Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New Project!!!

Just a little bit of an announcement, a hope, an anticipation.

Bit of backstory. For the decade of the 1990s I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area (my home town -- a fact "neither hither nor yonder" as a teacher of mine used to say). My residence was in Redwood City, roughly halfway between SF and San Jose. My job for a time was at a title company in downtown SF, which meant a pretty long commute as you might imagine. I used to have a button that read "I was going to try shock therapy, but commuting seems to work." One day, en route home, I was reading an Anne Rice vampire novel on the bus and this voice asked "How many of the series have you read?" Looking up, to my side I saw one of the most brilliant smiles it has been my pleasure to witness.

That is how I met Annie.

Sadly, within a few years we lost contact amid a failed relationship (not with one another) and relocation. Later, I moved to Los Angeles, became a widower, gave up on being a screenwriter, focused on fiction, etc. In 2008 there was this event -- the Dark Shadows Festival in Burbank, California. More on a whim than anything else, I attended. Walking through one of the meeting rooms after an event, this lady walked up to me and called me by a nickname I hadn't heard in years. I did a take. Those eyes. That smile! ANNIE!

We spent hours catching up. Turns out she decided to attend the Festival out of a feeling I might be there! She is happily married now, complete with a stepdaughter and a hubby (natch) who works in the technical end of the movie industry. Cannot tell you what a joy it is to have her back in my life. Really.

But now the kicker. She has all these friends who are movie techies, some with their own HD cameras (which potentially transform movie-making into a much simpler process). She herself is a bundle of energy. A few weeks back she contacts me with an idea -- to create something of our own, a film or short subject or something. Within a few days discussion we've settled on some things, most of which I won't be at liberty to discuss in public for months. But here's what I can say: Looks like we'll be creating a web series, with a story arc divided into roughly ten-minute segments initially uploaded to YouTube. These in turn will lead back to a website where we'll be asking for donations as well as offering some goodies to go along with the story. This is about several characters caught up in some extremely interesting events -- including several mysteries and an unconventional love story. Oh, and a big part of the setting will be a ficitonal mass transit train line where our two main characters almost certainly meet. Anyone who has ever used such on a regular basis should have noticed a certain aura to those trains, to that form of transport -- whisked along through tunnels in rectangular rooms of metal and plastic, the sound of the tracks no less than the subterranean winds one feels as trains approach...

I am very excited about this. I'm not in any way abandoning my other writing projects but this one has the extra zing of a collaboration with someone whose imagination meshes with my own, yet is not at all identical (thank God).

And isn't this a good way to start the New Year?


jeffwinbush said...

Yes, that is a nice way to start a new year.

It's also nice to be able to count someone celebrated for something in your circle of friends. For me, it's musicians and a porn star or escort or two, but that's not a can of worms I want to open right now.

Nicole_Hadaway said...

Congratulations on what sounds like an amazing project, Zahir! I'll be watching this one closely. Let me know if there's anything I can do by way of promotion!

Happy New Year!