Monday, June 28, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 130 - Overlapping Projects

I managed to accomplish a few things last week, even while on vacation. For one, I discovered just how out of shape I've grown living an idle life in New York. More encouraging, though, was the fact that I got a rough, three page outline of my next project idea (the firefighter script) to my manager by the end of the week. Sometimes, I guess knowing how to sit sedentary for a few hours at a time can in fact pay off. 

After last week's post about trying to work with pen and paper more, I had to make the transition over to typing up my ideas in Word. Over the course of the week, I got all my original notes transferred over, and then built upon them, ultimately generating the outline. I guess it's a little strange, but my process generally involves creating an initial document that has both notes and the majority of my outline. When holes appear in the outline or I discover questions that need to be answered before I can move on, I open a new document and paste a copy of the outline into there. Then, I continue to work on filling in the plot holes in the more note-filled first document, ultimately collecting the full unadulterated outline in the second. Something about having a scrap document for notes and questions and problem solving helps (and replaces the earlier pad of paper).

Right around the time I was getting the outline prepped to send off to my manager, I got a call from him. The executive that we've been working with on the post-Apocalyptic spec had another round of notes - the final round, I'm told. She essentially had five points that she wants us to take a closer look at. At first, one of them seemed to really jump out as not a minor change. I called my producer and manager pretty quickly, and they both talked me down, making me see that it's really just a question of adding a beat or two to one part of the script, and removing a couple from a later one, to shift some of the focus around. Not too bad.

Still, though, the prospect of more notes to address - even though I think they'll only take me a week - was not so hot. At this point, we've been working on the script with this particular production company since October. My manager assure me that, barring any glaring problems that we've all managed to overlook by being too close to the material, the fixes I do now will be the last one before the script goes out to the rest of the team at the production company (including the head producer). One last round of tweaks, and then it goes out, out of our hands and into all of theirs. From there, it's only a matter of a couple weeks before we should know whether they'll be moving forward with the project or not. And in the meantime, I'll be working on the firefighter spec, getting ready to answer the question we all hope to hear one day: "so what's next for you?"

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