Telefilm Canada has an engagingly named program called Writers First, which used to be the Scriptwriting Assistance Programme -- which, I guess, sounded too much like a handout. The program now allows writers with 2 hours of produced credits (shared credits count) to apply for a chunk of money to enable them to spec a script. All Telefilm asks in return is that if you sell the script, you give them back the money. Nice program, huh? It enables a working writer to justify spending the time on a spec feature.
So for the past week I've been working up a five page outline for a comedy based loosely on one of the TV series ideas. Writing the backdoor pilot if you will. The story ought to be a fun, goofy, quirky, inexpensive little comedy about twentysomethings trying to avoid growing up.
I am sort of noodling around with the idea of directing the thing. That is, if anyone wants to produce it at all! This is the first feature script idea I've had that I would, if I were a producer, allow someone with my inexperience to direct. It's all people talking in rooms and on empty streets. No serious production challenges. It's a talky comedy, which is a genre first time writer-directors do well in. But the main reason, oddly, would be that it avoids having to get directors to read and attach themselves to it. There are very few directors up here, I feel, who really add value to a project; but even the merely competent ones are hard to attach to your project, and they're going to want free rewrites. If I'm the putative director, I can always step away for someone I think is a great director, but I don't have to go begging to find someone, anyone to direct. And I'm at least as plausible as a first time director as a lot of people I see out there in the biz. I do, after all, have a degree in filmmaking!
I guess my point is: sometimes asking for more is more effective than asking for less.
But the first step is convince Telefilm they want to give me the money to write my movie...
Labels: free money, spec pilots