Here’s a little mini blog – not about past errors, well not directly….
Waiting for feedback on a script or an idea is similar to that feeling of innard-clenching when you’re waiting to hear from a girl you like when you’re a teenager. You’ve written an over-wrought emotional letter essentially begging for her to go to the Cinema/Zoo/Pizza Hut with you and then the jacket containing the letter you’ve not yet sent is stolen from the spot you’ve left it in the indie disco. Sultans of Ping FC should have done a version for me… ‘Dancing at the disco to an indie racket / Wait a minute where’s me jacket, where’s me jacket, oh no…’
For those who don’t know it here’s the song I’m referring to…..
The jacket incident did happen and for months I wondered if anyone had read the letter inside my crappy charity shop jacket. And now I email a script or treatment to a commissioning editor and hope they’ll take me to the zoo on a date and give me excellent feedback.
These days I am lucky in that I usually get an answer. Or, unlike my incompetent teenage dating efforts, know when I’ve misread the signals or am barking up the wrong tree and swiftly change the subject or make my excuses and leave.
Right now it is, in many ways, an exciting time, but I’m waiting for more decisions than I’ve ever been waiting for before. I could be arranging dates at the cinema, zoo and Pizza Hut (Or Wimpy, the only burger joint we had in Plymouth when I was a kid) with several different commissioning editors at the same time, which would lead to a farcical plate spinning narrative. Hilarity will ensue. Chances are I’ll turn up at the cinema and the date will walk out after ten minutes because there’s not enough jeopardy or the main character is not likeable enough.
But, although it’s frustrating waiting for answers, it’s exciting to have several answers to wait for. And while I’m waiting I’m finding other angsty embarrassing love letters to write.
Working in television you spend loads of time waiting and hoping for something to happen. The only thing you can do in the meantime is work on something new. Or if you’re freelance and you’ve had a meeting about a job and you’re waiting to hear. Look for another one. Put out the feelers, write some emails, make some calls. Otherwise you’ll never get that elusive second date that might lead to marriage, happiness, children, contentment and eventually divorce, because every show gets cancelled or ended by mutual agreement eventually. That sounds like a negative note to end on, but it’s not because you’ve made a show. Well done, celebrate. Now try and make another one.