Friday, May 10, 2013

Guess Who's Back . . . Back Again . . . Scotty's Back . . . Tell A Friend . . .

It's been a bit, hasn't it?  I just remembered you and the realization that I hadn't written in so long sent me into a tailspin of guilt.  Granted, we've had a lot going on (more on that here).  And don't think I haven't been writing.  I have.

Oh, how I've been writing.

When last I corresponded, I was in the middle of the second draft of Phileas Reid.  I'm still in the second draft of Phileas Reid.  I've taken a small break from Phileas to write a web series.  It's a story I had three years ago (or longer, depending on when you're reading this) back in the spring of 2010, but I've sat on it till now.

It's called Illumination, Inc. and the reason I've sat on this sci-fi rom-com for so long is that I've had a hard time figuring it out.  The story hasn't changed, but I've had a hard time figuring out how to tell it.  The original thought and outline for the story was as a feature-length film.  But not having the money to bring that film into fruition kept me from committing too much time to writing it.  So I flirted with turning into a novel or a graphic novel but neither really seemed to suit it.

Illumination, Inc. is and was always a cinematic story idea.  So when I heard that Point of View Pictures, the production company run by my long-time partner-in-crime Tom Goddard, was gearing up to produce a web series this summer, inspiration struck.  I called up Tommy and pitched him Illumination, Inc.  He loved it, which meant I had to write it.

Knowing that you're writing for a production that doesn't have a budget, you really need an idea that's bigger than the story you're telling.  That's the key element in all my favorite independent films.  The writer/director finds a big idea and then uses a small story to explore that idea.  The big idea overshadows the small story and makes the entire production seem grander.  For great examples of this, check out Pi, Primer, Reservoir Dogs and District 9.  Another way to distract from your small budget and small production is to fill your production with talent.  See also:  Garden State and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

At the heart of Illumination, Inc. is the idea of being able to control your dreams and live out whatever fantasies you have.  You couple that with the romantic idea of finding the person of your dreams and you have the basic foundation of the web series.

Illumination, Inc. will be a seven episode web series that will be filmed locally (in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee) this summer (2013).  Post production is scheduled to begin in August with a tentative release scheduled for this fall.

You can check out the website for it here, like it on Facebook here, and follow my (hopefully) more regular writing updates here.