Wednesday, 2 March 2011

T - 30

Script Frenzy
30 days and counting (down) to Script Frenzy. An email from the Offices of Letters & Light (or organisation that runs the madness) reminded me that 'the frenzy' is fast approaching and I don't have one iota of an idea that I can develop into a 100 page script.

Remembering how crap it felt last year, when I wrote Retro Rocket (and succeeded in the 100 pages written during April target. Yay !) and didn't really have a plan, and how that nearly ended in failure, I wanted to make sure that I avoided that this year. When I'd entered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I had also neglected to plan, and elected for an organic free form approach to the writing. I just sat at my desk, and let the ideas poor out. Good, bad or downright terrible.

Having not succeeded with NaNoWriMo and only managing something like 17,409 words (when I say something like, that's the exact figure) I don't want to repeat the failure.

Fail to plan. Plan to fail.

So what does this writer do when he doesn't have a plan (can I call myself a writer ? - someone check that one out and get back to me) ? Post-its. Yes post-its. Those non-recyclable yellow gems that turn any flat surface into a 'brain storming wall'. Now that it's my wall I can stick post-its up with gay abandon. (Heterosexual abandon just doesn't work so well). 

This works for me, may not work for others.. but you have to go with what works. I have progressed a little from the initial post-it driven 'floating of ideas' to the developing of one particular idea. I had considered using Frenzy (as it appears to be affectionately shortened) to write the first series of Retro Rocket. I have dismissed this as I have not revisited the idea since last April's Frenzy, so the 'pilot' script will, in itself need lots of editing. An attack of the big red pen (or in my case, the impatient pencil) is required. Also with Retro Rocket, I just haven't actually resolved those issues about show direction that had been the stumbling block. It was not answering those questions that I think made it hard to push on with the script originally. It didn't have a plan (return to previous point about planning).

I also discarded the 'man goes back in time to undo the mistakes that cost him his marriage - only to find out that he erases his daughter from existence' because, well, I just thought it was a crappy idea.

Likewise 'man on bus / train that isn't allowed to get off at his intended destination' is perhaps worthy of a short film (about 5 minutes) but I couldn't for the life of me see how I could get 100 pages out of that idea. It may be possible that the idea I have gone for ends up with elements of that. We'll have to wait and see.

Laptop (alternative titles being :- Feedback or Netbook) is the story of what changes occur in a man's life as a result of him buying a laptop (or netbook) off Ebay. The computer contains information that he is not aware of, and also has automatic sign-on enabled to internet chat sites. This draws or drags him into a world that he is initially intrigued about, but as he discovers more is increasingly scared as he gets more and more deeply involved in the things that were happening in the life of the laptop's previous owner.

What does the machine have on it that makes it so important to so many different groups (big business, criminals, government etc) ?

How did it come to be on Ebay in the first place, if it was so important ? (was the previous owner mugged ? Are they still alive ?)

So our hero, if that's the word is forced to try and convince these people that this was not his laptop before, and he has no way of finding out what's hidden on the hard-drive. He has a hard time convincing these people, a succession of organisations or individuals keep tracking him down to convince him to give them what they want. None of them believe him when he says that he's just brought the laptop on ebay. They believe him even less when it gets stolen.

He then has to try and find the laptop, as giving it to the people that want it so badly is the only way to get them out of his life.

This would be as boring as hell as a stage play, and is definitely suited to filming, even something that could be done on a low budget ,and with a bunch of amateur film-makers. (you see where I'm going here, don't you ?)

Let me know what you think, dear reader. Perhaps as I develop the idea, I post those onto the blog ? Hmmm. All this AS WELL AS , The Fatcat And The Grafter. 

This is good. I like to be busy. When I'm not busy I'm sitting at home watching shit someone else has written on TV.  

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