Monday, July 14, 2008

Bosses & co-workers = characters

It's always interesting to see how people take my posts. I just want to make it clear that my boss is awesome. He is cooler than 99% of bosses in entertainment, and everyone loves him. "Catering" to him, as some of the commenters said, is my job. When you are an assistant, you assist. I was fully aware of that when I started working here. Some writers aren't cut out for it. I probably am not even cut out for it, but I'm spoiled because I have a cool boss and and a low-volume desk.

I think it also helps that every job I've had I kind of consider to be a character study. I've worked at an ice cream shop, a video store, an insurance company, a chain restaurant, a reality TV company, etc etc. And though I generally hated the work at all of them and never got paid much, the people I met made them all worthwhile experiences.

Writing update: As I wait for more notes on my pilot, I think I am going to start writing a romantic comedy feature. I am admittedly uneasy about the fact that I've named this blog Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer, but I want to write one anyway. My biggest goal is to craft the story so that at one point, you really don't know which guy the girl will go for. Like in Bridget Jones' Diary - which I think works because Hugh Grant comes off as cool and turns out to be an asshole, while Colin Firth comes off as an asshole and turns out to be cool. I often hate reading romantic comedies because by page 10 you know that your main guy and main girl will get together, and the rest of the script feels like a waste of time. So I want to have two guys and make mine as unpredictable as possible. We'll see how it goes.

Apartment update: Didn't get the place in Brentwood. BOO.

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Trevor Finn said...

I definitely am not cut out for it. Tried being an assistant for a reality TV company, but 1) I hate reality TV and 2) I was more scattered than my boss.

Now, if I'd had an assistant, it might have worked out...

Dan Williams said...

It might be good to start off with the desire to have a certain moment in the plot for the audience.

Remember the REVEAL at the end of THE ENGLISH PATIENT! How superb was that?!

But somewhere along the line, and early in the creative process, you want to realize WHAT you want to say about love. This then becomes your THEME and you create your plot and characters to illustrate it.

This process is discussed at length in Dara Marks's superb book, "Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc." It's only $35 bucks at the Writer's Store. You just MUST read it and let it help you plan your story.

Andrea Janes said...

Hey, I've just started reading your blog and sifting through your (very helpful and entertaining) archives. Thanks for sharing your adventures in assistantland -- I can relate to being strapped for cash and frustrated but also loving myriad other things about my job and writing and the movies too much to ever want to do anything else.
Great blog -- and good luck with the apartment hunt :)

Josh said...

I have some GREAT characters from my video store jobs (yes, plural).