Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Day In The Life...(Sha-doobie)

"Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I'm in tatters!"

It's the home stretch...shooting episodes 7 and 8 as the final three episodes are being written. It's at this point that a day off on a TV series is a bit of a misnomer. You get one...but really, you don't.

Case in point (and probably too much information)...

Maybe you get to sleep in if you can, but generally you're running on adrenaline... and the eyes tend to pop open anyway.

Putter. Coffee. Feed cat. Putter some more. Watch KTLA Morning News (always do since living in LA - no idea why, it's has no bearing on my life now). Get kids up and off to school.

"Friends are so alarming
And my lover's never charming
Life's just a cocktail party on the street"

Come home. Check emails and blogroll. Read some posts. Make a few comments. Finally look over at computer bag, knowing what's inside.

The next script that's due.

That's what your day off means when writing on a tv series - more time than usual to catch up on your writing. It means the crew isn't shooting or the production office staff isn't around, which means fewer distractions or no immediate fires to put out. But it doesn't really mean 'a day off'.

"Work and work for love and sex
Ain't you hungry for success, success, success, success
Does it matter?"

Start writing. Watch with one eye a bad romance mystery on the Movie Channel. More for the noise than anything. Writing a script about a teen that goes emo so do some research on what emo means today and listen to samples of the music. Check emails and blogs again. Make more coffee. Write a bit more.

Head into office. Read another writers new draft and make notes. Write some more. Watch a cut of the first two episodes to get a sense if stories worked and how the actors are gelling this season. Jot down some notes if anyone's interested (if you were running a show, this would be a lot more important...just being on staff is only me trying to contribute).

"Pride and joy and greed and sex
That's what makes our town the best
Pride and joy and dirty dreams and still surviving on the street
And look at me, I'm in tatters, yeah
I've been battered, what does it matter!"

Head out to pick up tickets for middle daughters dance concert. Why the high school wouldn't just let the students purchase them for their parent is a question I can't get answered. Drop off some DVD rentals that were due yesterday (but there's no late fees anymore..yay!). Get gas for the car.

Decide some more research is necessary so stop in at Best Buy and check out the 'emo' music scene. Buy a few cd's (Death Cab For Cutie; AlexisOnFire; My Chemical Romance; Dashboard Confessional). Run by the grocery for some essentials. Talk to eldest daughter - find out that I've purchased either lame 'indie' or more 'screamo' than 'emo'. Feeling older by the minute.

"Don't you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, upppppp!
To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough
You got rats on the west side
Bed bugs uptown
What a mess this town's in tatters"

Schools over. Pick up younger kids from my mom's. Make supper. Help with homework. They settle in front of tv for some 'Kim Possible' and 'That's So Raven'. I sit with them with laptop on...uh 'lap', check blogs and emails - then write quickly for a bit. Next get kids to bed - do our pre-sleep routine of me asking them some brainteasers (don't know why they dig them but they do).

Clean up kitchen. Make some tea. Settle in behind computer again. Write a bit more. VCR whirls away taping 'Dexter' or 'Heroes' or 'Studio 60' depending on what night it is. Hit target of twelve pages. Fatigue settling in. Decide to pack it in. Oops - Daily Show is coming on, followed by Colbert Report. Generally fall asleep to one or the other.

"My brain's been battered
My friends they come around they
Flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter
Pile it up, pile it high on the platter"

And that's a TV series so-called day off. Glamorous, no?


Which leads to the all important question - Beatles? Or Stones? (I believe I've italisized my preference)


Caroline said...

I don't know how you do it. Seriously, hats off to you. And you manage to stay such a good guy on top of it all. I have trouble keeping myself on the straight and narrow most days (case in point, posting way later than acceptable bedtime).

Danny Stack said...

That's a life in a day!

Good Dog said...

That's some day.

All in the name of the glamorous business called show.

Riddley Walker said...

Beatles. Every time.

And you had the audacity to call yourself "not a proper writer" or some such nonsense a while back on my blog. ;-)

Keep at it, fella!

wcdixon said...

You folks are too kind.

Actually, I need to write more clearly. I wasn't really looking for kudos or 'handjobs all around'...just a here it is in all its ugly reality sort of thing.

Plus I couldn't get 'Shattered' out of my head. And thus it just merged with the post.

Callaghan said...

You can't make me choose. The Stones are the greatest rock'n'roll band of all time.

But the Beatles and just plain the greatest band of all time.

My instinct is to automatically reach for Exile or Sticky Fingers.

But Revolver and the White Album feel like home.

The Beatles by a (moptopped) hair. But let's face facts... the Stones freakin' rule too.

There's the Beatles and Stones, and then there's everyone else.

Riddley Walker said...

Erm, at the risk of hijacking...

Led Zeppelin. [smiles sweetly]

wcdixon said...


"I've been dazed and confused..."

Bill Cunningham said...

It has always seemd to me that The Beatles' songs were made for made for conversation, and the Sones' were made for F*ckin'...

Pynchon said...


How you can even ask the question...