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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Screenwritin Debut

It turns out that my screenwriting and directing debut also turned into my acting debut. You are probably wondering, "What the hell is Jared talking about?" A few months ago, the CEO of the company that I work for decided to start making short infomercials about the products that we sell so that we can send them to the companies that buy our products. It was something he pretty much took on for himself. I gave him tips here and there, but I had very little involvement with it.

A few weeks ago, he scheduled the video shoot. I tell him that he should probably write a script for the whole thing. He says he will work on it. Of course, nothing happens with the script and it is now the day of the shoot. Suddenly! A panicked IM, "Jared! I need you here right now. Read this script that I put together, and let me know what you think." It is horrible, to say the least. I hop in my car and head into the hills of Sherman Oaks.

I arrive at a house filled with models having their makeup done, a videographer setting up the lighting, and one of my employees shooting a behind the scenes video. I find my boss in front of a computer trying to type out a script. He hops out of the chair and say, "Here! You do it." I sit down and ask him questions about how much interaction he wants with the host. Does he want to say the big words? See, English is not is first language, so words like ancillary don't just roll off his tongue.

I'm finished with the first script. BLAM! I hand it to the hostess/model and she nearly faints. "It would have been nice to have this earlier than today. This is well written, but I'm not going to be able memorize half of this in 10 minutes. Can I just improvise?" Hey! I just got a compliment about my writing from a woman who's been on Broadway. Nice!

My boss and the hostess interact with each other on the camera a bit. Well, there goes that plan for the script I wrote. Damn! Now, I'm going to have to rewrite everything. No big deal. I start slicing and dicing. Heck, I'm a virtual Veg-o-matic with words. A couple of minutes later... BLAM!!! Script, versions 2.0 is in their hands, printed in 40 pt font so that they can read it from across the room.

Cameras rolling... blah blah blah CUT! WTF? What happened to the script? My boss is reading from the script. The model is reading from... Well, not really sure. She's doing a great job though. She's a very effective ad-libber, but she's totally stealing the show from the CEO. The day just seems to keep going. More ad lib. More uh?!? Well, let's just say that the CEO wasn't too happy with the outcome.

A few days later we have the DVD of the shoot so that we can start doing some rough editing. What's next? Well, looks like we are doing another shoot. Stay tuned for another story about My Acting Debut followed by another about My Directing Debut and My Editing Debut. Coming to a bulletin and blog near you!

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