Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Whole New World

Twitter.  You may have heard of it.  Me, I'm too verbose to be an early adopter of anything requiring concision.  140 characters?  Is that even enough room for a haiku?  I've got ThingsTo Say, people!

But if you want to get better at stuff, you've gotta do things that aren't a natural fit.  People use a phrase around here, "in his wheelhouse," meaning that a task plays to a person's known strengths, and thus they are the perfect choice, sure to succeed.

To a point.  On Season 3 of Sanctuary, I was fortunate to write a couple of episodes that were right down my alley, containing the sort of stories that I'm drawn to and known for writing.  In fact the second of my two Season 3 episodes, "Awakening," is one that I actively pursued being assigned to because I was so fond of its premise. 

In the course of writing Season 4, through the vagaries of scheduling and the needs of the ongoing story, the two scripts I wrote were well outside my usual specialty -- each in a different way.  For 403, "Untouchable," in particular, I had to tap into a style and structure that did not come naturally to me.  (More about the details of that after it airs. Spoilers, Sweetie!)  And you know what?  I am more proud of those two scripts than of anything I've done in a long time.  I had to really wake up and dig down to get 'em done, and the results are something I am very proud of.

So, lesson re-learned: Don't fall back on old tricks when you can embrace new challenges.

And so, finally, Twitter.  With ComiCon looming large in my sights, shiny new Smartphone in hand, I figured I'd jump in the deep end.  I quickly found myself tweeting from any place I was standing still -- and cursing when I couldn't get a wireless connection from inside the press room while I waited for the Sanctuary Cast to make their rounds.  No signal!  Unthinkable!

Yesterday I participated in an event organized by some of our Sanctuary publicity gurus, in honor of the release of our Season 3 DVD sets.  A number of cast and crew with Twitter Handles were recruited to play #SanctuaryTwitterTag for the day, passing a virtual baton around cyberspace by tagging one another with questions.  Of course it didn't go to plan -- which I soon realized was all for the best.  It would have been less fum and less memorable if it had all gone off without a hitch!  (This is another of those important life lessons, I assure you.)

At the end of the day, I saw tweets from fans that resonated with me, saying that they had found and were now following one another thanks to participating in the event.  I was reminded of the times when I was in frequent attendance at Highlander Conventions, realizing that while the panels with cast and crew are the initial reason for coming, after the first time the fans are gathering to see one another as much as to see us.  That they could have (and sometimes do have) awesome conventions without us showing up at all.  Their shared love is the glue to their community, online or off.  We are mere facilitators. 

And I figured out the secret to keeping it short on Twitter, too.  It's a conversation, not a lecture.  Characters on TV aren't supposed to make speeches longer than five lines, why would I? 

Except over here, of course.  Still got Things To Say.


Horton said...

Oh wasn't it fun? Thanks for being such a good sport and playing along with us! Better heed the Big Guy's advice and stay off Twitter if you ever want to get anything done - it's soooo addictive! xoxox

AndreaKoeln said...

#SanctuaryTwitterTag really was a lot of fun! In general, twitter is a great way to keep in touch with like minded people from all over the world and to send important and also not so important messages out into the world. You're doing great on there! Thank you for hanging out with us and keeping us updated!
xoxo Andrea from Germany

Steven said...

Great job with the #SanctuaryTwitterTag yesterday it was alot of fun to see the questions and answers that people came up with and further demonstrated one of the strengths of Sanctuary in its interaction and embracing of the fan bad through this as well as Tapping Tuesdays and all the other was that the cast interact with the fan base, although it was cool to see some of the crew get involved with it as well. Thank you for a job well done. Can't wait to get a copy of the Season 3 bluray as it seems every video store in the area didn't receive copies :S Really looking forward to seeing season 4 and hoping for good news regarding season 5!

female_haggis said...

I've never had so much fun on Twitter than when we joined in the #SanctuaryTwitterTag it was a genius idea that I hope gets repeated. I missed the end due to sleep, but I enjoyed participating until sleep consumed me. I hope next time it'll be on a weekend. Sanctuary fans are awesome as are the cast and crew :) xo

Jenn said...

It was so much fun. Thanks for being such an active part of twitter tag. You know, I went to my first con to meet people I had met online, the stars were secondary. I made lifelong friends there, and continue to go to occasional cons to connect and reconnect with the people social media brings me into contact with. It really is the most amazing thing.