I’m going to break my blog down into manageable pieces today:
a) So I can think about it in logical blocks
b) So I can skip around on subjects
c) I know that if I don’t, I will create a giant rambling paragraph about nonsense.
I have advertised my blog on another blog I read (KylaRoma) for the months of April and May! I’m really excited to have the opportunity and welcome to any new visitors, thanks for comin.
Kyla Roma’s blog is gorgeous. I found it accidentally by looking at some other blog I read. They had been gushing about how they met Blogger Rockstar Kyla Roma and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. WELL, Kyla’s site is ridiculously professional and pretty to look at. She seems like a happy, inquisitive and creative person and these are all values I look for in a friend. When she posted that she was looking for people to advertise, I jumped at the chance and thankfully she picked me!
Which brings me to my next subject…
2) Creative Inspiration
Apart from being inspired by Kyla, there are some great links on her site to blogs that have me really inspired as well. I’ve been looking for new blogs to read because a lot of my favorite haunts are taking temporary or permanent breaks from blogging. Typically when I find a blog, I sit and read the shit out of it until there is nothing left. In real-time, bloggers post in various spurts of frequency. When you’ve read all there is to read, it takes longer in between posts than you’re used to and then you end up checking celeb gossip sites all day long (at least I do).
So I was pretty thrilled to find frecklednest. Leigh-ann’s aesthetic is pretty “me” and she posts links to stuff I love (made mostly by independent artists on Etsy). On top of that, she’s really creative and I love the art she makes. I wanna be her friend. Also, I love the backwards pictures she takes of her nieces. I wish I had adorable nieces to take backwards photographs of!
From frecklednest, I found colormekatie. Katie, a freelance photographer and street artist in Brooklyn. She has a wild imagination and a great sense of humor. I wish I had an imagination like that. I love her use of color and fun in her art. Also her photography is awesome and I’m jealous.
Also from frecklednest, I found abeautifulmess. Elsie’s aesthetic in terms of stuff she likes is similar to afrecklednest and also similar to mine. I found so many things on her site that made my fingers itch to want to paint/sew/crochet/wear/photograph.
Last but not least, Kyla Roma and frecklednest led me to TaMs. On the front page alone, I had two major OMG moments based on how she styled her guest room. I lovelovelove the tree stumps for end tables and can’t get over the genius of spray-painting that old ugly ceiling lamp into something gorgeous.
I’m sorry, I don’t usually nerd out (publicly) over the blogs I read but these ones have me really inspired. I brought my embroidery with me to work today and did it on the bus while listening to SModcast*.
3) Professional Inspiration
I am working on a documentary. It’s a no-pay gig but I’ll get credit and a copy of the finished product. I am searching for footage to add into the film and obtaining the rights info, etc. When the job was first proposed to me, I was all, “Why not? I research stuff online all day long.” When it was time to get down to the nitty-gritty research though, I was having a hard time finding a way in. Suddenly the project seemed like something I couldn’t do. Last night, I sat down and just DID it. Focused all my energy on finding what I needed to find and I did it! I am not done but I found a way in.
I find that in starting any project, I am always like this. “I can do it!” “Wait, this is huge.” Then I stall out completely. In this stalling period, I’m not doing nothing. I’m worrying HARD. I’m worrying about the size of the project. I’m worrying about the big picture. I’m worrying about different ways to attack it. I’m deciding not to worry and to let my intelligence take over and give me ideas. I’m panicking about the time going by. THEN, I sit down and DO. Once I’m in the DO stage, I am able to break a project down into manageable pieces and attack each one until the project starts to take shape. At that time, I can keep going how I’m going or start doing things in a more logical way (based on priority or breadth or whatever).
So for now I have to find these images and footage for this documentary. It’s due by the end of May but I want to have great options on the table by the end of April if possible so we have a cushion if we need to find better/more stuff.
4) Spec Script
I got to read a script from a television show I love yesterday. It was an episode I’d seen and it was interesting to note the differences between the black and white script and the changes they made to the final show. Typically I read film scripts at work for movies that aren’t made yet. It was weird to read a script for a show I’d already seen but LOVED to boot. I want to write a spec script so bad but I have this mental block in my head of how difficult it would be. Reading this script kind of comforted me. It’s not that the script was “simple”, it just wasn’t the Sisyphus Project I’d made in my head. I totally think I can do this.
I bought a book called The TV Writer’s Workbook about writing television scripts. It was interesting and really informative but I won’t let myself finish it for some reason. I have this thing where the worse I want to do something, the less I’m going to let myself do it. This book seriously breaks a script DOWN. It’s way more complicated than you think.
TV Writers are people who write scripts based on someone else’s idea. You can’t forget that because there are rules. Take Friends for example. You have an ensemble show. All the characters are supposed to be of equal relevance. That’s true and untrue. If you really break that show down, Rachel and Ross are lead characters. Monica and Chandler are secondary. Phoebe and Joey are background. You can argue this point all you want but Ross and Rachel always have main plots, Monica and Chandler always have main plots that aren’t quite as big and Joey and Phoebe react to everyone else’s plight with occasional plots of their own. Going into being a TV Writer, you have to accept that about the characters because…
Familiarity is everything. People want to tune in to a TV show they recognize. They want the main characters to be in familiar settings and interact with each other in the ways they’re used to. This is why “vacation” episodes tend to fall flat. This is why “the birth of a baby” kills a show. The characters are somewhere different/reacting to each other differently.
In the book, she describes the way you break a show down. You watch three episodes of Friends. See how many “acts” the show breaks down into. Take each character and note how many times they appear on screen. Break out the plots for each character. If Rachel appears 19 times in episode 1, 18 times in episode 2 and 20 times in episode 3, now you know how many times Rachel must appear for it to feel like a real Friends episode, between 18 & 20. If Phoebe appears between 5 & 7 times, you must also respect that.
A spec script is a script that a person who is not a writer on the show writes to create a writing sample. This spec script can either be submitted to the show in question or to other TV shows as an example of how well you follow directions. A spec script must ALWAYS be a TV show that is currently on the air, preferably it should be popular. If you aren’t working and are writing this script to get a job, it is imperative that you don’t break any rules. This is not the chance to send the cast of Friends to Disney World. This should specifically be a “Friends in the coffee shop/Friends in the Apartment” episode. Let the dialogue and/or situations stand out but make sure it’s true to the character..
A staff writer can “Take the Friends Gang to Disney World” but in reality, we all know that those episodes are kind of a drag (no offense to Disney World or any shows that have gone there).
SO, I read enough to get the gist of what it is I have to do. They suggest you write three spec scripts of the same TV show so that you can pick the best one to submit as a writing sample. Also, you shouldn’t only have one show. You should at least have two. This is a minimum of six spec scripts you should write.
I think I can do this, I know I can, but I have to finish this documentary first and maybe start coming up with ideas. Also, this is something me and Kristyn want to do together. When we put our noggins together, it’s always way better than when they’re apart.
I have been listening to a shitload of SModcast* lately. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s Podcast. Kevin Smith is the Director and Scott Mosier is the Producer of a bunch of great movies including:
Anyway, the podcasts are entertaining and inspiring for me because they come off as just regular people. Here are people with great careers who don’t have to be jerks to pull it off. Listening to them have a good time reminds me that it is possible for me to follow my dreams and enjoy the ride. It doesn’t all have to be headaches and backstabbing. (I worry about the backstabbing because this has been done to me a lot of times at different jobs I’ve had. I worry about going into entertainment because this is an industry KNOWN for this. I ran for the hills a few years ago after an especially unpleasant person threw me under a bus a couple of times for her own gain. I realized this was stupid because she WON. Well now I’m doing me again. Just yesterday I was thrown under a bus twice by the same person. This time, I was prepared. I got irritated but I didn’t let it affect my day or my work. Those people won’t rattle me like they used to because I won’t let them.)
Anyway, I had started listening to SModcast a few years ago and then fell off. I ‘m glad to have it back because it really is keeping my head in the game. I also love listening to Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant and Karl Pilkington’s podcasts and haven’t done that in a while. If I start getting sick of SModcast or need a change, I’m going to head over there. Why don’t any women in TV have podcasts for me to giggle to?!
I’ve had my fun with the iPhone (as you well know) but I’m going back to my Nikon. The iPhone is fun because you get instant results but it’s getting boring because these great images aren’t the result of anything I’M actually doing other than composing it and selecting the variables within the app. It’s still art, but it’s not satisfying longevity-wise. It’s snapshot art, not “this took work” art. There’s nothing wrong with that either, I just need a break.
Also, I really have to develop the 35mm and 120mm Black and White rolls I shot. I have SO MANY piled up because I won’t just mix the stupid chemicals. Blerg.
I really want to do a portrait. I’m almost finished with my iron-on campsite from Sublime Stitching. Coincidentally, today abeautifulmess has an interview with Jenny Hart, the proprietress of Sublime Stitching on her blog. I LOVE the portraits Jenny has done.
When I bought the Camp Out Pattern from Home Ec (a craft/art shop around the corner from me in Silver Lake), I had intended to actually buy a transfer to create my own design. They had something similar but I was taken in by the Camping scene and got that instead. For my next venture, I think I’m going to trace a photo on my lightbox and transfer that to embroider.
Also, I really really really want a projector. I am pretty good at drawing but I tend to get details wrong. I love the simplicity of working with a projector. Just think of the awesome stuff I could make. Ugh.
Anyway, that was really long of me. I’m sure I could scare up even MORE things to babble about today but I’ll leave it here. It’s going to take me a while to insert the pictures into this blog anyway. I’ll probably have some other crap to blather on about later.
P.S. That penis picture above is actually carved into pavement in Santa Monica. It happens to be my initials followed by male anatomy. Alright.
P.S. #2 If you look at the gallery, you’ll see more Santa Monica Penis graffiti. Someone in Santa Monica is side-tracked.