27 February 2011

The TV Script Writers Meetup

It's been a while since I've made any progress with Project Kronosphere, especially after my poor reviews for episode 1, especially as I've focused on my Electric Vehicle enthusiasm.  That's not to say Project Kronosphere is dead; after all, I've drafted a new act breakdown as a new beginning, though I've still a long way to go for the full, Radio rewrite.

But Project Kronosphere wasn't always a Radio program.  Indeed, it's my dream to see Project Kronosphere fully realized as a live-action, hour-long television drama.  But television production is expensive, and radio is relatively easy.  Sure, audio editing and Foley can be time consuming, but actors are often happy to work and some for as little as a box of pizza according to J. Michael Straczynski.  That definitely makes my role as sole producer more accessible, but hardly satisfies my dream.

But thanks to Meetup.com, I've made some great writer friends, some of whom need to be published.  Like Mike Bresner's All I Want for Christmas, a twisted murder mystery set in Santa's workshop.  I met Mike through the Loudoun County Writers Group and though he's not been able to find an agent for his work, in the age of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and various retellings of the Adventures of Peter Pan.  It seems only natural that a story like Mike's should find an audience in our revisionist, modern world!  All I can say for now is keep an eye on Mr. Bresner; I expect we'll be hearing a lot more from him someday soon.

Anyway, the nice thing about Meetup.com is you can find some very interesting groups that may align with your interests, as I've mentioned numerous times in this blog.  So I was quite delighted when someone created the TV Script Writers Meetup I mentioned at the top of this post.

The TV Script Writers is based in Alexandria, VA, which isn't particularly convenient for me but I'll try to make it work.  The organizer, Crystal, couldn't be nicer and I look forward to making her formal acquaintance.  But what I think is most inspiring of her is to make our first meeting not about showcasing our own ideas, but to learn instead from known successes.

Thus, for our first meeting, we will be reviewing Jason Katims pilot episode for Roswell, based on the novels, which is available here.  I've tried to analyse the pilot for Heroes before, so I find this analysis rather inspiring and interesting, especially since I've never seen an episode of the original television series nor read any of the associated original novels.

The basic goal is to mark up the script with a yellow highlighter to highlight what works for you, and a red pen for what you find doesn't.  Since I lack a yellow highlighter, I decided to use a green sharpie, with the unfortunate consequence of my notes bleeding through to the flip side of the page.  I hope that won't cause problems.

At this point, I've read the teaser and first 2 acts for what I assume was cut down to an hour-long drama with about 15 minutes of commercial breaks.  At 1 page = 1 minute, the script would likely more fit into 90 minutes as written with commercials, but I know they must have cut it down quite a bit.  Act 2 seems especially long.

The shining star of the story this far has got to be the character Isabel.  I find me underscoring nearly everything she does and whatever comes out of her mouth.  She really makes the series for me.  What I must say though is missed in this script is an understanding for the target audience.  A teen drama featuring 16 year olds is basically meant for 14 year old adolescents who aspire to the characters on screen.  In and of itself, the characters seem to ring true, but much as they may use 4-letter words in real life, there's no way that's going to appear on U.S. network television.  Heck, it wouldn't even appear on HBO given the young adult target audience.

All in all, though, I'm liking this script and hope to have finished reading it by next Monday's meeting.

I'm hoping that I'll be writing more this year about the making of Project Kronosphere since I was so quiet in 2010.  As you can see, I've redesigned the page with a new Kronosphere theme.  I wanted to bring you closer to the great, gray-silver ball that can take you anywhere in time and space, coming soon to a speaker, or screen, near you…