Today I drove to the RiverRock near the airport for the One Dance Competition. Jessica had students competing. It reminded me that we are all competing for attention as writers and artists. Our work needs to gain attention and hold it – this is the trick that’s the hardest to accomplish. It’s also why, so far, AI creative writing is so bad, it relies on trophes and old pieces of writing, when in reality, we’re attempting to create something new.
Happy Christmas Eve!
Christmas Movie Vibes
I spent this weekend downtown in Vancouver, did the holiday gathering from my day job, met friends for the Christmas Market and bought gifts, and went down to shop today. There’s a great holiday feel downtown at this time of year. The Bay had a Santa! There’s a huge Christmas tree in front of the Art Gallery. Lots of trees and lights. I decided to take some photos for a vision board for my Xmas movie idea. I’m combining my knitting idea called “Pull the Wool” with the format and settings of a holiday movie.
November 27, 2022
I’ve been thinking again about issuing a small book of my previously published short stories and poems. It would be more or less a labour of love because I doubt that it would sell widely. However, a lot of my friends have shown interest in it.
If nothing else, as a testament to small magazines that featured work over the years. I challenge anyone, for example to find issues of that Sudbury, Ontario SF magazine that I had two short stories in during the 1990s. Don’t know whether I will or not. It could be a fun project to get me into the big world of Amazon and how to do a future novel or series.
November 20, 2022
A beautiful Autumn day today. Took a walk to a local coffee shop and sat down with the notion that I’d create a new story. The beauty of settling down somewhere outside my house is the lack of distractions. I did create the story idea, so the trip was a success. I must now write it up. Then there are the revisions, but to get the whole idea is a win.
I’ve been busy lately. The creative work got pushed to the back burner for a while. However, I completed and sent out two new stories in the last couple of months. So that’s progress. I received good news regarding a reprint of a story. Plus, an editor has asked me to rewrite a story that he liked but found some difficulty with, so I’m hoping I ultimately sell that. I’m pleased to hear from a Canadian magazine that my story is in the last selection round there. Crossing my fingers because if I get into that magazine, it’s a new one to me and very well distributed. December 9th – I had another ‘2nd round’ email which makes me very happy as this one was for a prestigious USA magazine!
This morning I received my contract for the poem “Dangerous Gods” to be published in Polar Borealis #8 this month. So I’m excited about that.
Also, it’s the holiday season and I’ll take some time off my day job to work on creative endeavors.
Buy my Story for the Holidays!
News: At last, the new story is out and available in print:
The Vancouver Sci-Fi Anthology
This features my story “Night Market” as well as the stories of Rob Boffard, Holly Schofield, Nicholas Jennings, David Wright, Elisha Betts and Alban Goulden. This was edited by up and coming SF/F editor Ellen Michelle. The front cover art which is terrific is by Elisha Betts.
Polar Borealis Magazine Get My Story Free
POLAR BOREALIS Magazine #2 is finally published and available for free download to anyone who wants to read it. It contains the following goodies:
- Stories by Stan G. Hyde, Ron Friedman, Steve Fahnestalk, Michael John Bertrand, Holly Schofield, David Perlmutter, R. Graeme Cameron, Catherine Girczyc, Dave Duncan, Nina Munteanu, Matthew Hughes, and Spider Robinson.
- Cover art by Eric Chu.
- Poems by Colleen Anderson, Rissa Johnson, Mary Choo, Eileen Kernaghan, Rhea Rose, and J.Y.T. Kennedy.
Just go to http://polarborealis.ca and click on “Current/Back Issues” in the header, then scroll a short distance down to the link.
Cover art by Eric Chu
How to get into TV & Film in Canada
- My advice is twofold:
1. Look for a day job in film.
Anyone interested in film and TV should work in it even for a short time – in any capacity! Look for ways to get onto a film union list, starting as a PA maybe even? There are many jobs, too, not all of them on shoots. This includes the behind-the-scenes stuff or animation, distribution, etcetera. That way you really get a feel for your field & make contacts. I’m not a hugely successful TV writer, but I’ve sold over 15 scripts and all of them due to personal contacts – not the 2 agents (!).
2. Sell what scripts you have in the best way possible. I often use a real estate metaphor, because it is the same, believe it or not. As I learned the hard way, a local agent here like Integral or Characters won’t ‘sell’ your big script or new TV series idea. They’ll offer the ‘houses’ they have at their level – think Surrey. If you have a Shaughnessy mansion of a script, go to an LA agent. Many of them will look at new stuff from young writers. I will say that even a Vancouver agent would be good to start your talks with any producer though.
In this light, check out the Writers Guild of Canada. You can’t join until you have a credit, but they sometimes have open events and checking the website for good materials and references is good. WGC is the Canadian version of the WGA, in fact we have sharing $$ agreements with them.
So, for example, if you are ready to look for an agent, look at the public list on the WGC site: http://www.wgc.ca/resources/agents.html
It’s usually possible to meet with Canadian agents if you have a project. I’m currently not agented, due to the fact that I had to turn down the last 3 offers in a row (for bad reality shows that pay poorly).
All my work’s sold solely due to industry contacts but having an agent may have gotten me ‘in the door’. I have had 2 agents, both Canadian and neither earned me a cent I didn’t find myself. However, if you have a fantastic script, ready to go, for a movie, for example, you should try to get an agent to help you sell it.
I usually write TV episodes, so my work’s differently focused. If it’s a huge script – the Hollywood style ones have to be agented in the USA – our agents just don’t have the contacts to sell huge scripts. Check out the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory for ‘who to send it to’. https://www.writersstore.com/hollywood-screenwriting-directory It costs $29 US but is worth it.
TO film list – good for applying to current films. These are often updated: https://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/currently_filming.pdf
BC file list – from the DGC site
Unions to check out:
Vancouver: ACFC is the easiest to get into. They don’t have ‘all’ the productions but they usually have something and are more willing to train. See http://www.acfcwest.com/become.html
ACFC also has a list of great links for beginners in film: http://www.acfcwest.com/industry.html They have a Production Office area and it’s good if he wants to get some local experience. Pay rates are lower than IATSE and hours sometimes longer but it’s a way in. Most ACFC members eventually join IATSE.
IATSE: This I’d recommend only if he’s going the ‘office’ route first. https://www.iatse.com/ Local 891 is Vancouver. It’s more or less a route to get into an office and see production and work from there.
DGC: This is where locations starts, also directors. But I never have seen Locations lead to writing gigs, they’re too far from the office and the writers. If directing is your interest, though, it’s good. They have offices in Vancouver and TO.
The TV and film world can look like a jungle, but I’ve had some great experiences and earned a lot out there at times!
p.s. Below is from http://thecollectortv.com/36.html and is the listing for 1 of my Collector tv series episodes. Producers: Larry Sugar, Showrunners: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson. The Collector is a wonderful show – a dark fantasy & I thoroughly enjoyed writing two episodes for it!