I recall reading somewhere that Stephen King likes to listen to (“rock”) music while he writes. That’s amazing because I couldn’t imagine a scenario or musical genre (even classical!) that would actually help my in-progress writing process. I make the distinction because every pilot I work on tends to have a theme, a song that perfectly captures the spirit of the prospective series. Before sitting down to write, I’ll always slip on my ear buds and listen to the song, once, imagining the opening title sequence or crucial montage or Comic Con trailer. And that usually puts me in the mood. Pendelum provides the theme for Dark Matter, Parov Stelar the music for a couple of A.K.A.’s montage sequences, while one of Vitalic’s beats offers offers the frenzied musical accompaniment to that over-the-top SF action pilot I jus completed.
But when it comes time for the actual writing, I need silence. I NEED silence but subconsciously crave distraction. Between pages, I am constantly surfing the web or responding to emails, checking my phone messages and generally seeking out something (anything) that will divert my attention from the task at hand. Whether its approving blog comments, raiding my chocolate drawer, or putting out the recycling bins, it’s all a welcome distraction. I would be SO much more prolific if I was actually able to exercise a certain amount of self-control.
Sadly, I haven’t been able to find anything that actually helps the writing process. I’m experimenting with bourbon and, while the early trials hold promise, it’s really too early to give it official approval.
So, on the projects front…
Dark Matter has been a roller coaster ride of ups, downs, and a couple of times when I thought we were going to go hurtling off the tracks and land in the carny booth. There have been plenty of close calls in our attempts to put the financing in place. I always had a per-episode budget number I wanted to hit – nothing extravagant, simply what I thought would be the bare minimum we would need to produce a great, ship-based SF. And, when that number proved just-out-of-reach, I reconsidered my drop-dead sum, figuring that we could trade off a slightly lower budget in exchange for more time to craft production-friendly scripts. But the latest news from our production partner is a downer with the final number falling short of practical expectations. Everybody loves the script, but they’re reluctant to pony up the $$$ required to do it right. And it always comes back to the same argument. Why pay more for an expensive space-based scifi series when you can pay half as much for a genre show that is probably going to do just as well in the ratings even if it doesn’t offer all the cool ship-based adventures and otherworldly exploration? My answer would be: “Because it wouldn’t offer all the cool ship-based adventures and otherworldly exploration!”. Anyway, we’ll have the final tally sometime next week and, at that point, we’ll make the call.
Development work has been completed on A.K.A. Everything (the pilot, episode #2 script, and series overview) were delivered to the broadcaster last week and we’ve been told that a decision on the project will be made by the end of next week.
Have been on a couple of calls from production companies interested in the Southern Gothic pilot I co-wrote with my pal Tara in T.O. Tomorrow, or early next week, I get on the phone with my U.S. agent to talk about possibilities south of the border.
Finally finished a first draft of that over-the-top actioner (as opposed to the over-the-top “auctioneer” this blog’s spell-check keeps prompting me to write). It’s…pretty crazy, as different from Southern Gothic as SG is from A.K.A. and A.K.A. from Dark Matter. And, for those wondering, DM is very different from this one as well. I’ll be sending it off to some of my fellow writers for feedback, and I’m fully prepared for the responses to range from: “This is great!” to “You’re out of your mind!” and anything in between.
And then there are the countless other non self-generated projects out there – pitches and possibilities and sundry longshots that have, to date, offered little beyond endless conference calls. emails, and the oft-expressed desire to “work together soon”.
Back to the bourbon!