Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Want to Be a Screenwriter

A few months back, before Heroes started airing on television, some of my pals from the SuperHeroHype Forums decided to write a virtual season of Heroes, with our own characters and storylines that would compliment the actual season taking place on NBC.

In order to write the season, however, it was decided that we would write our sections in script format. I'd never done that before - my focus has always been on straight-laced fiction in short story or novel format. However, I figured it would be an interesting exercise, and so I tried. I wrote about a character named Danny Tiger, a washed-up '80s heartthrob who discovers his can manipulate his physical age in whichever direction he chooses.

Once I caught on to the format, it was surprising how easy it was. Dialogue has always been of the strongest features of my writing, so the ability to focus on dialogue (with some action and set description), came easily to me. I sent in my first chapter to the organizers of the season and received a very positive review of it.

Needless to say, the project died when we realised that we had no idea how Heroes was actually intending to operate, and since the basic foundation of the show was an enormous mystery we couldn't really solve, the idea was abandoned. I still have my script of Danny Tiger - maybe I'll post it later for you to review.

Recently, one of my friends from my Film Studies class turned me to John August's blog. He's a screenwriter who's written several movies I either adore or wish to see (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride - hey, look at all the Tim Burton work!), who posts very articulate and helpful advice, as well as the nitty-gritty details of screenwriting and getting an agent and all that.

Now, I adore movies and television. I believe I always have. Say what you will about it rotting my brain and ruining my imagination, but watching moving stories on a screen has always captivated my interest for as long as I can remember. I read Entertainment Weekly religiously for news on which movies are coming out, which director's signed on to do what, what comic book is getting adapted.

It basically sounds like the job for me - well-paying (if you're successful), no name- or face- recognition, and I get to help make great movies that I like.

Of course, at one point in time I thought being a teacher, a lawyer, or a librarian would be the best job for me (and I'm still on the fence about the librarian goal).

And, if my perusal of books and blogs on the subject is any indication, if I want to get my writing noticed by Hollywood, I'd have to move to L.A. The city where I live isn't the armpit of Canada - it's more like the right nipple of Canada. It's prominent, but it really doesn't do anything. The idea of living in L.A. is more than a little terrifying for someone who has never not lived with her parents. I mean, besides the fact that film and television insist on portraying L.A. as a hotbed of crime/corruption/sex/drugs/vampires, it doesn't sound like the most friendly place to be.

That's me - a creature of habit. I think of moving to L.A., and my thoughts are "I have no idea how to buy a place to live. I have no idea what L.A. is like. I have no idea how to get around in L.A. I don't know how to get a job in L.A. (although my Library Studies degree might get me to a library there). How do I learn to ride the buses in L.A.? How do I deal with all the gangs in L.A.?" Etc. Etc.

I mean, I don't have to worry about it for the next couple of years or so (at least until I get my BA), but I don't think screenwriting is the kind of job I can be successful at living in the Right Nipple of Canada. We'll just have to see.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posting - I've been very busy. I had four (!) parties to attend this month, four more than I've accustomed to having on my day planner at any one time, and I've also been writing like mad in order to make my deadlines for my Creative Writing class and for the MacTaggart Award.

Yup, I sent in "House Hunting" for the MacTaggart Writing Award today. I have no idea when I'll find out if I win, but I sincerely hope I win. In a cover letter, I'm supposed to propose a planned expedition I'd like to go on if I won the MacTaggart Award (which is up to $12 000 in travel money), and I really had to stretch my mind to think of place I'd like to travel to.

I'm a fantasy writer. I'm also a creature of habit. I don't like travel, in general. I wouldn't know who to go with, for example. I wouldn't know how to get around. I know English and French and a smidgeon of Japanese and that's it. But I might as well try it out if I have a chance to do it for free and while I'm young enough to get away with it, eh?

I've also been too busy to update - but I did today. I one new piece and am in the process of writing another in time for Thursday("Parasite: A Love Story", and I've begun work on "Red Bird, Red Bird"). As well, I finally got a few assignments for Animthon 14, so I have to work on those, too. I'm going to log off now, I have to go write some more.