Thursday, April 26, 2007

PEI Screenwriters' Boot Camp

Some of you might be interested in the PEI Screenwriters' Boot Camp that's going to be happening here on the Island, June 17-22.

It's exciting to see that the two mentors of the program will be Tom Shoebridge, a great guy that I met a couple years ago at a RIFF workshop, and Alex Epstein, who I really only know through daily visits to his TV/Screenwriting Blog.

I'm sorry I won't be here to participate. I hope some great scripts come out of it. For more information visit the Island Media Artists Co-op website.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Robson Arms Renewed for Third Season

Some of you might have started to put things together based on some of my previous posts but it's now official. As TV, eh? reported today we've got a third season.

For those of you who watched RAII, thanks very much. It was a tough spot to be in opposite HNIC so if you did, you must be a big supporter of the show... or really, really, really hate hockey. Either way.

For those of you who never saw it, how come? Did something put you off? Do you just not watch canadian shows on principle? Was it personal? You a hockey fan? Was it the time slot? Or maybe you just didn't have room on the TIVO. I get that, my DVR space is precious too.

For those of you who watched and said, "meh", could you be a little more specific?

As far as the writing goes, it feels like there are a number of factors that are shaping the new season.

1) I gotta say, for me, there's been a very different energy in the writer's room this time around. I think all of us were pretty grateful (not in a whiney, spineless way) and frankly maybe just a little surprised to be renewed so late in the season and it's added a little spice to the room. The RA Writer's Room's never been what you would call a slack or self-satisfied place, but there's definitely been an invigorating and disciplined edge to the story-breaking this time round that makes me excited about the coming season.

2) Process-wise, this will be the first season going to camera when we didn't have at least a first draft of all our scripts finished. This definitely raises the heart-rate... and the adrenaline might be making it on to the page.

3) The Cast is going through some changes. Based on normal, boring circumstances that none of us could have foreseen the "who" of the stories is changing as well as the "how". It's mixing up the kinds of stories that we're going to be telling a little bit.

4) There have been some shake-ups in the story department, nothing awful, just talented people moving on to other projects. They'll be missed, but it also provides us with a chance to work with some newer... and some more experienced writers.

5) A New Time Slot. It looks like we're going to be on earlier in the evening which will make for changes. Some obvious: like language. Some subtle: like tone. That said, the show certainly isn't going through any contortions to fit the time. If anything it feels like the show's voice, although still unique, is coming into its own, becoming more confident... and entertaining, I hope.

So here's to the challenging months ahead. I hope I can keep folks that are interested abreast of the progress, without spoiling any of the surprises.

It's weird. I was just over at Denis's blog. There's definitely a strange, end-of-school, feeling through the industry. Summer's coming and everybody's graduating. Feels a little like we're in the third act of a coming-of-age story...

... or the first act of a teen-sex-comedy! YEAH!