But then again, if this is a premonition of sorts, I'd gladly embrace it. I believe in signs, after all.
Its been two months since I started working as a creative producer. The assignments have been laid out last December and my calendar is swarming with script deadlines, contact lists, auditions, prod shoots, and previews. Its a different ballgame altogether--I used to only write scripts. I've never been too involved before, now, I should. My six years in television have cultivated a certain level of detachment: I let go of my scripts once its with my headwriter, I don't attend prod shoots, and I definitely do not sit down during editing sessions. I write, wait for feedback, revise, then wait for the material to air only to get disappointed that the director or the actors didn't maximise the material. Its a never-ending cycle of inspiration and disappointments. If you're too attached, you lose.
With my new job, I'm present in all areas of production. Its definitely a step-up and its an improvement I imagined myself doing countless times. When dreams are in your head, they don't take forms... But when they take shape, the feeling is beyond surreal--dreams cease to be limited in the romanticised realms of my head, they become tangible objects I can grab and contain.
I am definitely in a better place.
The exodus did me good. The new environment opened my senses to the bigger picture. I feel like I am free to create again, with no formula, no tradition, no rules hanging over my head like a curse. Of course, in time, this freedom will morph into another cage. For now, while I'm still new to the experience, I'm enjoying the space.
My boss is a visionary who accomplished feats in the industry. She produced the movies I've grown up with, the few brilliant ones in the mainstream industry. She's a perfectionist and a seasoned storyteller. She's traditional the way the mainstream world is traditional. But she knows how to combine art and formula. She knows how to make art work. A wide range of filmography has proven that she's made it work.
Last week, she asked the group to do a vision board for the year. It doesn't have to be extensive, only five items will suffice. In mine, I've listed:
1) Go to London
2) Stage my first play
3) Get into an international screenwriting workshop
4) Direct my first short film
5) Finish the murals in my condo
As if. Dream on. Crossing fingers. Good luck. Start now. The list is mad crazy impossible. But I love mad crazy impossible. So if I throw it out there... maybe, just maybe, it will be thrown back.
Then we go back to the clapper.
Aside from my regular creative producer responsibilities, I've also taken in some more on the side. The production shoot earlier this week is one of those. Its for an animated material that will be launched online next month. I accepted the raket without batting an eyelash. Nica just had to say one thing: Animation. Its not a secret that I love animation, that I love Japanese animation, that I love the surreal (the more French, the better). So when this project landed on my lap, I just thanked the universe.
Aside from this, I'll be working on a drama series for free television. Its not the most enticing proposition but I accepted because I need the training (and the money, of course). Headwriting a show is different from writing a show. I need to walk the talk, see if my theory is correct: that the masa audience can appreciate a different form of storytelling, that the powers-that-be shouldn't relegate their productions to what worked in the past, that we should always push the envelope.
You can't stay in the past if you want to be a revolutionary. (I learned that much from Lala Land.) Young writers can do either one of two things: 1) Reinforce the established norms of storytelling or 2) To continuously challenge the traditional forms and create contemporary and experimental ways to tell a story. I'm done with the first. I'm doing the latter.
When I'm questioning the path because its riddled with rules, I always go back to my favourite novelists: Kafka had a day job and hailed the writing devil at night, Mann worked in an insurance company, Le Carré was a spy, and Woolf was homeschooled. They never had creative writing degrees. Their crafts stemmed from their passion to tell stories. They are trailblazers. They helped shape what gets studied in class.
There are formulas to make a story sellable, but there is no formula to write beautiful stories. - 1/22/2017