Monday, June 25, 2007

A Full Plate

How much is too much?

That has been something that has plagued me for most of my adult life--just ask my wife. I like to dabble in several things at once which can make other things suffer. I used to bounce from project to project for my screenplays. Recently, I realized I should focus on one screenplay and get it finished.

Bouncing around the blogosphere though I have heard other screenwriters who do the same as far as working a bit on each of their projects. The temptation is there especially when a grand idea for one of the stories pops in my head at the most inopportune time (when isn't it?)

This last stretch here was the longest gap between my blog entries because I have been busy at work, working on an expanded version of a short I just wrote for MoviePoet (which I'll discuss more when the judging period is over in August.) and some stuff at home (relatives, pets etc)

My brain has been working on all these things so this blog suffered for a week or so because of it. And frankly I haven't had much to discuss since I have been so involved with this other projects. If it seems I have drifted too far be aware I will return but may not always been submitting posts here till I get back into that groove again.

I have seen other bloggers who have had life happen to them lately who too have gone from regular posters to becoming more sporatic.

Hope to have more soon--


Friday, June 15, 2007

It's All Latin to Me

When I am writing I need a good chilled soda (most times though it ends up getting neglected if I am too focused.) and maybe a treat plus a good internet connection (shout out to Comcast) nice having my cable connection back that I was paying for as opposed to a sub par dial up connection so I can do any research I need.

But I definitely need my headphones with the music. It helps me focus. Or at least I'm sticking to the excuse. Finding music to maintain that focus can be difficult at times. Recently, I got some of the tracks from the Batman Begins soundtrack.

Good stuff. So I went to find the rest to download but they are hard cause as I remembered it was some Latin thing.Curiousity got the best of me cause I was thinking what reference are they making with these titles. So, I Googled one of them--Barbastella.

I am an idiot.

They are all species of bats.

Again, I-d-i-o-t.

It is Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard so you're getting two phenom composers for the price of one.

At least I got the whole Latin thing. Well, kinda. Right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Green Monster

I drive an ugly car.

I have to admit it which is half the battle. The thing has been paid off for years and my wife and I decided we'd run it into the ground (and I'd say it's definitely pushing that.) Being my daily drive is half of my wife's to work, I am stuck with what we have affectionately called "The Green Machine."( I prefer The Green Monster.)

It's a green 1995 Saturn and it ain't pretty folks. The paint is peeling off several spots on its hide and an unfortunate exit from a parking spot in a ramp left the right side mirror broken and dangling on the side. Like I said it ain't pretty. It isn't really fun to drive either since going anything over 40 mph sounds like the inside of a jet engine inside the car. Bad enough that I am going deaf just so I can listen to my radio. The only thoughts that keep me from crashing this abomination into a concrete wall is the fact I don't have to pay someone a car payment for the privilege of driving it and I only have to gas it up once a month.

Some days this is what I'd like to do to it.

Now you know my daily hell each day as I trek to work and back. The thought I have each time I walk to my car is: I hope my fellow co workers and others on the road don't look at this abysmal sack of crap and think any less of it's driver. I'm sure they do--I see crap ass cars on the road and wonder about the people driving them. Yeah it's a judgment thing and, most times, I catch myself.

I am a good driver though haven't had a ticket in over 10 years haven't had any accidents in close to 15 years. I like traffic laws (though I speed on occasion) which is a habit I had to learn. I was a speed demon as a teen. I got 5 speeding tix in a span of one year so I had a suspended license for a year while I was just starting college (nothing like having the parents come pick you up from college classes cause you can't drive yourself home.)

Like my beater car, I worry that I have "beater" stories. Screenplays that look like crap on the outside but have a heart on the inside. Maybe a good thing because that fear drives me to push myself more to break apart the crappy outside that may send it to the junk pile. Also, I am finding out that I am being drawn outside of what was my comfort zone for stories and ideas I didn't see as interesting or important to tell even a few years ago.

Judgment can be a double edged sword because while it can cause you to avoid something that in the end may be a good thing. It too may cause you prove yourself because you know that vile thing,which causes us to presume things about someone or something without all the details, is in all our hearts.

It's just a matter of what you do with it.

Filled up the Green Monster yesterday so I'm good to go for another month.

Just stop staring at me at the stoplights, please.

Monday, June 11, 2007

No Usual Suspects Here

I'm loving shorts.

I know I have been fixiating on them for the last few posts but I think it is a nice transition to work small and hone skills to ultimately use on the bigger projects. I just finished (squeezing it down to 5 pages) for the June contest. Now, I can do some tweaking and submit it soon.

A quick sidenote--been getting alot of hits for The Usual Suspects which I did a post on back in March. People are looking for answers to the great ending and, like most out there, I don't have them. Which in the end just makes the film even better. It asks you to think about the ending. You just don't get that in movies anymore.

One odd search That's right--It was bells--I didn't change it. There apparantly is no site (yet) called that and well, I don't know what the user was looking for. But one of my posts did refer to the word 'smell' and 'bell' in it so whamo I get the hit...sorry I don't think I satisfied that customer. (Damn I just refered to the same words again--hopefully no more hits for that.)

So, I let my wife read my latest short and she wasn't gushing but I think she liked it. The fact she read it is a good thing. Most times I don't think she has any idea what I'm doing on the laptop while she watching the tube. The short isn't my usual fare but when I got to the end (which originally going to be the middle) I realized that I was wanting to throw too much into the blender on this one and the ending worked better than what I started out thinking the short was going to be.

It's a good thing. I think my alternate story idea will make it out of me at some point just not as a short for MoviePoet (sorry guys it needs to be longer.)

I'm looking at the beginning and probably gonna get some hits on midget fetishes. Damnit.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

'Knocked' Out of the Park

When I saw the line and the theatre filling up I thought This could beat out Pirates and a part of me hope it would. Keep in mind it was a Sunday after noon showing and the place was packed to the gills. So much so the ushers were doing their job to squeeze everyone together.

Kudos, Mr. Apatow, kudos.

I couldn't even come close to executing the kind of humor you were able to put into the movie. But what really got to me and affected me after I had left the movie was the resonance of real characters. Seth Rogen made his socially inept man child become a man by the end of the movie. And his band of drug induced friends each had a hand in being there instead of being one joke characters. Katherine Heigl's character has some great moments too. I think one of her best lines was her telling Seth something he could do with his bong. Typically, you're gonna run into a batch of unrealistic stereotypical characters in this type of movie, but Mr. Apatow uses a lot of improv which I think allowed for some things to become bigger. In addition to that there were a fair amount of quiet moments--genuine moments-- between characters like Seth's character with his dad.

I never laughed so hard in ages in a movie (maybe it was 40 year old Virgin ?) But it has a lot of heart also mixed in between the raunchy humor (this movie earned its R rating, thank god.)

So, I'm not alone in saying, you have got to see this movie. Again, I wish it had beat out Pirates for how good it was. Do what you have to and go see it now.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Two Glorious Words

As I mentioned a few days ago I was trying to participate in the MoviePoet monthly short script contest for May.

A quick aside to Chris Messineo. Thanx for the reply comment and I look forward to the changes coming to Movie Poet in July. Again a great community of writers.

So...5 Pages. Not a problem. Right? Easy as riding a bike.

Hell yeah, riding a bike up Mount Everest. Give me a break though, K. I am used to at least 100 pages to tell a story. So, I listened to my Snow Patrol (damn they are the best) among other stuff and got 4 pages which seemed to going great. But I knew I had only a page to wrap it up and I still had a few ideas left to add. So I took what I had and eliminated a simple character which chopped of a good page, however it caused more issues because some of what I took out still had to shown which ended up coming out as on the nose dialogue and forced exposition.

So, I went back to square one. I edited the character back in and changed it up some. I also took some scenes and split them up so that some info came earlier so it didn't have to shown in more detail later.

The story is a cops and robbers idea with an interesting twist and something that had been thought up probably over 10 years ago but never got to the forefront of ideas I was working on.
The idea formulated over a simple idea of thinking that saving a child when they are young who ends up being something bad later in life. It changed a little and one of my sisters thought it sounded like an idea Stephen King might use.

After feverishly finishing the rewrite I got done with everything I wanted but had one last scene left and less than a 1/5 page left to stay within 5 pages. This was after cleaning the script up 2 more times. It was basically 10 pm on May 31st with 2 hours to add the one scene, then edit the script one more time down to the minimum convert it to a PDF and then upload it to MoviePoet.

That's where the decision came. I could edit down and maybe it would be weaker but it'd get on the site. So, I made the decision to continue with what I had and forgo posting to MoviePoet.

So, I'm gonna make it looks as pretty as it should and then I might slap it on Simply Scripts. Man, I got short script bug now.

A very bittersweet decision cause I was so looking forward to getting it on the site. In 4 days none the less. But, alas, I put what I wanted and ended with about 6 1/4 pages.

But then came the two glorious words I have ever known:


Friday, June 1, 2007

The 1st Good Summer Movie

I've been reading the buzz and it looks like the goods are on par with the media surrounding Knocked Up.

Thank God!

Cause so far this summer has been really hit and miss. I have a busy weekend coming up here but I am using all my mojo (oh God I am so frakked) with the wife to convince her we should see this flick. If you only knew how fickle my wife is about going to see movies you'd understand what kind of mountain I have to climb.

To my advantage is that it is a Judd Apatow movie and she loved 40 year old Virgin (as did I.) I kniow I could just go solo but comedies are better when you have a partner to laugh along with, don't you think? Okay, maybe it's just me.

Go forth and see Katherine Heigl grow a belly. Maybe you'll be laughing along with me--just make sure your cell phone is off and don't bring the crying baby.

I don't care who knocked you up.