Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I have awesome friends

I have been working on a project that genre-wise is right up my alley, but it's in a world I know very little about and takes place in a location I barely know. I have been abusing the hell out of my friends in my pursuit of research, and they have been nothing but awesome.

Every day for the last week, I have emailed one of my friends to ask her geography questions. "Hey, do you know of a building where I can have a fight scene that has some security but not too much security...?" Sure enough, she comes back with a place. "Do you know of a cool place where my villain can put his lair?" After a few minutes of discussion, she gave me a location and a link to more information about the place. I don't know what she was doing at the time - probably cleaning because she's obsessed with cleaning - but I took her away from it so she could look up crap on her city and get back to me.

Another friend knows the world I'm playing in, and he has been amazing. I know when I email him he's probably either at work or writing his own material, but he's never hesitated to get back to me. He even busted out all his books and started searching through them to find the answer I need. He even helped me solve a big story problem in the planning stage. In fact, I probably owe him my nonexistent firstborn at this point.

I also have a group of non-screenwriter friends who love to jump in and offer up suggestions when I'm stumped, and their insight has been the key, sometimes, to figuring out a stuck point. They are awesome.

I've been doing my own research on the old web. I've gotten to be as much an expert on this area as you can be in a few months, but nothing beats someone who's obsessed over a certain subject since they were a wee child, or someone who's actually spent years living in the place you've set your story. I am so lucky to have these guys willing and able to help me, even though they probably have things they'd rather be doing.

So thanks, friends, for all your help. You're going to make me look a whole lot smarter than I actually am.


  1. I think one of the main secrets to what I laughingly refer to as my success has been to have friends who are smarter than I am.

    Although, in the olden days (before Google and email; yes, I am old) I had a girlfriend who was a Production Manager on a film that was shooting in Thailand. We were living in my apartment in Toronto. I say 'my' because the phone was in 'my' name.
    So, when the Set Designer called 'my' smart girlfriend from Thailand asking for some research on how to build a drug lab in the jungle, 'my' girlfriend faxed 100s of pages of notes on how to build processing labs, hide labs from police, transfer drugs from jungle to customers, etc etc.
    using 'my' fax machine. (yes, I said fax)

    I waited for the FEDs to drop by for a chat for months.
    But good luck to you.

  2. I sometimes wonder if someone is monitoring me with all the times I research terrorists and guns and such. Hopefully nobody will be coming for either of us.


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