Yesterday I caught an update from blogger, and my Twitter crush, Amanda Pendolino. In short, Disney has changed the application requirements for their writing fellowship. Not only do they want a spec of a current show, they want an original pilot too.
Crap. I don’t have a pilot written.
So my choices are either 1) don’t apply to Disney, who offer a one-year fellowship that pays $50k, or 2) get a pilot written by June 13. That’s in addition to my comic book pitch (due April 18) and my spec of The Americans (due April 30).
If I do submit to Disney, then my schedule might look like this…
Week One (Now – April 6)
- Tear Apart the First Draft of My Spec – I just printed out the first draft of my spec and I know I need to create a new outline and breakdown the character/emotional conflicts/arc for each scene. It’ll be a lot of work but it’ll give my script a dynamic energy, a sense of speed and flow. I also need to watch some episodes of The Americans so I can have all the characters’ voices in my ear. This will take up the majority of my free time this week/weekend.
- Send Out Comic Book Pitch for Critique – I signed up for the Comic Book Creator Connection at WonderCon on April 18 and I need to have a 1-page document and a 2-minute pitch ready to rock by then. This week I will start sending out my pitch document to some trusted readers for notes.
- Logline Due for Pilot – I must be able to articulate the plot, interpersonal conflicts and emotional territory of the pilot in 3-5 sentences. I can work on this whenever I have 5 spare minutes.
Week Two (April 7-13)
- Start Rewriting Spec- I will to start from page one and concentrate on the Teaser and Act One this week. I’ll focus on the character’s needs/wants and give the dialog a major face lift. If I can rewrite 3-4 pages a day, I can make good headway while digging deep into the pages.
- Rewrite Comic Book Pitch Document Based on Notes – It’s 1-page. People can get back to me in a week, right?
- Practice Comic Book Pitch- I can probably do this in the shower and while driving in the car.
- Start Outlining Pilot - I’m going with a basic cable format (thinking FX or AMC) so it’ll have a teaser plus five acts. An hour a day should help get this rolling.
Week Three (April 14-20)
- Continue Rewriting Spec – This week I’ll be concentrating on Acts Two and Three, but I’ll still be reviewing the script from start to finish. Again, 3-4 pages a day over two weeks will get me to somewhere between pages 42-56.
- Polish Comic Book Pitch & Execute – I give my pitch Friday. Also, when the heck will Top Cow announce their winners? Friday night I’m getting ripped at Trader Sam’s. Feel free to join.
- Keep Outlining My Pilot – I ‘m aiming for a 5-10 page outline. Over two weeks that’s less than a page a day. That’s doable, right?
Week Four (April 21-27)
- Start Writing Pilot – No bones about it, I have to hit 3 pages/day. By the end of this week I’ll be at page 21.
- Last Chance to Rewrite Spec Draft – This week I’ll focus on Act Four (the show is a teaser plus four acts). Once that’s done, I’ll start a polish by reading my script from the last page to the first; it helps freshen the script for my tired eyes. I should do this for 2 hours a day minimum.
Week Five (April 28-May 4)
- Submit Spec – It’s due April 30. Maybe I’ll pay someone to do a spelling/grammar check. Once submitted, I’m calling an Uber, I’m getting a stiff drink, I’m eating a steak and I plan to sleep at least 12 hours.
- Keep Writing Pilot – Another 3 pages/day will get me to page 42 by the end of the week.
Week Six (May 5-11)
- First Draft Due – That Sunday I should have a 62 page pilot script. I will print the first draft. It’ll be ugly but it will be a first draft.
Week Seven (May 12-18)
- Take Two Days Off – It helps me regain perspective and it allows me to rest those creative muscles. I’ll exercise, eat healthy, catch up on other shows, read.
- Tear Apart My First Draft – I always do this with a pencil and a printed script. I figure three days of reading and notes in the margins.
- Start Rewriting – If warranted, I’ll start moving scenes and rethinking action. But if my outline served me well, I’ll be concentrating on dialog, character and tone. I’ll try to give the whole script a pass but I’ll really concentrate on the Teaser and Act One.
Week Eight (May 19-25)
- Second Draft Due – This week I’ll be concentrating on Acts Two and Three, but I’ll still be reviewing the script from start to finish.
Week Nine (June 2-8)
- Third Draft Due – This week I’ll focus on Acts Four and Five. Once that’s done, I’ll start a polish by reading my script from the last page to the first; it helps freshen the script for my tired eyes.
Week Ten (June 9-13)
- Fourth Draft Due – Last chance to be awesome. Also I’m sure I’ll have a ton of supplemental material to hand in, such as a resume, bio, statement of purpose, all the stuff you leave until the last minute, right?
- Submits Spec & Pilot – Friday I hand in my materials. And then I think I might take the weekend off and head out of town.
And that’s how I would get the job done. Now I just have to decide and commit.