Colby’s Creative Achievements in January 2014!

smart goal setting conceptSo, usually, I save my self-assessment for the end of the year. But this time, I decided to take a monthly inventory, not only because it makes the end of the year assessment easier to write (copy and paste, anyone?), but also because taking inventory on a short-term basis keeps me accountable. In public!

I can also check these updates against my 2014 goal list and start in on those goals I haven’t quite picked up on yet! So check out my creative achievements and steps forward I made for January and share yours too!

January 2014

january

Theme of the Month: Massive Change, Massive Launches, MASSIVE Endurance (in the face of uncertainty and chaos)

1. Moved to California! It was a really exciting, treacherous, challenging, and exhilarating two weeks, but my boyfriend and I finally made it. Originally, we planned to move to Los Angeles, but we adored Long Beach and decided on that instead! No worries, though, it’s still only 30 minutes from L.A., there’s a train that goes from Long Beach right INTO L.A., and we’re still living in L.A. County. Plus, we’re three blocks from the beach and oceanfront, so no complaints from me!

2. Released the PRINT version of Ghosts of Koa! Which was a huge challenge due to spotty internet access, being Ghosts of Koa Cover WEB-MEDIUMon a super tight budget, and being technically homeless for two weeks (was totally living at a campsite ::CRICKET::). Feel free to pick up your copy today though at Amazon! Also, it’s “matched” with the Kindle version, and you’ll get the Kindle version for FREE if you pick up the paperback!

3. Officially launched the production of the Ghosts of Koa AUDIOBOOK! With the amazing talents of Michael T Bradley on my side, we have entered into a Royalty Share agreement for this version of my novel, and he’s also looking forward to narrating the other novels as well! I sent him the manuscript at the end of January and am super excited about the forthcoming product!

4. Began to explore Los Angeles and Long Beach. There are so many resources for writers and creators here, and I unearthed quite a few! Check out my comprehensive, ever-growing list of writer and creator resources in Cali!

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KX Cotch, resident sociopath and assassin for the Alchemic Order… and he’s getting his own novella series!

5. Began working on the novella spin-off series to The Books of Ezekiel saga! So clearly, while there are many main characters in The Books of Ezekiel saga, Ezekiel is the star (hence the title). I wanted readers to spend more time with the other main characters, time that was unrelated to Zeika and her journey. And so, here it is! All of the main characters that I LOVE– Caleb, Cotch, Manja, and many others– will have their own novella series that chronicle their paths through the world of alchemy. Caleb’s and Cotch’s full seasons will be released in early 2015. Stay tuned for the others, which will be released as the main Books of Ezekiel saga progresses!

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Rebel Ragdoll’s growing one step at a time!

6. Relaunched my work on my tv and feature script portfolio and… I GOT A WRITING PARTNER! Once again, the lovely Claire Zhuang and I thought it best to combine our talents and come up with some script hotness. We’re pretty excited about what we’ve got going on, too! It’s nice to have a partner to keep you in check!

7. Started penning many other creative projects, including, 1. the next installation of The Books of Ezekiel Saga, “The Final Page: The Second Book of Ezekiel”, 2. the inaugural novel in my sci-fi thriller series “Ryden’s Lot”, 3. and SIX other seasonal installment novella series! All of these novellas will be turned into pilot scripts as well, so writing these series does double work for my novel-novella backlist and for my tv script portfolio. 😉

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I’d love to not only write a character like Aveline, pen an awesome story like Assassin’s Creed, but also DESIGN a game for both! Making this dream come true one step at a time!

8. Re-launched my work as a Freelance Writer and Casting Producer with Demand Media Studios. Being new to L.A., I needed a job, and then I remembered that I actually still have one, lol! Since taking up the part-time job at the Westchester wine shop, I had let the Casting Producer gig fall to the wayside, but now it’s time to write and produce full-time!

9. Began studying video game design and SFX for films and video games. Super excited. 😉 Hopefully by the end of 2014, I’ll be pretty well-versed in lots of aspects of video game design, SFX, and film post-production… we’ll see! Excited, nonetheless!

10. Stepped more firmly into my career as a creative entrepreneur! In addition to starting a ton of projects, I kept up with my blogging (as promised), am catching up with my vlog tv/movie review series again, got more involved with writing book reviews (terribly overdue, and I apologize to my reviewees!), and I actually started a monthly newsletter!

wgf11. Started volunteering for the Scriptwriter’s Network and the Writer’s Guild Foundation! Also trying to wedge my way into the Writer’s Guild of America! You gotta start somewhere, and the best way to start is by giving back. I’m really excited to get to know people at the events I’ll be volunteering at and to finally start getting to know my industry.

12. Joined some screenwriting meet-ups, and I’m intimidated as hell, lol. Community is important. Especially one that will hold your ass accountable for the pages you were supposed to turn in a week ago, lol. It’s also a little nerve-wracking meeting new folks for the first time, but I also really look forward to it. Can’t wait to join the community of folks who are trying to go the same direction I am! 🙂

baby!13. And last, but certainly not least… I found out I was PREGNANT! Holy. Cow. Five weeks and I didn’t have a clue. Talk about a creative achievement, lol! There really is nothing like *literally* CREATING a life inside of you, and I’m thrilled to be having a babe on the way!

And for those of you who are wondering, YES, you CAN have a career in Hollywood as both a mother and a writer-screenwriter-producer or what have you, and I mean to show you how. Men do it all the time, so why can’t we? 😉 So please stay tuned for another month of moving forward, life lessons, and creative ass-kicking, and I hope to hear some of your stories too!

So what are your personal and/or creative accomplishments for January? Are you making progress towards your ultimate goals? Share them below! 

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby

List of Writer’s Resources in Los Angeles & Beyond (for Aspiring Producers too!)

listsI love lists. Lists are amazing. They’re easy to make, shareable, and editable. I’ve only been in Long Beach / Los Angeles County for about 2 weeks, but I’m already starting to sink my fangs into all the resources I can for aspiring screenwriters and producers.

I decided to keep a growing list of everything I find, so as I find more, I’ll add them and share them here on my blog! In the meanwhile, enjoy and explore! I only hope that this will make *your* creative journey a little easier! 😉

Coffee-Tea Shops Where Writers Congregate / Just Plain Ole Great Places to Work

coffee shopWriting can get lonely, so if you want a great environment to both get work done and commune with fellow writers, check out these spots below!

It’s a Grind (Long Beach)

 

Great Writer’s & Filmmaker’s Groups to Join

meetupBuilding a community is important for creatives in general, but especially if you’re trying to break into the industry. I’ve done some footwork locating interesting meet ups around town that you might want to check out.

Okay so granted, I’ve only just joined these groups, so they are still “under review” in terms of being places to build community. As I said, this list is ever-growing and ever-changing, so stay tuned!

Los Angeles Film and TV Meetup Group

The Scriptwriter’s Network

Writer’s Blok LA

Beyond Baroque Screenwriter’s Workshop

Writers with Drinks LA

The Original Los Angeles Writers Group

LA TV Writers

Hollywood Jumpstart

Great Orgs and Conferences (for volunteer work)!

conferenceWhy volunteer? Because there are so many benefits to it, not only for giving back, but also for networking, gaining invaluable knowledge, and getting into expensive conferences for free! Every conference, pitch fest, video game convention, and more needs volunteers, so don’t miss the opportunity to start your career growth!

The Scriptwriter’s Network

The Writer’s Guild Foundation

Writer’s Guild of America, West

The Great American Pitchfest

Trust me, MANY more are coming, no worries, lol!

Awesome Books to Read, E-courses to Take, and Blogs to Follow!

bookstackAnd of course, some self-teaching is always great. When you’ve got some quiet time, or when you’re traveling, or when you’re burnt out on writing and producing 24-7, check out these books and resources. They’ll help you hone your skills, develop important aspects of your creative portfolio, and will give you some great insight from industry pros who’ve already been where you want to go!

Hollywood Game Plan by Carole Kirschner
This book is a creative’s manna. Breaking into Hollywood has suddenly become so much more probable… READ THIS BOOK, YOU FOOL!

Good in a Room by Stephanie Palmer
This book is absolutely essential for you to up your game on pitching, self-presentation, and selling your ideas in Hollywood. Writer’s don’t only need to write well, but they also need to sell well!

Pitching Essentials E-Course by Stephanie Palmer
AMAZING e-course for developing a kick-ass pitch for your projects! Sign up, get the course… and understand what it means to be a pitching god.

Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant
For indie writers and publishers who want to make a living doing what they love most, take it from the guys who are already doing it! Killer advice at a killer price. (Also great for screenwriters, as the principles carry over!)

How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn
One of the baddest chicks in the indie writing publishing game, Joanna Penn has created a massively successful indie publishing business off of her fiction and her non-fiction. She KNOWS how to market a book and has been in the trenches. Learn from a pro! And while we’re at it check out

The Creative Penn
Joanna wows us with her deep well of resources on indie publishing, marketing, and writing. She has an amazing podcast as well as some meaty articles on how to leverage your creative rights, be a great creative entrepreneur, and grow your personal creative business! DEFINITELY check her out!

Breakfast with Sharks
Michael Lent gives you the business in his candid rendering of Hollywood and screenwriting as an industry. He leads you through how feature film writing, selling, and buying work, what to expect, and how to maximize your chances of success as an aspiring screenwriter! Not to be missed!

The TV Writer’s Workbook
Ellen Sandler is an Emmy award-winning tv sitcom writer who knows how to write a damned good tv episode. She’s worked on Everybody Loves Raymond and Coach, so let her work on your tv writing skills! From tips on breaking down and analyzing tv episodes to tools to building your own pilot, Sandler ensures you won’t be disappointed.

And of course… more coming soon! If you have anything to add, I’d love your input! Please share! In the meantime…

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby

Achieve Your 2014 Goals! Action Plans and Systems for Type-A Creatives

action planI hope you’ve partied it up for the New Year and have ended your glorious celebrations with a laundry list of things you want to do for 2014! Goal lists?! Bring them on! And yet for us Type-A folks, having a goal list is exciting but isn’t quite enough to keep us motivated. We need a way to achieve our goals as well, or as James Clear says, we need a system, a step-by-step daily habit that will allow us to look up in the end and say, “Oh snap! Guess what? I actually achieved my goal!”

In addition to daily regimens and systems, however, we also need action plans. How will we achieve our massive goals, exactly? What are the smaller steps to doing so? For example, writing and publishing a novel isn’t just about developing a daily writing habit and system. There are different stages: writing, editing, finding reviewers, product positioning, distribution, marketing, and more! For me, I need an action plan to get all of this done, and you may want one too! I have a couple of ideas that I list out below, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals

1. Create your goal list

goal3We need to know what we’re aiming for first and foremost, so get your goal list ready! Here’s a sample list of my goals, with a full list here:

  • Write, polish, and publish the 160,000-word second book of my dystopian-urban fantasy series, “The Books of Ezekiel”
  • Write two feature film screenplays (110 pages each)
  • Write four teleplays (tv scripts) (65 pages each)
  • Write, polish, and publish the first book of my sci-fi / fantasy middle grade detective series, “P.I. Sleuths”
  • Get more experience as a Line Producer, Unit Production Manager, or Assistant Director

2. Rank-order your goals and then set deadlines for each one

prioritizeOkay, based on the goals you just listed, we need to define some sort of order of priority! The three main questions you should ask yourself are: 1. Which goal is the most important to me vs the least, 2. Which goal is the most time consuming, and 3. Which goals have enforced deadlines attached to them?

For example, if you want to write a screenplay and also enter it into a contest this April, the contest deadline will influence you immensely in how you rank the screenplay on your priority list. The contest would rank pretty high, as an April deadline is early in the year, quickly approaching, and you must get out a polished screenplay before then (which is a challenge in itself).

On the other hand, your list might be rank-ordered with regard to how important or time consuming your goal is. For me, deadlinegetting the second novel in the Books of Ezekiel series is THE number one priority, one because it’s super important to me and my career and secondly, because it takes the most time. The novel is followed by the teleplays because they have March, April, and May deadlines attached to them. So this is what my task list now looks like, WITH deadlines attached:

  • Write, polish, and publish the 160,000 word second book of my dystopian-urban fantasy series, “The Books of Ezekiel” (December 15th, 2014)
  • Write four teleplays (tv scripts), 65 pages each (Rough drafts deadline: March 15th; Final version: April 15th)
  • Write, polish, and publish the first book of my sci-fi / fantasy middle grade detective series, “P.I. Sleuths” (December 1st, 2014)
  • Get more experience as a Producer, Line Producer, Unit Production Manager, or Assistant Director (Flexible, work on at least three projects this year)
  • Write two rough draft feature film screenplays, 110 pages each (December 31st, 2014)

3. For each goal, create a sub-task list with sub-deadlines!

tasklistFor some of us, it’s not enough to have a prioritized list with deadlines. For some of us, it’s helpful to have a sub-list of things we need to do for each goal, supplies we need to have, or a schedule we need to keep.

These mini-milestones help us to gauge where we are in achieving our ultimate goals, and help to keep us on schedule. Take my first priority, for example, “writing the next book in the Books of Ezekiel series”, and check out how I’ve created a task list for it.

GOAL #1: Write, polish, and publish The Final Page, The Second Book of Ezekiel. 160,000 words, four volumes. DEADLINE: December 15th, 2013

  • Research, worldbuild, plot story, and develop character arc and POV. DUE: February 15th, 2014 

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    task list… in FRENCH!

  • Finish plot beat sheets for each volume, and character beat sheets for each volume. DUE: March 15th, 2014
  • Finish first draft of volume I. DUE: March 31st, 2014, 40,000 words (2,500 words per day)
  • Finish first draft of volume II. DUE: April 15th, 2014, 40,000 words (2,500 words per day)
  • Finish first draft of volume III. DUE: April 30th, 2014, 40,000 words (2,500 words per day)
  • Finish first draft of volume IV. DUE: May 15th, 2014, 40,000 words (2,500 words per day)
  • Let draft sit on shelf for two months. DUE: July 15th, 2014
  • Re-work into a second draft, getting it to the best place possible. DUE: August 15th, 2014
  • Send to my developmental editor. DUE: September 15, 2014
  • Get it back from my editor. DUE: October 15, 2014
  • Make significant changes according to his feedback. DUE: November 15, 2014
  • tasklist3Do a final line edit of the novel, two chapters a day. DUE: November 30th, 2014
  • RELEASE NOVEL, DO PRE-SALES, and BREATHE, lol! DUE: December 15th, 2014

So yeah, it’s a lot. I made this plan with the hope that my two months of beat sheet making and plot work will make my writing go a LOT faster than before. I know myself and my process now, so I need to repeat it with greater efficiency. Who knows if I’ll be able to bang out my deadlines, but I have a plan that I’m willing to follow and execute!

If you choose, you can do this for each of your major goals and break your task list down as far as you want. Don’t spend too much time on this, though. If you become obsessed with planning what you need to do, you might neglect actually doing what you need to do! This leads me into my next point, which is to…

4. Actually DO what you set out to do.

justdoitIf you’re super type-A like me, you probably love task lists. I practically had to keep myself from making a task list about the task list. But at some point, we need to stop making lists, stop trying to anticipate every minute of every day, stop trying to itemize our task lists to the letter, and actually apply ourselves to our tasks. An action plan isn’t an action plan without actual action! So take action today!

You’ll never finish that novel or script by making endless lists about what you have to do to finish it. (That’s called procrastination, by the way.) You’ve gotta dive in and actually write the darn thing, tackle that creative task, make mistakes, re-prioritize, meet blockades, and strategize around them, which leads me to my last step in creating a system…

5. Be flexible and relax!

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reward your hard work!

Life happens. As much as we as creatives and artists sometimes love to shut out the larger world for the sake of finishing or perfecting our art, if you are anything other than a zombie, you have a larger world to contend with. You’ve got family, or a lover, or a wedding, or networking events, or a job, or bills, or all of the above and more.

Working out the details of these tasks and “life stuff” can be time-consuming, but necessary, and you can’t be continually frustrated that your perfect bubble of quiet time has been disrupted for the umpteenth time. Be flexible. Realize that there are goals you may have to change, delay, or expand. Understand that there may be unforeseen obstacles, tragedies, changes, or successes that might lead you in other directions.

Stop and smell your success!

Stop and smell your success!

Don’t fight it, flow it.

Embrace life, and most importantly, stop to smell the roses occasionally. We Type-As constantly sow the seeds and toil the land, but rarely stop to see our work blossom. Breathe. Love. Create. Be. And at the end of 2014, not only will you have achieved wondrous things, but you would have made the time to enjoy those wonders as well!

That’s all I got for you, but I hope you find the talk of systems and action plans helpful! I’d love to hear the systems you plan to use to achieve your goals for 2014! Godspeed, and in the meantime…

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby

Colby’s Creative Achievements of 2013!

2013WOW. So it’s been such an eventful year, and I’m actually pretty surprised that it went so quickly! I’m about to celebrate the 3-year anniversary of Rebel Ragdoll (omg!), have just released my first novel, “Ghosts of Koa”, banged out some horrible rough drafts of scripts (lol), am about to move to Los Angeles, and I’ve even started a Rebel Ragdoll fashion line! CRAZY, right?

As usual, though, it’s time to take stock of what I accomplished and what I missed the mark on in 2013. I look back and can barely believe all the wonderful experiences and blessings that have come my way! Feeling extremely grateful. Here’s what went down in 2013:

January 2013

january1. Set a release date for “Ghosts of Koa”. May 2013! (Which I missed by a long-shot by the way!)
2. Started the final round of editing for Ghosts of Koa.
3. Started learning French again, and it’s a challenge!
4. Joined the TV Writer Pilot Writing Program at TV Writer Chat!
5. Celebrated the TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Rebel Ragdoll!
6. Tried out S-Factor pole fitness and self-love and got addicted! Can’t afford a full-time class, but I’m working on it!
7. Took an AWESOME trip to L.A. where I was able to meet over 15 different executives who gave some fantastic perspective on the entertainment industry and what they do.
8. Submitted to a few bunch of contests and fellowships… and later got rejected by all of them, lol! You live and you learn!

February 2013

february1. Trained with another creative writing mentor. Learned how to use the indirect third person and emotion more impactfully in my fiction!
2. Launched the TV Writer’s Workshop, a 14-week t.v. writing and professionalization seminar for aspiring television writers
3. Launched the Executive Producers’ Series, a 12-week seminar designed to teach aspiring producers how to produce cinema from script to finished film

March 2013

march1. Booked my trip to Eastern Europe! First stop, Lisbon Portugal!
2. Finished the beat sheet for my pilot script, “Ezekiel” and am ready to write it out!
3. Finished the beat sheet for my Scandal spec script, “Prometheus”, and am ready to write it out!
4. Produced and opened the Marcia Légère Play Festival! And it was a smash success! 😉
5. Lightning Source approved Ghosts of Koa for hardcover production and distribution!

April 2013

1. OFFICIALLY DEFENDED for my Masters of Science in Sociology and PASSED! Go M.S., go M.S.!
april2. Received a PHENOMENAL cover design from JD Smith at JD Smith Design for Ghosts of Koa and The Final Page, the first two books in my novel series
3. Went into a writer and rester’s coma… listen, I needed a rest, lol! Ok, sike. I went into a coma, but also…
4. I actually took Stephanie Palmer’s Pitching Essentials Course and was blown away. Highly recommended!

May 2013

may1. Finished my last semester as a Lecturer at UW Madison, which was sad and yet freeing and thrilling all at the same time!
2. Started as a PA at Owen Road Productions on this cool web series “The Ethical Slut”. (Teehee!)
3. Left for my backpacking trip to Eastern and Western Europe! (Which rocked, by the by.)

June 2013

june1. Traveled the world this month and wrote, wrote, wrote!! I hit Portugal, Southern Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, and Rome. Saw some alchemical labs, and it was great!
2. Laid the outline down for the remainder of Ghosts of Koa and a few scripts I’ve been working on.
3. Realized that traveling is a writer’s VERY BEST FRIEND, as it truly disconnects you from your circle and allows you to write, lol.
4. Became a script analyst for Eclectic Pictures. Read a crap load of scripts… a CRAP LOAD. And learned a ton!
5. Took my first trip to a gun range (in Budapest) and shot over 22 guns, including a Dragunov SVD, the James Bond gun, and a .44 Magnum. Talk about a research expedition! Now I feel as though I can definitely write on gun use and anatomy way more intelligently. For those of you wanting a real fantastic excursion in Budapest, Hungary, check out Celeritas Shooting Club!

July 2013

july1. Expanded Rebel Ragdoll Press’ name to “Rebel Ragdoll”, to include the multitude of intellectual properties and merchandise that will be sold under the company label.
2. GOT PROMOTED TO LINE PRODUCER at Owen Roads Productions. Took on the identity of the Line Producer / UPM more fully.

August 2013

1. Moved back to New York on $300, which was hell in a cradle. Not. Fun. At. All. But I made it! 😉
2. Went on the most intense of job hunts, applying to over 100 jobs and opportunities.
3. Started attending some great networking events, which taught me tons about the entertainment industry and augustallowed me to create this podcast series. I also made a contact here which helped to launch the project I’m producing called “The Life, The Grind, and The Music”.
4. Moved more firmly into the idea of producing films and tv as well as writing them. So I decided to evolve into a writer-producer!
5. Started querying literary agents (for books). Got many rejections, some no responses, and some still pending. BUT on the bright side, I actually GOT an agent at a TOP AGENCY to read my manuscript! Now comes the wait, and I should be getting some response back as of January 2014. Wish me luck!

September 2013

september1. Held six entertainment freelance jobs and internships simultaneously… LOL. Yeesh! My jobs: Casting Producer at Demand Media Studios, Freelance Writer & Contributor to eHow.com, Script Analyst at Eclectic Pictures, Temp at Supporting Cast, Line Producer at Owen Road Productions, and Co-Executive Producer and Line Producer at Living MuZic.
2. Started writing two new screenplay concepts in the genres of drama and sci-fi thriller
3. Created the Rebel Ragdoll Development Slate! This has all the creative projects that Rebel Ragdoll is undertaking (and will hold all the future ones as well).
4. Started preparing to produce Rebel Ragdoll’s first film project in 2014. We’ll see how far this goes!
5. Started penning yet another screenplay concept in the survival horror genre

October 2013

1. Recruited the COO for Rebel Ragdoll, Claire Zhuang! Super amped to take Rebel Ragdoll to the next level in 2014!
2. Started planning the Rebel Ragdoll Fashion and Natural Skin Care Line!! (Was NOT expecting that, by the way, lol!) Dolls are setting the trend and looking hot while doing it!! You can check out our progress at the Rebel Ragdoll website when it’s octoberback online.
3. Produced an eHow web series, “Family Travel Tips”, with many more to come!
4. Rebooted Rebel Ragdoll Radio! And it’s hotter than ever!
5. Rebooted Rebel Ragdoll Reel and started vlog video review series on sci-fi, fantasy, and thriller series!
5. Attended New York Comic Con and had a BLAST! Made some great connections as well, and saw some great friends!
6. Got hired part-time at a wine shop to fill in my quickly thinning wallet (yes, this was job seven). Then I decided to wrap some projects up for good. I finished up my time at a couple of creative freelance jobs, freeing up my schedule.

November 2013

november1. Commissioned the paperback version of Ghosts of Koa, The First Book of Ezekiel.
2. Created an official personal and Rebel Ragdoll task list for this year and the next year, which includes financial endeavors and creative endeavors.
3. Began development on “Ground Zero”, a sci-fi horror thriller that will become Rebel Ragdoll’s FIRST film production!
4. Recruited a standing Film Director for Rebel Ragdoll’s “Ground Zero”. Thanks for becoming a part of our brand, Lex Curtis! 😉 Let’s make awesome stuff!
5. Released the eHow series I produced “Travel Gear”, which was formerly titled, “Family Travel Tips”!!
6. GOT MY FIRST IMDB CREDIT for the web comedy I produced! Check it out here: Colby’s IMDB page.
7. Began the production process for the “Gourmet Diva Delights” eHow series, and I also began production on another eHow foodie series!
8. Applied to several producer programs, assistant director programs, and other fellowships (wish me luck!). I should be getting feedback by mid to late spring!
9. Attended the Urban Action Showcase workshops, and they were awesome!

December 2013

1. Released Ghosts of Koa, The First Book of Ezekiel in ebook format!!
2. Began the production of the PAPERBACK version of Ghosts of Koa!! Oooh, It should be out before the end decemberof January 2014!
3. In fact, I decided to re-package my entire novel series in an interesting way. My first novel was a WHOPPING 600 or so pages, so I divided it into two separate volumes: Volume I and Volume II. This turned out to be a grand idea, as it now allows me to create multiple products from one property! I’ll be following this model for the rest of the series too. Exciting!
4. Began some SERIOUS rights exploitation of my intellectual property. For one, I’m getting Ghosts of Koa, The First Book of Ezekiel, transformed into an audiobook!! A few actors have expressed some serious interest in the series, so I hope that I’ll get the project kicked off in January of 2014.
5. Began rebooting The Books of Ezekiel website. I think you all will love the changes!
december2
6. Got three more IMDB credits for my media production work, and I added four more too! Hopefully, all the changes will appear on my IMDB account before the new year rolls in! 😉
7. I began the revamp of the Rebel Ragdoll website, with a planned relaunch in January 2014.
8. Got some amazing feedback from a program that I applied to: I just moved into the SECOND ROUND OF FOUR in the DGA Assistant Director Trainee program!! I’m so surprised and amped and also humbled by the fact that my application even had a snowball’s chance. Next is the testing phase, then the interview with a consulting company. Finally, there is a one-on-one interview with the trustees of the program, and from there, if I’ve made it that far, I’ll be a trainee with the DGA… which is super exciting. Wish me luck!
9. Started planning my move to Los Angeles! New sights, new sounds, new places, new opportunities! It feels good we’ll see what 2014 holds.

So what are your personal and/or creative accomplishments for 2013? Anything cooking for the next year? 😉 Share your thoughts below! And of course, in the meantime…

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby

Recent Producing, Writing, and Publishing Success: Major Announcements & Updates!

Ghosts of Koa Cover 3D Kindle (skinny)

Sorry I’ve been away, but SO MANY COOL THINGS HAVE HAPPENED IN THE PAST WEEK!! So I’m going to hit them all in this one post. Bottom line, I have some kick ass news on all creative fronts!

NOVELS: Ghosts of Koa. The First Book of Ezekiel. Officially. Coming. Out. November 30th! YAAAHH!!! The ebook is being released first. Then the print version will be out a few weeks later. Also, The Final Page: The Second Book of Ezekiel is very much underway thanks to years of penning and thanks to NaNoWriMo! Amped!

RebelRagdollD04bR01bP02ZL-Jefferson1bPRODUCING, Part I: First off, the beautiful awesome Claire Zhuang has agreed to be the COO at Rebel Ragdoll. Claire’s a wonderful friend and colleague, and we’ve worked on quite a few creative projects together. In addition, I’ve also recruited Lex Curtis, an aspiring and very knowledgeable Director to be the creative lead on Rebel Ragdoll’s first project. Together, we’re gonna rock ass!

Both Claire and Lex share my vision of improving the diversity in film, media, and fiction genres in which women and people of color are underrepresented. I’m so happy to have them on board, and guess what?! We’ve started development on Rebel Ragdoll’s first feature called, “Ground Zero”! It’s gonna be an awesome sci-fi horror and thriller, and we’ll definitely be keeping you posted here and on The Rebel Ragdoll Website.

imdb

Click to get to my IMDB page!

PRODUCING, Part II: I finally have an IMDB page! For those of you who aren’t familiar, IMDB is the International Movie Database, which lists anyone who’s anyone in the entertainment industry as well as their creative projects. This is the place where Shonda Rhimes (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction), and many other influential folks, even J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter) have all their works listed. I’m finally on there, as well as my first film project as a Line Producer. It’s just a small step in the journey towards legitimacy in the industry, and I sure busted my rump for it.

I’m currently waiting for IMDB to update my profile with my picture, pen name, my other Producer credits, my bio, and more, so stay tuned. To see the page in its infancy, though, just click away! Check out my producer credits there, or click on the social media IMDB icon in the right column. It’s just the beginning, and I hope to kick more producing ass in the very near future! 😉

eHowPRODUCING, Part III: The most exciting piece of news, I’ve produced an informational web series for eHow.com, and it’s finally live!!! Aaah!! It’s called “Travel Gear”, and it’s a great online series that’ll help you to prepare for traveling abroad. It’s short, sweet, and I love it! I’ve posted all five videos below, but I’ll also be re-posting these vids when I pick up my Fashionable Writer-Backpacker series in the spring of 2014.

SO WHAT’S NEXT?: Welp, I’m developing a foodie eHow series at the moment (super excited about that), working on my second sci-fi & fantasy novel, and trying to push Rebel Ragdoll’s “Ground Zero” script through the Rebel Ragdoll pipeline. In addition, I’m applying to an entire slew of different programs and fellowships in film producing, assistant directing, screenwriting, and tv writing. Also, Claire, Lex, and I are looking into finding funding for Rebel Ragdoll as a company and for “Ground Zero” as a project. In only a year, I’ve been able to make lots of moves towards my ultimate goals, and I really look forward to what the rest of this year, and 2014, holds! Thanks so much for sharing the journey with me. 🙂

Stay creative, keep it indie, and remember, dolls set the trend!
<3 Colby

My eHow Web Series: Travel Gear

Produced by Vanisha Renée Pierce (Colby R Rice), Presented by Kimberly Fisher, Filmed by Brandon Somerton


Tips on Shoes for Disney World — powered by ehow

 

Merging the Writer-Producer (and so it begins!)

merge signSo, we’ve talked about being a writer and being a producer, and yep… now we’re smashing them together like PB & J, yo! No, but seriously, what are the benefits of writing films and producing them? Why not just be one or the other? For me personally, it’s about a few things:

* Expanding, exercising, and honing my skills holistically. I LOVE learning new things, LOVE IT. And from my experience (limited as it is), writing and producing are generally two separate skill sets. For the most part, writing is creative while producing is pretty analytical (and social). Toggling between skill sets keeps me on my toes and keeps me excited about a project. (It can be argued though that using analysis in writing and creativity in producing is often necessary in the most McGuyver of ways!)

* Being a writer-producer (or a writer-anything) just opens more doors. In both the indie and commercial entertainment worlds, having dual skill sets provides opportunities for you in terms of more work, contacts, and experience. You’d not only havedoor the skills to conceptualize an awesome story and write it, but you’d also know how to actually fund, develop, and get that script onto the screen. Or, imagine that you are a writer and also line producer, producer, or even an awesome assistant director. In between tearing your hair out about dialogue or shopping your scripts around town, you have a marketable skill set that will get you on films, paid, and credited. There’s no losing here, in my opinion.

* You have a hand in supply (writing) and demand (producing). Bottom line: writers are the lifeblood of the entertainment industry. They are the dream makers and world builders. They give actors characters to act, carpenters sets to build, and filmmakers stories to produce. Writers fashion the supply for the entertainment market, and fresh writing voices will ALWAYS be in demand. On that note, if writers comprise the lifeblood of Hollywood, then producers are most certainly the hearts that pump it. Films and tv series don’t make themselves, you know. There needs to be a dedicated and passionate producer (or many producers) shepherding a script through the dark labyrinth of supplydemanddevelopment hell so that it makes the journey from the page to the screen. Money needs to be raised, ideas need to be developed and honed, and casts and directors need to be attached. Producers do all of this to get films and tv made. The most successful producers do this over and over with critical acclaim and a loyal audience. They fill the demands of the market. As a writer-producer, you essentially are involved in the film production process literally from the very beginning to the very end.

And finally, what is the BEST benefit of being both a writer and a producer?

* YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE’S PERMISSION TO BE CREATIVE. So you wrote a script or a tv pilot. It kicked ass, and you aren’t the only one who thinks so. Someone might have even paid you money to rent it from you because they believed in it so much. But then, Hollywood happens. Development hell happens. A studio going under happens. Suddenly,

you got the greenlight, baby!

you got the greenlight, baby!

you and your script-baby are thrust back out into the cold with a “sorry, we’re closed” sign hung on the door of every studio you turn to.

So. What? You’re just going to let your dream die? Or are you going to transform from writer to writer-producer to see your dream realized? If you are content with the well-known Hollywood game of winning few and losing many (and I’m certainly not faulting you if you are), then sure, let the script go and move on to the next project. But for those of us who are filmmakers and want to literally make film, we no longer need permission from a big studio or network to do so. If I really loved my project and just couldn’t let it go, I’d produce it myself. As both a writer and producer, you give yourself the freedom to create. You don’t need permission from anyone. 😉

And this is how I’m rolling. As many of you know, I have my foot in the indie world and am gunning for a spot in the commercial world as well. Commercially, I’m looking to be a tv drama writer, feature film writer, and eventually, an Executive Producer of a cable or network television drama series. My foci are sci-fi and fantasy, horror, true crime, and political drama. On the side, I also work as a freelance Line Producer and Unit Production Manager, and this is a role I’ll continue to take on for both indie and commercial projects.

RebelRagdollD04bR01bP02ZL-Jefferson1bAt the same time, though, I have also established Rebel Ragdoll, an independent female-identified media production house. Currently Rebel Ragdoll has over thirty creative projects on its ever-growing development slate, and I’m amped about every single one of them. I’ll be even more excited though when I’m finally able to acquire other female writers’ properties and produce them with all female crews.

Rebel Ragdoll is on a very specific mission: to increase the presence of female creators in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, true crime & noir, thriller, action, and adventure. We’ll not only produce novels, manga, comics, and graphic novels, but also film, original tv series, web series, and eventually, video games. I truly can’t wait to crew up with my dolls of distinction and get this mission off of the ground in 2014. Because, yeah, dolls set the trend. As writers, producers, directors, and more, we set the trend. And we do it with or without your permission. 😉

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby

Being an Aspiring Writer-Producer, Part II of II: The Producer

moviesSo what is a producer, actually? This title can be the most confusing of all titles in the entertainment industry. One can be a producer for financing a film, attaching an actor or director to a film, for laying the groundwork for a film, or in a minority of cases, even for banging the right person on a film (if we’re going to be really honest). Producer is the most tossed around, coveted, and gilded title going in Hollywood, but generally, a Producer is responsible for guiding the film through its life cycle, from concept development all the way through production and through distribution.

It’s like what parents do for their children: the Producer is the Papa or the Mama, and he must make sure that the film develops into a kick-ass contribution to society… and commercially, it must be a contribution to its investors’ pockets. There are different kinds of Producers, though, and while they share the same title, they perform a variety of different functions, mainly:

1. Funding a film or securing funding for a film. (Usually given the title of Producer).

2. Attaching elements such as a well-known director, actors, and/or funding to a film. They also hire the creative and technical team. (Usually given the title of Producer or Co-Producer.)

3. Taking care of the nuts and bolts of a film, such as handling the budget, wrangling the crew and cast, scheduling the production and the shoot, getting locations, renting equipment, finding craft services, and much more (Usually given the title of Line Producer or even Unit Production Manager (UPM). Line Producers are integral to a film’s success, but are not the same as a “full” Producer.

4. Doing everything it takes to bring a script through each stage of development and get it from script to screen. This first involves filmreelfinding a great script, and then doing tasks #1, #2, and #3 listed above. THEN, these Producers oversee the editing and the post-production process and budgets. They then ensure the final deliverables are delivered & confirm distribution into theaters. (These folks are usually given the title of Producer, Co-Producer, Creative Producer, Executive Producer, or, the Ultimate Bad Ass. Just sayin’.).

As a Producer, you can take on one of these roles or even all four, depending on how big your budget or crew is. The bottom line is that if you have a worthy script in your hands and you get that script from the page to the screen, you are definitely a Producer!

What It Takes to Be a Producer

The Producer is a powerful entity in the film, tv, and indie worlds, but the title is really only as powerful as the person is. If you have passion for the project you’re working on, the ability to network and forge good relationships, if you’re resourceful, and if you can be aggressive in moving your film project forward, then you have the basic ingredients it takes to be a great Producer.

moviepostersPassion for the project is key. If you’re in love with the script and you genuinely want your project to hit the screen, you will do literally whatever it takes to get that piece of work out there. Passion, in my opinion, is the element that will allow even the gentlest Producers to become sharks in low waters and survivors during the fast.

This doesn’t mean you have to be cutthroat and bite heads off, though. I think that one can be passionate and aggressive without stabbing people in the back or being a jerk on set. Aggressive merely means that you take the initiative, you work hard, and you have your eye set on a goal. You are determined, dogged, and grim enough to achieve what you set out to do, even if it means overcoming your fears and others’ skepticism. It means that you keep a cool head when shit hits the fan, and that you’re a great problem solver. You know how to speak the language of the industry without being condescending or rude. You create your own opportunities, and you know how to run a room, or a set, or an office meeting. You know how to be firm without being an asshole. And so on.

Remember, you’re making drama, not starring in one! And sharks only feed when they’re hungry. So don’t mistake being a good Producer with being a jerk; good Producers are measured in the quality and marketability of the films they produce and in the numbers of people who are dying to work with them.

How to Become a Producer

This answer to this is going to sound a little asinine, but if you want to become a Producer, you’ve got to produce! Get your hands on a kick-ass script (or write your own kick-ass script) and bring it from the page to the screen. Produce different KINDS of film too. Making a sci-fi horror film is going to require many different things than making a rom-com. The only way you’re going to learn anything about what it takes to make a film is to actually make one. If you’re a little timid about jumping into the waters head first, though, you can always filmshootattach yourself to someone else’s film project (indie or mainstream) as a Production Assistant (PA). Carole Kirschner calls Indie Producing and PAing the “Free Hollywood Graduate School”.

Free Hollywood Graduate School: Being a PA, especially if you are able to rotate departments, is going to show you exactly what each department does, in how much time, on a daily basis, and with how much money. It’ll also introduce you to the key roles, responsibilities, and challenges faced by each department. And it will also allow you to build relationships with each department. This technical and social knowledge, in addition to creating sound relationships with other people in the industry, is vital to becoming a more efficient and effective Producer. This goes double if you’re producing independently. Get on a film, any film, and be a superstar assistant. It’s good for your knowledge, for your social networks, and for your reputation.

hollywood game planFree Hollywood Graduate School, Part II: READ. My God, READ. Don’t underestimate the power of a book written by someone who knows way more than you. Real-life experience is always amazing, but you can always supplement your knowledge with reading. Here are some books that I personally recommend:

Free Hollywood Graduate School, Part III: Take free classes! Find out what skills you need for being a Producer (see above), and then take a free class for it. If you’re weak on fundraising, find a free class on film fundraising! You have no clue how to schedule a film? There’s a free class on that too. Just use Google to find them in your local area or university. TRUST ME, there will be at least one around your way. Usually these kinds of free classes are hosted by production houses, software producers, or other vendors who are trying to get you to buy their stuff and who want to draw you in with an intro seminar.

Free Hollywood Graduate School, Part IV: APPLY TO PRODUCER TRAINING PROGRAMS. You’d plotz to know how many people simply don’t even consider this idea. Places like the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) have trainee programs in place specifically for training aspiring folks like you. (By the way, training as an Assistant Director is also great prep for producing.) These trainee programs also place you on big budget films with the possibility of scoring not only a job, but a membership with their Guild as well, which is GOLDEN.

Paid Hollywood Graduate School, The Last Resort: The last option I think anyone should take is the paid route by enrolling in a movietheatrefilm school. Now, don’t get me wrong: if you can attend a film school on scholarship or for a very nominal fee (or if you can take classes that work around your schedule and pay for upfront), then DO IT. Getting formal training at a prestigious film school will give you a great foundation in terms of film history, technical skills, and most important, good relationships and contacts. You’ll also have access to fellowships, internships, and a built in mentoring network and support system. But if you are going to go into debt because of film school, I’d encourage you to entertain Free Hollywood Grad School instead!

Again, all of this is just from my experiences with producing on different fronts. I’m happy to announce that as of today, I’ve officially produced and line produced four different projects, in different genres and formats, that will all be released in the coming months! And I’m not stopping there, either! I’ll have more projects under my belt before the year closes out, that’s for sure. The best part: these projects have prepared me to begin producing my own work (under Rebel Ragdoll) next year! More on that in the up and coming post: “Merging the Writer and the Producer”. But of course in the meantime, keep it indie and keep aspiring to be great! 😉

Dolls set the trend,
<3 Colby

Being an Aspiring Writer-Producer, Part I of II: The Writer

So, as you all might have noticed, I’ve made a bunch of little changes to the blog! For one, since I’m expanding my the producersown goals as a writer, I also have decided to expand the scope of this site so that I can share my failures, successes, and lessons with you!

One of the major questions people are asking me nowadays is: why be a writer-producer? 😉 More pressing, what IS a writer-producer? Well, I’ll tackle that one folks, but since both are huge questions, I’m going to take one side of the hyphen at a time!

So let’s start with the Writer. I think we all know what a writer is, so I won’t go into that. But a writer is only the sum of his works (because hey, writers write… right?). So I’d say that the measure of a writer lies in…

The Big Bad Ass Writing Portfolio

So let’s talk about it. You need to have some sort of creative plan for your writing career, i.e. how many works will you write and finish? What kinds of works? In what genres and in what voice? Are you going to be *just* a novelist? Or will you write across different media such as comics, screenplays, graphic novels, or television? These are all important questions to ask yourself as you build up your career. For me, choosing which media I want to write in came down to two things:

WHAT I LOVE TO WRITE and MARKETING

writing hubWhat I love to write: For me personally, prose and novels are my first love. Then, about a year ago, scriptwriting (and blogging, too!) nestled up next to my heart and made itself at home. Permanently. I tried playwriting and comic writing, and it was interesting, but it didn’t capture my heart as much as the other three. So I decided to focus on what I love and hone my craft in those areas. For you, your tastes may be different! A colleague of mine will dabble in different media, but she primarily loves to write comics. Yet another colleague of mine feels drawn to short story format. So you need to do some digging to find what it is you want in your writing portfolio.

Marketing: “Marketing?!” You say. “What in blazes does this have to do with anything?!” Well, writing can be consumed in many ways. People can read it, listen to it, absorb it in a tactile fashion, “play it” (via video games and RPGs) and of course, people can also watch your writing through theatre, feature films, and television. But I want my writing to be consumed primarily through prose, tv, or feature film (web series count too!), so my writing portfolio is going to reflect primarily those media. You may want to write on NCIS, but if you only have short stories to show a tv / film lit agent, you’re going to be ass out. “Bring me a screenplay,” he’ll tell you. “And don’t come back unless it’s good!” And SLAM! goes the door in your face. So you need to diversify your writing portfolio in a way that best markets yourself as a writer of different, er, markets.

Cranking out that Big Bad Portfolio: My advice? Treat your writing portfolio like a stock portfolio! It’s good to have different kinds of “options” or “properties” (intellectual properties, that is) available for readers and agents, depending on what your goals are. If you want a book agent, dust off those manuscripts! You want a feature film and tv literary agent? Get those screenplays off the press. It’s all up to you. Just make sure you write your butt off, writingFINISH your work, have A LOT of material to show, and edit edit edit until your work GLOWS.

From personal experience, it’s really heartbreaking to talk to someone about my work, and then have them ask, “Can I see a sample?”, only for my response to be “Uhhhh….”. Either I haven’t finished it, or I think it’s not ready to be shown! LOL. Even worse is to have a kick ass script or book, have an agent like it, and then when they ask to see more, you say “Huh? But I don’t have more!” D’oh!! You don’t want that to happen! So sit on down, get out your pen, and do four things:

1. Plan your writing career and what media you want to focus on

2. Decide what pieces you want in your big bad ass writing portfolio

3. Sit your butt in a chair and WRITE until you finish each piece (a writing schedule helps with this too!)

4. EDIT EDIT EDIT your work! Send it to other readers, have them tear it apart, and then EDIT EDIT EDIT again until your work shines.

That’s all there is to it, folks. Writers write. Point blank period. But if you’re looking to be a writer-something else, stay tuned! Writing is not the only way to participate in the entertainment industry. There are so many other roles to take on, learn about, and master. For me, it’s being a Producer, but we’ll talk about that next time in Part II of “Being an Aspiring Writer-Producer”!

Until then, keep it indie,
<3 Colby

Dawn of a New Day: What I’ve Been Up to, Travel, and Starting a Career in Film

Hiya folks! So sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve said hello! Whenever I have a million projects flying at me, I find that I have to focus on those. As a result, the blogging and social media thing tend to fall by the wayside. But I have a few minutes to breathe and reflect on the past 2.5 months that has been this crazy summer!

 

What I’ve Been Up To

sunriseIt’s the dawn of a new day! A new life, new place, new things to do, and new goals. But let’s clean house first. So, I’ve been away from my beloved Cove for three main reasons. Firstly, my internet access sucked while traveling through Europe, and I just sort of gave up on the blogging thing for a while. I will do some back posts on my travels though, so be gentle with me. 😉 Secondly, I’ve been working two pretty cool internships that have added up to full time hours, and… I MOVED! It was a harrowing experience trying to figure out how I was going to move my entire life on no money, but friends, loved ones, and lots of meditation saw me through, lol.

I’m already hitting the pavement hard with job and internship hunting (in film, television, market research, and doing film & tv market research), finishing up these two internships that I’m already on, and (gasp) sending out query letters to literary agents!!
Yes, SHOCKER, right? No worries, I’m still a proud indie. Hell, it’s my slogan. But I’ll explain exactly why I’ve taken this dive and how I expect it to benefit me in my next post! Can you still be an indie and have a literary agent? YUP! But you gotta wait until next post to find out how! 😉

Travel

Sorry I left you all stranded! The last time I checked in, I was broadcasting from Prague, whichPrague is an amazingly beautiful city with LOTS of character. I’d LOVE to shoot a film there. Vying for first place next to Prague is Budapest, which is hauntingly beautiful, affordable, and gorgeously filmable. LOVED BUDAPEST, and I want everyone to go when they have a chance! These two cities, plus Rome, turned out to be my most-loved places, especially for the people and the eats. (These are just place-holder pics for now. I’ll post my own pics as soon as I find my USB cord for my camera… EEK!). Traveling Western-Eastern Europe was amazing, and while it didn’t have the same emotional impact as when I took my first solo trip abroad, it certainly opened my eyes to even more awesome people, beautiful architecture, rich culture, and yep, mouth-watering FOOD!

Won’t be taking another massive trip for a few months yet; still recuperating, and plus I need to settle a bit for a few months to get settled and focus on my career. Between now and then, I gotta grind, make money, and WRITE. The next trip (probably in the fall of 2014) will be either Budapestto Mexico or to the Amazon in South America. I wanted to hit up some nations in Africa too, but we’ll see! So many choices and I love it!

As for now, I’m safe and sound back home… actually I’m at my *real* home in New York. Yep, I finished up my Masters in Madison, WI and now I’m back in the city that never sleeps and am SUPER excited about it. For those of you asking, yes I’m still moving to Los Angeles, but not until January of 2014. In the meantime, though, I’m visiting family, friends, saving cash, and enjoying my hometown (Yonkers) and NYC. And guess who’s hitting up the film scene, writing conventions, comic cons, AND the Writer’s Guild of America all in NYC? This girl! There’s definitely a film and literary scene here that is not to be missed, and if I can make connections on both coasts, that’s ideal. 🙂

Starting a Career in Film

So I was lucky enough to score two internships locally in Madison, WI and am still able to participate in them now even though I’m back in NYC. One is as a Script Reader for one production company, and the other is as a Line Producer for a different production company! Between the two of these internships, I’ve been working nearly full-time hours, and it’s been both intense and educational. My responsibilities on both projects will have ended by the mid-September, hopefully leaving me wiser, stronger, and ready to upgrade my responsibilities (and my pay too, lol)!

screenplayBut what exactly IS a Script Reader and a Line Producer? What do these folks actually DO? Furthermore, are you able to get an internship too? Of course! Let’s start with explaining what these roles mean…

Script Reader: You read scripts, usually really terrible ones, and then you write a 4-5 page report on it. This report is called coverage. The first page will usually be a summary of the story, its major turning points, and character points (i.e. Bob ate a sandwich and then hoagie-stealing ninjas burst through his front door). The next 3-4 pages will be an analysis of the script by premise, character, plot, pacing, writing style and ability, dialogue, story logic, and more. You answer questions such as, what were the major flaws of the plot? Did a character feel “real” to you? Was the dialogue incredible? Is this a great script that can be produced? And you must provide examples and evidence as to why or why not.

Getting experience as a Script Reader: Being a script reader and analyst is probably the best thing you can do for your craft if you are a writer (besides actually writing of course). It allows you a sneak peek at how story mechanics work or don’t work, and it gives you insight into the tricks that actually DO work. It also allows you to understand how scripts are structured and paced. If you’re interested in doing a Script Reading Internship from the comfort of your own home, I suggest that you email john@eclecticpictures.com. Check out Eclectic Pictures website for more info on how they roll. You can also call production companies clapboard(who get scripts all the time) and ask if they are looking for a reader or an intern.

Line Producer: These folks are badass mofos who pretty much handle ALL of the behind-the-scenes nuts-and-bolts stuff behind a film. There is no limelight glory for a Line Producer, but we’re integral to your film. We create and manage the budget, wrangle the film crew and talent, help to secure locations, track down and provide filming equipment, create the production schedule, schedule the film shoot itself, and keep you from blowing your cash (no, sorry, the burning palace scene in Fiji is not exactly within our financial limits). We are also responsible for making sure that the union rules are being followed (that your actors, writers, directors, and below-the-line crew all get credit and get paid) and that crew and cast alike are safe and healthy on set as per legal regulations. And like most people who work on a film, we handle other administrative tasks as required. In my case, I also had the luck and privilege of pitching, writing, and developing parts of Season 2 of the web series I’m working for, which is a nice treat!

Getting experience as a Line Producer: The way I got into this job is by a referral from a teacher I took a class with. The production I’m working on is an indie project with a modest budget. They were looking for reliable interns who were open to gaining experience while contributing in a meaningful way. I got in, bust my rump, and took initiative to innovate and to fix problems without being told that they needed to be fixed. I worked super hard, was clear filmreelabout what I wanted (which was more responsibility and a title), and eventually that earned me the title of Line Producer (since I was doing a Line Producer’s work anyway). This is my journey, but everyone’s journey is different!

You don’t always need a referral to get an unpaid gig, for example. If you’re in school, look through your internship office (or your fine arts department’s internship office). If you’re not in school, go visit a school that has a film department. Almost always there will be postings on the walls asking for PAs, extras, or more experienced crew for projects. Make friends with people who are on the film scene and see if you can’t go and visit a set. You can also check out craigslist.org or mandy.com for gigs that will be unpaid, low paid, or fully paid. Also, look up the local production companies in your area and ask if they need interns or volunteers! From there, it’s about applying yourself, making yourself invaluable to a production, and then asking for what you want. If you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get it. (This is a whole other issue that I’m sure I’ll write about in the future, so stay tuned!)

Phew! What an update. Hopefully, some of this info helped a bit. “But what about writing?!” you ask! Great question. I’m definitely still writing on spec for both the screen and the page, and I’ll update you on all of that in my next post, “Being an Aspiring Writer-Producer & The Big Bad Writing Portfolio”!

Until then, keep it indie (while looking for agents)!
<3 Colby

Being an Ethical Slut… and Other Saucy Adventures in Filmmaking

kissiechicnisha

Yeah, I said it. Bring it on, baby.

Anyone who’s ever dared to love, bump, and grind, knows that the love and sex scene can be a wild and crazy ride. ::teehee!::

As for me, in my own delightful adventures on dating websites, I’ve been asked to join threesomes, be a dominatrix, and to be a secret mistress more times than I can count. At one point– and I’m sure many women share this experience– my inbox had become so inundated with these kinds of requests that unless a guy was coming to the table with a clown fetish or a desire to spank a melon while hanging from a chandelier, I frankly just wasn’t interested, lol!

Then came a lovely young man (now my friend). Let’s call him Johnny. Enter Johnny, Johnny’s ethicalslutgirlfriend, and their online calendar that detailed more than just when their next vacay would be. There were also lovers scheduled in, right in between date night, project deadlines, and Sunday brunch. WOWZA! Hello, polyamory!

How did they make it work? Didn’t they get jealous? What about “belonging” to someone? I had questions out of the wazoo, and to be honest, the answers I got were incredible. The most enlightening love and sex conversations I’ve ever had were with folks in polyamorous relationships. And while I’ve never taken a couple up on a proposition myself (though I certainly considered it), I found myself reexamining my own understandings of love, relationships, and human nature. Polyamory is a concept that tends to be deeply misunderstood, and one that few are brave enough to explore… until now.

Ben Fritz, an award-winning web producer, is directing a scripted, comedic web-series called “The Ethical Slut”. (Purr.) It’s inspired by “The Ethical Slut” guidebook, which (since its debut in 1997) has been hailed as a sexy manifesto on how to reclaim and redefine the meaning of pleasure and happiness through polyamory, open relationships, and other delightful adventures.

In the same vein, the web series will follow the lives of two families as they dare to attempt a polyamorous lifestyle. If you were a fan of hit tv shows like “Big Love” and “Hung”, then this film project is right up your alley! Check us out:

Interested in seeing more? Support “The Ethical Slut” on our Kickstarter campaign today, and explore where an open mind can take you as a writer, a film lover, and as a person. 😉

Now if you’ll excuse me, Slut-topia awaits; we start shooting in a little over 3 weeks and there’s so much more to do! Stay tuned for more updates on this sassy web series, and as always…

Keep it indie (purr),
<3 Colby