Theatrical Tuesday – What Genre Do I Write?

TuesdayI finally remember what I wanted to post about the other week. And this week’s theme is soul, so it’s the perfect time to discuss this.

For a novelist, genre is of key importance. Indeed, it seems you must choose one main genre such as Romance or Horror and forget about writing a children’s book unless you use a pen name for something else you’d like to do. This limitation harkens back to putting your books on a shelf. It’s all about branding yourself as a novelist.

But I’m a free spirit and I don’t want to write a specific genre.

This is what I love about screen writing. If I feel like writing a horror today and a romantic comedy tomorrow, I can.

Now, I mostly write horror, fantasy, and sci-fi anyway, but every now and then I get an idea for a kid’s TV show, an action movie, a thriller, a sports story, or a historical fiction piece and I want to be able to write it all.

My plays tend to be more dramatic works that have a specific goal beyond entertaining. My movies aim to entertain while subtly saying something about life.

I think the whole idea of being shackled to a specific genre is tragic, though I do understand the why. If Stephen King wrote a normal children’s story, most would have in their mind an idea that it is inappropriate for children. Under a pen name, he’s free to explore that idea, but it would be like a brand new writer on the scene instead of an almost prolific and well-known one.

Today I’m pitching a dramedic TV show about retired life and tomorrow I’m pitching a small creature horror film to local industry experts. I’m nervous and excited about it all. We’re getting closer to the end of the year and my future is still murky though it’s filled with positive potential.

In closing, I write just about every genre and I love it!

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Checking

TuesdayThere are a lot of checks that go into making a movie.

There is so much checking actually that each job is often broken down among several people. Assistant Directing, for example, has a First who is on set with the director and they do things like watch how it shows on screen and they also tell everyone over radio to be quiet or that we’re moving on from a scene. The Second one makes call sheets and other paper work. The Third one travels with the actors and relays when they leave or reach a destination.

A lot of people check on the actors from every department. Some check if they’re hungry or thirsty. We checked if they had dry socks, if they needed Hot Paws to warm their hands or feet up, or that they were wearing their clothes properly.

When I wasn’t working in wardrobe, doing things like taking pictures of outfits or making the department binder, which is basically a check list of the items an actor/actress wears on a given day. By day, I mean script day, not necessarily filming day.  In wardrobe, we had the script broken up into days based on what wardrobe they wear. This was for continuity as many times the filming days were quite different. There were scenes all throughout the script that happened at the rapids, for example, and those took place in different parts of the story, but they were all filmed on shooting day one because that’s when the permit was for.

The filming days were broken down into about 10 minute film segments. I think bigger budget films probably do things differently as they take a lot longer to produce. This was a made for TV thriller called Blind at 17. I don’t know when it’s coming out, but I’m going to try to see it because I was involved to a degree and I acted in a musical in high school with one of the main actors.

I saw so many lists this weekend. It was like my old project management life, my new screen writing life, and a dash of my high school life all came together.

My placement hours are done at this point. Another thing off my checklist for the year.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Make-It Monday – Checks and Balances

bitmoji_goalsI’m sorry I dropped off the blog-o-sphere at the end of last week. I couldn’t think of what to write on Friday and had to go to bed around 8 pm, which is about 4-5 hours too early for me.

Why did I have to go to bed so early?

I had a call time to be on a movie set for 6:00 am, which meant that in order to get there on time, I had to wake up at 4:30 am. I’ve rarely ever been awake for that time. Indeed, I’ve seen it so rarely that it could have been a figment of my imagination the other times.

The set work was very cool and I’ll talk more about it tomorrow. I did get to work with some very awesome people, some of whom were from L. A. Maybe I’ll see them again sometime. I did everything I was assigned and helped out other departments when I wasn’t needed in my own. I worked 13 hours the first day and 7 the second. I was originally supposed to work more, but I was no longer covered for insurance because I got the amount of hours I need to graduate.

I spent a lot of time checking and rechecking my work to be sure I did everything I was supposed to. I really didn’t want to screw up.

Also this weekend, I made my first royalties. How much? Forty-five cents. It’s not much, but it’s in the green instead of the red, so it’s exciting.

Tonight, instead of having class this morning, we had Hot House, which is a play series where actors read our plays. Mine will be later this semester, so all I had to do was be there, which was a great thing after such a busy weekend schedule.

When I got home, there was a check for me. I got a bursary!

I’m in a lot of pain after the weekend, but some things are looking hopeful.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

 

Theatrical Tuesday – In Slow Motion

Tuesday

I keep thinking about and forgetting a topic I want to talk about on Tuesday. I’ve been doing it for several weeks now and it’s so annoying! It feels as though the thoughts have been shoved behind a barrier in my mind that I can’t see, but only feel is there.

Having a cold has given me time to slow down and refocus some of my energy. I’ve found Facebook more annoying than usual and logged out for the day. I’m exploring other options for connecting with like-minded people whose goals align with my own. I started today out extremely frustrated and am ending it in the opposite state.

The first draft of my one act play has been written and was submitted yesterday. It’s an office-based melodrama that touches on a number of societal ills and uses office noises in a musical way. I’m pretty psyched about it! It’s not as long as my teacher wanted, but there will be a couple more times during the semester to add to it and make it better.

Sometimes it’s not about getting something written quickly. That’s hard for me to accept. I’m usually working at a fast pace. What this year has been teaching me is that our work needs to go through a lot of stages before it can be its best, so it’s not crucial to get it perfect on the first pass.

My TV series partner and I were supposed to be mock pitching for our show, but between my cold and her ultra packed week, I requested a move to next week. I’ve never been one for sharing my germs if I can help it.

I’ll be working on a movie set this weekend as part of wardrobe. I’m hoping to learn a lot and maybe they’ll have good tips for my sewing. It’s mostly outdoor work, so I’m really hoping I’m feeling better by then. I also hope I can stay warm, so I don’t get sicker.

Today, I’ve slowly added to my feature film script and got a load of laundry done. Every time I tried to do more, I had a sneeze fit or my nose would run.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Harsh Realties

TuesdayToday was partly a day of hearing things I don’t want to hear.

Things like that if I’m to get anywhere in this career, I pretty much need to move to Toronto or possibly my hometown. I don’t want to move back to my hometown. My heart hasn’t been there for a very long time. I’m not averse to moving. I just hope I don’t have trouble selling my condo and I still have the problem of not having money to cover May’s expenses.

And while killing time, I chatted with one of our alumni who thought my movie sounds more like a made for TV idea, but I think it could be bigger. Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough.

Derek Diorio from Hard Rock Medical and many other things spoke to our class today. We learned a bit about how things get funded in Canada and that’s what brought up the likely needing to move to Toronto idea.

Otherwise, it’s been a tough day for me. I guess I slept wonky because my neck is super pissed off and I’ve been in pain all day going down into my shoulder. I’m basically sitting here with my head in an inflatable neck brace/stretcher to try and reduce the pain. I might take a shower just to have the warm water help.

It’s also been tough because I took Naloxone training tonight due to losing a friend a couple months ago. We weren’t close, but I was hoping to catch up with her and the next thing I knew, she was gone. After that time, I noticed how much stupid things people say in relation to the opioid issue, so I’ve also written a play to help some of them see it more clearly. At least, that’s the hope. She was in my high school drama club, so I felt like a play was appropriate.

The semester is ramping up and there are a ton of things for me to get working on. The first act of our feature films is due this week and we also have to have something done for our TV shows. There is also reading and watching of some web series’s.

And that’s how the river of life flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Review of Okja

TuesdayWhen I saw comments about Okja being a film that seems like the brainchild of Spielberg and Miyazaki together, I knew I had to watch it. I also knew that a film that sounds that fantastic would be a great pick for my first film of 2018.

Initially I wondered if it was going to be a modern take on Charlotte’s Web. It did have some basic elements of the children’s story, but add a bunch of blood, violence, poop comedy, and action scenes.

From the plot to the beauty of the scenery, it felt like a live action Hayao Miyazaki film throughout much of the story. Near the beginning, I was hooked.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance was quirky and I thoroughly enjoyed him. I also enjoyed Steven Yeun’s character.

I almost loved the film. It seemed fresh and I was ready to sing its praises.

In fact, I loved it right up until it turned into obvious vegan propaganda and showed business people as one dimensional heartless monsters. There are so many business people doing great things in this world such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, and Mark Zuckerberg. You can read about more of them at The Giving Pledge.

It had everything going for it until it decided to beat me over the head with its message.

Ultimately, I’m disappointed by it.

A final note, Okja should not be watched by children nor anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Needing Downtime

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

First, I’m sorry for not posting yesterday. I’m Canadian, so you know I’m being sincere.

At least, I think I didn’t post yesterday. My Facebook feed can’t tell me if there was a post or not as it seems to be missing all my posts from after my grading video that I posted around Christmas. That’s… A lovely thing to discover.

I didn’t have time to get to martial arts yesterday. My class went out for drinks and then I had to round up something to wear for a web series that I played an extra in today. It was neat seeing the non-writing side of things. I met a lot of new people in the Ottawa film community. The lead actress was nice. I spent most of the day glaring at her though. It’s what they wanted me to do!

Anyway, tomorrow is our last day of class for semester one. With my four-day weekend, I intend to get some cleaning in and to set up the piece of floorspace in my living room to do some working out. It’s also an okay space to practice some iaido because it’s not directly below anything I can break with my sword like a light bulb.

I really wish I had the kind of energy that Jesse Jane McParland has. We do have a spinning set, though it’s not quite that exuberant. We chase away the dojo demons with ours. It’s a cleansing ritual we do twice yearly. I can’t find a video on YouTube for it or I’d share it.

I’m also going to play some video games because I really need some downtime. It’s an important thing to have in order to prevent burnout. This last couple of weeks has been pretty killer in terms of workload.

I have a play to finish for one teacher and I have to send another teacher a copy of the peer review I gave one of my group partners before I get to relax. At least tomorrow is mainly movie day. We’ll be watching the films we made in Video Production class.

It was good to get away from the computer for a little while though I need to get back at it.

And that’s how today flows.
R~