Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Finding your niche...

Recently, Denis McGrath made an interesting observation over on DeadThingsonSticks:

"Again, this is another reason why I toil in TV not film. In TV we're starting to learn that going for niche is the only way to score - by trying to reach everyone you reach no one. But it's still an eye-opening and interesting search."

...and he's right, as usual, but it got me thinking about blogging and going for a niche there.

After spending waaaay too much time trolling the multitude of sites out there, I've concluded the internet doesn't need another 'screenwriting advice' blog, certainly not from me. And there's some good 'behind the scenes and anecdotes about film/tv business' blogs - but those who do it do it waaaay better and more entertainly than I ever could. And as for hardcore insider biz info, I'm nowhere near the inside these days, so there's no niche there. And as far as just giving opinions or posting links to 'interesting news, information, and ideas' blogs, well there's millions of those out there and the only thing to distinguish each of them is the blogger's 'take' or 'slant' or 'world/life' view --- and who the f*** am I? I certainly have experiences, advice, anecdotes, opinions...but not earth shatteringly interesting ones. No score there.

There's a few blogs I enjoy because they are Canadians and they discuss the Canadian film/tv that is a niche in a way. And they 'score' with me because I can relate and like what some have to say. And there's a few that are brutally funny and very entertaining, like reading a good editorial or 'My Opinion' column in the newspaper. And there's a few that are diary-like and incredibly personal and even moving (if in fact these people are speaking/writing from the heart and not manufacturing a blogger 'persona' because that's how they can get visitors or generate comments...sorry, always a little skeptical). But right now my blog feels a little all over the place and paraphrasing Mr. McGrath...'trying to reach everyone and reaching no one'...and though being random may be an honest or accurate representation of me or my life or that day, it ultimately seems forgettable...

So who am I writing for? Is it about the audience? Or is it okay if its just about you? And the reality is, when you work in tv for a long time, it's always about the audience and entertainning them...but if there's no audience, or if they don't really care...

And so I considered packing it in - blogging can be a fun release and a form of self expression of sorts...and a score doesn't have to be a home run --- but if you don't even think you'll even be able to hit a single...well....

...and then I realized there is some small comfort gained in being informed or entertained by like minds, or relating to similar experiences, so perhaps its all just about giving something back and hoping you do the same for someone somewhere, even if its just a single...a broken bat single to boot... I went back and found the exact "uninflected images juxaposed' quote (in a Mamet book) and it went like this:

"The job of the film director is to tell the story through the juxtaposition of uninflected images--because that is the essential nature of the medium. It operates best through that juxtaposition, because that's the nature of human perception: to perceive two events, determine a progression, and want to know what happens next" --

I don't know...for me, its still all about that last line...I guess I'm telling a story - until I figure it all out and find that niche, I'll continue to juxtapose stories and comments about tv directing, producing, and yes, writing...with some life stuff - try to enjoy putting thoughts into words again, and hopefully people will visit and read to see..."what happens next".

By the way, the lice are gone.

SONG & ARTIST? : They shot a movie once,
in my home town
Every body was in it,
from miles around


A. M. said...

Congrats on the lice-less-ness. Hope your kids don't feel too lonely now ;)

I like the writers' blogs a lot. Sometimes we go through similar woes at the same time (like, the pains of rewriting, getting sick of the script, etc.). If one isn't exactly surrounded by a lot of people who also write, it can at times make you feel weird.

Here's to sanity.

Callaghan said...

Hey asked me recently why I haven't been posting on my blog lately. Well, I had been feeling exactly the same way you did before you wrote this I hadn't found a niche.

But I think I've come to a similar conclusion that you niche is simply interesting stories and shared experiences.

Without getting too after-school-special here, I think that there is a distict burgeoning community of writers online, and most of them have something to say....something beyond "uhh, this show is cool and this other show sucks."

So count on me to start regular updates. And consider your recent post to be part of the reason!

Expect tales of procrastination, writer's block, rejection and the odd breakthrough. And maybe a few stories about my time working for a sock puppet. Seriously.

Oh, and by the way, Tragically Hip "Blow at High Dough." That one was easy!

mellowlee said...

When I started my blog a month ago, I doubted whether I would keep it going or not.

I wasn't sure what kind of blog I wanted it to be. The one thing I was sure of is that it would get me writing again, and hoping that it will keep me writing. So far so good!

It can be a lot of fun. While my blog is quite eclectic, I'm sure I hope to notice some themes going on (too much tv lately?) Heh! So I guess I'm hoping that it will naturally find it's way to what it wants to be LOL! Please keep your blog going, and thanks for visiting my site.