Okay, here’s some thoroughly bizarre news.
Last night I got a phone call from a friend of mine who’s been traveling between Los Angeles and Canada, pitching a new sitcom to the various TV networks. Apparently one of the meetings went well, and a network has commissioned a pilot episode, to be shot in Scranton. (See? I told you we’re the new Hollywood.)
So then my friend got around to the point of his call: would I like to direct the pilot?
So I told him I’d need to see a script, and he said he’d send it right over. Actors and locations are already lined up, he informed me. And if the show gets picked up by a network based on the pilot, I could conceivably get regular directing gigs on future episodes.
How very… strange. I fully expect all of this to fall through, of course. I’ve had similar offers before, and nothing ever comes of them. But still, it’s a thrill just to be asked. And my friend (whose name is Mike) is at least legit: he’s written and produced two feature films. His latest, the horror movie Wishbone, comes out on DVD this August.
Neat. But I don’t think I’ll quit the day job yet.
So a short while later, the script showed up.
I read it.
I freakin’ loved it.
I spent another half-hour on the phone with Mike, discussing the logistics of the shoot. He’s really done his homework: everything truly appears to be set up and ready to go, although the date for the start of principal photography has not yet been finalized.
I asked him to give me a week to polish a few troublesome bits of dialogue. He agreed, saying that one of the reasons he approached me to direct was the fact that I’m a writer as well, and he knows I can help out with stuff like that.
Although the production budget for the shoot with be covered, cast and crew salaries will be deferred. If the show goes to series, we’ll get a nice payday, and I’ll be offered additional directing assignments. If it doesn’t… then hey, I’ve got a TV pilot on my resume. Not a bad worst-case scenario.
I’ll keep you informed. We could be shooting as early as August, with a five day schedule. (It’s a 30-minute pilot, with three locations. Shouldn’t be hard to bring it in on time.)
It could all still fall apart, for one reason or another. But I’m cautiously excited.