, rather than the USA at 8 PM slot I'd originally written. The problem is, the premise is a USA-type premise. Not entirely, I can darken it up some, make it more NBC at 9 PM. But, I really can't do what I've been trying to do. Nevertheless, despite instructor's deep reservations (my lord it was an awesome email, and it nearly made me change my mind), I decided to continue on the path I'd started.

Before I could get to that, however, my producer buddy who wants me to write all of these treatments for web series, also emailed me when I was in MN. Wanting to know where the fuck the 8 million treatments were. Oooopsie. Maybe I shouldn't have gone to play poker...

And there's the DEXTER outline which group very helpfully trashed. Using their great comments, I was most eager to begin writing this one. So, ignoring instructor's brilliant email, ignoring producer friend's email, I embarked on the DEXTER outline. Determined to get it finished by Tuesday evening. I eventually did, after 15 straight hours of writing on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning I wake up and remember that I've also promised old job that I'll do coverage on a book for them.


But the guilt of that day swayed me toward the treatments. I got a shitload done, and got the most important one off to producer. By the end of that day, after rewriting the DEXTER outline for about seven more hours, I got an email from producer friend: "I love everything, don't change a word... but I've got some notes: Change everything."


Thursday, rewrite the treatment, but it's not right, and I can't seem to fix it. So I close down the document. Instead, I open up the pilot, can't face it. So, I rewrite DEXTER some more, after all it's due to the group on Friday. Then, I pick up the book, it's 500 pages. So, I set it on my desk for later...


Friday, I rewrite the treatment, it's way too long, but you know what? I love it. I love all the notes producer buddy sent, it turned this into something I hadn't seen in this premise, and it's awesome. So, I send it off despite it being reallllllly looooooong. I rewrite the DEXTER one last time, and am about to send it to the group when I realize that if I just change the Deb story, it's WAY more cohesive. So, I chop the shit out of it, and change that storyline, and I love it. So, I send it to the group. Only to find out that no one can meet this week, we'll meet the following week instead. This one chapped my hide the most, because I really did bust my balls on it. Had I known I'd have an extra week... I'd probably have gone to play poker, so maybe it's best that things happened the way they did. I completely ignore the book again.

Today, I only had one project to concentrate on. The pilot rewrite. I'm still convinced that I can write it how I've been wanting to write it, despite the storyline not tracking with the premise. And I do. I spend HOURS on it. Until this vision pops into my head. It's this weird vision of a bride. And I'm thinking about it, and I'm like, that'd be an awesome second episode. Then I realize that it's actually my pilot episode. It's brilliant. It's genius. And it sucks. It means that I've got to start from scratch again. But, this is it. I can feel it. It's NBC at 9PM. It works with the premise. It's not the same depressing ending I'd had, it addresses every concern that instructor had in his incredible email. I'll probably completely ignore the book again tonights.

So, I'm about halfway through that outline, and I had to take a break from creating story, because seriously, my head's going to implode. But I've had so many Eureka! moments this week, I wanted to document them. I figure, hey, if you hate these kind of self-indulgent posts like I do, then at least you were forewarned going in!



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