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Piloting through the pilot

Bernie and I are very close to having the current version of the Mrs. Hawking pilot finished. As I said, I've had a really hard time getting perspective on how it's doing due to a persistent negative mentality I've been dealing with lately. On one hand, I worry I'm being too hard on it, but as soon as I start to relax, I worry if I'm not I might let it go out at less than its best. What if I miss something? What if I'm kidding myself? But I think we're finally where we need to be, or just about. I'm giving myself a deadline of the 27th, as that will be exactly one month since I spoke to the producer I want to show it to.

The show bible's also giving me trouble. Bernie thought it would be a good idea to hand one in along with the pilot, so the producer can read it if she cares to and get an idea of the whole show. We researched what it needed to contain, which is basically an overview of the direction and format of the series, plus the setting, the important characters, and the broad strokes of the arcs. It needs to be quick and efficient, no more than five pages, and I find I'm having trouble expressing things concisely. Right now my strategy has just been to vomit out whatever I can think of, while Bernie's cutting it down to size since he has a bit more distance from it. So it's not done yet, but at least it's coming along. It also needs to be done by the 27th so it can be sent in with the pilot.

As with the show bible, the biggest struggle with the pilot has been keeping it concise and moving quickly. It can never be allowed to drag. Right now it's fifty pages, which is not too bad, given that these things are allowed to fall basically between forty and sixty, but I don't want to go beyond that. It's an action story, and action always takes longer than it seems like it will on the page. There's also the one-minute-per-page metric, and an hour-long drama these days is usually only forty-two minutes, but it's more a guideline because some things are quicker, some things are simultaneous, and it's hard to represent that in the text.

Fortunately, we've had some good feedback from people. Bernie's brother Joe in particular had some interesting suggestions for punching up the atmosphere in the beginning, and for keeping the non-literal "specter" of the Colonel present throughout the piece. Joe suggested playing up the "gothic mystery" aspects of Mary first arriving in Mrs. Hawking's house, given how strange and unwelcoming she's supposed to find the place at first. This gives it a bit more of a surprise when we find out what secret Mrs. Hawking is truly hiding. Also, he had the idea to make the motif of the roses recur in the background whenever the Colonel is invoked. I really liked this, though it's tough to express "background" presences in text without making them seem too overt. Still, I think I incorporated it okay. I'd actually like to continue the idea with other characters in future episodes. Like think of something to indicate Gabriel as well, though I don't know what it would be.

I'm really close to done. I just want to finalize it, and make sure the show bible is clear and concise. That's the most important personal project I've got right now, and I've got ten days left to finish it.

Posts from This Journal by “mrs. hawking” Tag

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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