Rewrites Starting With The Title

In case you were wondering, checking in here on a daily basis hoping for news, I am indeed back from Ireland. My vicious sinus infection from flying with a cold is all cleared up, the mucus has been safely expelled, and my ear canals are relatively pus free. Hurray!

I have a number of interesting stories to tell and loads of digital photos to share. But the time for that will have to wait another week or two. There’s a new deadline for a new draft of the miniseries hanging over my head, and it’s too important to be swept aside by my desire to eat bandwidth with even more self-indulgent blog entries (now second only to porn as the primary product of internet technology). What I can do here and now, however, is finally share the nature of this mysterious TV miniseries I’ve been mentioning for months. As it’s now listed on any number of publicly accessible CBC documents as being in development, the cat is long out of the bag, shitting in your flower garden, and having noisy yowling sex with the unfixed tabby down the street.

The Irish Connection is the working title, but that’s likely to change in the near future to address two issues that have come to light. The first being a documentary with the same name that has recently aired on Irish television and may cause confusion. The second being that everyone who hears the title hates it. This four hour miniseries co-production will, if all goes well, air at some future date on Canada’s own CBC, and RTE in Ireland. Set in the present day, it concerns the nefarious criminal and social goings on of the Irish mob in Montreal and Ireland, and will feature generous helpings of sex and violence and murder. Therefore, at least until a better title presents itself, I will simply refer to the show as Paddy Whacking for clarity’s sake.

I’m responsible for the second two hours of this epic storyline, so a lot of my time has been spent coming up with solutions to questions like: How do we reveal the secret family ties between various characters? Who should we keep alive for a possible series renewal? And how do you write a torture scene for prime time? As a result, other projects have had to suffer. But since we have to make a March 1st deadline for a funding application, my calendar should open up again soon.

Which is a good thing because I’m woefully behind in my movie viewing habits. It’s awards season, and I haven’t even been out to see half the films I’m allowed to catch for free. I’ve just received my Genie Awards ballot and I haven’t seen a single nominee. Worse, I haven’t even heard of most of them. That’s not a good sign for the Canadian film industry when a guy like me, who can see any Canadian movie for free, and watches many more movies a year than most shut-ins, hasn’t heard a word about most of the flicks that are supposed to be our country’s top offerings for 2004.

For that reason, I’ll make the same offer to the nominees I did last year. Buy my vote. It’s cheap. Just send me a screener on video or DVD. If the American Academy members can get piles of freebie screeners every year, so should their Canadian counterparts. I’m not taking time off from work or the rest of my life in general to run across town to the Academy offices to borrow copies I’ll just have to return the next day. Fuck that shit. Send me my own copy. I’ll watch it and I’ll vote for your film regardless of its quality. Because I am a whore and you can have your way with me for two bucks worth of video tape and postage. Surely my bending over for you is worth that much. Even street whores in Tijuana charge more. I know, I checked.

As for the American Oscar nominees, I’m really going to have to be selective about which ones I need to run to in this last week before the envelopes are opened, read, discarded and forgotten about a day later. I may have to skip the ones I know I’ll hate in favour of the ones I know I’ll merely dislike. It’s all about time management.

Lost in the netherworld of rewrites as I’ve been, I’ve failed to acknowledge the passing of Valentine’s Day in any way more meaningful than film selections for Movie Night. To rectify this, allow me to point you at this involving documentary about the origins and manufacturing of the modern greeting card — a Valentine staple every bit as important as obesity-inducing chocolates in novelty boxes.

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