Do me a favour and close your eyes. Now imagine yourself inside a giant office, and everywhere you look there are filing cabinets. Literally, they cover the space - meaning there is no room for anything but damn filing cabinets. Now go over to one and open it, then peak inside. It is not how you would imagine it to be. There has been no alphabetic/numeric catalogisation, or any other logical distinction made between what has been filed. It is without order; a chaotic mess of paperwork, of mass filing cabinet proportions.
That's what my mind is like when it comes to story ideas. I'll happily sit on the bus and think them up, but more often than not these ideas are just stored away inside these mental filing cabinets - and I've no idea where I've then put them when I need them. Or worse, they cross polinate with other ideas, and sprout a life all of their own.
Today I tried to do a little spring cleaning within this mental space, by exercising those ideas no longer needed, or out of date, or just plain dumb.
I've revisited the Deborah project, which I've been jabbering on about for the better half of two years now. Well, progress - at last! The thing has a firm structure in place, and quite astonishingly I think it's better on paper than it ever was in my head. Normally what happens is an idea gets lost in translation, and it ends up reading as some sort of bastard child of the original idea after it's written down. Not this time!!
The story of Deborah remains the same, but the means by which it comes about has changed. Instead of one long 20 minute short film I'm now plumping for a series of four, maybe five, 10 minute installments - which I'll then film and put up online (Doctor Horrible style) and added together the parts tell the entire story of Deborah - that I originally had way back when.
Also pulled out of the drawers was my plans for The Blaze. It's gone through somewhat of a transformation recently, because what the university wants from the project has changed. It's now a 6 part weekly drama, told in 5 minute segments. There's the option for more of course, but for now those 6 episodes are our story...
Here's the plan for episode one - understand why I can't/won't share information on the rest of the episodes, won't you?
Episode One: It's 15 minutes until deadline! Roz Price is editor of the university student newspaper, The Blaze. She's a busy woman, especially today which is why she hasn't got time to meet the paper's latest recruit, Darren Harvey. However, Darren doesn't take too kindly to being ignored, and finds his own way up to the newsroom where he comes face to face with Roz, who will have to accept that Darren has a place on the team. After all, he is the son of the man who's business sponsors it...
I'm telling you, I'll be damn relieved when this first episode is written and produced. It feels like I've been writing it all year! (Well, I kinda have...) I'm stuck, like an LP. Will be nice to get un-stuck again, and move onto episode two.
Aside from that...
I also found time to write a few pages of one of my comic series today. It's a rare treat when I get to write them, because I only get one or two issues a year complete now. Hopefully this shepherds a new start for that... maybe... I think...
What's been best about dusting down these old ideas of mine is just how reinvigorated it has left me. Seriously, I can't wait to tuck into my next script - hell, it's why I jumped straight back on my laptop to write this. It's been fun, fun, fun!
Maybe sometimes it's worth storing ideas away for long periods of time, if it means that when you do revisit them you face them with a passion that you haven't seen for such a long time? I mean, I've had 2 years to produce Deborah... and so it's a little late, but I bet the thing we end up making now is ten times as good as what we could have made back then.
You see, ideas bubble and stew inside the mind. Those filing cabinets, they take up a lot of room and they're not very organised... but boy, do they protect my ideas and let them grow.
Deborah. The Blaze. Assassin.
All fashionably late, having spent the last x amount of days/months/years inside my head.
But you know what? Totally worth it.
Finally made a start watching my Blu-Ray of HBO's True Blood. So far we're one episode down... and loving it! Although the lead actress does have very distracting teeth (and no, she's not one of the vamps!!) Hmm, don't quite know what to class it as yet mind, 'cos it's funny, scary and all kinds of sexy. Oh, and by sexy I mean puesdo-pornographic.
Well, it is HBO.