Monday, June 8, 2009

The Workblog post with the really uninspired title.

Time's just streaking by lately. Expanding my "real job" to three days a week at the Harbor has been good for the bank balance (not good enough for it to actually, uh, balance, but having x number of dollars coming in with some regularity is extremely comforting, esp. when the writing and editing work isn't coming in as fast as I'd like.) But it's killing an extra day a week of writing time, and blogging takes the hit because, with the occasional exception of my mum, nobody's bugging me for the next installment of Journey to the Centre of Andrew's Bellybutton (more's the pity.)

Up until Friday, this last month. The teen gross-out horror comedy is off to Emmy-Award Winning producer, the spec pilot's been revised per managers' instructions, and what will likely be the next spec screenplay (based on a very old story) is being broken.

Got a phone call from an independent Canadian producer a couple weeks back, asking after the rights to an old project of mine--one he was a little surprised to discover I'd actually written a spec screenplay for. He generally writes his own material, but after I'd made it clear I understood that film is a collaborative medium and I was open to input, he told me to send the spec over. So I did.

First thing the next morning, he phones me to tell me he really likes the script, but is passing, because it's a ten million dollar script as written and he didn't think he could raise more than six mil for financing (and even that would be pushing it in the current climate. Managers told me anything more than two mil's a fight in the indie world these days.) I asked him if he had any suggestions for ways I could alter the screenplay and make it a six million dollar film. He told me I shouldn't do that--the screenplay was good as written, it just isn't something he personally could get made at this time.

I took advantage of the situation to pump him for info about the industry, but at the end of the day, all he could really offer me for advice was to hang in there. In his estimation, with a solid spec and effective representation that's setting up meetings with real, honest-to-god producers who have a reasonable chance of getting something made, I'm ahead of 90-95% of the would-be screenwriting pack. He noted, accurately, that that might not feel like much of an accomplishment as I'm not making any more money off this thing that the 89% below me, but I'm on the right track.

So yay me, I guess...?

The last few days and the forthcoming few weeks are going to be all about comics. I have a phone meeting with the head of a major entertainment company's new comics initiative tomorrow morning, where I'll be presenting my "take" (that being the general direction I'd take a story based) on a property they're looking to develop.

I've offered takes before, but never over the phone. And to make matters worse, the material I received on Friday to base the take on was pretty much the document I'd generally offer as my take on a property being developed. Much more detailed than what I've usually had to work with in the past. And of course the managers were busy producing their new TV show to answer my questions in time for the answers to help shape what I had to come up with. So there's me, working without a net, creating something I've no clue is appropriate or not. Guess I'll find out tomorrow morning (or possibly tonight--apparently the managers are going to contact me prior to the meeting to prep me.)

Once that's out of the way, I plan to dig into the new project I'm doing with my HOLIDAY MEN collaborator and Future of Comics (III) Nick Johnson. I was going to sit on the details, but he dropped the following over at his Nick Soup blog:

"I put in my three weeks notice ... to prepare for a stay at the Creative Kids Museum (at the Telus Science Centre.) Here I will be the resident artist for a limited stay, manning a small exhibit called COMIC WORLD! More details to follow, but basically, it'll be a little place where I will display the history, process and magic of comics, along with my comic work.

"Even more exciting, is I will be working on the spot to complete a brand new all ages story called NO MORE PARENTS! Based on an idea I had last year, this exciting romp will be written by Andrew Freakin' Foley and drawn before your very eyes, at the centre, by myself."

I'm faintly hopeful he'll be able to squeeze out some THE HOLIDAY MEN in "For Whom The Sleighbell Tolls" pages too, when the Innocent aren't around to be Seduced (or at least their parents aren't around to complain about their minds being twisted in exciting new anti-authoritarian directions.)



I could describe the ins and outs of this Altered States meets Superbad mashup, but it's pretty much all there in the title, life's too short, and I should really be working on NO MORE PARENTS right now, anyway. The sad thing is, I'm pretty sure if I mentioned the title to the manager, she'd think writing it was a good idea.

Which it might well be, for someone.

But not for me (knock on wood.)


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