Mad World or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 12%

I got laid off today.

It’s weird to say that.  I first said it on Twitter.  Then Facebook…then LinkedIn.  Most of my friends knew within an hour and many of them sent me their well wishes.

So connected to everyone, and yet so disconnected.

I worked for Disney (did you know that? Some of you probably didn’t) for 13 years.  I got my first job right out of college.  This is my first brush with unemployment in all that time.

Yes, I do know how amazingly fortunate I have been.

So, I should have some time to do some writing very soon.  Hey, I might even start updating the blog.  There’s an upside.

I was welcomed to the 12% Unemployment club today.  I know I’m in good company.

Posted under writing

This post was written by Shawna on April 30, 2009

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Twitter Group thoughts – Twibes

Thinking of creating a Twibe for Scribosphere/Screenwriters/TV Writers/Monkeys/Craft Services

What should I call it, that people would understand what the heck it is… Scribes? Scribosphere? Screenwriting?

UPDATE: The Scribosphere Twibe is live.  Join today and keep track of others in the group.

Posted under blogs

This post was written by Shawna on April 24, 2009

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Screenwriter/Scribosphere Twitter Directory (in Development)

This will probably be updated frequently as new accounts come online. There are some resources at /Film and other sites, but I thought I’d start my own list and try to break it out by writers/directors, tv writers/showrunners and those working in new media or reality tv (or those who are producers). Also want to list out those who have blogs who are on Twitter as well.

Want to help out? List your twitter account in the comments so I can start making a full list.

Posted under blogs

This post was written by Shawna on April 23, 2009

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Capricious

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: ca·price
Pronunciation: \kə-ˈprēs\
Function: noun
1 a: a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action b: a sudden usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes
2: a disposition to do things impulsively

I am not often in a position to ‘review’ something ahead of others. Quite honestly, I don’t feel like reviews are a significant part of ‘what I do’ here. But I have been bothered about the thing I saw last night…

Caprica.

Everything tells me I should love it. Ronald D. Moore. Jane Espenson. Esai Morales. Eric Stoltz. Frakkin BSG history. Cylons.

And there were moments…oh there were sweet awesome ultra-nerdy moments of greatness.

But I didn’t love it. And there was a lot of it I actually found myself intensely disliking. And it isn’t the story. It isn’t really the characters (though I could do with one or two fewer teenagers in this show).

I have a problem with the logic. I’ll do my best not to spoil.

For the moment, let’s accept that Caprica is ‘us’ in about 50 years. Because that’s what it looks like to me. Could be closer to 20. Could be 60, but my gut tells me this world they’ve created is our world in about 40-50 years.

Okay, I’m with you so far.

So, in 50 years, ‘we’ might have holo-whatsit headbands that transport us into a super realistic ‘Second Life’ virtual world. And digital paper is commonplace. And high speed trains, robot butlers, pyramid (the game with rules nobody yet understands).

And Artificial Intelligence. A.I.

I was even with them for the explanation of how the AI is developed. It makes sense.

And then they show you an ‘old skool’ Cylon and you geek out a little bit.

And then my logical mind started to kick in.

“Hey,” it whispered. “Does this really make sense to you?”

At first I waved it off — I’m trying to dig this show…stop pointing out logic problems, I said back to myself (because, I think we’ve established by now that I’m a touch insane).

“But think about it a second.  They have super awesome holo-whatsits and digital paper and travel between their planets…and AI.”

Yeah…what’s your point?

“And then the first Cylon War happens, right? I mean, that’s what this series is supposed to foreshadow is the rise of the Cylons against the humans…how that happened.”

Still not sensing a point here…

“Just shut up and listen. So there’s a war. And a truce. And the Cylons go away for, like, 30 years…and in all that time, what happened to the cool technology?”

…and now I’m starting to sense a point from myself. So I engage in the argument…with myself.

The humans got rid of it. Well, most of it.

“Why?”

Because…it was bad?

“And you believe that?”

…no?

“Look,” my inner monologue began, “we saw Caprica City before the Cylons destroyed the 12 colonies. It happens 58 years after the events of this ‘Caprica’ pilot. They tell us so right up front. And I’ll even buy the idea that the Cylons had a HUGE EMP which knocked out all of the human technology before the Cylons skipped out and disappeared. But I’m supposed to believe that NONE of that technology gets recreated? That it’s abandoned? Why didn’t we see any of this cool tech that is in ‘Caprica’ in the beginning of BSG? Why wouldn’t it exist…or something beyond it exist? They’ve had 30 years to recreate the whole blinkin thing…AND THEY DON’T BECAUSE…”

…because it’s bad? And that’s when I knew what the point was.

I don’t believe that human kind would just ‘give up’ technology. It’s what bothered me about the end of BSG…sending the ships into the sun, casting off all the limited tech they did have and living with the land…or whatever. I buy some of that. But not all of it.

You can’t tell me somebody doesn’t tinker in their garage. Humankind is all about tinkering. That’s why the flipping Cylons get created. Tinkering.

But somehow I’m to believe that the ‘world’ of BSG exists 58 years after the ‘world’ of Caprica…and the worlds don’t resemble each other in the least. One does not seem like the precursor to the other. It was the same damn problem in the Star Wars prequels. Everything was just a little too smooth and shiny. And I’ll buy dark ages and all that…but EVERYWHERE? for EVERYBODY?

No way. No how.

Somebody would’ve saved one of those holo-whatsits and backward engineered it. They’d have proliferated throughout the fleet. Somehow. Because that’s what we do, as humans.

And sure, I get it…Caprica isn’t really us…it’s a different world. But it’s supposed to be us, right? And aren’t we human?

What they are showing isn’t human. And that loses me. And that’s why I don’t buy ‘Caprica’. It’s going to take an amazing amount of amnesia to make me forget what BSG looks like, feels like and sounds like and yet still retain that base knowledge that the two shows are connected by a couple of narrative threads.

Am I wrong? What am I missing?

Posted under analysis

This post was written by Shawna on April 21, 2009

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Fallout

The bodies are starting to pile up…at CW ‘Reaper’ is a goner.  NBC looks to kill ‘Life’, and the future of ‘Chuck’ is still up in the air.  CBS will pull the plug on one of its two long-term procedurals ‘Without a Trace’ or ‘Cold Case’ (my money is on ‘Cold Case’ getting the axe, since I have a ‘Cold Case’ spec.)  ABC still hasn’t decided whether to give ‘Castle’ a reprieve yet.

And should we really talk about Fox Friday?  No, let’s not…

What shall we spec, friends?  How much more dead skin will the networks shed, in the hopes of finding shiny new skeins for next season?

I’ll be updating the Watch List.  A blood-letting is coming.

Posted under analysis

This post was written by Shawna on April 20, 2009

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