I have a tendency to work on too many projects so this will prove invaluable in narrowing my writing focus for the next 12-18 months. I need to become ruthless about what I work on (no distractions, no favours, no tangents!).
The time line also includes target dates for funding rounds and markets so I know exactly when drafts and/or supporting material is required. No more mad panic all nighters to meet insanely short deadlines!
I have been listening to US-centric screenwriting podcasts and reading more Hollywood oriented blogs which is giving me a better appreciation of the standards and habits required. I don't consider myself a disciplined writer - when I'm "in the zone" I fly, when I'm not I procrastinate like crazy - but somehow I manage to have a lot of material in "various stages of disrepair" as I usually describe it. I'd even go so far as to say some of it is pretty good ... some of it needs more work ( ... some needs to be locked in a small wooden chest in a basement and never heard of again).
So the plan is one new feature script per year - as in a polished script which may mean [x] numbers of drafts. 2010 will be the year of Trench, a big budget, high concept idea that I am very excited about and follows my usual pattern of adding an idea to, in this case Chris' original premise, to create something more layered and powerful. More on that later. This one may be written purely as a potential spec sale and requires a lot of research and a full treatment before I go anywhere near script stage.
Two of my other feature scripts - The Red Bride and The Tangled Web will get rewrites dependent on market interest; and for a third project In Total Unity I will write a pitch/synopsis adapting the existing script to a Hong Kong setting for when we go to HAF in March.
Other than that, I have sent six TV series concepts to my Forgeworks colleagues to choose what may be suitable for ScreenWest's T-Vis initiative. I will also write one final short film for FTI's Link initiative that will dazzle with its simplicity and elegance.
And finally, I embrace these words - To thine own self be true. I have a certain story telling style that may not be considered "Australian" but now is the time to be true to who I am as a writer and not churn out what I think local funding bodies want to read/fund.
2010 is the year to bring the A game ...