I am very pleased to be writing my next one act play for the collection. We’re on number four now, if you’re interested. This new project is a short comedy piece about a British man who is stopped by American Immigration, and the (not) obvious hilarity that ensues. Currently around half way through, I am struck with the biggest issue that the ‘rubber glove’ concept throws up. Invariably, the stock response to the officer putting on a rubber glove should be “Shouldn’t you buy me dinner first?”, “Aren’t we going out for drinks first?” or something similar, simply because it is completely overused and clichéd now. After wracking my brain for an amusing alternative, I have finally come up with a response that I am happy with. Here’s the excerpt from the script:
Peter: I still have to determine whether or not you’re a danger to this country.
Charlie: Of course I’m not! I love America. American TV especially. Seriously, is there a shop around here? (American accent) A store… cause I wanna buy a flag!
Peter looks at Charlie suspiciously. There is an uncomfortable silence.
Charlie: Not to burn it or anything.
Peter removes a rubber glove from his jacket and puts it on his right hand.
Charlie: If I enjoy this, you’re breaking it to my girlfriend.
I recently learnt of the cancellation of another show I followed; Person’s Unknown. A mystery show around a single storyline. Add to that other recent cancellations of V, The Event, Flashforward and you’ve got a whole load of enjoyable shows that keep their audience on the promise of answering the mysteries that ended up annoying and frustrating those that bothered to follow the show.
Imagine if Lost had been cancelled after the penultimate season. How many people would have written off watching TV altogether from then on?
My greatest frustration is that I enjoyed knowing what was new and coming each year to our televisual landscape, and much like millions of others, gave my trust to the network and producers to tell a full story. Instead, an investment of time, and regular viewing is rewarded by being left on a cliffhanger in annoyance.
A few years ago, I wrote a pilot for a British show called Spores, which was an ongoing storyline that I had planned out in my head over 5 seasons of 6 episodes. Sure, the whole story would have been great to view, with twists and turns that looked back even at the early points, but while I’d only written the script for the first episode, the storylines were designed so that the show could be cancelled after any season and have a proper ending. Generally, by the end of the first season it is clear whether or not a show is coming back (indeed it was clear with most of the aformentioned shows before the airing of the season finale that they weren’t renewed) and Spores essentially ended each season, with a further short scene teasing the continuation for the end that could be left in should it be renewed. How would this be difficult to do for an American TV show?
The real trouble is that with the proliferation of more ongoing stories and mystery style shows, audiences will feel more and more betrayed by networks not finishing their shows properly. Personally I’m finding it harder and harder to start a new show when I have no idea whether or not it will end. Imagine how we would have all felt should they have just made the first two Lord of the Rings films, or never ended the Matrix trilogy (actually some people might have preferred that). I’m nearly at the stage where I’m just going to wait until the shows are over, and figure out whether it’s worth watching then, and buying on DVD. If more people do this, ratings will go down, advertising revenues will reduce, and less shows will ever be completed. Unless networks and producers deal with cancellation better, I can’t see this ending well. Which sounds like one of their shows.
Okay, so I figure I should make this one stick.
In the past I’ve made an attempt at interesting and exciting blogs which have been lost to the expiration of various ISP accounts, though never were interesting enough to bother trawling through waybackmachine.org to find. As a personal blog without any specific project focus, this will be my various musings and thoughts that if I’m lucky will offend some people. (We’ve had and probably will still have blogs for individual projects, such as the Treading The Boards video blog, and the Safe House blog, though this is not just going to be a series of shameless plugs.)
Speaking of shameless plugs, I’m just putting the finishing touches to Apocalypse, a 30 minute filmed version of a one act play I wrote. Essentially all that remains is to re-record some of the dialogue, (a process I am told is called ADR) and tweak the music a little, and it will be all ready for public consumption… again… It was released as one of the videos for Video Month 2.
Now I’m going to have to explain that… I’ve done a project called Video Month twice now, where I release a new video every day for a month. Most vids are created within a day, but some are underway through more days to give me more chance to create a better project. Apocalypse is this ‘better project’.
Anyway, what were we talking about? Ahh yes, this blog. (Don’t you hate it when people pretend to forget something in order to get back on topic?) It will have interesting insights into what I am working on, random events that are going on, and just whatever I think people might find interesting to read. Immediate fail there then.
So whether you’ve come here to learn a little more about me before hiring me, or you’re just an old friend that wants to catch up a little on what’s been going on in my life, or even a new friend that is too lazy to talk to me personally, I’m sure there’s something in here for you. And if not, I don’t care, because it’s obviously been worth it to me to write.
This is the bottom of the post now… and if you’ve read down this far you’ve reached the end. Consider it like the end of a good (?) book. Close it now, sigh and reflect a little on the insightful content… and probably puerile comedy.