Friday, August 24, 2007

It's a bloody good logo actually, I just can't work out how to save it as a jpeg.

A quick meeting yesterday with an Important Person about my Teen Drama thing: they want a second episode script, and maybe a quick rejig of the first according to the thoughts of the Important Person. There is also discussion of how many episodes it will theoretically be: probably between six and ten. I've been planning it out for eight: it's easy to shorten to six, but if things start going mental a la Green Wing and eight starts to turn into 8A and 8B and then 8B turns into another two episodes when then squish into a single hour and forty five minute Christmas special (some of the details may be wrong on this, I didn't have two weeks of aversion therapy* for nothing), you can pretend you planned it all along.

On my side: the producer, the assistant producer, the script editor, a head of development, another head of development. You don't usually have that many people with you, even for a development meeting with an Important Person, so I asked assistant producer why this was.

Assistant Producer: Because they're feeling very very protective of your script.


God bless Team Meat-Shield.

Buzzwords that are In:

'Itchy', apparently.

Buzzwords that are Out:

Whimsy (I chose to reassure them on this point by saying 'ain't no motherfucking whimsy in this town' for reasons that still escape me. At least I left 'bitch' off the end.

The Hardy Perennials:


At the start of the meeting I took out my sexy new notebook, what is all stripey and has a logo I made up myself for the Teen Drama Series and then sellotaped to the front, but under the plastic bit so it looks like it was always there.


Producer, the assistant producer, the script editor, a head of development, another head of development: 'Wow that is brilliant'/'You have thought this through on every level'/'Let's get that logo down to the girls at Marketing'/'The depths and passion you are bringing to this project never cease to amaze me James'.


Producer, the assistant producer, the script editor, a head of development, another head of development: 'Awwwwwwwww.

Anyway, in conclusion: Wheeeeee, meetings are fun.

* I didn't like it.

UPDATE: which means that last year's posts about buzzwords (follow the labels at the bottom), and taking into account that was a Comedy Meeting and this was a Drama Meeting, are pretty much bang on. Go me.


Boz said...

I would spend far more time on things like the logo and new stationery, rather than concentrate on any writing.

V Exciting Stuff though!

james henry said...

And soundtracks as well, of course. That's an excellent way to waste time.

The whole project may collapse at any time, obviously, but you have to think of that as part of the fun.

Salvadore Vincent said...

See also: the theme tune that I spent days writing and recording for a kids' show I was working on.

The reaction I wanted:
"This is brilliant! Not only will we use it, we will release it as a single and it will be a Christmas number one like Bob the Builder was, and you will get to go on Top of the Pops, which was your childhood dream (even if you are dressed as a crocodile)."

The reaction I got:
"Er, yeah, it was sweet of you to try that..."

james henry said...

Aww, you can write the feem toon for mine if you like. I've done the lyrics, they go - 'TeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenDRAMASERIES!!!!!!'

Maybe we should set up a meeting.

patroclus said...

Buying new stationery is never a waste of time.

Neither is commenting on blogs when a printing press in Holland has been put on pause to await the last-minute document you are editing.


Oli said...

Dark and grotesque are out? Must remember to buy a whole new writing style this weekend.

I was in a situation the other day where I was upset, and genuinely had something in my eye, which I of course couldn't remove for fear of looking like a big girly girl. So it stayed there, for a half hour or so. My eye didn't thank me.

Boz said...

Also. I'm going retro: I quite like whimsy.

james henry said...

Me too, but you have to call it something else in meetings.

Salvadore Vincent said...

Is 'itchy' the new 'edgy'? Or did you just mishear?

I usually find that I have the word 'edgy' circled and underlined somewhere amongst my notes. No one can ever explain what they mean by it, so I just take it to mean 'swearing'.

You might want to check before you set up a series arc based solely around itching powder.

Smat said...

I did some word association with a teenager - I said "itchy", she said "foot". Don't think that helps somehow. And wrt the drama project, she feels "itchy" is neither a good nor a bad thing to be, just weird.

james henry said...

I suspect 'itchy' in this context means something you have to keep coming back to (and probably on different media, like the way Lost exists as a game, various websites and some spinoff books). Although I could be badly wrong of course.

james henry said...

Ny New Media Consulantant informs me that's 'sticky', not 'itchy', so I don't have a clue then.

thegirl said...

Are you sure it's not 'itchy'?

james henry said...

D'you know what, I met the real tv controller that fake blog is having a go at - and he was nothing like that at all, he was very supportive to the young 'uns and terribly positive about their pitches. Didn't use a single buzzword, and was quite shy, and almost a bit geeky (which I view as a positive thing).

He was dressed a wee bit like Austen Powers though.

thegirl said...

I met him too! (Were you also at his MGEITF session? I didn't see you - I would have said hello if I had.)

I do think his hope to involve the younger generation in the script/development/production process is a good thing, if a little ambitious. But he really does need to kill off the amount of repeats his channel puts on: with such limited broadcasting hours (and such a huge budget) that just seems lazy, I think.

Austen Powers? I didn't quite spot that. The shy geek thing (a positive thing) I agree with though.

james henry said...

I haven't been invited up to Edinburgh for anything, which I regard as an unforgiveable slur on my professional standing - he was the Important Person to whom the Young Promising Writers had to pitch their concepts at the end of the residential week I did in Kent.

And I'm all for more repeats as well, but of more recent things - if there's a new show, put it on four or five times that year, give things a chance to breathe.

thegirl said...

Ah, well I was invited up as the token sex blogger/writer for a session about sex on telly and was introduced to the audience by Richard Bacon as being "the woman that's shagged a lot of men and written about it" which really helped establish me as a 'professional'... (At least my retort made him blush - and the whole room laugh.)

I do agree about repeating programmes on the channel to give them a chance to develop, attract a following and snowball over time, but I'm not quite sure if scheduling repeats of Two Pints of Lager every evening quite falls into that category.

Still, in his session Danny said that as well as lots of comedy and live entertainment, for 2008 he had commissioned six new drama pilots, at least one of which would become a series, so I am hopeful that next year will be a better year for the channel - and for new writers too.

kaiki said...

leaving this delayed comment feels like i'm the last one to arrive at a party hours after it should have finished and everyone else is either reeling around or asleep but i wanted to say that i liked this post so much i applauded it. in an office. on my own.

james henry said...

Well thanks. I often do that myself, of course, but it's nice to know it happens at both ends (as t'were).