Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Post Scriptchat Chat.

I'm sitting here, post #scriptchat thinking about my career as a writer, getting ready for my job as a waitress. After the unique and exciting experience that was #scriptchat, I feel better and worse. Better because I was always told that writers were a competitive community who weren't in the game to help each other out. That's clearly not true of all writers, as I've seen time and time again since joining Twitter. Worse because I know what I'm up against. There are SO MANY other talented writers out there. Who am I to think I have an equal talent level to these folks? I'm still a total beginner. And while I am one of the few who still believes in beginners luck, I can't help feeling that I'm going to be holding my breath for a long time (or sneaking in an oxygen tank when no one else is looking)

Also, things like THIS don't make me feel any better (Since, clearly the internet is there to make me feel better about myself). I'm not saying he's wrong, in fact its probably in your best interest to live in the right geographic in order to work your career, though I know of more than a few exceptions. But I don't want to move to Toronto. I just don't. Nothing against the city, but its not in the cards for us right now. So I'm holding on to the hope that I can be the exception. (Peter is a smart guy and a great writer, so his words are harder to pass of than random e-chatter)

I've never been a quitter, though sometimes my follow-through is weak. This is one area where I'm not willing to give up. I will continue to be hopeful, and push myself, exorcising all career avenues available to me. Hope is hope, even if its a fool's hope.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Masterful Settings

It is a chilly night in October. I'm sitting in my favorite chair, avoiding the sleep I need to function because I want to be awake (and I had two Pumpkin Spice Lattes - whoops?). Tonight I'm contemplating what makes a setting spectacular. My favourite novels have a sense of ambiance to them that I cannot deny. This ambiance, this flawless combination of physical space, mood, and atmosphere is magical. It can transfer from novel to script, and script to screen - with the right set designer/art director combo, of course.

There are several masters of setting that have me grovelling at the toes of their artistry. I don't have the energy to discuss in detail, but I'd love for you to add to this list.

1. Charlotte Bronte (can't figure out the funky "e" on this Mac) for "Jane Eyre". That story has a desolate quality that I can't shake. Its in my bones every time I sit down with the book. Bronte drills the hopelessness into you with every detail, right down to the greyness in the setting. It is masterful.

2. Edgar Allen Poe. My favourites are "The Black Cat", "The Cask of Amontillado" and ultimately "The Raven". The very words he uses ingrain the scratching of leafless tree branches into my core. I can feel the chilly wind. I can hear the oppressive fog. Its incredible.

3. Sofia Coppola. "Lost in Translation" was one of the best "set" films for me personally. Something about the isolation and alienness (is that a word?) that Charlotte experienced throughout the film, and the contrast between unfamiliar beauty and unfamiliar ugliness that came across was spectacular. It spoke to me. This is a film you love or hate, in my experience. I fall on cupid's side.

Three is the magic number for tonight. Please, add to my list. A novel, story or film where the setting blew you away.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saving Dollhouse

**I'm going to be a jerk here. If you don't feel like a giant dose of jackass today, do not read on.**

I adore Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. I've said it before, and it isn't going to change. I think to show appeals to people who desire a certain wit from their drama, that seems to have been lacking, of late. I love the premise. The characters appear easy to understand but continually impress me with their depth and complexity. The mystery of the show is unraveling beautifully, engaging me more with each episode.

That being said, I'm really tired of trying to save Dollhouse. Since its very conception, it seems that Dollhouse was created to be canceled. Anyone who loves King Whedon's work knows that his journey through the throes of the FOX network have been tumultuous at best. Every internet forum this side of Malaysia insists that Firefly was canceled way before its time. This well known FOX faux-pas doesn't seem turn the tides for Dollhouse. I was surprised (pleasantly, of course) that FOX renewed Dollhouse for a second season. I thought that perhaps all the petitioning, emails, tweets and - dare I say - threats, may have done some good (lets face it, we none of us could truly threaten the almighty FOX.) Now, I'm not sure why FOX bothered to renew the series in the first place. We're two episodes in, and the only thing I've heard is how Dollhouse's head is on the sweep chopping block once again. Tweets are flying around, trying to garner attention, interviews are everywhere, and there is an ominous tingle every time I tune in that it will be the last. Granted I don't fully understand sweeps, or how the network gets its stats, but it seems like they've renewed the series to shut us up, only to take it away and blame it on the ratings. Then when they do cancel it, they can play the big hero who gave it a second chance, and we are the villains who didn't tell enough of our friends to tune in, or put the correct twibbon on our Twitter Avatar (I tried, I don't know why my twibbon is gone). Really, FOX? Maybe don't put the show on a Friday night when your target demographic is either working, or squeezing in an over-priced dinner out with their geek-with-benefits buddy.

I guess all I'm saying is either give the show a chance, or don't. Don't make me beg for the TV I want to watch. FOX already knows the 'verse's position on Dollhouse. I think they also know that if they're willing to give it a chance, and let it ride, it will succeed on a marginal scale. However, I think the biggest problem is that it doesn't satisfy the almighty dollar hunger that infects every decision they make. I get it, networks are in it for the cash and they have to be, but if that's the case then why did they even air the show in the first place? I'm done begging, FOX. The ball is in your court. Too bad I know what that means. Don't fool yourself though, I will not be tuning into "More to Love" to console myself.

Ok, jerkness over. For now.