And….I’m officially half way done! With school, that is. Yesterday marked the end of my third term at Vancouver Film School, and the last term of “general” work, before our class split into TV and film streams. I am officially declared for television, y’all!
These past six weeks have been just as jam-packed as I predicted they would be. Whereas the first two terms were a sort of writing-light, lecture-heavy curriculum, our portfolios of work just exploded this term. After countless workshops where I read the television episodes and feature films of my classmates and reaped the benefit of their feedback on my own, here’s what I produced:
FILM: I finished my first draft (94 pages, baby!) of my comedy feature, Best Friends for Never. I’ll be making a few changes and “cleaning it up,” but it’s pretty much done, folks! I’m looking into entering the script into screenwriting competitions now.
TELEVISION: I (very nearly) finished my first draft (60+ pages!) of my spec episode of The Good Wife. Next term, I’ll have a chance to revisit and revise this episode, in addition to writing another spec and my own TV pilot.
SKETCH: Goodness gracious, this was a surprise. I loved writing sketch comedy. For this class, I wrote a total of five different short sketches (a la Saturday Night Live), as well as a bunch of “desk jokes” (think “Weekend Update.” Undoubtedly, the most rewarding part of Sketch was hearing your classmates read the scripts aloud, bringing your words to life, and hopefully (usually) getting laughs. At the conclusion of the class, our instructor enlisted her professional troupe of sketch actors to read our submitted sketches, and that was truly something special. I think each of my classmates was surprised at how a comedian could elevate and enliven what you wrote. The best part is that next term, our sketches will be cast, rehearsed, and performed as part of a night of sketch comedy at the student cafe. I’ll be sure to share the video of my three accepted sketches, “Jewish Grandma Jeanie,” “Sarcastic Counselor,” and “Senior Day at the Piercing Pagoda.”
COMEDY and FILM THEORY: Comedy is possibly the best class to have at nine in the morning. Low stress and lots of laughs. We read and analyzed six comedy scripts, including The Hangover (awful), Groundhog Day (better) and When Harry Met Sally. Film Theory was a real treat of a class, mostly lecture, with one long day of group presentations comparing two films pre- and post-1960. My group compared Fellini’s 8 ½ and the 2009 musical remake Nine. Very odd but interesting.
I was extremely pleased that I managed to get involved in another extracurricular project as well. While the crew behind the short film Butterfly is now in post-production, I met with a group of gentlemen from the Digital Design school and ended up scripting an ‘infographic’ for them. They animated my script, and the resulting short video will play on the new website for the organization ASEM, which assists orphaned and vulnerable children in Mozambique. Please watch this (not quite final) cut!
I have been interested in infographics and kinetic type for a few years now, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this sort of project on the side.
Additionally, my television instructor this past term has asked me to edit her YA novel before she self-publishes, so I’ll be spending the next few days doing that! Hopefully, it’ll open the door to more freelance work down the road.
One thing about the yearlong intensive at VFS: it’s always difficult to fit in the extra projects, but it’s amazing how quickly they come together. If you can work around your already tight schedule, and turn material around rapidly for other students who have their own insane deadlines, you can watch a project coalesce within a matter of months or even weeks! It’s extremely gratifying. Not to mention, I’ll have a portfolio full of credits on a variety of projects at the end of this year. It’s a win/win scenario.
Speaking of the work that’s rapidly accumulating, I’ve realized that while it’s great fun to keep a website for my hobbies like television analysis and personal blogging, I need to get my own professional website off the ground. This is where I’ll post my resume and my “reel” or whatever it is you’re supposed to call your projects. Maybe I’ll be able to link you to my professional site by the end of next term! I have a feeling I’ll be asking my design-savvy friends for their assistance on that….
But that’s enough about school. Tomorrow marks my first anniversary with the gf, aka the anniversary of her flight to Boston to go on vacation with a bunch of strangers. I’m so glad she did. Not only did she return to Vancouver in fine mental and physical health (despite the warnings of her coworkers), but that first long weekend planted the seed of me leaving Boston to join her here in Vancouver. I haven’t regretted one step in that journey, though I greatly miss my girlfriends in Boston.
It’s been wonderful that several friends have managed to visit Vancouver recently, and more are on the way. At least I didn’t move to Alaska! I even managed to reconnect with a few Wellesley ladies who live or travel out this way. If Vancouver is where the gf and I end up for the next few years, it’ll be a good fit.
Speaking of, our upcoming visa and job situations continue to haunt us. We can both stay in Canada until at least mid-2013, but after my graduation this August I’d like to find work that pays my considerable student loans and relates to screenwriting. If that’s in the U.S., we’ll have a major hurdle to overcome with getting the French gf into the states eventually. It’s a big, fuzzy question mark at the moment, and not having federal gay marriage is a definite complication. Any suggestions and/or job offers are appreciated. 😉
Oh, and if you have a brilliant idea for a new TV show that I can steal, please send it along.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned.