I’ve never really been very good with deadlines. Either I haven’t set them or I’ve missed them entirely. I set myself a deadline of the 4th of February to have a first draft of my book and I think it is fair to say that, as it stands, I’m going to miss it by some way. Now this would usually upset me, but I’m missing the deadline not because I have been idle, but because I have been busy with other important (although different) things. These things of importance are scripts of varying lengths and styles. I think I’ve always found it easier to write scripts than prose because of my fondness for dialogue and how much easier I find it to format dialogue in a screenplay. It’s a silly reason, but it’s the only one I can think of.
The first things that have taken time away from my book are a number of short scripts that I’ve written throughout the last few months. They are different lengths, covering different topics. Some could be developed further (and maybe should be) and some are just simple ideas turned into dialogue. My goal is to submit them to festivals and to use them as samples of my writing ability. After asking for some advice (thanks to Debbie Moon for that) I have also decided to share them with some filmmaker contacts in the hope that they may wish to produce them. A script can be much better appreciated if you add some talented actors, camera work and direction (for example I’m sure that the script for Gone Girl was amazing, but Rosamund Pike absolutely nailed it in that film, thus elevating the work done by Gillian Flynn). My scripts are available to view on my IdeasTap portfolio if any of you reading are filmmakers in need of a script or if you’re just curious and eager to give feedback (always welcome) to a wannabe writer like myself.
I’ve also written a spec sitcom pilot which I’m hoping to develop into a pitchable (is that a word?) product for a network. I have no idea how to do this, so there in lies the challenge. I’m working on it though. Soon I’ll have synopses that make sense for the series and at least one episode (hopefully more) to show them (whoever ‘them’ is). I have this romanticised view of old Hollywood where you could just slip a script in front of a random producer and then suddenly you’re in the movie business. I don’t think that it works quite the same way anymore (a crying shame if you ask me).
An even more recent and exciting opportunity (I make out that everything is exciting and yet I feel that I have sorely underused the exclamation point) has taken the shape of redeveloping the webseries that I co-wrote and produced with my friends a few years ago. The show was called Ramblers (more rambling conversation and less countryside walks) and was about a group of friends being geeks and dealing with life. It was originally a sitcom idea that we squeezed and mashed into a webseries shape and put online (you can watch the whole thing here in fact). We’re rebuilding the story from scratch, updating the characters and just generally making it better. We’re even changing the title, so it will be it’s own entity. This time we’re going to keep it as a television sitcom and not produce it ourselves. It takes away the limitations if you don’t agonise over how you’re going to film it with no budget.
So there you have it. Missing my self-imposed deadline, but instead exchanging it for several more things to work on and worry about. I’m going to come back to the book, but for now I’m redoubling my efforts to get into television work. I think that’s a worthy trade off.
And as it is January, I have a New Year’s Resolution: be sure to make all future deadlines.