Regular readers and close friends know that my big plan for retirement is to write. The form of writing I might consider has yet to be determined. But I am convinced that once I have developed a few of my story ideas into outlines and then into drafts, the most appropriate format might become self-evident.
But if I listen to my gut now, something tells me it might be more along the lines of television, plays or movies, more than novels, just given the time I have spent studying television, as opposed to just watching it.
Plus I have always been fascinated by the process of making stories come to life in the television or cinematic medium, to the point of volunteering for my local community television station 20 years ago, and staying with it for 3 years.
Working in a creative medium with other like-minded people was an experience I will always fondly remember. At that point in my life, I didn’t realize the extent to which I was missing a creative component. When I found community TV, things really came together.
I am proud to say that in my second year of volunteering, I was able to develop and pitch an idea for a talk show called “City Singles”. It was a “what’s on” type show for single people, with ideas on how to meet individuals with similar interests through volunteer opportunities, dances, travel and dating services.
The show ran for 6 episodes but I had to let it go because the responsibilities of producer were taking up considerable time and energy, at a time when my career was already pretty demanding.
But it also served as an appetizer for later in life. Under different circumstances and with more free time, I know I would feel comfortable in the medium.
When it comes to my writing, the obvious choice would be novels. It’s just that for a kid who pushed up the national average for the number of hours spent in front of the television, watching a huge range of programming, and who remains inspired by the medium, I feel that screenplays may be more my niche.
When the two news stories mentioned above started circulating on the web, I must have read them both a dozen times. The excitement was unmistakable and familiar in the way it resonated with me.
I know that there are no guarantees that any of the projects I have in mind will ever make it to the Netflix production hub in Toronto or the Ottawa film studio campus. I view screenplays as lottery tickets. All I can do is to develop my ideas as best as I can, to let the characters come to life, to make the stories compelling, to tell the stories from a unique point of view, and to hope for the best.
But I do see it as a positive sign that there is such an appetite for new and unique stories that more production facilities are needed.
The fact that they are being built so close to home is a little eerie yet exciting at the same time. It makes me smile to think that the universe is saying “could we make it any more convenient for you?”
While it certainly wouldn’t require much arm twisting to get me to spend a little time in cities that are more well known for their television and movie production such as Los Angeles, New York or Vancouver, to have production facilities in my own back yard is pretty stunning.
The fact that these facilities could be up and running around the time I retire is another eerie coincidence, and a strong encouragement to me to continue dreaming and working toward my retirement goals.
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