Twelve Characters in Search of a Story

I’ve gotten myself involved in a project that will have me writing, producing, and probably directing six short films. We have no budget, but we do have resources. We have no story, but we do have cast.

My immediate task is to meet with cast members individually, to get a better sense of who they are, and what kind of role I can write for them. This step is important because rather than being forced into slotting someone in a role that doesn’t work for her, I can create a role that fits like a glove. I’ll be left with twelve characters in search of a story.

I was brought into this by Laine, whom I worked with last year for my staged reading of Not Being a Dick. She’s been crossing paths with a number of emerging actors and creative types, and organized us into a secret group on Facebook. The plan was to create something, anything, that will showcase our abilities.

My idea was to come up with a string of short films, 3-5 minutes in length, that will feature two characters per scene. Good meaty chunks of dialogue and action for each actor to showcase herself. The films will link together through a kind of relay – we follow a character out of the final scene of one film, and into the first scene of the next, only to be discarded shortly thereafter.

I’ve met with enough of the cast to write the first film, but I’m thinking that it might be prudent to wait until I’ve talked to everyone, before deciding how they’ll all fit together. It’ll be challenging enough trying to find a place for everyone. Organizing these six films into some sort of cohesive series will require me having a big picture perspective.

Today has a wide-open quality about it. I feel like creating something. Let’s see how it all goes.

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