It feels like things are finally moving with regards to my proposed radio soap The Blaze. That's after almost four months of it being seemingly parked in my brain, refusing to move. I met with Shaz Kerr, one of the university's film and media lecturers today, and we discussed how best to move the series forward.
Shaz isn't the easiest person to discuss such things with, as she has secret meetings and forms even more secret agendas behind your back. This means by the time you come to meet with her, even though she asks for your opinion, she's already decided what's best and how she wants things to run. Suppose in a way that's how today's meeting went, with her telling me what she wants, and when, and how.
The nitty-gritty: Effectively, instead of aiming for 10x 10 minute episodes, she wants me to write 6x 5minute installments instead, with another 6 episodes to follow once production is complete on the first batch. Now, I'm not too sure of this myself - is 5 minutes enough time to tell a story of decent length? I don't know, but I'm not going to object. Instead I'm going to write these 6 the best I can, and hope that they let us run 6x 10 minutes episodes there after.
Storywise I'm not sure how it's going to work, as I'd previously structured those 10 episodes, so 100 minutes of drama. Now, with just this half dozen and at only 5 minutes each, I'm looking at less than half of that - 30 minutes at most. Hmm...
I already have an initial idea pegged down for the opening episode, which will throw the audience straight into the middle of this chaotic world. It's Thursday, the day that the paper is due to be sent to the printers, and there's 15 minutes to go until deadline. Editor Roz Pryce is a busy woman, trying to get everything ready and organised in time... an effort that is hampered by the arrival of a new face in the newsroom: Darren Harvey.
The intention is to write the pilot by the end of October 2009, and have that passed around for feedback by various folk in November. Once that's done, I'll start work on the next 6, and have them completed over the Christmas break. Then, and only then, do we concentrate on production in early 2010 - with an Easter 2010 launch likely.
Blimey! We were supposed to go out in July 2009! That's some delay...
Will it be worth it? Honestly, I hope so!
Let's find out together...
At the same time as all this is going on, I've been working on Frank's Apocalypse again - for the first time in what feels like an eternity. Think I'm going to change the format a little, and make it more of an out and out comedy, with drama added into the mix. It'll focus on a different theme of the week, for example episode one tackles religion and the titular character Frank's perceptions on God and people's beliefs. Oh, and it'd be ad lib; a little like the fantastic Curb Your Enthusiasm. Sounds fun!
No idea of a schedule for that, but it'd be nice to have something made before the end of this year. Nice, but not that realistic.
I'll keep you posted!