A behind-the-screen look at the making of a web comedy series.

The Curse of the Awesome

There seems to be an unusual curse surrounding Something Awesome. It manifests as obstacles in the real world which resolve themselves at the 11th hour. The curse turns to the show’s advantage, however: the resolution always gives the show an added boost of energy.

But don’t just take my word for it. Let me show you what I mean …

Fall 2009
As the show built momentum last fall in preparation for the first shoot (what I call “the scratch pilot”), several issues arose.

First, my small army of script readers sent near-universal feedback: the script wasn’t ready. One reader suggested I halt production to rework and try again months later. The readers were ultimately right — and their criticism was dead on — but a second issue arose to complicate things.

The second issue was that my wife was offered a great job opportunity in Seattle. Our target departure date was the day after I was scheduled to shoot the scratch pilot!

In the face of such adversity most sane people would give up, move out west and move on to a different life.

Fortunately I was just crazy enough — as were the cast & crew — to move ahead and film. And a good thing, too. Between text messages from my wife describing the awfulness of packing up the spice cupboard by herself something magic happened on set.

The show came together in a big way that day. Nothing we shot ended up being useable, but we were engulfed in the energy of the possible: the show was real. We could put it together. And I could come back in a few months and try again.

Spring 2010
The original plan was returning in early March to shoot the next few episodes. As the time approahed, however, my wife and I found a beautiful house. Closing was set for the week prior to filming. I wracked my brain for a way to pull it off — buy the house, fly to NYC a few days later and shoot for two weeks, return home to Seattle to settle in. Fortunately my wife brought me to my senses. I pushed out the filming date.

Just as well, again: the extra time proved just what I needed to bring the scripts to production-ready status. A month after closing I had a flash of inspiration and plowed through a rewrite one afternoon. A few days later Cai called to tell me I had found the magic. The scripts were finally ready to shoot.

So I planned my return. The curse returned, too. The weekend before I was to leave I was called in to work through that weekend… and possibly beyond.

Things got worse from there. A friend called from the ER. She had been suffering from headaches. My wife and I spent a good portion of the weekend in the hospital as the diagnosis grew worse: from stress to a cyst in the brain. Surgery would be required to remove it.

That’s around the time I stopped sleeping well. Between long nights in the hospital, long hours at work and even more hours pulling the show together I started to lose it.

Then the resolutions came: work cleared up, the operation was a success (the night before I flew to NYC) and my ever-patient wife pulled through to help me pack and get to the airport.

But the curse was not satisfied.

When I landed in Newark I got a text from the friend I had planned on staying with: she had just spent the night in the hospital due to severe stomach pains.

Seriously? What’s going on here?

So the curse of the Awesome continues. I’m still not sleeping well. There’s way more to do than I can possibly handle on my own. But I have faith that the resolutions will come and the Awesome magic will pull us through.

Until next time,
Nick

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One response

  1. DAD

    Wait, wait–isn’t this the script, the show, the fated story in the making???!!

    April 30, 2010 at 1:56 am

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