Friday, March 25, 2016


I entered the pilot script for In The Shadows of November in a script festival.  It wasn't accepted and they sent me back a rather detailed description of what they liked and didn't like about the script.  The interesting thing was their description of the pilot.

In the Shadows of November (PILOT)
By Bill Albert
In the Shadows of November - From Out of the Clouds is a sci-fi pilot set in a near future in which society struggles to survive in the aftermath of a series of nuclear attacks. Set in Louisiana, the story focuses on Austin, Lisa, Ross and Sean, a group of friends who rely on each other to survive, trading now useless electronic items for food. Unable to communicate with the world beyond their town, the group try and piece together what cities have survived and if they can ever leave. Two strangers arrive at the group’s home, bringing news of the world beyond but also untold danger to their door.

The thing that struck me is they were looking at it all wrong.  The story isn't about the four people in Louisiana, they only appear in the pilot episode, after that it follows the character of November as she travels across the United States.  It's about how she effects people as she goes and, steadily, we learn what a mystery she really is.  I felt that since it was called In the Shadows of November and the character is November it was clearer that the story was about her.  
They invited me to tell them what I felt about their comments and I very nicely responded.  I explained to them where the story was headed and that I would work on a rewrite making it clearer.  I'm completely true about that, I will rewrite it and stress the series that would follow is about this main character. 
Hopefully better luck next time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I've noticed that over the past year or so my writing has become more political and contemporary.  I don't know if it's because it's an election year or I'm just becoming more socially aware and want to say things.  
A few weeks ago I wrote a short script called A Good Guy With A Gun.  It was in response to NRA spokesperson Wayne LaPierre who promoted gun rights by saying "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."  Though I agree with most of the 2nd Amendment I am not much a fan of the NRA and this catch phrase is really over simplifying the situation.  It is careless and dangerous and I showed how bad it was in a script.
There are two characters in this story, Jerry, a younger male, and a public defender lawyer assigned to him.  It takes place in one scene in one room so it would be easy to shoot.  I put a listing on FB and got a response from a man looking to play the lawyer.  Well, he sent me the URL for his IMDB page.  He was quite experienced so I went a head and started talking to him.  When I told him what the premise and message was he went in to offense.  The question I ask in the script his how do you know the difference between a good guy and a bad.  He said that was not a problem and it was very easy to always know the difference.  The situation I had set up was to far fetched to ever happen.  I asked him how he could guarantee that and he said it just wasn't possible to confuse a good guy and a bad guy.  He went on to tell me my protests were unfounded. There was no reason to restrict guns and I was just wasting my time.  
It was the first time I've had to defend my writing.  After a few rounds it occurred to me that he was not interested in getting cast in one of my films.  The original posting made it clear the direction this film would take so, after a few rounds, I politely said goodbye to him and signed off.  
I've never ever had to defend my work before.  Luckily it was a minor skirmish, just a few lines with a stranger online, but it was an eye opening experience of what I could face if I continue to to write in this style and fashion.  I kept calm and deliberate and refrained from any personal attacks.  I just stated my beliefs.
Honestly, it felt good.  I also made me realize how much I've changed on things.  A year ago I wouldn't even have attempted to write something like this let alone defend it.  Despite everything I never really felt like an author.  I'm realizing that yes, I am.    

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Things have been going along great this week despite some bad, and some good, technical issues.  Wish they were all this productive.
The bad thing was the new format for footage for The Burning Room.  It looks good but it comes out as huge files that aren't easy to transport and even harder to work with.  Getting them compressed into a more usable format wasn't very easy either.  Maybe it's just my puter is 5 years old but some programs just won't work right.  It could be a PC vs Mac thing but the program everyone swore about at PATV froze up at home.  It would sit for hours and hours preparing to run and then nothing would happen.  Finally loaded the footage up in to Premiere Pro CC and exported it to mpeg files.  I can finally edit them now.  I understand mpeg is becoming the standard for video files because it can adapt to either system better than the rest.  
It brings up to one of the things that still gets me about video.  You will eventually get to that point where you hit the button and just wait, and wait, and wait.  Despite the magnificent things that puters can do really fast that is one thing they don't do in a hurry.  Today was made up of lots of things going on with going back every 30 minutes or so to start a new export.  Finally getting it done.
On the good side of things finally got the dictation software up and running.  This is making putting the books together very easy.  I can sit down and do a whole page of hand written fiction in about 20 minutes.  I'd definitely recommend it.