Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Project Wilson Phillips - Team Wendy: Day 1

We're on the home stretch of the Collaborative Writing Project scripts as we hit Day One of the final team.

Download the Team Wendy version of the script HERE.

Joe Kavanagh (p. 11-20): As was said in the introduction email to us "this thing is laced with traps." I wanted to see if I could knock away as many of them as possible so team members following behind could take the story to more interesting places. The chance to take the story to a place where none of the other stories would go also made it more interesting for me (and, I hope, my team members following behind). It's also quite hard writing the second ten pages of a story with no outline and hoping for it to make sense later. I thought about where I would take the story to its end before writing but I only control my ten pages. It was a great writing exercise that I would happily take part in

Dustin Rush (p. 21-30): The main thing that drew me to this challenge was the idea of limitations. I wanted to see what would happen to my writing when I was given a few pieces of the story. The toughest part for me was figuring out what to do with all the characters and information that had been created. Some I just flat out ignored, others I had to decide their significance.

I needed to know who the protagonist was and what he was going after. So I tried to establish that. I thought the story had a lot of fun foundational work already built in. It felt like my job was to shape the thrust of the story and round out some of the main characters.

In some ways I think it was more difficult than writing your own story, because I couldn't go back and erase anything. But I never would have come up with V.E.G.A.N.S. so it was definitely fun to work off of someone else's ideas.

Amy Baack (p. 31-41): I was in charge of writing fourth, which meant I got the script after 30 pages had been written. At this point in a script, the story should be fairly well established: the protagonist, his goals, and his obstacles should be fairly clear. My goal was thus to focus on moving the plot along. I found that the script wasn't exactly clear yet, so I did my best to try to clarify the protagonist and antagonist and their competing objectives. I then tried to pick up the pace and have some fun with the story.

Patrick O’Riley (p. 41-49) When I first received the 42 page pdf, I found myself quite overwhelmed. There were around 5 main characters that seemed to demand equal attention within an ever-expanding conspiracy. My first decision was that at least one of these people would complete an arc and die. According to the page count, it seemed my pages would include the stories midpoint, meaning it was my duty to stop adding dots and start connecting them.

Firstly, I wanted to draw up clear allegiances. With his introduction, Doug had mentioned making the reporter gaff of "telling the truth about people in power" so it was clear his character was meant for a high moral standing. It then became my job to explain why Doug would claim to be defending AJ Trenton and shoot Murphy near where my pages began. Since the shooting happened off-camera, I decided that it would be Murphy, not Doug who survived the shootout. Doug's story began with protecting his partner, and having essentially broken it off with Editor Keller, he was able to commit fully to Leliah. To protect her from the police he believed to be crooked, Doug was claiming to be on their side to keep them at bay. Dying on her behalf provided closure to Doug's arc.

My intention was to break the major cast into three teams: The Good Cops (Murphy, Mack, and Cohen), The Reporters Who Bend the Rules to Bring Evil To Light (Leliah, Joshua, Doug, And Keller), and The Bad Guys (Candy, Trenton, The Chief, and Leliah's Father). I tried to make these teams clear by putting each team all in a room together of the course of my pages. Whether or not these teams remained in tact beyond my pages remains to be seen but all-in-all I found this to be a fun worthwhile experiment and I look forward to similar exercises in the future!


  1. Scott Pilgrim T.O.t.W comes out today. I guess we can support it now...

  2. Just like to say that, though there were differing takes and a little bit of cat clawing...I'm psyched we could all get together and share this. Who knows? Maybe 3 years from now we'll be sitting in a meeting and someone will bring up Wilson/phillips and way we go...

  3. Agreed on the above. It was a nice, fun collaborative experiment that doesn't happen if we're not all reading this blog.

    The only negative I really have for all this is our lack of communication. We all worked together to create an entertaining (sometimes very out of this world and crazy) feature, but never got the chance to really know each other.

    We were just writers taking on the next pages. Still an important lesson to be learned in how to handle characters and scenarios given to us (think: writing assignment).

    But, I still feel that every one here is as much a stranger today as they were yesterday.

  4. (Spoiler ahead)

    Teleporters, Clones, and Time Travel, Oh my!

    (End o' Spoilers)

  5. In regards to the above. My name is Hank Pena. Screenwriter from Boston. Heading west.

    My website is www.cobblestonecreative.com

    I can be contacted there. Always great to share opinions and make friends in the creative field.


  6. Philip Prince. Screenwriter from New Jersey (Went to school at Northeastern in boston tho!).

    My website is www.escarondito.blogspot.com

    I write on what I'm doing, what I'm going through, and things that peak my interest in the industry.

    I love writing sci-fi, conspiracy thrillers, all that jazz.