Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Schedule


Above my desk is a schedule of writing for the next few months. I drew up the schedule at the start of the year to give myself deadlines and keep myself on track. it is the beginning of March and I'm already behind.

I am behind schedule for an excellent reason though. A few weeks ago I had an idea for a short film. At the same time, an old "thread" for a radio play idea crashed into another "thread" and thinking about these two "threads" I found a third. I usually only start fully developing a script once I have three "threads". I think this comes from something Sarah Maitland said many years ago on a short story course.

I find this a useful tool to use for just about everything. Once an idea has three different, diverging or converging "threads" then it has enough to move it from an idea in my head or in scribbled notes to start fully developing. Both the short film and the radio play have distracted me from my schedule but in a good way.

I've been trying for over a year now to come up with an idea for a short film. I wanted to write a script, with minimal budget that could, with the help of various friends and resources at the disposal of friends be filmed.

The idea is a very simple one and I've been forcing myself through an exercise in developing it - thinking visually. I've outlined the whole idea in detail then I've worked through it pulling the dialogue from it so that what I'm left with is an story presented through visal images and minimal dialogue. I've written the dialogue for scenes that I have no intention of using to get the dialogue out of my head.

Though it has struck me that the scenes that I've written could be used for a radio play so that both projects work together but also seperately as a means of exporing the different requirements of the different mediums from the same source material.

I'll keep the schedule on the wall though, its good to be taunted by it. As long as I'm writing and producing scripts then I can taunt back. Its the great advantage of writing for oneself rather than a commission. I can jump to whichever idea feels the strongest and in most urgent need of writing.

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