Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Monday, July 30, 2007

My new projects

Last week I wrote the script and did all the preproduction work for directing a commercial I'm shooting this coming Thursday.

Preproduction means: working the set into place (designing it), props, cast, hair, make-up, costume, lighting, camera angles, sound, working with my lead actress (who will undoubtedly be a star after this) - the script is letter perfect, not a single change needed.

I'll also be working with a 3 year-old boy, whom we'll put on the set at the very last minute because he has one word to say - several times - then he has an action to perform. I have an understudy in case the first boy doesn't quite get what to do quickly.

I expect to get it done fast anyway because we don't want any cranky kids to deal with! And I work really well with kids.

Especially the kids who want to be returned to their mommy if they do what I tell them ... ;-)


I'm very fortunate to know a writer/director whose fantastic equipment we'll be using for the shoot, making it just a cut above technically while still looking not too polished so it can resonate with the audience.

As soon as we finish shooting Thursday, the video is being whisked to the editor, whom I shall join when I return from an out of town trip to fine tune it, frame by frame (I'm one of those hands-on directors).

When it's finished, by the end of this coming weekend, we'll upload it to the sponsors, and my blog if my webmaster can put it up here framed, then you can judge for yourself.

It's fun, funny and memorable, so I think the product reps as well as audiences will appreciate it.

I'm working with some GREAT people -- cast and crew. Hopefully I can post it here - it will be :30 seconds, and it will be available other places online and possibly even network TV. I'll keep you updated.

I'm also doing a lot of unexpected in-depth research for my new screenplay. Even though the story is very serious, I want to present it as a comedy because it would be tough to take in as a drama - but you'll get what you need to out of it while you're laughing. I'm really in favor of enlightening experiences with as little suffering as possible....

The two leads are put on the "horns of a dilemma," which means that just about any answer or solution they come up with is uncomfortable to both of them. They both have a lot to lose by getting what they want and need.

And of course whatever they do affects everyone around them. So do we go for our passion knowing that in the end everyone will benefit? Or do we spare everyone any discomfort by trying to compromise what in the end we know is the truth?

I'll leave it at that.

All the research is about how do we deal with dilemmas, rather than problems.

Dilemmas deal with two choices, neither of which is "acceptable." -- problems can usually be worked out with everyone winning in one way or another because one choice is generally best.

Lots of philosophical reading, because these characters have to do it poorly - mess up along the way -- as well as figure out how to properly figure out what to do in the end. And there can be no "tricks" or phony secrets that suddenly pop up to make the work any easier.

In fact, every obstacle they face has to be greater and make their work more difficult.

In the end, does one give up? Is it just too hard to figure out?

Or are they both equally as committed to work it through, no matter what it takes, while still being sensitive to the needs of others involved?

Mind you, both have a *lot* to lose no matter which way they turn ... and they must figure out if that loss is worth the journey. Is this issue really worth the immense loss? Is it a short term gain, long term loss? Or a short term loss with a long term gain?

Defining their personalities is something they can help me with as I fill my mind up with all the choices we can possibly have; they'll pick and choose based on their background and personalities.

I also outlined three more screenplays, one of which is very commercial and would sell the quickest, but I need to go through this journey with characters suffering the process of seeking their way out of a dilemma because it's so complex, difficult and challenging for me.

I figure between this work and all the others I've done, I should be able to make it through any writing challenge after this.

Back to work, me!

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