Murder and the Craft of Writing

When Matt approached me to become a writing partner for the various stewing projects here at Space Barbarians Productions, I was elated and a little worried.  Would I have the drive to see so many projects through?  Could Matt and I agree in terms of our story-telling?  Would I have the skills to in essence, pay the bills?  Luckily, these fears were completely unfounded.  Quickly, Matt and I found that we had a wonderful writing process that worked for us.  At the same time it became very apparent that we were on the same page. 

Our first major endeavor was the pilot script for our science fiction show, Yggdrasil, a project we've placed on the back-burner but have no doubts as to its appeal and eventual execution.  We worked back and forth on that script, watching as the story and characters evolved before our very eyes.  We set out to create a more kid oriented show but by the end of our many back and forth script writing sessions, we found ourselves the proud parents of a darker, grittier, more exciting and accessible show.  During the writing and subsequent and still ongoing minor changes and rewrites, there was never a point of contention.  If there was something that didn't work, we talked it out and took the necessary steps to tighten our script without compromising our vision or integrity.

Before I came to the writing table, I was helping Matt promote a short film called Slain at Lover's Lane.  While helping to M.C. events to raise money for the project, I asked Matt what the film was about.  Matt had created a fun and eerie proof of concept teaser for the film (similar to what we did for Yggdrasil).  He said that the film had nothing to do with the short film itself really and when I pressed him for plot or story details, all I got were some vague ideas and notions of revenge and an origin story.  I trusted Matt and knew that when all was said and done, he'd have crafted something truly unique and exciting.

That project flopped and floundered I'm sad to say. 

Yet, here we are, taking another stab (pun totally intended) at this film.  After talking the plot through with Matt, we agreed upon a story that had something to say.  We filled it with characters both memorable and poignant; characters with a purpose and arc.  Matt presented me with a fairly incomplete but utterly amazing script.  Just as before, we had intended to craft this into a short film, albeit a little longer than originally intended.  However, as the discussions continued and the plot evolved, we quickly realized that we had the makings of a feature film here.   

Taking cues from filmmakers such as Hitchcock, Jackson, and del Toro, we set about creating a world filled as much with the gory and grotesque as with the familiar and familial.  While Slain is filled with buckets of blood and green goop, at the end of the day, we've crafted a family story about love, destiny, and the bonds that bring us together.

I have often thought of the formation of a pearl as a perfect analogy to the process of writing.  Matt created the seed (grain of sand) when he proposed the original short.  Once I was brought on board, our discussions and brainstorming became the mucus that surrounds the grain of sand, forming the pearl.  But, like a pearl, writing has its many little and sometimes big flaws.  But, again, like a pearl, these flaws can be shaved down and cut away.  As Matt and I pass the script back and forth and work on it, we are shaving away the little bumps and imperfections, smoothing the surface and rounding it all out.  If we cut too deep or find an issue too rooted in that initial grain of sand, we are more than willing to go back and rewrite.  Thankfully though, the process has been easy and while not the fastest, it has produced the best, most satisfying results.

As we look for investors to help launch Space Barbarians Productions and to help fund Slain and our various other ideas and projects, we will be sharing with you the writing and creative process.  The seed has been planted now it's time to see what will grow. 

-Colin Walker (Writer and Producer for Space Barbarians Productions)