In January of 2012, Kim and I were discussing our next writing project and Kim sent me a couple of ideas she had been kicking around. This is the one that caught my attention:
” The New 30: A comedic look at three forty year old NYC filmmakers trying to make it in the indie world while trying to build families. (This could be the template for the webisodes….perhaps even kinda reality show-ish?)”
I remember thinking, struggling NYC filmmakers- great idea! Building a family. Yuck. Not really a defendable viewpoint but as the mother of two very young children, I wanted to escape babies in my writing. So I asked Kim if we could just parody her (mostly) and me (a little) in a web series. It would be faster, cheaper, more enjoyable, and less pressure than trying to get a feature off the ground. If we kept it character driven and set in her Brooklyn neighborhood – even easier!
Over the next two years the idea morphed into an art meets life comedic meditation of, well, Kim’s life. The lead character, Kit Scanlon, is not Kim. But there are elements of her in there, and of me. We turned the series into a potty mouthed, pop culture obsessed examination of Kim/Kit’s attempt to reach the next stage in her career. We threw in a lot of our self-doubt, loathing, and recrimination, because – funny! In so doing we learned a lot about ourselves as artists. The constant back and forth about Kit’s goals, choices and obstacles also helped us figure out some of our own tribulations. Writing scenes for Kit, I tried to blend some of Kim’s quirkiest and my lamest personality traits. Potty humor obsession and insecurity – Kim. Lassitude and tendency to bury woes in snacks, Mai. Taking a long time to finish a writing project, Kim and Mai.
But unlike most projects I have worked on, I actually looked forward to writing Livin’ the Dream. Crafting the dialogue was the most fun for me, especially in the back and forth between Kit and her sister, Amy. Kim and I often work together over Skype and the line between our sisterly conversations and the Scanlons became quite blurry. Pulling quotes from our favorite films, trying to find the right goofball tone and riffing on pet peeves in cinema – also quite entertaining.
So that is how the words got on the page. A brain child of Kim’s twisted to my own nefarious purposes. But she can’t blame me too much because we wrote it together.