If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (and if you don’t, why don’cha?) you may have seen me refer to #RETCON, or talk about working on a script recently. Well, in case you were wondering what I was talking about…
When I went to the Magic Castle recently, I had the pleasure of meeting actress and producer, Miley (pronounced “me-lay” like Tarzan lying down, not “Miley” like Cyrus) Yamamoto, who was there with the group of friends with whom we were meeting up. We were all talking, and it came up that I’m a writer. Miley immediately said, “You’re a writer? I’m looking for writers. Do you have a spec you can send me? Do you have a card?” Um, yes, cool, yes, and yes.
We ended up meeting so that she could tell me about a webseries she’s created called Retcon. Think Buffy meets Doctor Who meets Alias.
When she told me the story of her pilot in that first meeting, I was kinda blown away by the possibilities and wanted to play in the sandbox of these characters and this world. Also, and this is important, Miley and I are totally on the same page as far as the kind of television we enjoy and how we feel about women and minorities in television, particularly behind the camera and in the writing rooms. She asked me if I would be one of her writers, and I said yes immediately!
This is an exciting project for me for several reasons:
- We’re doing half-hour episodes, so it’s like writing something formatted for broadcast television. I’ve never had cause to write full half-hour scripts that weren’t specs before, so this is new and will be wonderful practice.
- This will also be my first experience in a “writer’s room” scenario. Miley wrote the pilot, and she was going to “Felicia Day it” and try to write the whole thing herself, but while she could, she’s not primarily a writer, and she felt it would be doing the show a disservice if she did that. So, she assembled a writing team. Meanwhile, I’ve never written with anyone before, but I’m going to have to learn how if I expect to work in television for realsies. Here, I’ll be getting practice in the nitty-gritty of not taking credit for ideas I’ve contributed to other people’s scripts as well as allowing other writers to contribute to to my scripts without feeling threatened. It’ll be a great lesson in keeping my ego in check and letting the story come first. It’s a rare opportunity for a beginning writer, as most webseries are written by one person and, well, one can’t exactly just walk into broadcast TV. This will be good for me!
- We gel as a team. Tasha, Yuell, Miley and I share geeky preferences and priorities when it comes to storytelling. And also, they’re all just really nice, smart people. We’ve already started talking on the phone to go over story ideas/elements. I feel like I can help create something pretty awesome with these people.
- Look at the picture above again. Really look at it and forget about the fact that we all look like crap after hours of breaking episodes. THIS is diversity in a writing room. And we’ve even got a token dude. But seriously, we’re like the United Colors of friggin Benetton.
- Oh, and SEAN MAHER (aka Simon Tam on Firefly and Sean Beasley on The Playboy Club) is attached to play the male lead. So, you know, there’s that.
I recently turned in the first draft for my first script, Episode 3, and am awaiting notes. I felt so accomplished, having never attempted anything like that before. And that’s it. From here on in, it just gets easier! I’m excited for this whole process!
Get ready for RETCON!