Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Plagiarist...... a writer of plays.

Damn you Paramount Comedy. Damn you and your weekend of double Scrubs and Two and a Half Men.

I've wasted at least 8 hours on you.

Well....not really. I mean I did probably watch about 8 hours of it, but as a writer I believe nothing is wasted. Except sleep maybe, if it doesn't result in a fertile dream or an alert mind the following morning. I'm like a sponge. Lot's of stuff gets soaked up . Most of it seemingly useless. And a few droplets leak back out. Again, mostly useless.

But the more that gets soaked up the more chance one of those leaking droplets will be the gold nugget in the sand. The career starting script [or career continuing script, it's a hard game]

Here's how my weekend panned out. See what I did there?

Woke around Watched a re run of a God awful Jerry Springer type show because it fits something I'm developing. Fell asleep again. Woke about 7.a.m. Watched News 24 till Sponge Bob Square Pants came on. 9.30 to 10.30 thought about a recent idea because I need to nail both tone and format. 10.30 - 12.30 - Paramount comedy. 12.30 to 4pm took my son to lunch and shopping. I bounce ideas off him and disect various shows and films because he is a 14 year old fricking genius and we really enjoy that kind of thing. 4pm-6pm, sat and thought and made a few notes. 6 to 8pm Paramount Comedy. 8-9pm checked out a few of my favourite blogs. Rest of the evening TV. Match of the Day obviously.

Woke around 6.30.a.m. Watched News 24, Sponge Bob and Andrew Marr's programme. 10-12- Paramount Comedy. 12-4 pm. Lunch with my son followed by a long walk with him discussing TV and movies, the state of the world and whatever else came to mind. Including me embarrasing him by asking a passing stranger for the name of the TV hypnotist Paul something [McKenna, as it turns out] whom both of us had inexplicably forgotten his surname and it was driving us crazy. Thank you passing stranger whoever you were. 4.30 to -6.30 pm, bowling with friends. And now blogging.

Not exactly the kind of weekend to have you quiverring with excitement perhaps? But to me it was golden.

Because almost everything I did helped me with current projects. Though that was far from my intention when I did them.

Watching Paramount - Scrubs is fantastic for showing you how to hide the fact that the stories in each episode are almost entirely themed towards JD's monologue V.O at the end. Nothing is telegraphed so when JD ties it all up at the end you go 'Ahhh yes, of course' 2.5 men is great for making Charlie, who is a skirt chasing booze hound, a hugely empathetic and entertaining character. Both shows are spectacularly well written. You can't help but learn. And something I'm working on has to have that kind of vibe to it.

News 24, or any news is always a potential source of ideas. And keeps you grounded with what is going on in the world rather than just inside your head.

Sponge Bob Square Pants is just cool. Great storytelling on very different levels.

Spending time with my son is always the greatest pleasure because I love him dearly. But he is also as sharp as a tack in knowing what is 'lame' and doesn't hesitate to tell me. Even the long walk we took was useful because it was in quite possibly the 'whitest' part of London, and I'm working on something that involves subconcious racism.

And reading blogs? There are some extraordinarly smart pro writers and looking to break in writers out there. I'm computer illiterate so I don't have any of them listed on my blog, but I have at least 20 in my 'favourites'.

So when I let these influences soak in, am I copying? Cribbing? Stealing? Nope. I'm hoping that the water, hops and yeast that went in comes out as a beautiful glass of beer.

It's not plagiarism, it's trying to focus your experiences into something worthwhile.


potdoll said...

You get up a bit early Lisher. Is it your most creative time?

English Dave said...

Nah. Just a light sleeper Potty. If anything I find I tend get most work done between say 10am and 3 pm. After that I'm mostly just dicking around.

potdoll said...

That's interesting. I once heard another tv writer say that when you are working on a tv series you need to do five hours a day and that's enough.

English Dave said...

That sounds about right, pot. Maybe a bit on the high side. lol

No but seriously, I can manage four to five hours tops of concentrated writing in a day. After that we're in re-write territory and on a tight deadline that's Injun Country.

potdoll said...

That's not a bad living is it, eh Lish.

English Dave said...

Apart from the constant threat of getting scalped?

potdoll said...

don't you you thrive on that Lish?

English Dave said...

Only afterwards Potty when it appears I've saved my follicles. lol

Funnily enough I've just spent the last two days rewriting scripts that went to bed months ago but have resurfaced because of ...well....let's call it new execurightous. New scenes having to be written before they all bugger off for Christmas.