Hi! I’m Darek Kowal, creator of the comedy/horror web series ANYTOWN, USA! My show tells the story of an every-day, All-American, modern family … of cannibals, living in suburbia and dealing with rude neighbors the best way they can … by eating them. Our first 10 episode season is available at our Official Site and Episodes 1 &2 are streaming on Amazon Prime!
It’s the dead of winter in Anytown, USA. It’s too cold to be outside, too hot to be comfortable in the house and, sometimes, the only thing to do is sit and think. It may be a bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or just living in the current Hellscape of our reality, but every time I open my laptop, it leads to a flood of bleak, stark, harsh, miserable material. Like a storm cloud hanging over me, my creativity is cloaked in darkness.
When writing season 1 of Anytown, a process that took a little over a month in the spring of 2016, I would wake up, something would piss me off, and I’d write about it. Bing. Bang. Boom. Even when dealing with a subject that angered me, there was an inherent hopefulness in every episode. Most episodes had a cathartic moment of violence and a happy resolution. Maybe writing in the spring, when everything is coming back to life, helped keep the hope alive in my brain. Whatever the reason, that hope is gone, and everything is despair. The world around me is dying and it’s seeping into my work.
I’ve seen posts on this site from people asking whether they feel a need to be political (everything is political) or add social commentary in their work (if not, what’s the point?). It helps that I typically rip a story idea from a social issue that’s been on my mind, or a news story I just can’t ignore. Lately, I’ve hit a wall of “news overload” where everything sounds the same and each update is more depressing than the last. It’s clear that our current apocalyptic climate is inspiring ‘The Tide’, and this made me want to know:
Where do other people get their story ideas? The news? Friends? Family? Every day life? What gets your creative juices flowing in a way that DEMANDS you turn it into a creative piece?
Have you ever set out to make something with a certain tone, then watched it become something completely different?
How does your world inspire/change your creativity?