Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Daze

It's been a rather eventful summer for me. Besides the usual summer movie coverage craziness - which includes writing about the BEST film of the summer, "District 9" [read my review HERE], I also found myself out of work.

After four successful years, NBC cancelled the show I produced, REEL TALK. No more debating with Jeffrey and Alison which movies or guests should/would make the show, or explaining the difference between Mar-Vell Comics and Marvel Comics (the former is a superhero, the other is the publisher,..). No more uncomfortable moments ordering a turkey & cheese wrap from Johnny the Sandwich Guy at the NBC Commissary, and hoping he doesn't sabotage it. After six years working for NBC at 30 Rock, I was becoming one of the Dept. of Labor's key statistics.

Er...that sucked pterodactyl 'nads, to be perfectly honest.

It still does, but that's OK. As many dear friends of mine reminded, one door opens, another blah, blah, blah...

I wouldn't exactly describe myself at the proverbial crossroads. I'm certainly not looking to switch careers, go back to school (God knows I don't want to do that) or anything so drastic. I've been fortunate to have enjoyed a decent amount of success in my TV career, with REEL TALK being the highlight thus far. I lost my job because my show was cancelled. Stinks, and I may not like it, but I understand. That's what shows do. They get cancelled. I'm not very worried about landing something else.

Positive thinking? Absolutely. Confident? Without a doubt. Delusional? Perhaps. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

No, when I got the heave-ho, I decided to approach my 'summer hiatus' as a chance to recharge my creative batteries. Because while i loved working on RT, the truth is, after four years I could do the show in my sleep. And as budgets were slashed and opportunities to do various specials, on-location shows and other outside-the-box programming were slowly phased out, it was occasionally monotonous. Nature of the beast for any job, in any profession, I suppose.

Anyway, I told myself I would try some new things, would sharpen certain skills - such as writing - that have atrophied during the last eight years, most of which I've spent formulating grammatically incorrect copy.

[Not my fault. It's what we do in TV. We fracture sentences and phrases like Steven Seagal smashed Jamaican gang member bones in "Marked for Death" - with impunity and with no regard for lasting damage.]

I've been doing a lot of writing for the website Newsarama, a very popular pop culture site that specializes in comic book news and anything else that touches that particular genre. Generally I cover movies, an obvious choice. But I hope to do more in the TV and animation field and whatever else they'll let me get away with. With any luck, the message board haters will light me up with their fanboy brio (thanks Marc).

Aside from that, I've made myself a promise to accomplish 3 specific things before the end of this year. Because if there's one thing I do well, it's procrastinate. So here goes:

1) Finish one of the large handfuls of screenplays I've started and tossed aside over the past decade. No, I haven't actually tossed them aside, because that implies that I'm printing pages. That's not very eco-friendly. i mean, tossed aside virtually, in some folder on my iBook. Don't know if there's even a good idea in any of those incomplete ideas, but I'm considering it just an exercise in completionism. Why, I do believe I've made up a word!

2) Complete a script for a comic book proposal, and pitch it to someone, anyone. I'm a geek, have been since before I could take myself to the bathroom. For someone whose first memorized words were likely "Stan Lee Presents," cracking the comics business is the ultimate goal. First things first. Realize idea, commit idea. Execute idea.

3) Get a job. C'mon, my wife reads this blog (at least i hope she does).

Now that I've blogified my Fall resolutions, I have no choice but to actually follow through. Keep me honest.

[and in case you didn't notice, blogified makes 2 new words coined in 1 post. Eat my vocabulary, punks!]

Next time, I think I'll discuss the fun I had getting my ass kicked by a bull while taping a reality show in France.

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