Term 4 Update! Writing for Film and Television at @VFS

Holy canoli!

Apologies in advance for any food metaphors/imagery/etc… I’m writing this on a hungry stomach as I wait for my Indian takeout to be delivered. Yes, that is one thing that hasn’t changed in the past eight months of life in Vancouver – my love of Indian delivery. I hope you’re all reassured that I’m still the girl you know and put up with.

I nearly missed this fourth term update as my Spring Break was so full of family (and a bit of relaxation), that I plain forgot to get down a record of my last month and a half.

While for the first three terms my concentration was split between projects for film and television, the fourth term marked my immersion in the television stream. Man, did I love it. I have absolutely found what I am meant to be doing.

That doesn’t mean my film-type projects didn’t progress. First, a project that I undertook way back in the first term came to fruition! My co-written short film, Butterfly, was picture locked, sound edited (I was the background voice of a female newcaster), and yes, SCREENED! I can’t put Butterfly online for you to view, as the film’s producer and director are entering it in many short film festivals, but rest assured that I was happy with it. If you’re headed to Vancouver any time in the near future, I’ll screen it for you on my nice big TV.

I also pitched two ideas, outlined, and undertook the writing of a Movie of the Week, Winter Breakdowna college campus thrillerMOW class was a crap ton of fun. No kidding. While I won’t finish the draft of my 7-act feature until the final term, it was wonderfully freeing to utilize tropes instead of avoiding them, and to write outside of my usual family drama genre.

I also had a blast in Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi class, where we read some truly incredible classics: The Exorcist, Alien, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Psycho. I, ahem, opted out of reading the epically long Star Wars. First time I ever didn’t do an assignment (out of pure exhaustion). Overall, I think these scripts were excellent inspiration for my own first attempt at a thriller.

BUT AS FOR TELEVISION…

I finished and revised my The Good Wife spec script, though I am once again in the process of revising it before I use it in my application to the ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship, due at the end of this month. You can read up on that amazing year-long program at the link HERE. It’s highly competitive, but I’m applying because WHO KNOWS. I’m a strong writer and I have to have faith in myself.

To that end, this term marked the first time I had to fully develop an idea for a television pilot, from creating a show bible, to beating out a pilot episode. This will be vital for my writing portfolio, as Hollywood would actually prefer to read original stuff. While I won’t share too much here (original ideas are super valuable), I will say I’m writing an hour-long drama with a 20-something female protagonist. Donor 401 is part family and relationship drama/part medical drama, and I begin writing pages very soon!

While some projects are primarily for a writer’s portfolio, to land them gigs (e.g. my pilot), others will actually see the light of day. My web series, Funemployment, will be filmed by mid-June. VFS is fantastic in that it pairs each writing student up with a legit director and film crew and our projects are produced. This is actually an assignment I struggled with. I had terrible trouble finding an idea I liked – something comedic that worked as a five-minute-or-less single episode, but that had potential as an ongoing web series. I’m very happy with my current draft, and will share it with you once it’s filmed and edited.

Maybe the least intensive but most rewarding class this term was the second installment of Sketch Comedy, which was basically observing rehearsals for and the final sketch shows of the sketches we wrote last term. This was wild fun. People on stage! Saying stuff I wrote! And a live, laughing audience, who paid to attend! I was lucky enough to get three sketches into the shows – Jewish Grandma Jeannie (co-writer), Sarcastic Counselor, and Senior Day at the Piercing Pagoda. Most rewarding was hearing from the female sketch actors that they loved my brand of comedy, which often used strong female characters. That made me proud.

Sarcastic Counselor

Senior Day at the Piercing Pagoda

Finally, I have purchased my personal domain and need to get that up and running so it can host my portfolio when I’m applying to jobs. Anybody know a gifted web designer willing to work on the cheap?

Well, it’s been an epic update. Term Four was fairly insane, and Term Five already promises its own difficulties and unique rewards. Hope you didn’t mind reading my term in review.

Best,

TGF

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