Monday 9 December 2013

Between the IDEA and the REALITY Falls a...

Shadow. I think we've used this T. S. Eliot quote before. But it deserves a repeat. An idea comes in a blink. A flash. It's easy. Then the hard part, like an all-white jigsaw puzzle. First you have to find the border pieces and then.... We usually start with a synopsis. But in this case our story editor says forget the synopsis do the Treatment.  I hate the Treatment. You have to know where the story is going and imagine how to shoot the different scenes so they fit. The synopsis tells the story. But the treatment, if it's good, shows the story.

A blank page.
When we have a new project we talk about it a lot, collect related info from different sources and then try to put it all together on one page (single-spaced). It's not uncommon to do nine or ten drafts (each numbered). There should be no typo errors or spelling mistakes. We like the project we're working on so much that we're shooting a small test film before it's even commissioned, to go with the proposal we'll pitch to the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).

At the Nordic Film Festival I've been to pitching sessions where producers and their commissioning editor present their projects before a panel of CEs from the Nordic TV companies. Sometimes it ain't pretty. They demolish the un-prepared. Or those with weak proposals. The winners are calm, confident and can answer any difficult question. They tell their stories, which have a beginning, a middle and an end, concisely.  Sounds simple and logical but try it. For example, I should be working on the Treatment for our project. But writing this blog is a lot more fun. Tomorrow I'll tackle the un-tackable.

Q.  Do you ever wish you were in another business?

A. Nope. When we don't have a TV project to work on, we make music videos for the fun of it (see GETTIN' OLD AIN'T EASY).

January: Cats-R-fun