Co-Writing and Empowering Women

    It’s vital for me to spend the time and make Intelligent Design as good as I can. There are a few factors I’m considering.

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    I need to decide if I want to work with more writers than just Matt Wallace. My meeting with Wallace was amazing. He brought things out of the story that I never would have. He saw things in ways that absolutely made the story better than I could have on my own.

    There are two episodes Wallace is really excited about, they involve an artificial intelligence and the South American drug cartels. He really wants to make sure he’s the one who gets to write those episodes. He’s got a unique skill-set that will allow him to capture that culture, probably better than I could. 

    Prior to going full-time into writing, Wallace was a professional wrestler. He spent some time in Mexico and Central America touring as a wrestler. He worked with luchadores and saw that culture. Wallace is a very smart man. When he was south of the border, he was no doubt taking in the culture, seeing how the place really worked. He probably got invited to parties by the rich and powerful because luchadores are a much bigger deal there than wrestling is in the U.S. Think, Superbowl.

    But, as good as I’m sure Wallace would be at capturing the story of those two episodes, he doesn’t know enough about computers to write the A.I. part. I’ll have to co-write that part with him.

    That’s not to speak diminutively against Wallace. I know where I fall short and I know where he falls short. Together we could write something better than either of us could by ourselves. I want to collaborate with Wallace to make my project better.

    I know Wallace. I know his values and his skills. I respect him as a person and as a writer. I buy his books, not to support him but because I like his writing.

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    Do I want to bring on other writers?

    I asked this same question before partnering with Wallace. It’s scary. I know the quality and time I’m devoting to the script for Ep. 01. I know how much I’m having to think and how much I’m having to research. I love the research phase. I love learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (which, I found out is abbreviated as STEM). I don’t really want to hand all that awesome off to other people. I want to horde it for myself because I love learning.

    In fact, having gone through the entire movie making process several times now, I can say for certain that the writing phase is my favorite.

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    Writing everything myself has another major benefit because I will be directing every episode. One of the problems I have with TV is that it lacks style continuity. Even the best shows vary wildly in style. The more familiar you are with a specific director, the more evident that style variation will be. I want Intelligent Design to be a single cohesive thing, like a movie. It’s one piece. It’s strength is that it’s a single designed piece. So, again, I will be directing every episode.

    Writing, or co-writing every episode gives me a familiarity with the script that I wouldn’t otherwise have. It makes me a stronger director. It allows me to make changes on set because I know the implications of any change and how it will affect everything else.

    Here’s where things get tough. I’m really angry at the way Hollywood treats women. It’s not just Hollywood. It’s the entire world. But, I’m in Hollywood so that’s where I can make a difference.

    I want to change that. I want to enable women to have voices, to have active parts in the production of movies. I can do that with my own movies. I want to enable women writers. Doubly so because Intelligent Design has almost as many roles for women as it does for men.

    Women see things differently from men. I can study them all I want and I will never fully understand what exactly it’s like to have been raised as a girl, what it feels like for a girl to hit puberty and change into a woman and how suddenly the world looks at them differently. I can sympathize with it, but there are a thousand tiny aspects that I’ll never understand. It would be helpful for me to have women writers on staff who can help me with that.

    I was listening to Chicks Who Script and one of the hosts mentioned how no one wants to help anyone in Hollywood. People want to collaborate, to feel like they’re taking part in the creation of something that wouldn’t exist the way it exists had they not been a part.

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    Wallace and I have been friends for years. Over that time, we’ve grown in respect for each other and have, for a while, wanted to work together. Wallace is a man. I am a man. Neither of us have any gay tendencies so there’s no confusion or sexuality involved in our relationship.

    I’ve reached out to women writers. I’ve tried to make friends with them. But, it seems they largely keep to themselves. I’m friends with them on Twitter, but I’ve been to every place Wallace has lived since he moved to L.A., because I visit him as a friend. Our friendship has led to us working together.

    There is no such woman in my life. It’s not subjugation or discrimination. It’s just not socially appropriate to hang out with women. Too often sexuality becomes an issue. If not with me, then with the women.

    I wish it were a different way, but it’s not.

    I have quite a few women friends on Twitter for whom I have enormous respect. I’ve met some of them in person. But, that closeness Wallace and I have, that doesn’t exist.

    When I want to reach out to women writers to have them be a part of my project there are a couple problems. It’s me, reaching out, almost out of nowhere. I don’t know their skills. I don’t know them as people. I’ve even tried doing it and I usually hit a wall. Maybe it requires a social introduction, but I just don’t have the time for that. 

    Making movies doesn’t leave me time to do much of anything else, that includes going to posh L.A. parties. When I go to a party, it’s for a purpose. It’s work. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. Usually not. I’m a very direct person, in person and some people can’t handle that. I don’t do small talk. I’m not good at it and I don’t see the point of it. There’s too much to do and I’ve got a limited lifespan. Each minute needs to count for something.

    Meeting women and making friends with them and then segueing that friendship into a working relationship, that may not happen. Does that mean I can’t collaborate women writers?

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    I’ve considered doing an open call, asking for women to submit a script. I don’t know if I’ll do that because there’s another factor in this.

    I’m not sure I want to collaborate with the writing. I want to work with Wallace because we’ve already started working together on this and I love it. But, even during our meeting Wallace said something that’s been reverberating in my mind since he said it, “I’d just write the whole thing myself.”

    The idea of spending months writing 2,160 pages really appeals to me. It would give me a lot of creative time, which is why I started writing in the first place. It would allow me to make the script as amazing as I could. And it would force me to accept the fact that every aspect of this project requires time and deserves time in order to become excellent.

    I’m definitely going to continue my collaboration with Wallace. He’s too good to not want to continue. But, with anyone else? I’m not feeling it at this point. That may change later. I haven’t even written a single word of Ep. 01 yet.

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    Where’s that leave my desire to facilitate women in Hollywood? Women writers and women directors? Maybe I’ll just have to figure out another way to do it. Maybe I can amplify their voices as mine gains volume.

    There are also quite a few other aspects of production in which I can actively involve women. I will definitely need other producers involved because the scope of the project, during pre-production and production is enormous! I’ll be casting a lot of women for the roles, so women actors will have awesome parts to play, not girlfriend/wife/affair. I would also like to get women crew.

    I can figure all that stuff out later. I’m still not even sure about the writer part. Speaking of, I need to return to writing.