This week I’ve found myself returning to my scriptwriting, as it’s gone by the wayside over the last couple of months. As usual there was no specific reason for this, but if I had to pin it down to anything is that I started writing the very first series of Trent Samuels, got halfway through the script and then realised that the story wasn’t progressing how I imagined. So, much like my approach with series 2 (now series 3), I took some time away from it in the hope that inspiration would strike.
I’m glad to report that it did. I’ve gone back to my script notes this week and not only finished writing episode 1, but also nearly finished the first draft of episode 2. The plot for episode 1 still isn’t quite where I want it to be, but there’s a first draft and I always feel that is a good stepping stone for getting decent material out there. That process has worked well in the past, and I’ve no reason to expect otherwise of this series. As mentioned above, this was a similar problem I had with series 2, I knew where I wanted to go with it but something wasn’t working, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. A couple of months of ignoring the scripts and working on other things and then I realised what was missing: one tiny bit of story that I had failed to take into account. It was literally something as simple as getting a character to go from point A to point B and explaining why. After that the rest of the story fell into place and I had the entire series finished inside a couple of weeks.
One additional bonus is that, during my Trent downtime, I’ve developed an idea for another audio comedy series that could very well go on for some time. It’s also indicated very strongly that I like writing science fiction and to do anything else at this time might be a slightly foolhardy move. Looking at my list of audio projects (original scripted work, not the podcasts), only one of them isn’t sci-fi related. I should have seen that coming really, given that I think it’s possibly the best genre for discussing real world issues, scientific breakthroughs and exploring both the good and bad aspects of humanity – the bad: war, petty squabbling, conflict etc. The good: discovery, co-operation, curiosity about the world, the galaxy and the universe in which we live. It all has equal weight in the grand scheme of things, and science fiction lets you explore these subjects head on, and that’s always fascinated me. Just take a look at Star Trek, in all of its various guises, and tell me I’m wrong about any of this. Unless it’s Star Trek Voyager, it might be better just sweeping that one under the rug.
The other good thing about taking some time away from the scripts is that other members of the cast have been chipping in some nice ideas along the way. Just yesterday we discussed what the official language of the planet Sponge should be, and also how the series should wrap up when we finally reach series 6. As it currently stands, there are a few plot twists on the way, followed by some more twists, and then a final twist to finish on. To say any more than that would definitely count as spoilers, but this definitive batch of episodes I’m writing now will see a nice, albeit slightly vague, story arc for all of the characters and wrap things up within 36 episodes and 3/4 specials. That’s not to say that I won’t go back to writing Trent at some point down the line, but for now I’d like to do these 6 series I had originally planned and then move on to something else. I’ve discussed this previously, but I have about four other audio projects that I’m developing at the moment, continuing with our podcasts and video game reviews, and also still plotting some short films. One thing I’m taking forward is to not rush anything. I’m not working for a studio and I don’t have deadlines to stick to other than self-imposed ones. To rush any of our projects would be detrimental to say the least. We’ve got quite a niche audience as it is, and the only way to boost that is with quality content. That’s one of the reasons why we haven’t done many live action things yet, obviously I don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on any of that, but I don’t want it to look bad either, unless we’re doing it ironically. Suffice to say, we’re still working on new material, and the fact that today marks episode 100 of 60 Second Gamer is a significant landmark. Recently I went back and watched some of our older videos and it was interesting to see how they have developed. I admit that I’ve previously found it difficult to stick with one visual design for a significant period of time, but that was usually due to an upgrade in software and a constant desire to refine the series than anything else. I’ve since moved to Adobe Premiere and I’m finding the edits even easier to put together, so I’ll be sticking with the current visual design for a while – it’s also helpful that I only have one template now, constantly switching between the templates for the main feed and the retro feed made things more complicated than they needed to be. Now it doesn’t matter if the review is retro or a more recent title, they’ll all have that same logo in the corner. working in HD is nice as well, it might sound a bit daft but it’s given us more freedom to do different things with the footage and it points to exciting times ahead.
Now then, I’ve just taken delivery of a number of bad video games (yes, some are from Blast! Entertainment), so I think I’d best go try them out so I can put out another totally incredulous review…