Friday, September 29, 2006

The Screenplay Agency = Jerkoffs

Look, it's not bad enough that this silly lil' industry is close to impossible to break into, especially if you live in say, oh, New Jersey. But all we need are some scam artists out there trying to rape us of our money.

John August had a recent post about The Screenplay Agency, and Warren also did a nice series on them. Just throwing my 2 cents in....They are useless assholes. An open sore on the ass of life.

Here's what they do. Now, I've never dealt with them, but a buddy of mine did. He had sent out some query letters, they were one that he contacted. He didn't know at the time that they were the dickbags that they are.

They said they'd like to read his script. Said they loved his script, but they wanted to have it analyzed, blah, blah, fucking blah. I believe it was for 100 smackers for an editor to analyze it. He called me and told me about it, I told him to get outta there like a Ryan Howard home run. And he did, and the cocksuckers over at The Screenplay Agency didn't get squat from him. Ah-ha.

Thing is, they are out there, ripping off mainly rookie screenwriters, who just don't know any better. All we want to do is write, you know? And they've got the nerve to try to rip off what little money we've got? How dare they. They are useless scammers. They will get you nowhere and I guarantee that they've sold or optioned NOTHING. Even their website looks cheap. Dirty pricks.

So, if you are ever contacted by The Screenplay Agency you need to do the following 3 things:

1. Tell them to go fuck themselves.
2. Explain how evil and heartless their company is.
3. Tell them to fuck themselves again.(It's important to get this point across).

Anyone ever come across these wastes-of-life?

Monday, September 25, 2006


Well, Zucker is el completo. Just finished a nice polish of it, thanks to some killer notes from Mr. Scott The Reader. 109 Pages of pure comedy genius. now I'll send it over the Mr. Manager and see what he thinks about it. I loved writing it, and I think it kicks all sorts of ass. Took a while to do it, about 8 months, but I took off about 4-5 months in the middle of Zucker to work on the Cricket Hill TV pilot and Food Fight.

Right now, Food Fight is out to producers (we're hitting a biggie this week, not a producer per se, they're more considered a studio). Fingers crossed! And Cricket Hill is out to agents.

So, Zucker is officially my 43rd feature-length script ever written. Yeah, it's a lot. But those first several are simply unreadable. Some of the others have their moments, but are structurally unsound. The scripts I've written since 1999 are pretty damn good I'd say, with the last 3 years being pretty solid. Some highlights:

**Lost & Found (1997) - First script ever written.....Worst script ever written.
**Stain (1997) - Pretty gritty, it's about street hustlers. I directed & co-produced. My research? Nada. We turned it into an okay low-budgeet shot-on-crap-DV movie.
**Good People (1998) - My 1st option, story by my wife.
**The Adventures Of Riley - My first script to win/place at some competitions. Always loved riley, might go back to it one day.
**The Go Getters (1998) Basically Freaks & Geeks, although mine came first, dammit! My longest script ever, this high school drama came in at a hefty 145 pages. And I didn't cut any! Not a one!
**The Money Shot (1999) - Porn + college = 2nd Option!
**A Couple Of Joes (1999) 3rd Option.
**Better Days (2001) - Basically The Last Kiss. Self-produced & directed.
**West River Drive (2002) - Another self-produced (and directed) low budget epic.
**Cricket Hill (2nd Place Comedy, Austin, 2003) - Great things have come from this script. Praying that even grater things will come soon. In development as a TV Pilot/series.

Out of 43, how many are worthy? Hmm. I'd say 15 would be ready to read at this moment, with another 10 needing a hard polish. Throw in another 10 that would need real work. Another 10 are likely train wrecks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

t v land

Well, Fall TV is off and running. And actually looks pretty good so far.

LOVED LOVED LOVED the pilot for Studio 60. It's actually one of the best pilots I've seen. Perfect set up, great characters, sharp writing. I just hope people watch it. They might not be interested in a behind-the-scenes of a TV sketch show, but hopefully they'll tune in. Special nod to Matthew Perry. The whole cast is great, but he nailed it.

Kidnapped is bascially Ransom, or at least Ransom-ish. It's even got Delroy! But that's a good thing for the show. It wasn't as bad as it should have been. I am a bit curious to see where they'll go with it, so it's my guilty pleasure, although if it never came on again I wouldn't miss it.

Jericho was a pleasant surprise. It was a solid pilot, a bit creepy actually, since you could picture this going down in "real" life unfortunately. I'd tune in again to see where it goes.

Stand-Off is a smart show. Love the chemistry, although my concern would be having a stand-off/hostage situation EVERY week might get old. We'll see how the whole season unfolds.

Justice - not bad for yet another lawyer show. It's got a nice cast, decent writing so far, I'll tune in again.

Nip/Tuck - Sucks. I was a fan of this show, but last year was disjointed, and this year is already sucking pretty hard. It's like the writers are just throwing ideas up on a wall for the hell of it. I'll tune in for 1 or 2 more episodes, but if it doesn't improve, I'm bailing.

Shark - not going to watch it. I just can't.

Looking forward to 30 Rock, and am curious about The 9. Not sure about 6 degrees, and am pretty sure Heroes won't make it to the mid season.

As for returning shows, It's all about The Office in our house. Great show, funniest on TV. Weeds, too. Weeds is off to a great start this season, can't wait for the next episode.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Animated Flix

Now this looks like Suess. Blue Sky Studios (Robots, Ice Age) nailed it, at least from these pics from Horton Hears A Who.

It used to be cool when some animated epic came out, like A Bug's Life, then next year another one would come out. Now, they're all over the place. Over the Summer, we actually had a three week span when 3 new animated movies came out - Monster House, Ant Bully, and Barnyard. They all pretty much sank, especially Bully. Monster made the most (of those 3) but I'm sure their budget was enormous. And Barnyard did okay. Cars is the animated king of the Summer (240+ million) followed by Over the Hedge (around 150 million) which is cool. I enjoyed them both.

This week we have Everyone's Hero. Every time I see that damn commercial I wanna put me head through a wall. Or at least slit my wrists. "I GOTTA GET BABY'S BAT BACK!" It's BABE Ruth, you asshole kid! Then we'll have Open Season. Then Flushed Away. Hopefully the better of these won't get lost (leaning towards Flushed Away as the "better."

Which also brings me to my theory I blogged about before that someone is ripping off someone. We've got Flushed Away, about rats. Then next summer we have Pixar's Ratatouille. About rats. Years ago we had the Bug's Life/Antz showdown. And don't forget Shrek & Monster's Inc came out the same year (both monster heroes, work with me). And who could forget Finding Nemo & Shark Tale (adventures of sea life). Or Madagascar/The Wild. Or Robots & Cars (both metal...okay, I'm reaching).

Anyhoo, what's your favorite animated movie? Mine would be the Iron Giant, by Brad Bird, who also directed the excellent Incredibles. I also enjoyed Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Shrek (1), and Ice Age. And if you can find it, there's this animated film from England called When The Wind Blows about the aftermath of a nuclear war. Haunting, amazing.

So, what's your fave?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Later on, Luc

So, Luc Besson is done. He has directed his last movie, his 10th. Interesting, can't he just take a break? He's gotta pack it in? Well, good luck to him. His movies were hit and miss. His best being The Professional (Leon) (Yeah, I liked it better than Nikita), and his most horrible creation was, in my opinion, The 5th Element - great trailer, by the way, I remember being blown away when I saw the trailer, but the movie was a travesty. An absolute mess. One of my least favorite movies, ever.

Anyhoo, as far as I know, he's calling it quits. Maybe he'll be back, and I'm not sure if he'll still be producing, maybe he'll keep at that. But for now, later on, Luc.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hey, I wrote that, Beeyotch!

Ever see something either "coming soon" or listed in Variety, and it's basically the same shit you've been working on? Mr. Robby Hogan ran into this recently, and it has pissed in my face once again.

First of all, back in 1998 I made a short called The Family Dog. Had minor sucesses online at places like ifilm, atom & some other sites. It was about a guy who was meeting his girlfriend's parents for the 1st time. Even had an overflowing toilet.

Also in 1998 I wrote a script called Superhero Blues, which was a script with superheroes, but wacky! Soon after Mystery Men came out (bombed). Although my script did get into their personal lives more, one of them was divorced, one was a single guy, etc, their tome was similar.

In 1999 I wrote a script called The Go Getters about a group of geeky high school boys trying to get by through fresman year. You could say it had freaks & geeks in it.

I wrote a script called The Pirates Of Pissbottom two years before POTC (Part 1) came out.

Oh, and I can't forget my mob comedy about an outside-type who falls for a girl who doesn't know her family is in the mob (Mickey Blue Eyes, anyone?)

In 2001, I wrote & directed a short film called The Reappearance of Homer Pitts, about a boy who felt left out, bullied, and neglected, and thuse, turns invisible. When he realizes he is loved and missed by his family/friends, he reappears. Now, coming later this year? The Invisible! About a boy who........Get the picture?

Oh, and I can't forget about the script I wrote called There Goes Ruby Fields, about a wedding crasher who meets the girl of his dreams at a wedding he crashes.

Not that these scripts/stories are all that original, but it sucks to work on something and then see it come out first, pretty much deflating your idea.

Thank god I've got a better manager now, so hopefully I can actually get my work seen before somebody else freakin' thinks of the same idea.

This shit ever happen to you?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hi Skool Flix

The latest EW has put together a list of the best high school movies. A top 50, no less. 50? That's a lot of damn high school movies. I think they should have went for Top 20, because the pickings get slim. Their #1 is The Breakfast Club. Could not agree more. One of my faves of all time. It most definetely captures high school. The confusion. Anxiety. Joy. And the weight of it. After that, the list gets shaky....especially putting 16 Candles at #49.

But there's plenty that should not be on there at all, in my opinion. Harry Potter/Goblet Of Fire? (#36, ahead of 16 Candles!). That's a HIGH SCHOOL movie? C'mon, I swore that was about magic (at a SCHOOL OF MAGIC). Do they have a football team? German Club? A Prom? A Morp?

And Back To The Future? (#28). In my opinion, I'd say that was about time traveling. I'll give them Friday Night Lights (#37), although any high school scenes in that movie were limited to montages of football players walking down a hallway. And I think the focus of that movie is football. On Friday night. With lights.

They did score with a bunch. Fast Times. Dazed & Confused. Heathers. Clueless. Say Anything. American Pie. Election. Rushmore. Brick. Here would be my list:

1. The Breakfast Club
2. Ferris Bueller
3. Say Anything
4. 16 Candles
5. Rushmore
6. Three O'Clock High
7. The Last American Virgin
8. Dazed & Confused
9. Election

Also, two recent movies, Chumscrubber & Thumbsucker are growing on me and might someday may a list of this sort.

They also have Donnie Darko on their list, which is okay and it makes sense, but let me just say something about that's way overrated. Don't get me wrong, it's got some great moments in it, but it just doesn't hold together for me. And think about it, where would it be without the haunting "Mad World" cover at the end of it.

Anyway, what are some of your faves?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Idiotic Sequels

First, thanks for the replies/suggestions on Headshot. Good stuff there, lots to think on. I honestly like the story as it unfolds, but see that the logline needs revamping first of all. I know in my logline & synopsis, it's mostly about the Extra/Killer, and I need to make sure I bring the Screenwriter (Our Hero) more in focus.

And now, these direct-to-dvd pieces of shit that basically piss all over the original movies, although most were garbage to begin with. I'm talking about that Roadhouse 2. 8mm 2 (Both with Jonathon "Where The Hell Did My Career Go?" Schaech). I also heard there's gonna be a Cutting Edge 2 (What the hell is the point?? It's got basically NO name recognition with the original ice skating epic!!).

Also: Legally Blonde 3, Into the Blue 2, Wargames 2 (actually a remake would be a better idea I think), Species 4. And I know there's another I Know What You Did Last Summer coming, I think it's called: I'M POSITIVE THAT YOU MAY HAVE DONE SOMETHING NEGATIVE IN THE RECENT PAST THAT YOU SHALL BE KILLED FOR.

Disney morons were guilty of this before the Pixar merger. They had Bambi 2, Cinderella 2 The Revenge, Leroy (!) and Stitch, and recently another Brother Bear, and of course their Alladins & Lion Kings 3.5 or whatever.

At least Disney seems to be stopping the madness after BB2, but are these other shit-flicks necessary? Will you really go out and rent 8mm 2? The first one bombed, remember? How could Part 2 possibly make any money? Christ, and all of us are out here still struggling with all these "ideas" coming out of Hollywood?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Assist Me Please!

Help me here. What's wrong with this script? Not the logline so much, 'cause people have requested it after reading it:

The cast and crew of an independent film production have more to worry about than the budget when a psychotic extra snaps and begins killing them off.

My basis of the script was dealing with an annoying extra on my own movie, called WAIT A MINUTE, the we made a trailer for 3+ years ago. After that, he would NOT stop bothering me. condtasntly asking if the trailer was finished, over, and over. The dude was BARELY in it (he was in a crowded dance club scene). If he's lucky, his shoulder might be glimpsed in a nano-second long shot. That's another post though - Extras.

So, the script is called HEADSHOT. Basically, as the premise suggests, an actor lands a gig as an extra on a small movie, but this guy is the most annoying person on Earth, gets on everyone's nerves, fucks up shots/scenes, etc. So he gets fired and bascially kills most of the cast & crew in his crazed revenge.

Now, it's not straight horror. It's really 75% comedy, 25% horror I'd say.
People have read the script, and their main concern is that we know who the killer is (his name is Dagnus Todd). SO? I mean, my point is NOT who the killer is, we know the guy is nutso at the beginning, I feel that the entertainment of the story is how/when he's going to snap, and who's going to survive. Nightmare on Elm St, Friday The 13th, Halloween, Chucky, etc - We know the killer.

Thoughts/reflections on this?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Worst TV Show Ever?

Cool Band to listen to: YOUTH GROUP
Cool Movie now on cable: THE BAXTER
Cool Baseball Team to Cheer for: The Phils (be even better if they had some decent relief)

Now the reason for this post.......

I was thinking about some of the cool shows I watch nowadays (when Spongebob or Fairly Oddparents aren't clogging the TV). Entourage. Scrubs. Lost. The Office. And I'm happy that my guilty pleasure (What About Brian?) is returning. And I'm looking forward to some of the new stuff, like Studio 60 & 30 Rock. But it got me thinking back to stuff I used to watch, stuff like Miami Vice (yeah, it's dated, but it rocked), Cheers, and I loved that 'Nam show Tour Of Duty. The A-Team. Knight Rider. The Dukes!

But what show did I despise?? What did I hate hate hate? Only one show comes to mind. No, not Blossom, although Mayim or however you spell her name did get under my skin. And there are plenty of other lame comedies or boring dramas that leave a stench. But the one show that made me want to swallow a lit stick of dynamite was..(drumroll)..Small Wonder.

Oh my God how I wanted her to malfunction. Forever!

What's your worst TV show EVER?