BOB / The Business / The Process / Writing

BOB and the Art of Small Ball


Speaking of small ball: Some members of my fellow Red Barons little league baseball team back in my Hawaii days. Front row: Kevin Golden, me, Brad Garside, and bat wrangler/little brother Ken. Back row: Robert Anae, Brad Hardesty, and Matt Anae.

Speaking of small ball: Some members of my fellow Red Barons little league baseball team back in my Hawaii days. Front row: Kevin Golden, me, Brad Garside, and bat wrangler/little brother Ken. Back row: Robert Anae, Brad Hardesty, and Matt Anae.

I’m on page 26 of the screenplay. Not much to show for this week, page-count-wise. I’m going back and forth between mapping the sequences, then writing the scenes. Sort of a hybrid between my early days of writing without an outline and my later days of writing only once I’ve got the whole thing mapped out. I grab what time I can, but this week, that hasn’t been much.

In baseball, there’s a strategy that some teams employ called “small ball.” Usually these teams don’t have many “long ball” hitters with big names and big contracts. They emphasize getting runners on any way they can, whether it’s a walk, beating out a bunt, or slapping a single. Then it’s a game of trying to advance the runner any way they can, whether it’s a sacrifice fly, a steal, or a hit-and-run play. These teams may only score a couple of runs a game, but with some help from pitching and a little luck, sometimes it’s enough to manufacture a win.

This project is, for me anyway, a study in small ball.

Write in whatever time slivers open up, whether it’s an hour during the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, or a half hour before I go to bed, or 20 minutes waiting for someone to show up. Not ideal, as it sometimes takes awhile to get into the flow, but for now the idea is to take what I can get. A half a page is better than nothing.

Which fits, in a way, with the other BOB concepts that are in a swirling state of formation (which I should probably explain a bit more here at some point). Keeping the number of characters small. The locations few, local and the sort that could be arranged for free. Aiming to shoot this on $10K. 10 shooting days, split up mostly between evenings and weekends, probably. Small crew. Natural light, when possible. Actors wearing their own clothes. Top-notch acting (so that hopefully the viewer doesn’t notice the other stuff so much). Release small, via this thing called the internet. Charge small. Ed Burnsing it (just, you know, sans Ed Burns).

Small ball. And a little luck. Yep, that’s the plan.

But first, gotta write the thing. On that note… back to 26.

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One thought on “BOB and the Art of Small Ball

  1. Your writing is always elegant. This blog post is another excellent example of that fact. So, you may be writing one sacrifice fly at a time, but I know the result will be so magnificent that, with your words and great actors, no viewer will be anything but spellbound.

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