Day 689: Barriers to entry

Day 689: Barriers to entry

Tonight’s sassy astronaught angel is brought to you by an uncredited artist.

It’s how they keep out the riff-raff…these barriers to entry. Nothing is going to be easy in this town.

I started my target list today, a spreadsheet that is probably going to hold quite literally a hundred or so shows…possible jobs. I’m going to be more plugged in and in-tune with my industry than ever, folks…keeping track of who’s running what, what shows are at what status, and where they’re being run out of.

This was actually all part of the master plan. The reason I’d start getting the ball rolling NOW, in the fall, which is a *terrible* time to start looking for jobs since almost all of television is already fully staffed up and filming, or done filming and on hiatus…the idea to start NOW is that all this fucking grunt-work is going to take some major time. It was a little…daunting today. There’s just no easy way to get contact information for any of this stuff. I’m going to have to call the networks in some of these cases to find out where to send an email or make a phone call. I mean, I know it can be done; I’ve actually done it before…it’s just going to take a lot of work. Work that makes me feel uncomfortable and nervous…but work I am going to do, goddamnit.

I also got writing done today. I was feeling frustrated after the master list had begun, and I wanted to let off some of that frustration in a positive manner as opposed to doing something like shutting down or vegging out in front of the TV…so I wrote. I’m into the last act on this pilot, which is great. I mean, the pilot is NOT great…oh holy bejesus, it’s fucking terrible, actually…but much more importantly, it’s almost done. I keep feeling that there’s an edge to it that it’s missing…something to make it more explosively fun and original, more of a hook just for ME personally…but I’m not sure what that is. I keep coming back to the inspiration of Bioshock and how *cool* that movie was, and Sky Captain, both in that they were this alternate history kind of world, where these spectacular things were being done, superhero kind of stuff…or at least comic book kind of stuff, with super science. I love that kind of stuff, especially for the time period of the 30s…and I want to integrate that somehow into my pilot, but I’m not sure how yet. Right now, it’s all ancient knowledge type of stuff…pyramids and holes down to the center of the earth…but see, that’s what was so cool about Jules Verne, you know? Speaking of “center of the earth.” He’d conceieve of fantastical science stuff in his stories…yeah. There’s something in terms of the scale of the world and imagination that I haven’t fully opened up yet with this pilot, and as a result, beyond this shitty first draft stuff, there’s just something still missing.

I’m glad, actually, that I just wrote all that out, because up to this point, I haven’t really fully articulated what it was about this pilot that was still holding me back. I haven’t felt fully immersed in it yet. I just now had an idea about some stuff I can do that would make it more fun. Maybe an underwater complex, to harken to the Bioshock influence, and that’s where our hero has his laboratory. You know…the BASEMENT basement.

Anywho…that’s all stuff that I’ll get reworked with a second draft. I know it’s only my second spec in, but I’m already seeing a pattern in which my first “vomit” draft is really just figuring out the main plot, and exposing all the problems with my first idea…the SECOND outline (and resulting draft) end up becoming a much more refined and complete version of the story and characters and how they fit into the world, and from there it becomes about the craft of TV writing. Pace, length, dialogue, formatting, cut, cut, cut…

We’ll see if that method sticks over time, but for right now, at least it’s making some sense. I’m being consistent.

Okay, that’s enough for tonight. I was a bit mopey today…I’d had the itch to be productive, but I hadn’t set up any structure really for me to actually follow through with that impulse, and so I felt restless throughout. I figured out my shit though, in the early evening, and I’m going to bed feeling much better. We’re off to Santa Barbara for two full days of real rest and indulgent relaxation…I’m going to enjoy that, for when we come back, it’s time to get some shit done, yo. Boom.

Night, ya’ll.