I don’t know any children

Flushed with the success of pulling together a wedding party in three days, and then some key back-up members of said wedding party in 24 hours, I’ve decided to set myself an even more difficult challenge.

Last night I finished writing script four, “The Birthday Party.” It involves at least half a dozen children. Guess how many actual children I know?

On Monday I posted a casting call on Craigslist. We’re filming the scene that actually requires the use of children on Aug. 16, and some less hefty-duty stuff the weekend before. I’ve had two parents contact me with interest, so maybe starting this early will render the number of kids I need. Brandon’s all afraid I’m going to lure in all these creepy stage parents like the ones in Bruno, who are willing to expose their kids to stuff like radiation and power tools and the Bubonic plague. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for super-normal parents who were merely on Craigslist looking for acting gigs for themselves.

I’m going to need to draft a whole new consent form for this episode.

You may recall that I started writing my fourth script weeks and weeks ago. And I quickly began to hate it. I didn’t like how the conversation was going before the main character even left for the party, and I didn’t know how to fix it. Giving myself some distance was a good thing, in the end, and I now have a script that I don’t want to somehow digitally ball up and toss into the trash can icon. Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the children issue. We’ll see how this goes.

As I’ve said before, it’s good to keep in mind what resources you have at easiest access when making entertaining content on the cheap. For the birthday party, I had a lot of ideas. Maybe the main character could rent a helium machine and struggle helplessly to make balloon animals? I decided against this because I’m not-so-secretly terrified of popping balloons. And also I have no idea how much a helium tank rental would run me. I thought about renting a clown costume, but as it turns out, one cast member in particular has a crippling fear of clowns. Another option was renting a giant bear suit. In this aim, I had some luck. Remember the 48-hour film project? Remember the villain, The Tiger? Brian has convinced its handler to let me borrow it. And if you’ve got access to a giant Tiger suit, then by God, you find a way to write that Tiger suit into a script.

The Tiger suit: villain-gone-cuddly children's entertainer

The Tiger suit: villain-gone-cuddly children's entertainer

There are a lot of hurdles coming up very quickly that threaten the completion of Paper Cuts. Taylor goes back to college on Aug. 21, RJ’s on vacation next weekend, and Abby has to get surgery done at some point before her school year starts up again. If all works out, we should be able to film the majority of the remaining show on Aug. 9 (including the final episode, yet to be written), saving the hectic birthday party scene and any fun extras we want for Aug. 16. Keep your fingers crossed.

Episode Two, “Job Hunt,” launches this Friday on the Wilmer blog and on facebook. Oh heck, we all know I’ll end up posting it on here, too.

In other news, on Monday’s drive home from work I stumbled across this feature piece on NPR. It’s about Remote Area Medical, a health care organization Brandon’s parents volunteer for. Did I mention Brandon has the most fascinating family on the planet? His mom has helped with countless missions to Guyhana to meet women’s health needs in the country, and his dad is an X-ray technician. His mom also recently became a registered nurse. Brandon’s older brother is an investment banker, and his younger brother is studying Japanese at a college in a Chicago suburb. Anyway, this RAM story is a good one. They’ve been interviewed by the likes of The New York Times, Newsweek, “60 Minutes,” and more.

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