Thursday, October 15, 2009

Progress report: 10'13, '14 and '15

Today's Thursday, so the dates work out like this ...

Tuesday:  4 hours writing notes, mainly about the show but also with a section about two of the characters, CG and Olsen, and how they deal with personal appearances. Back in the '60s tv actors could make more money doing weekend appearances at shopping malls and small-town harvest festivals they made from their tv work. For instance, Leonard Nimoy was a bear about scheduling appearances around the country every weekend, then driving straight from the airport to the studio for shooting. Of course he had a certain amount of stardom; Koenig, Takei and Nichols, for example, didn't have much to say about appearances in their memoirs, most likely because they didn't do as much of that work. For whatever reason, I read their memoirs a few years ago and Nimoy's not until last December or so. Once I had read him, I realized I had to make p.a.'s a bigger factor in CG's and Olsen's lives, and now I think I've figured out how to do that.

The other notes had to do with my show's credits sequence and core gimmicks: the look of the space station, its set-up (Deck 8, Deck 7, Deck 6, etc., all the way up to Deck 1, Command, the High Deck -- the special h.q. with the screens and blinking lights and the regulars sitting at their posts), the neat tricks it can pull (protector rings, offense beams, etc. -- I don't have the notebook with me, but I worked out some pretty good terms).

I was very happy with what I decided for the credits sequence and the station's look. I've been noodling with both questions for God nows how many years, and now I've got answers that I like. They seem plausible for mid-'60s tv and plausible as winners with the people watching the show, and I managed to work them out in enough detail for them to feel solid. 

Wednesday:  Not much at all. I spent half an hour with my notebook while traveling by subway. Unfortunately all I did was write nonsense phrases for fantasy stories: "The red cut glass of the goblin's triangular stare in the dark." Reason: the night before I had read LeGuin's "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie," which contains a few quotes from fantasy authors whom she likes. Not much of a reason, but it turned out to be enough.

Today:  Four hours selecting and rewriting the first 15 episodes to be shot. I don't mean rewriting scripts, because I'm not fool enough to write those, just blurb descriptions. Eighty to go and I'll have enough. I've got a bunch written up, though a count revealed the bunch was about 15 short of what I had expected. The job now is to decide which episodes were shot when, to write more as needed, and to fix the ones I already have if they need fixing. Not fix them too much, because I might get lost in the project and never come out, but enough for me to feel that each episode could have been broadcast and to give me an idea of what the production staff and actors would have had to do to get the thing made.

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