Monday, December 04, 2006

Seriously Decompressing...

The gig is winding down. It's been swell. Seriously.

But working on a tv series (and a movie, not to discriminate) can be like being a medic parachuted into a war zone. It's an intense, fast moving, crisis-filled work environment that's always go go go. You're constantly being called upon to make good decisions quickly and efficiently and effectively. And often need to put out fires to 'save the day'. It's very demanding and can take a toll on you. Seriously.

FYI, every night I took home from the office the scripts in prep and the scripts that were shooting. Just in case. The scripts in prep to reread and look for ways to improve them or make them more producable. The shooting scripts in case a director or actor calls to discuss a scene or story point or a production manager or assistant disector needs to rearrange the schedule for the next shooting day. And then I'd probably be writing or rewriting the particular script on my plate for that day/week. In short, the work doesn't stop just because you leave the and your brain are whirring into the evening. You 'dream' the show even. Seriously.

And every day is made up of meetings, answering questions, fielding phonecalls, some writing, answering more questions, some rewriting, more meetings... and then there's the fires. Always putting out the fires. Hectic, intense, exhilarating. That's my fav part of series tv...the troubleshooting fly by seat of your pants day to day fire quashing. Love it. Seriously.

But like going to war, you eventually get to go home (hopefully in one piece). And it can be a brutal transition. For months you are 'on call' and 'constantly prepared' and 'saving the day' and 'crisis managing'...and then you aren't anymore. You were getting every memo and cc'd every email, and then you aren't anymore. Seriously.

If you are very lucky, you will get onto a new show right away, but generally you have large chunks of time between gigs. At any rate, you'll go home but you are 'still working'. And will be for some time after wrap and your tour of duty is complete.

It can be hell on you and the people you live with. You're still 'on' even though you're supposed to be 'off'. I always suggest throwing yourself into a spec or a cool idea you've had bouncing around your brain - use that energy to produce something new. Makes decompressing more gradual, and hopefully less painful.

After you've slept for a week of course.


SONG&ARTIST? - "Chippin' around
Kick my brains round the floor
These are the days
It never rains but it pours
Ee do bay bup
Ee do bay ba bup
Ee do bup
Bay bup..."


Caroline said...

All adrenaline and no outlet.

So are you taking your own very good advice and burning down the house with a new spec?

Or immersing yourself in the joys of Christmas - decorating, baking?

Don't sleep too long ;-)

DMc said...

Throw yourself into a new you work that might get you work, instead of a lot?

Now you tell me.

I'll have to remember that for next time.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I remember you were working on a film script before you got this gig.

How's that going?

Crashdummie said...

Omg Will, you seem to have some serious thrill-issues dude!

English Dave said...

Have a well deserved rest Will.

DMc said...

Are you seriously going to try to pass off "Under Pressure" as an obscure music quote?

You may need more rest than you think, Will.

Or are you just depressed because a kid just said, "OMG -- that's that My Chemical Romance Song!!!!!!LOL"

wcdixon said...

LOL...I just found that out as well, re: Chemical Romance.

Hey - blogging is okay as an outlet and release, but I think when you are working on any series the cylinders are pumping and you come up with stuff that doesn't apply to the show but is still worth writing. I worked with one of the current Stargate guys back in Toronto and he stunned me when he came back from hiatus between seasons (only about a month when making 22 hours) carrying a movie script he'd written during the 'time off'.

And he sold it later that year.

potdoll said...

I feel knackered after reading this post

Diane Kristine said...

That all sounds like too much work, Will, when you could entertain people with one-act plays in blog comments. If only you could sell that content to cell phone companies ...

The Film Diva said...

I wanna read the rest of your One-Page Challenge script. C'mon!!!