13-06-30 Pre-Production

    I realize that I didn’t do an update for March (read: Month 07), but it’s because nothing really huge happened. I mean, sure, I did change the name of the script and sent it off to Producer, and get feedback from all the early readers telling me it was awesome. Oh, and I finished another draft. But, other than that…

    Okay. Now that I type it I see that the real reason I didn’t write a March update was because I was SUPER busy.

    First, though not chronologically, is the title change. THE ROOT KIT is really an inside gag. It’s a name only hackers will recognize. Everyone else reads it and thinks it’s got something to do with agriculture. I’m all for the future of the planet and protecting the environment and the continuation of the human species, but after Al Gore, Ag really doesn’t have the cultural pull I’d like.

    Also, a root kit isn’t actually what I first thought. I first thought it was a piece of code that gave someone root access (total control) to a computer. In fact, what a root kit is, is a piece of software (I got that part right) that masks some other activity in which the hacker is engaged. So, even as an inside information thing, it didn’t really work.

    Therefore, THE ROOT KIT is now known as ALGORITHM. Everyone knows what an algorithm is, or… once they look it up, they’ll know. In today’s society, an algorithm is inextricably tied to computers, which is great because ALGORITHM is about computer hackers.

    Another reason for the name ALGORITHM. In case you didn’t notice, the first letter in ALGORITHM is an “A”, which means, in VOD (Video On Demand) it will appear very near the top of the list. This is a coveted position, and usually not considered when titling a movie.

    There are all kinds of metaphoric meanings I’ve tied into the title, the character’s emotional journey, the fact that the whole plot now hinges around a specific kind of algorithm, etc.

    After the title-change, I had to change the numbering scheme. I’m no longer on THE ROOT KIT version 2.7. Now, I’m on ALGORITHM version 1.2. The version tracking is necessary for a bunch of reasons, but mostly so I can keep track of who is responding to what. Each change I make gets a +0.1. Each major change that involves me sending it out gets a +1.0 change. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I sent it out to Producer, hence 1.x. However, I’ve gone through two iterations since then, hence 1.2.

    I have two categories of early readers: 1) The techs. These are the people who know way more about computers and code and science and hacking than I ever will. They are brilliant and usually publicly recognized for their skills. I trust their input, both as friends and as computer elite. 2) The literates. These are people who, while they may not be as tech savvy, they are incredibly well-read and know how to craft and tell a story. They are usually also professional writers. Again, I trust them, both as friends and as craftsmen in their trades.

    So, when I sent out ALGORITHM version 0.9 to them, and got resounding approval, I made a few more minor tweaks and sent version 1.0 to Producer.

    Yesterday was a pretty big deal. I finally got the email address to an Independent Production Company contact earlier this week. I made a few more tweaks and sent version 1.1 to him. He’s yet to get back. I hear responses sometimes take a month to get back.

    I think every artist is concerned with being rejected. The higher up the rejection, the bigger the possible emotional impact. So, sending it to IPC scared me. But, I’ve noticed something: many of my peers also struggle with this same fear. We may not all voice it, but it’s there. For instance, I have heard, from several sources that Steven Spielberg pukes before any production from nervousness. So, it’s not if I’m scared or not. It’s if I can get beyond that fear and do what’s in front of me anyway.

    I’m not one to sit idle and wait for other people to get back to me. So, I’m taking up a hobby, oddly appropriate to ALGORITHM. I’ve decided to teach myself to program. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but I never had the motivation. I came up with an interesting idea for an iPhone app that may just be strong enough… assuming ALGORITHM doesn’t explode and force me to direct my attention back to making movies.