pre-production, day 1

If I'd had the energy to post yesterday, I'd have told you all about the craziness involved in trying to write scripts at the office before racing home to pack, then cutting short the packing to implement more script notes, then racing to the airport to catch a flight, then flying into the night only to land in a place with cleaner air than L.A. (sorry, I can't say where we are) and then being whisked away to the hotel - cats in tow - where I will be living for the next few months. But by the time I got here and got settled, all I could do was unpack and go to bed. So you'll have to do with that Reader's Digest version of my day yesterday.

But here we are and our first full day of pre-production is behind us and it's been a bit of a whirlwind as pre-production and production always is. But in case you don't believe me, allow me to share with you my schedule from today:

8:30 - 9:00... picked up at hotel and whisked (a lot of whisking going on around here) to our production offices, where we finally met some of the people we've been talking to over the phone for the past month; they're all quite lovely

got settled in offices until...

9:30 - 10:45... interviewed potential assistants with Billy and Lee; we met some really great people and hopefully one will start very soon

wrote in our free moments until...

11:30 - noon... interviewed costume designer

wrote, wrote, wrote until...

1:00... lunch at desk while writing a mini character bio for our production team

1:30 - 2:00... interviewed second costume designer

2:00 - 2:15... "interview recap" meeting with team

2:30 - 3:30... walked around sound stage (conveniently located beneath our offices) with production designer

wrote, wrote, wrote until...

6:00... left for dinner with Billy, Lee, Pam (our network exec), and one of our producers

7:00 - 9:00... an excellent dinner, I must say

And now, here I am, back in my hotel room and writing, writing, writing in this blog. The day seemed busy - but I'm assured this is nothing compared to how busy it will get. :-)

It's all great by me, though... this is really exciting! And a lot of fun. So stay tuned for more updates! As for me, though, I'm going to stop writing, writing, writing now... I'll have plenty of that waiting for me in the morning. ;-)


please don't scream, Dad...

Hi, my name is Michelle Paradise and I'm a Rules-a-holic.

(chorus of: "Hi Michelle")

I'd like to explain my absence from everything in my life (including this blog) except for the show I've been working on... ya see, we're under this incredible time crunch to get all the scripts written before we leave for pre-production and...

Blah blah blah. You don't care. I don't care. I'm bored of hearing myself talk (well, in this case, type) about deadlines and time crunches. You know it's time to put down the script and go to your blog when your dad tells you that he's so sick of staring at the same vanilla coffee creamer picture on the front page of the blog site that he's given up coffee entirely. And he's ready to scream. So I guess it really is time to post something new.

I'll give an update in a moment, but in the spirit of posting something new (and preventing my dad from screaming), I will now share something I've never shared before. I've never shared it before because it's never happened before. I will share: This Very Moment.

At this very moment, it's 5:27pm PST and I'm sitting in my MTV office which, by the way, has not changed IN THE SLIGHTEST from the picture I posted when I first moved in: fugly green chairs, white walls, 'n all. I have a candle burning on my desk (one of those 99 cent ones from the grocery store). To my left is a nearly empty bottle of water, a nearly empty cup of coffee, and a note reminding me which calls I need to return when I leave here and get into my car. The hideous flourescent lighting is off (as it always is) and my soft-white lamps are on (as they always are). To my right, propped against a desk lamp, is a fun cartoony book called "The Writer at Work," which was given to me as a gift from Bill's wife. Even just looking at the cover right now made me giggle. I'm listening to the less-than-soothing sounds of thumping, clapping, cackling, snorting, and bellowing from the folks who recently moved into the cubicles and offices near the foosball table and are, I'm guessing, currently taking a break from whatever production has been silencing them for most of the day. My neck is sore from hunching over my keyboard today. And I just took a break from typing this to look up at my whiteboard which has a note on it that I cannot share because it's related to a story beat in episode 4. And I just looked at all this I've typed and had the sudden realization: I'm not James Joyce. This isn't "Portrait of the Artist as a Young-ish Woman." I should stop typing about This Very Moment.

So, now that That Very Moment is over, I'll give you the brief update on where we are with the show:

-- Yes, the writing continues (102, 103, and 104 are now officially working production drafts and we're almost done with a first draft of 105!).
-- No, we don't have a title yet.
-- No, I haven't toilet-papered anyone recently.
-- Yes, that was me on the Enbrel commercial (good eye, Janice!).
-- No, we don't have a title yet.
-- Yes, pre-production has officially started (we've already hired some of our key crew and they're off doing things like scouting locations, prepping sets, etc.).
-- Yes, that means that the meetings have also officially started (today was a light day - only one!).
-- No, we don't have a title yet.
-- Yes, I have more than enough vanilla creamer (courtesy of my friend John, who sent me a 2.11 quart container of it... I have it on my desk and everyone is jealous of me).
-- No, the network didn't settle on a title in the time it took me to type all this.

Whew... I think that's pretty good for a new entry, don't you? Dad, what do you think? ;-)