I be a good righter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Idle Hands.

I've been lamenting for months that I've been incredibly busy. I've barely seen my friends. I've not seen many movies. I've not really done much except for writing my scripts and volunteering for various events and interning. So, it's not like I'm making moneez. I'm just working my ass off for, apparently, nothing.

And now it's over. The major event I was helping out with was this past Saturday. It happened to coincide with a smaller WGA-related event that morning. The script I'd been writing, I pretty much finished it a week ago (it needs some tweaks, but right now I'm beyond done with it). And the internship is essentially over.

So, you know, it's been go-go-go! And suddenly it's STOP! It's done! I wake up in the mornings now, my immediate thoughts are as they have been for months, "Okay, what needs to get done today?" The answer, unlike the previous months, is: "Nothing." I literally have nothing to do.

Now, normally, I work on two scripts at once to avoid this "Nothing to do" feeling. But, with all the other shiznits happening, I figured working on two scripts would be madness. However, that means that with the end of everything, I'm not entirely sure what to do with self.

I had an idea for a pilot that I was totally in love with. I wrote out a general overview of it and ran it by the writers' group. People seemed to somewhat like it. But, they didn't really get it. That's okay, it's kind of a weird concept. Which is similar to the pilot I just did (in that it's a weird concept, not a similar idea). People didn't really get it. So, I had to spend a lot of energy defending it. This was in a class I'd taken, not in the group. Group is much different, and I'd never have to defend an idea. But, being fresh off a pilot where I did have to defend it every week, I'm just a little gun shy. The end result was that people loved the idea of that pilot. Once it was written and they understood it (perhaps my communication/pitching skillz are lacking), that is.

But suddenly I'm questioning that pilot idea. Strategically is that the best thing for me to write right now? Thing is, I keep a list of all of my ideas. And last night, I went through that list with the hubby. Hoping to find something I'd really spark to. Nothing really jumped out at me. One idea jumped out at him. But, I'm not really gung ho about it. I'm going to write down the ideas here and see if anything jumps out at you guys.

1. My version of JAWS without a shark.
2. A CHUCK spec -- I have a kernal of an idea.
3. The pilot I referred to above. Think 80's action/comedy show.
4. An Indie Feature that's reminiscent of IN THE BEDROOM -- so, you know, I could win an Oscar (but also be depressed as hell whilst writing it).
5. A pilot based on a true story.

Now, let me tell you a little about five. It turns out that in the years I've been writing, I've become jaded about the business. I know a lot of folks, as mentioned before on this blog. I've tried to get some help -- but it never pans out. So, I've pretty much given up hope that any of my contacts will help.

But. I have this dream. Where number five gets written, and I give it to this guy, a showrunner who's a family friend, and he loves it and wants to get it made. There is a 0.5% chance of that happening. I know this because he'd mentioned to the person about whom the true story would be based that he'd love to figure out a way to tell this story. Well, I've figured it out.

The problem is, I've lost faith in the business. I literally only show my work to my good friends now. I sincerely doubt I'll ever make it. But I keep a small percentage of hope alive. And that small percentage rests solely on this pilot. If I write it, and nothing happens (which, frankly, it won't) I will lose all hope. So, you know, writing that one is REALLY daunting. So, I keep tinkering with the unfinished outline. Because I can't cope with finishing it and facing more disappointment.

Again, people keep telling me that having all these contacts is an amazing thing. That all my hard work networking is going to pay off. I just need to ask them for help.

Except. I have. I've asked each one of them either to A. Keep an ear out for assistant positions. B. To recommend me to a show C. To help me get an agent/manager. Granted I haven't asked all of them for all of this. I've asked each one for one of these. And, frankly, that's all I'm comfortable with.

But, this showrunner. The family friend. He was being honored at the huge event I'd helped plan this past Saturday. Everyone he works with was there. People from the network, his agents, etc. So, of course, I met his agent. And she and I got to talking. And she found out I want to be a TV writer. Er. Because I told her. And she, because of my connection with her showrunner client, wants to help me. Which is cool, but. I've been rejected by her agency. A couple of times. I'm not really in the mood for more rejection. But whatevs. I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'm oiling the wheels, and procuring something she really wants for her. In the hopes that it'll make my scripts look prettier.

But the reality is I feel like a battered wife to TV writing. I've been punched so many times that it almost doesn't hurt anymore. But, that doesn't mean I'm not going to do my damnedest and try not to get punched. And when people give me advice on how to utilize my contacts, it's akin to them telling me to leave the abuse -- I know I should, but I can't. And, when people talk to me about my writing, all of that can't help but seep into my conversation.

And all of this depression and being down on myself is purely because everything ended at once. And I have a lot of time on my hands. To think about how my career isn't happening. To second-guess what I should be writing. And not finishing scripts, because if I did, I wouldn't have an excuse for my not trying to find a new agent. Which was my plan this month. With only two days left in the month, I'm doubting that's gonna happen.

I think I'm just tired from all the busy-ness. And I don't know how to take a break. Sigh.


  • At October 29, 2008 10:35 AM, Blogger Kira said…

    I'm familiar with that rudderless, vaguely depressed feeling. It happened so regularly after doing a play that me and my drama friends had a name for it -- Post-Show Depression.

    Give yourself time to decompress, but don't overthink. Lining up your next projects sounds like exactly the right thing.

    And of course, don't lose faith. The cliché that this business is a marathon, not a sprint, is true. And it just so happens that you're training for one of those. :)

  • At November 01, 2008 9:37 PM, Blogger Jeff said…

    I take it from your post that I should be doubly depressed. I'm a Wisconsin based TV scriptwriter, father of five, with a pilot, a feature film, and a spec of "Chuck" and "Life" under his belt.

    I've been wondering lately what plan of attack I should instigate to get my work into the proper hands.

    After reading this post, I feel a 451 degree Fahrenheit approach with a flamethrower is in order... pile up my script pages and warm my family through the long midwest winter.

    Ah well, I shall carry on anyway. As should you!

    This is a rather nice blog you have here, by the by...

  • At November 05, 2008 3:06 PM, Blogger BooM said…

    Thanks Kira. Yeah, I mentally/logically know it's just a end of project emotional-phase. Post-Show Depression's a perfect name! Because it's not obvious ;). But seriously, yeah. That's totally what it is.

    I'm assuming that's why all those celeb love affairs end right after shooting a film. Or something.

    Jeff, you shouldn't be depressed at all. You've got two great specs (in my opinion), though the musical chairs NBC is playing with LIFE is kind of worrisome. It does sound as though you've got some great samples and it's time to start entering some contests. As a father of five, uprooting your family doesn't sound like an easy thing. Though, as one from the midwest, I can guarantee you the kids will thank you for getting them out of that hellish winter.

    Go Vikes!


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