Tuesday, April 07, 2009

An Alien in a Suit

This blog will have something about screenwriting nearer the end, so you can skip all this other stuff if you want. (Perhaps I should colour-code the various bits.)

So the Comedy Central launch went off mostly okay although if you decided to watch the countdown you will have seen the glitch. For reasons I won't go into - none of them my fault, or indeed the fault of the internal team - the site arrived 15 minutes late. Which was slightly embarrassing but not seriously.

My next contract is getting lined up, hopefully, according to the agency the company are so desperate they are willing to pay a lot of money for someone to work over Easter. I explained that as I hadn't been home for 3 weeks the answer, though tempting, was no. Anyway the agent is going to arrange an interview on Thursday. So I said, okay as long as they don't expect me to wear a suit. He said "They'd think you were an alien if you did" and I said "that's good because I look like an alien in a suit".


You see the problem with that line. It's really not as funny as it's supposed to be. I defused it with "that line was supposed to be a lot funnier than the way it came out". The agent guy paused then laughed. Phew, good save.

Screenwriting bit

I really can't decide whether or not to do ScriptFrenzy this year - yes, I know, it's already the 7th, but the words and the pages don't scare me, if I chose to do it I could fill the pages. It would help me get the first draft of Running out the way.

I did some "Thirty Six Dramatic Situations" work on Running partly as an experiment. Starting from "Situation I: Supplication" I looked to see if there were opportunities for a version of that situation in the story - which there were, so I made a note of it - and it helped to clarify the ending. Then Situation II, and so on. I got up to VIII. I have to say this is good stuff.

This is the story where I have to bring in Parkour (like Free Running but not exactly the same) and although I wanted to make it integral I was having problems with what to do with the Parkour practitioner. To be honest I could rip him out of the script (well, outline) and the script would remain pretty much intact. Not good, because if you can take something out of a script without affecting it, then you should.

But then I would lose the entire point.

The 36DS (it's quicker to type that), even though I've only looked at a few, gave me a way of making the character integral to the plot and giving him his very own dilemma. Not bad for half an hour's work.

Here's a thought: Let's suppose you wanted to mount a picture on a brick wall. If you had a hammer and nails, you could do it, probably - though you might end up with a bent nail and a large useless hole. Or maybe you've got a hand-drill (with a masonry bit) plus a screwdriver, rawlplugs and a proper hook. It would take a lot of elbow grease but eventually you could get a decent hole, and have the hook properly secured. Or, you have a power drill/screwdriver plus rawlplugs and hook, you get a good result in a fraction of the time.

With the proper writing tools you can get your picture mounted on the wall in a fraction of the time, and people will come around and admire how nice the picture is.

It's a thought.

What's on the turntable? "The Look of Love" by Dusty Springfield. I love Dusty though she is no longer with us. Burt Bacharach wrote this song for her.

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