Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First staff writing credit! (And first writing credit, period!)

XIII is wrapped! Actually it was wrapped two months ago, but I have a baby so things seem to get left to the wayside when you're trying to prevent a little person from picking up and eating any piece of dirt or cat puke they come across. Not even joking, today we caught Ava playing with our cat's vomit. She'd already smeared it all over herself, but I don't think she ate any (at least I hope she didn't). 

Back to topic, XIII was intense and crazy (like most TV shows are, especially in the back half), but in an exciting making-TV-by-the-seat-of-your-pants way. I worked with some world-class writers and crew and it resulted in a serious boost to my career. The showrunner, Roger Avary, gave me a chance to prove myself in helping to fix a problematic script. He liked what I did, and I got promoted to Story Editor for the last four episodes! Story Editor is the first rung on a TV writing staff, so for the first time I was actually paid to write (well, re-write, but whatever) TV. I joined the Writers Guild of Canada and got a fancy new title (see photo of me proudly displaying said title). Of course, I still had to do all my duties as a Script Coordinator, but I was fine with that. I got to be in story and production meetings, go on location scouts, and people actually listened to what I had to say (or at least pretended to). In fact, I was expected to have an opinion. Needless to say, this required some getting used to. 

Now XIII is wrapped and I've been spending some quality time with my wife Holly and 11-month old daughter Ava (who saw so little of me during production), writing my own stuff, and trying to figure out where to go from here in terms of my career. I'm hoping that my work on XIII will translate into more work on other shows. From what I understand people liked what I did, and there are a few irons in the fire, but you never really know until you've signed a contract and are actually writing (and even then you don't really know). So we shall see.

It's an exciting and somewhat frightening situation that I'm in now - I'd worked my way up as a Script Coordinator, so that I'd managed to forge a half-decent resume and was starting to get regular work. Now that I've managed to get a promotion to staff writer, which is amazing and exactly what I wanted, I'm unfortunately at the bottom of this new new rung of my career. I'm not complaining (I mean, 3-4 years ago I was selling memberships in a gym), but it's going to be a challenge.

In the meantime, I'm going to go play with my daughter and follow her around, grabbing small sharp objects out of her hands before she quickly shoves them in her mouth and tries to swallow them (as she does the crawling baby equivalent of running away and laughing at me while I chase her).

Let me tell you, rewriting is hard, but baby-proofing is harder.