writing for the screen

When I was a kid I went through a phase of wanting to be a cinematographer. I had found the term in the good old World Book Encyclopedia and liked the sound of it, both the word and the job. I take a pretty good photo… I’ll add cinematographer to the list of stuff I could’ve done but never did, somewhere between architect and director. Just another entry for the Fuck It List. I put my hand up to direct the year 12 drama-class play. The teacher said my personality was ‘too strong’ for me to be a good director so I got to be a magpie instead. Obvs, she had never met a magpie because they’ve got some pretty strong opinions and they are not afraid to express them.

Have you come across a tv show called The Letdown? It’s an aussie dramedy that focuses on a couple, Audrey and Jeremy, as they navigate the first few months as parents, along with the other parents they meet at Mothers, Parent’s group. I doubt it would be funny to anyone who doesn’t have kids…and I doubt it would be funny to those who take parenting, and themselves, far too seriously. For me, it’s the latest in a long line of quirkily brilliant, low-budget, aussie sit-coms and it features my current celeb-crush Celeste Barber. Have you seen Swift and Shift, Utopia, Little Acorns, Rostered On? Maybe non-aussies won’t find them funny…

warning…adult content…and it’s bloody funny

I have to admit I am obsessed with the idea of writing a sit-com of this kind. I started writing when I left the Dream Job but reading it back now, it’s a little bitter and twisted, even for me. I approached a couple of writer-friends to see if they wanted to collab but they weren’t keen. I’m going to keep working on it, even if it’s just 10 minutes a week. It will be sent in an upmarket designer furniture showroom and it will be called something with Boho/Gypsy/Lux in the title but a lengthy search reveals that every variation on those words is already taken by existing home-wares stores…

I’m thinking of starting a writing group. Something low-key, just meet at a coffee shop, write, talk about writing, write some more, maybe find someone to collab with on a project… Having said that, I have been listening to a podcast called The Worst Sitcom Ever Made. Here I was thinking that any writing, any creative experience, was career-enhancing and character building but it’s possible to work on a project that ripples down through the years. Some of the people involved with this project, the ill-fated NZ sit-com Melody Rules, have said it ruined their lives! Scary when you listen to some of the seemingly innocuous jokes… They had hoped they were writing the next Seinfeld but it’s more like the dying days of Two and a Half Men but not as clever, and that’s saying something. Hind-sight is 20-20 they say and we can’t let the fear of failure stop us from having a go.

Feature Image Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash