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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

It has been a while since I last posted on here. Between work, gaming and two web shows, I manage to fill my days up quite successfully.

I’ve been feeling a bit odd the last couple of days. Probably a little overwhelmed with everything that has been happening combined with some kind of fatigue.

It has recently been a time of contemplation for me – thinking about what I want and where I’m headed.

Work has been increasingly demanding, but I still haven’t been officially placed in the role that I have been doing for the last 9 months! Now I hear that management want to wait another two months before they decide.

What would you do in this situation? It seems to me to be a case of trying to get me doing a job without paying me what I’m worth. Grrrr.

Then there is relationships. I’m still single and not doing too well in the realm of romance. The worst part is that I can’t even get the motivation to try and meet a guy at the moment.

To be honest, I’m in that kind if frame of mind that I don’t feel like I have the energy to love someone anymore. Every man I have loved felt nothing for me. It kind of gets disheartening when you’re pushing into the mid thirties and have never been in a romantic relationship that wasn’t one-sided.

*le sigh*

I’m not depressed, just a little jaded at the moment. With so much going on in my life, it gets challenging to balance it all.

I guess this new show means a lot to me because it is about how hard it us to be gay, over 30 and still single. How guys like that tend to begin to expect the worst and start settling for security over love.

I really don’t want to be that guy.

Like I said at the start if this – so much going on it’s beginning to overwhelm me. 🙂

Conan

So here is another beautiful, crisp, winter morning in Wellington.

I’ve been kind of overworking myself with writing, producing, working and roleplaying. It is great when I get a moment to just relax and meditate a bit on what is going on in my life.

Firstly, I have become addicted to True Blood. It is so sexy and funny and creepy. Unfortunately, Nick is not a fan of the Louisana accents and just can’t get into the show. Which means I usually have to wait until I can watch the series alone as I bought it on Blu Ray – which looks awesome and is loaded with features.

It does amuse me how the character, Jason seems to need to be naked at least once an episode. Not that I’m complaining – he is super hot – but it is kind of funny to observe.

The tone of the series is really spot on, slow burning but hypnotic.

I did note that it treads much of the same ground as Twilight – but if it had been written by someone other than a woman with an obsession with abusive boyfriends.

In other news, The Winding City continues to develop, and the digital artist I’ve gotten involved with the project is producing some exciting conceptual art. I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with! 🙂

Well almost at work – see you all later! 🙂

Conan

Finally a blog update. I have the more stable version of the WordPress iPhone app, so I should be able to soon get back into writing my blog more regularly.

I have a number if things that I’m keen to write about. True Blood, Kings, Castle, my two webshows and roleplaying. So keep posted over the next few days. 🙂

Conan

I finished watching Arrested Development last night. It was a fun series while it lasted, although I found the humour was very hit-and-miss.

I guess the risk of quirky comedy is that being quirky is not always enough. I found, for example, most of Charlize Theron’s story arc was unfunny and a waste of a talented actress. Also the kissing cousins storyline was often weak on the humour as well.

However, as a whole the series was fun to watch.

Work has been increasing in intensity – the new client is a great challenge, and we have been working hard. Productively too, mind.

I got my scan results – a fairly clean bill of health. No abnormalities were found. Yays!

Other than that not much more to report today. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Conan

I have recently been having anxiety dreams about family and finances. This has likely been compounded by my current single angsting as well.

Which brings me to an interesting conversation I had with Margie on Saturday. We were talking about socialising and how difficult it can be to motivate yourself.

I am finding that I’m reaching a point where I just can’t take up the chase anymore. I just feel exhausted even thinking about it. Which is a bit of a shame, as I’m kind of giving up before I even start.

Hopefully this is a temporary malaise. Admittedly I’m finding that I’m not so sad about being single – I do like the freedom – but I wonder if I’ll feel the same when I’m heading into retirement?

Conan

The scan was an interesting experience yesterday. I went in and initially just had to lie down while being put through the machine.

Then the radiologist advised that I was going to need a contrast injection to help them see how everything was working. At this point a very pleasant woman came up gave me some small talk and injected a needle into my arm while the radiologist wheeled out a weird contraption that they hooked up to the needle.

At this point the machine started pumping in a solution that caused this strange sensation – I’m pretty conscious of the workings of my body, and the woman advised me that I could experience a hot flush all over my body or a metallic tang in my mouth and nostrils, or even feel that I was urinating when I wasn’t.

I didn’t get any of those. I felt the solution moving through my bloodstream. It was a weird sensation like swigging black sambuca into my heart. Once it reached there, I felt it spread out to my hands and feet – not hot or cold, but a kind of rush of pins through the veins.

It was kind of cool.

Results are still to come in.

In other events, I completed playing [PROTOTYPE] last night. It is a remarkably addictive game, with insane parkour free-running and crazy epic scale battles between infected monsters and US Marines in the middle of Manhattan.

Not as polished as inFamous, but still a lot of fun. I will write more on it later!

Conan

The other day I was told of a bit of a horror story involving a film student director. Oddly every industry person I’ve spoken to has shared some similar tale of woe.

In this tale, actors had shown up to the shoot to discover nobody was around. The director rocked up nearly an hour late and proceeded to argue with the crew and generally was rude and defensive. Then about halfway through the scene he spat the dummy and left!

This is not the first time I have heard such tales, and it makes me wonder why it is that film schools tend to attract these prima donnas.

Clearly not all film students are like this, but so many are it raises questions about why these people are looking to make movies.

One of the most important lessons Winding City taught me about crews and cast us that you simply can’t let ego dominate. A film is the product of co-operation. Sure, there maybe one or two people driving things, but they need to be able to work well with others to get results.

I do feel that film-making is like writing- it’s not for fame, but the intent to create. Further to that, you aren’t a success if you get into film school. You are a success when you successfully make a film and the cast and crew want to come back and work with you again.

Film school provides experience, resources and contacts. Yet it sounds as if many students take these advantages for granted.

On the other hand, if you really want to make movies, you don’t need to go to school – you just need to make films.

I can only hope that I never make such a performance on set. For me, a set should be a fun place where people feel appreciated and creative. Here’s hoping that I can keep that atmosphere on my next shoot. 🙂

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

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