Wednesday, June 13, 2007

And so you're back. From outer space.

Well, Gozo actually, but there were times it felt like outer space. Another world. Where time moves much, much more slowly. But that was cool, because it's why I went. One whole week of doing very little. Ate too much, but also got lots of exercise - swim most every day, used the hotel gymnasium three or four times, played tennis [very badly] three times, ate fresh fish most every day. Relaxed.

Of course, a week away has its downsides. When you're self-employed, if you're not working, you're not earning. Not such thing as a paid holiday, unless you can classify it as a research trip. Me, I'm scrupulous about what I claim as research. Last time I went to Florence, I did some research while taking a holiday. Next time I go to Florence, that will be an active research trip.

What else? Only sold two from my ten lots of Battle comics on eBay, so I've relisted them with knocked-down starting prices. If you like Charley's War, Major Eazy and Johnny Red, this is your chance to get great fistfuls of blazing battle action.

Lots of my fellow bloggers have been to screewriting events over the past seven days, making me green with envy at the wisdom they've been collecting. But I needed a holiday after a year of solid slog and was always going to miss something while I was away - I just didn't realise how many events I'd be missing.

Got a nice result from the Script Workshop 2b module on my screenwriting MA course. I had planned to submit the treatment for a screenplay I was going to write this summer as my final project. Two days before deadline, I realised my treatment and the planned final project was a big, steaming pile of poo. Fortunately, I had something else eligible for submission, the pilot script for a TV project.

Advance word from Screen Academy Scotland is that's earned me a D2 [that's Distinction 2 - Distinction 5 is top mark]. The feature synopsis I submitted earlier in the module only got a P4 [Pass 4, adequate but not great] but, as that's worth only 40% of the final module mark and the D2 represents 60% of my total module mark, I'm hoping that will be enough to sustain my streak of getting a distinction for every module of the MA course.

That streak may well come to a shuddering halt with the Research Methods module. I submitted my Research Dossier before going on holiday, but don't expect to get a mark on that for quite some time. The tutors have got dozens of dossiers and dissertations to read, consider and mark. That could take some weeks yet. Fingers crossed I've done enough to earn me a pass on this module.

Now it's time to plunge into my final project. Having dumped the screenplay I was fitfully developing, I've got a standing start to overcome. But I spent the holiday mulling over ideas and concepts in my head, and have come to a solid conclusion: I will be writing the pilot script and series bible for an original TV drama project. I want to be a TV writer, so there seems little point in writing a feature I don't believe in simply to have a feature in my portfolio.

I believe writers do their best work on projects about which they're excited and enthusiastic. The feature wasn't doing that for me, but the TV drama I'm developing pushes all those buttons and more. It's got big moments, it's got characters I'm excited by and it's got a central metaphor, a thematic core that resonates with me. I've got one hell of a lot of work to do to get it sufficiently advanced by the submission deadline of August 31, but I can't wait to get started.

1 comment:

Barry said...

Welcome home and well done on that D2.