Friday, August 17, 2007

tales from the valley

I think I am starting to accept my unemployment. Perhaps even embrace it. I have been to Target three times since Monday and already have a list for my next trip. I have assembled my dresser, desk chair and nightstand. (Desk is in the process...but I need some superglue from Target before I continue.)

Last night I had dinner with Justin at Mel's Drive In (no celeb sightings this time) and we discussed the whole job thing. Everyone always says, it's connections, it's who you know. The thing is, I know a ton of people. I can name DOZENS of shows, production companies and agencies that people I know work for or have worked for. And I've contacted them...they just don't know of any openings right now. There are two good signs, though; one of my old internship bosses sent my resume onto the TV Lit dept at a Giant Agency (guess I'll need to buy a suit), and I got contacted back about a freelance part time script reader position. The latter would be pretty awesome for extra cash, but it might be really occasional and might not start up for a while. But like I said, I'm accepting my unemployment. I discovered our apartment complex's laundry room and trash dumpster today. I'm definitely not in Ithaca anymore - it seems as though I am going to have to seek out a recycling center to get rid of the giant cardboard boxes that my furniture came in if I don't want to throw it out.

Meanwhile, I don't want to totally forget about TV writing, the basic reason why I started this blog in the first place. Before I left Ithaca, I started working on a pilot about my experience with college radio. The problem: I couldn't think of any good plots...lots of fun characters using cool radio jargon with not much else happening. I thought about my favorite pilot, from The O.C. It's a great example because the main storyline (Ryan getting arrested and brought into Sandy's life) affects EVERY character and therefore spins a lot of other plots and conflicts into motion. So I did a kind of exercise and came up with a list of basic situations that could start up an interesting plot...you'll find that most of them are also conflicts. Coincedence? I think not.

1. a character misunderstands another and then acts or makes a decision based on the misunderstanding (major comedy plot)

2. two characters struggle to say how they really feel, and possibly even make each other think the opposite of what is true (aka basically every Grey's Anatomy episode)

3. a character won't give another what s/he wants

4. two characters attempt to achieve goals that are in direct conflict with one another (Blood Diamond is a fantastic example of this)

5. the audience knows something a character doesn't (dramatic irony/suspense/horror movies)

6. a character works to prevent something from happening (remember pre-Friday Night Lights Kyle Chandler on Early Edition?)

7. one issue affects every character in thir own way; one decision or action affects other characters and their decisions or actions (The O.C. pilot)

8. a character pretends to be someone they're not (either figuratively or physically) or does something against their intuition and then is compelled to come clean (physically = Shakespeare)
9. a character has a secret

10. the outcome of a decision is the opposite of what was expected

11. a character gets what s/he wants and realizes s/he wants something else

12. a character tricks or lies to another character

Okay, that's plenty for now. Target calls.

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