Friday, October 20, 2006

I Premised you a Miracle

So I woke up this morning with a fan-fucking- brilliant premise for a Sci/Fi extravaganza. Just one of those things that sometimes pop into your head overnight and actually stays with you when you wake up. Probably happened due to the fact that I watched the entire series back to back of Joss Wheedon's totally and utterly brilliant 'Firefly' a few days ago.

Anyway, I wake up salivating. Really. Even had a stonking good title. I couldn't wait to turn on Johnny Computer and get it down. Which I did.

Man, that's a great premise. I say to myself. Oh yeah, lead characters coming at me like drunken Kamakazes. Fricking things going to write itself! Then the trouble started.

I realised I only had one real story. Okay, maybe it's a movie then? not really. The premise is high concept but the story.....isn't. It's a hybrid. It kinda falls half way between movie and TV. And I don't have an ending. Kinda puts the kybosh on a movie.

Then I realised why I had only one real story. Because I had only one real antagonist. The best known and best Sci/Fi series like Star Trek [in all it's forms] and the aforementioned Firefly etc. have one major thing in common [apart from the whole space thing] There may be one major series length antagonist, be they Klingons or The Alliance. But they also had every opportunity for a new antagonist in every episode. It's how the premise was set up. Star Trek boldly going etc and Firefly boldly stealing etc...And Antagonist + Goal = story.

Protags are a dime a dozen. I always think that Antagonist and Goal is where you really make your story bones.

And that's why I've hit a hurdle. I've got a premise, or to be honest - set up. Got a rough idea of protag[s]. But I need to do some very serious thinking on antags and goals or this sucker is belly up.

So what I'm going to do is.....nothing. Well not nothing. There's a box set of Family Guy invitingly near at hand.

Because I've already spent a couple of hours noodling this thing and so far nada. My aged brain is telling me enough is enough. Let that rowdy subconscious nutcase take some of the load. The little shit caused all this in the first place.

But mainly because I need time. Time to realise this project is what it is and will eventually reveal itself to me.. Right now I'm trying to straightjacket it into what I want it to be. Damn you Joss Wheedon!


read said...

OK, so I went to Elizabeth D'Onofrio's workshop today and we went out to dinner after.
Very nice woman but a bit gun shy, I expect everyone tries to use her as a pipeline to her brother Vincent.
Anyway, I pitched the script in a delicate round about way. She seemed interested, suggested I try to get one of the actors or the director I was interested in on board. Then it would be an easier go getting the wheels rolling.

Well I kind of already knew that. I still haven't finished the treatment so I guess I'm no better or worse off than I was before.

The scifi thing sounds interesting. I don't really know what kind of premise you had in mind but how bout sending them out into the great beyond so far they run into heaven.

Not in a cheesy way... more metaphysical type storyline. Then that takes you right to the age old good vs evil because the Bible says there is a great chasim between heaven and hell..... so if space travelers were flying around in the chasim(SP?) it could lead to some interesting story lines...Dante's 5 circles of hell and the power that could be unleashed if a human did actually fly to heaven under his own steam without dying/qualifying for heaven.

Well it's late and I'm going for day 2 of the workshop tomorrow so I guess that's it for me.

I hope I haven't muddied up your thinking with all my scifi suggestions. My problem is I always have something to say about EVERYTHING!

Danny Stack said...

A whole season of Family Guy should be the perfect tonic for the creative wastelands. Before you know it, you'll have a sci-fi-fantasy-adventure with lots of comic inserts and an overweight antagonist. Got to be a winner.

English Dave said...

Hi read. I'm a great believer that if Sci/Fi isn't about good and evil at it's core then really it's just drama in a futuristic setting.

Danny- Family Guy always works. The antags are now the protags, the original protags are gone and the situation creates the new antagonists rather than 'being' the antagonist, as originally concieved.

read said...

hi dave,

You're right about Sci/Fi, I just never realized it before.

Wow, whole new outlook!

English Dave said...

I think you did realise it Read, You just didn't realise that you realised it.

Before you pitch to anyone else I'd definitely at least try to get the treatment finished. You've got to have a firm handle on what it is you are pitching or else it comes off as waffle.

See the opening sentence in this reply! lol

read said...

I loved it, I mean I just realised I loved it! LOL

Sara_J_K said...

Maybe your tv/film-idea-with-no-legs could make a single episode of a tv series. Torchwood is sci fi story of the week fayre that seems like it's been pretty successful. Maybe they're looking for pitches for series 2?

English Dave said...

That's a great point sara. I've managed to grow some legs but never forget that your 'single' idea could perhaps be adapted to fit an existing ongoing serial

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