So. It started while we were shooting the last episode. The night before big set pieces, specifically the opening alley sequence and the Super Sorority asides, I had the hardest time sleeping. My mind would just keep jumping to everything that needed remembering. There were so many new people, techniques, and details that needed remembering that I would just worry the night away. This never happened on episodes 1-4. Things would work out or they wouldn’t; who cares? I think the audience just finally got big enough where I was like—A lot of people care, actually. A lot of people care whether this is good or bad so it’s my responsibility to make it as good as it can be. This probably shouldn’t have been as big a realization for me as it was. It started again the night we shot that last update. After a full day of scheduling the episode and seeing the sheer size of what we’re trying to accomplish expressed in a very small number of days and hours written onto a calendar and a 9-page Word doc, I started having trouble sleeping. After two sleepless night and some schedule shuffling for actor considerations I’ve started getting full nights again, but I feel like there are going to be more sleepless nights this time. We’re not even in production yet and they’ve started already. Here we go.
I was thinking about all of this and my attitude about the industry when I was younger. I was supposed to be an overnight success, you know. Every “Lana Turner at Schwab’s Drug Store” and “Edward Furlong getting cast at T2 just from hanging out at the Pasadena Boys and Girls Club” story I heard told me that I could do something effortlessly and be recognized as special, catapulting me into summer blockbusters. After I dropped out of film school, I would sit around at my friend Vanessa’s house at 20-years old saying, “I wish something would happen.” What I meant was that it was supposed to have happened already. I was supposed to be battling T-1000s, jumping off the roof of Biff Tannen’s Pleasure Paradise onto the hood of a flying delorean, or at the very least pickling the beast; not eating Tombstone pizza and watching Jack Frost (Michael Cooney, not Michael Keaton) on VHS…again. It was supposed to be easy, it was supposed to be overnight, and it was supposed to be happening already. Now here I am 11 years later, 31 years old, and it’s my opinion that it takes a hell of a lot of effort to make something look effortless. People aren’t going to hand most of us anything. You want people to think you’re talented? Show them you’re talented. They’re not going to see it in one episode of a web series shot on mini-dv with lousy effects. They might start to see it if the writing is good and it actually starts to look like something professional when the episodes start piling up. They might start to think it’s something if the audience puts $15,000 of their hard earned money on the table to help make the show. You want people to talk about you? Show them something worth talking about. Effortlessness costs sleepless nights.
Plus, luck is overrated. Lana Turner’s boyfriend was stabbed to death by her daughter and Eddie Furlong is out on bail with a heroin habit while he tries to find money for child support. Luck can run out and it’s easy to waste something that you got for nothing.
Thanks for reading, guys. And see The Descendants! It was really good and one of the writers is Jim Rash. That’s right. Dean friggin’ Pelton on Community. I can’t believe the dean is going to win an Academy Award.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.