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I watched the latest episode of True Blood Season 2 last night. Man that show just goes from strength to strength. Brilliant writing, nuanced acting and great directing. I can’t wait for thw bluray release of this season in the new year.

So, a couple of weeks back two of the actors involved with Setting it Straight suggested that I write a gay play for the local gay acting scene. This was a very flattering suggestion, and I’ve now been spending part of my time trying to come up with a worthy enough concept.

The thing about script writing, as far as I have found when I write, is that you need to have I your head an idea of what the finished product is going to look like and how you will get there.

Writing for stage is also different to film because, to me, it is more a medium of metaphor and implied ideas. The very restrictions of stage set up require more creative solutions to how you tell your story, but also that no words are wasted.

I also feel that the play needs to be fun to plan and produce – so I want to set some challenges to the actors and stage crew, but at the same time make it an enjoyable challenge, not a “what a dickwad the writer was” challenge.

Most of all, I need to be saying something that is interesting to hear.

But not pretentious.

Which is kind of where I am stuck. I have three concepts at the moment. One is an homage to one of my favourtie stage genres – the farce, one is a standard comedic drama and the other is a more surreal serious drama with some humour in it.

None are particularly fleshed out at the moment, but they are gaining momentum. This would certainly be a great feather in my cap if I can make it work.

Wow! So much to do! I’m really excited! 🙂

Conan

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Well it has been a little while since I last posted on this blog. To put it in simple terms, I have been extremely busy!

My latest web project Setting it Straight has now entered filming, and we’re near to successfully wrapping on the first two episodes. Unlike The Winding City, this show has virtually no complex effects, so once it is edited and we have added music – it will be online!

It certainly has been an educational experience for me. I have made it a more collaborative effort than TWC, which means that the actors have had more input regarding their character’s storylines. I have since learned that if you give an actor an inch, they tend to take a mile!

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – as some great ideas have been bourne from this process. Unfortunately I have run into a bit of a situation with one if the cast who has waited until we’re near wrapping to tell me that he won’t kiss anyone. Normally I’d be fine with that, however this is an integral part of the character’s behaviour and was something I had clearly stated during auditions.

It is, to say the least, extremely frustrating.

So I have started to reorganize the story if the series to work this in – not an easy task given that I am juggling several subplots, and either have to create a new character or dramatically rearrange the current storylines to fit in the actor I had already cast for his now derailed storyline.

Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. It’s remarkable how much GMing roleplaying games has made me skilled at creating new plotlines in a pinch!

During the shoot, the director accidently filmed two scenes that he didn’t realise were linked (we filmed out of order and he is new to directing) in such a way that one couldn’t logically follow the other in editing. I just sat down and pumped out a one page “filler” scene that explained a number of background events we had initially shot for laughs, tied up a loose storyline AND introduced a character two episodes earlier than planned with better integration than I had originally conceived!

I’m quite proud of that achievement. 🙂

All in all, the weekend proved incredibly productive and fun. We’re achieving my goal of making a zero budget show with people getting the opportunity to try out roles they normally don’t get a chance to try. Hence the inexperienced director.

Having said that Matt was inexperienced, he did do a fantastic job. He knew to film scenes multiple times and from varying angles – so the editor should have plenty if material to work with.

Projects like this are what help people gain confidence and experience – and I’m hoping that is the case for some of the people who worked on the weekend.

I’m all excited for next weekend now! 🙂

Conan

Hey there folks!

Check out my companion blog dreamofconsciousness.wordpress.com where I will be doing my writing exercises and short fiction to help keep my creativity flowing! What are you doing still here go NOW! 🙂

Conan

One of the things about creative endeavours is that you often unlock a flood of ideas as you continue to write. With the development of SiS I have found myself developing several other future productions as well.

One such concept is moving to the forefront of my mind – a kind of Charlie’s Angels for the new millennium. It’s a concept I’d probably need proper backing and resources to make it work – but the idea seems to have my trademark humour behind it.

I often find inspiration comes to me in the form of trailers. I will see how an ad would promote the show, then I’ll develop the story from there, using the set pieces and imagined dialogue as guidelines as to how the story develops.

This tends to keep me focused on the idea that every scene should potentially have trailer worthy material.

Of course the reality is sometimes a bit different to this. But I have been growing more confident in my ability as a writer – failing to get into the MA for writing at Vic University certainly threw me for a while there.

I’ve realised recently that I’m also becoming more focused on film-making. I want to be working on projects all the time.

What I should do is investigate how to get a proposal to a production company. Naturally there is a risk of me losing control over the project, but then i’d be passing control to people with more experience and developed skill than myself.

That is assuming I can successfully sell a concept in the first place. 🙂

As it is, I have SiS, TWC and TWC2 to keep me preoccupied. 🙂

Conan

I’ve done it! Casting is completed and what talented folk I have in this show. 🙂

I ended up casting myself for the moment as Finn – unfortunately the only actor of the appropriate age just didn’t suit the character.

Still a bit nervous about taking the role, but it should be fun and a good challenge. Now script development begins in earnest.

One of the more difficult aspects of script writing is figuring out what needs to be said or shown. Time is at a premium and sometimes the more natural scenes can run too long.

Currently I am working on a scene set prior to a party that sets up Finn’s motivation to go to the party. However the scene is becoming a bit indulgent with Max, Finn and Ryan’s conversation.

I’m realising that the scene kind of hinges on a simple joke and then just drags on afterwards. There is also a humorous prologue that isn’t feeling funny enough.

So the question I am asking myself is how much of the funny dialogue could just be moved to the party? Much of the exposition could probably be moved to the party sequence.

I want each episode to run 10 mins maximum, so I can’t have too many locations per episode.

Hopefully I can develop this more tonight after Dark Heresy. Anyway, I’m at work now, catch you all later.

Conan

Now that I’ve started entertaining the idea of acting on my next series, I’ve found myself inspired for a variety of interesting storylines.

What strikes me is that I am moving away from Finn as central character and now I’m thinking of exploring Finn and Ryan’s friendship.

Part of this is inspired by an article Angeline sent me that pointed out that the gay best friend has become the new accessory for many female television characters.

So I’m realizing that having a show that looks at two friends – one gay and one straight & male – gives me a lot more scope to play around with.

With this in mind, much of the more complex structure is gone. The series is going to focus on four central characters – Finn, Ryan, Sascha and Debbie.

This could prove to be a lot more interesting for viewers as the show won’t be about just a gay guy, but more on how his issues are no different from his friends.

Even if I end up not casting myself as Finn, I am preferring the direction the show is going. I’ll be casting folk this weekend and sending the cast the first episode.

Of course I’ve already cast Ryan and Sascha, just have to decide the other characters.

Exciting!

Conan

May 2019
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