Today after the 10am staff meeting for Orientation I hibernated in my apartment and attempted to catch up on sleep, but then quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen and I was better off catching up on work.
For the past few months I’ve been in pre-production for season two of my web series, Antidote 15, which has (happily) been my life since December 2013. Season one followed Anita, a theater major who was poisoned and has fifteen hours to follow a set of instructions to find the antidote. At the end of season one, she has to poison someone else — and she does. Season two will deal with her guilt, and the lengths she’ll go to make things right.
One aspect of this project that I love is that everything is practice for the “real world.” Can you write something people like? Can you organize a team of great people to help and add their own visions to the project? Can you drink four cups of coffee and not be shaking too much to make a call sheet?
Inspiration for Season Two
Back in March, I started pre-writing, and then after a month and a half of brainstorming while finishing up the rough cuts of season one, I wrote a 60 page rough draft in about a week. After cutting twenty pages and doing major rewrites, I began sending the scripts to trusted readers and rewrote whole episodes and storylines based on feedback I received.
There are several different storylines and new characters this season. A man trying to save his job and sweep the whole mess under the rug — the Dean of the Unviersity, Dean James Rutherford — was inspired something one of my favorite professors said: when you’re young, you’re trying to acquire things: success, fame, money. When you get older, you’re just trying to keep things: your job, your money, your standing. That’s where the heart of Dean Rutherford’s character comes from: he was able to become Dean at a considerably young age, and now he’s just trying to keep everything from falling apart.Ashley Maimes as Anita Lawrence in Season Two. Makeup by Dillon Bonnee, scene directed by Jen Enfield-Kane.
Detective Emily Shipton is someone who seems cold and uncaring, but turns out to be a mentor figure of sorts. She grew up in tough times and hates those who had the advantages she didn’t, but at the same time she sees those who made mistakes and can’t help but try and warn them. In the trailer park where she spent her childhood, she was the one keeping the other kids in line. They respected her, and she looked out for them.
One of my favorite characters this season, Petra Rowan, is an amalgam of several different influences. I’ll tell you all about it after season two airs, though, because otherwise I would spoil everything.
Bringing in Guest Directors
I’ll say this up front: I am not a director. Yes, I loved directing season one and working with so many talented people, and I learned a lot about writing for directors and actors in the process. But I am not a director, I don’t get warm fuzzy feelings about crafting the frame of a medium shot and arranging lights and reflectors and gels. I prefer crafting lines and clever dialog rather than adjusting camera settings or blocking a scene. I am a writer/producer, I can organize schedules and write stories, and that’s what I love most.
This is why I brought in directors for season two: these amazing people thrive on the moving image. Bryce Morgan, Jen Enfield-Kane, Avi Kaye, and Conner Sorensen are all going to be amazing this season, and it’s a privilege to have them on set!
What I’m Doing
During my Fourth of July break, I went to Santa Monica, drank lots of coffee, and mostly just organized shoot details. Aside from the prep that comes before each shooting weekend, we’re finally out of pre-production and are just trying to stay on top of my day job while making season two a reality.
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