Monday, May 15, 2006

End of an era, in many different ways

The West Wing broadcast its final episode in America last night, closing the book on one of my favourite shows of the decade. Happily, creator Aaron Sorkin is returning to TV this autumn with a new series that sounds promising [and features several alumni from past Sorking productions]. We should find out the fate of Veronica Mars in the next day or two. Will new network the CW pick up one of the best shows on US TV? I bloody hope so, but good sense is not always the first criteria for such decisions.

Closer to home, the amateur production of Sweet Charity I've been directing through four months of rehearsals had its final performance on Saturday. Spent yesterday being depressed and helping to tidy up the theatre. Now need to tidy up the house, as the chaos of recent weeks subsides. Can't actually remembering eating many meals last week, but that's the joy of theatre - adrenalin keeps you going.

I'll need some of that juice to get through this week. The final pieces of assessed work for both modules on my MA Screenwriting course are due in the next three days. Firstly, I need to finish revising my 10-minute script and submit that, along with a critique of the development process. That's fairly well in hand, so no great panic there. More worrying is the need to stand up on Thursday and present my interactive entertainment project for ten minutes.

I'm planning to do it as a Keynote presentation - that's the Mac version of Powerpoint. But I'm struggling to find a house style and need to make some swift creative decisions. Plus we have to produce a five-page document to accompany the presentation, along with scripting the first three minutes of the project.

Fortunately, I'm pretty well advanced with my ideas for the project itself. My nerves are just about doing a good presentation. Standing up in front of a room full of people holds little fear - hell, I did that five nights running last week. But when you're dependent upon unfamiliar technology and fast running out of time to prepare, the bowels start to tighten a little.

Once I survive this week, the highway of life suddenly becomes a four-lane motorway at three in the morning: little traffic, no pressure and plenty of time to reach my next destination. The only major deadline I have beyond Thursday is delivering the manuscript for TPO, my history of legendary British science fiction comic 2000 AD. That's due the end of August, with publication planned for February 2007, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the comic's launch.

I've still got four episodes of my Fiends of the Easter Front: Stalingrad comic strip to write, a feature for the Megazine and several proposals for novels to research and write, but generally speaking life's about to get that bit quieter - probably.

We'll see what surprises reality has waiting for me...

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