Thursday, September 14, 2006

Making The List

With the corporate filming, editing and authoring, it’s easy to leave the projects we’re developing to stubble about, dazed and confused by the wayside, until we remember where they are and grab hold of them again.

On Monday, after we had finished sourcing information for the Delightful LA Actress, and made preliminary notes on a possible future business deal, I went through the folders transferred onto the external hard drive to see what was there.

Now that Work Buddy and I have got our feet in the door with Grand Lad, we’re going to keep them wedged there until they go black and the toes drop off. The danger of course is selecting a project on a whim and not reaching a point where any of them are in a fit state to pitch. In turn, we examined every document, to see if there was enough information for it to warrant a place on the Projects in Development list.

Typically, it turned out that some projects I thought had had a lot of time invested in them, amounted to little more than two paragraphs sketching out the bare bones of the story. While others, that I hadn’t paid much attention to of late, had reasonably detailed ten to fifteen page story breakdowns. Two-and-a-half are already scripted, but could benefit from another pass. (Especially the unfinished one).

Complicating matters further, I mentioned a few hitherto ignored ideas from way back that sparked an interest with Work Buddy. He came back with previously mentioned ideas I had simply forgotten about that piqued my interest.

To begin with we chose the dozen that had the most potential. Too many and we’d never get anything finished. Too few they may not be what the execs were looking for right now. The dozen also have a broad range; from TV comedy and drama series, short films, radio serials, character-driven films, horror and one unapologetic fuck-right-off, big-budget spectacular.

Before the next corporate project comes knocking, we have to get them ready for pitching. Discussing the projects in person is great in the initial ideas stage, but thereafter there are times when we talk about the work but not all of it gets put down on paper. Working independently, and then emailing back and forth, means that at the very least everything is typed up.

The deadline every week is Friday. Time of day hasn’t been set yet, but each of us has to produce material on one, some, or all of the dozen projects on the list. Tomorrow, the first deadline, requires the log line for each project, accompanied by a brief paragraph explaining it in slightly more detail.

Obviously some already have them. But by starting back at the beginning, it means that we can confirm that, in terms of the overall idea, both of us are starting out on the same page, especially when an older project has been recently improved upon.

Keeping to this timetable means that, in weekly instalments, we gradually build up a kick-ass document to see us through each pitch.

Back in the 1990s, I was invited to pitch to the Head of Development of a major studios’ Feature Animation Department. Armed with a dozen ideas, I pitched up at the offices in Glendale, and did my shtick.

Nothing came of it, but the whole process was educational. And I was pleased that after we had run through the existing ideas, which either wasn’t their thing, or thematically sailed too close to an earlier film that had tanked, when he said “what else?” for the sixth time, I came up with something on the spot. (Which I turned into one of the scripts already completed).

That was just me, back then. Add to the mix, Work Buddy, who is well versed in pitching for the corporate work, and could expertly charm the knickers off a nun.

In fact, come the time, I may just stand on the sidelines and wave pom-poms. But I’m not shaving my legs and wearing the shorty skirt.


At 8:12 pm, Blogger wcdixon said...

nice plan...good stuff


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