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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Episode 7 - L.A. Nites

L.A. Nites

The Climax (part 1)

The hardest part of doing any story is having it all build up to something. The second hardest thing is having it then come back from that point to the beginning again. The story device I designed makes it possible to know what's going to happen when you get there and in the case of L.A. Nites it added up to this.

L.A. Nites Web series Caleb Manci & Erik Peterson
Overlooking the LA

Letting a story take its own direction while still giving enough information to survive on its own can be an incredibly tricky balance. As far as I understand there are two schools of thought which suggest that a writer should either orchestrate everything and the one that suggests that the author should let the characters do whatever they want. In my opinion, the first option can add up to stilted characters and tired situations while the second can lead to completely meaningless stories. My device follows the advice of writer Neil Gaiman which I paraphrase here: make a world for characters to make their own choices in.

L.A. Nites web series
Characters can be surprising

So we put Emmett in connection with Aaren, Emmett says he can get Aaren a job working for the same guys that beat up Detective K in episode 4. According to the "math" of the story-telling device the climax means finding a reason to push everyone together and making them deal with each other.

L.A. Nites web series Caleb Manci Garrett Hughes Erik Peterson Jacob Cormier
Aaren meets The Manager

Further we had to bring the detective in contact with Leighann. We liked the idea he had been stripped of his badge but he was obsessed with Howie so he couldn't stop. Like any good detective he's in it until the case is solved, as seen in episode 10.

Jody Barton of Los Angeles
But not giving up

This is the first tattoo we see on L.A. Nites. Fun Fact: The tattoo shot once filmed a week after the previous and following shots. Those of you that know the magic of movies will shrug and those of you that don't will be like, "omg... mind=blown".

web series L.A. Nites
Jody Barton and Rozlyn Stanley steal the show

Absolutely fantastic performances from both Jody and Rozlyn. We wrote episode 7 after we filmed episode 6 and so she gracefully combined her performance of what she knew about Leighann on the first day we shot with what we discover at the end of this episode. The reason I so highly applaud both Ms. Stanley and Mr. Barton's work is in the way that they hold onto their previous choices while incorporating the new twists that we built into their evolving characters.

L.A Nites web series written by Caleb Manci, Erik peterson and Tim Leavon
Bad photos of bad guys

This next sequence was fun because it was something that Erik had been excited to incorporate into Aaren's character since the beginning. Cool thing about being a writer for the show that you're also performing in is that you get to see your characters unfold the way you want them to. Both Erik and I had the luxury of doing things that we felt were plausible for Emmett and Aaren while Jody and Roz were more at the whims of what we thought was plausible for their characters.

Erik Peterson on L.A. Nites
Tying up loose ends

For the record, Roz was excited when she found out her character has power over the supernatural. This was a bold choice on the part of everyone involved with this decision. The end of this episode is what really defines this show for me. If L.A. Nites continues into season 2 we should continue to explore this angle.

Hiding in the closet, the closet L.A. Nites style
She set him up

We filmed both parts over two days, the most ambitious shoot we had up to this date. Check out the conclusion of this episode in part 2.


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