Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Kingdom/I Am Legend


Saw both of these fine movies this week. Both were a lot better than I thoughted.

I Am Legend - This was a solid movie. NOT an overblown action mess, it didn't have all that much action, although it had plenty of thrilling sequences, and plot-wise, they were perfect. I liked Will Smith in this a lot. The guy can act, and has a hell of a sense of good projects (next Summer's HANCOCK looks great and will make at least 250 million). Special mention of the evacuation scenes - probably a bit too realistic. Yikes.

Anyways, a lot of this movie is bleak as hell. From the empty streets to the emotional rollercoaster he goes through. It's worth taking a look at.

The Kingdom - Not a perfect movie but well-crafted. Peter Berg is a helluva director. Some terrific sequences here, real kick-ass stuff. The stand-outs to me were Jamie Foxx & Chris Cooper, plus their "Guide" that escorts them around. Jennifer Garner & Jason Bateman were good as usual, however, for the most part their characters didn't have much of a purpose to actually be there (I'm sure in the orignal script they had more to do). Regardless, another good flick worth your cashola.

Next on me list: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, There Will Be Blood, Juno, and No Country For Old Men.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Stuff

**I've been working on some new scripts. See if you like 'em:

All Up In My Shit is a romantic comedy. I'm also thinking about a sequel, called All Up In Your Shit.

I have a horror script I've been working on called Don't Scratch The Taint.

I'm changing my old Cricket Hill script, switching some themes around, giving it a good polish (that's what she said) and am now calling it I'm Aiiight.

And I can't forget my epic love story, Yo, Girl, I Wanna Be On You.


**Sike. M E R R Y H O L I D A Z E

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Compared to most creatures, Humans tend to SUCK

We really do.***

Look at what we do to each other. We're all selfish pricks. Yeah, all y'all. Yeah, you too.

We all think we're better than the rest. I know I am.

We rush through those Wal-Mart doors to get our grimey hands on a half-off cd player, trampling the elderly in our awesome path. Move it, ya old beeeyyootch! I kill for half-off!

While on the subject of Wal-Mart, I would TRULY rather roll across a field of glass (naked, obviously) than enter one of those hell holes.

We're very, very rude. All we care about is us. Me, me, me. I, I, I.

We'll cut each other off in a heartbeat (I'll race you to the red light, douchebag!). Learn the common courtesy of a god damn traffic merge!!! (We take turns, get it?!?!?!). And I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT when I'm trying to change lanes and the prick behind me in the other lane SPEEDS UP so I can't get over. Hey cockscab - Not a good idea - we might crash!!

Speaking of crashing, we rubberneck. Do we get out to help? Bwah! Good one! We're running late! Ain't got time to help, but we've got time to look at that poor bastard's smashed-up SUV. I'd hate to be that guy!

We're ignorant. We condescend. We criticize. We like to sue.

If something screws up our lives, we'll take it out on EVERYONE. For the record, if I get pissy or my heart stomped on with metal cleats, I like to sulk. Sulking rocks.



***I went shopping today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Best Tunes of '07



I'm working on my best flix of 2007, I'll post that in a couple of weeks. But tonight I present: Da best moosic.



1. The National - Boxer.......Amazing, amazing, amazing album from start to finish. Not a wasted track.



Runner Ups:

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - An album to rejoice. Drags on about 3 songs, but besides that it rocks the house. "No Cars Go" and "Keep The Car Running" are amazing. "Intervention" too.

Radiohead - In Rainbows - Great album, but it has some songs that I'm not into that must be skipped. Not all great, however, it still has some amazing songs like All I Want, House Of Cards, and the harrowing Videotape.


From Videotape:

This is my way of saying goodbye
Because I can't do it face to face
I'm talking to you after it's too late
From my videotape
No matter what happens now

You shouldn't be afraid
Because I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen.



Interpol - Our Love To Admire....Another superb album from these knuckleheads. "No I In Threesome" gives chills.



The Bravery - Time Won't Let Me Go is a great single, but also has some great tunes across the album.



Dave Gahan - Hourglass - Always been a Depeche Mode (Depressed Mood) fan, so I'm inclined to like their solo efforts. But Dave did a nice job here, and his song "Kingdom" really kicked some assage.



The Killers - Between Sam's Town & Sawdust, they've had some good stuff within the last year.



Silversun Pickups - "I've been waiting for this moment, all my life..." from Lazy Eye.



Travis - Their song Closer is heartbreaking.



What's your favorite CD/song of 2007??

Sunday, December 09, 2007

2007 - Year Of The Suck

I'm talking about my family. They're disappearing, fast.

May 2007 - Stepmom died (Cancer)

September 2007 - Real Mom Died (Emphezema related)...This one was quite a blow. Had a pretty rotten relationship, almost to the very end, and when she passed I cried like a baby. Anyone have a time machine?

Today - Lost Grandpa #2. Lost my 1st Grandpa (Called him Poppy!) in 2001, that Grandpa was like my Father - he basically raised me.

Grandpa #2 was a nice man, although I only met him when I was 18 (long story, met my bro when I was 15, and my Dad when I was 18 - I am the king of dysfunction!). But Grandpa #2 was a neat old guy, kinda lost it mentally over these last few months, got very sick this last week and went pretty quick).

But it's weird when I think of this: Everyone who raised me is GONE. Along with the above-mentioned Mom & Poppy, I lost my Grandma in 2005 (she was Nanny, and was like a mother to me).

Nanny had been in a rest home for a few years, didn't recognize anyone for several years. Always seem to be familiar with me though, like she thought I was someone she might have known. One of the last times I saw her, I fed her, and she smiled, content. It was my Driving Miss Daisy moment, like at the end when Hoke feeds Daisy. I really miss her, and never really had a chance to say a proper good-bye.

When Poppy died, it rocked me, too. He'd been sick for a while but hung around, he was strong like that. Last thing he said to me was: "Go, have fun. Don't worry about me." He died 2 days later.

I need to talk to them again. Just a little sit down, give me like 10 minutes with each of them, just to let them know that all the times I rolled my eyes at them or laughed off their advice, well, they were probably right, and I was young and stoopit. And that in my life I'll be okay and I'll do the best I can to make them proud.

I can do that in 5 minutes, but I think 10 minutes is fair.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dig My Dug

Windy as shit outside. Took the trash out tonight and noticed that ALL of the freakin leaves have fallen off a tree by the street (it must have happened all at once). The leaves covered the front steps and I couldn't have people tripping up the steps and curbing themselves, so I took care of business. Nothing like raking in the dark.

In other news Jessica Alba is still hot and MTV needs more videos.

In the world of the tube, I gotta say I'm getting sick of Chuck. I liked Chuck a lot, but they are having the same damn conversation all over again - Chuck looks at Hot But Vacant Blonde, she doesn't give 2 shats, he asks are they together like fo' real, she says no it's still just a cover and ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Best thing about the show is the Nerd Herd & Adam Baldwin. Actually, Chuck (the dude) is cool but this plot point sucks cat hair.

Heroes had its big Fall finale. Whoppee. Sylar "is back." I know this because he said it out loud when he started up a conversation with a spinach can.

Laid (the re-write) is cruising along, but I'm realizing now that I could have been working on it for the last half hour but instead I'm typing this very important post. Damn me and my bad decisions.

I'm itching to get some other scripts started/continued/dusted off but I must must must get this re-write out of my way.

I think I just heard the trash cans take a shit all over the street. Damn wind.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Meaningless Update #59704836N

Geez, no takers on the meme deal? Fine. Just 'cause there be a strike don't mean we can't have a lil' fun.

I'm hearing this strike may end by the holidays. Let's hope it does, and us writer folk get a fair shake, and the crews can actually get back to work and continue to feed their babies.

I'm working on a few things. Need to get my Laid re-write done ASAP. As soon as the strike-smoke clears, we're going to get this puppy in circulation. My manager has got some nice plans for it.

I'm looking at some older scripts to punch up after Laid is done. I've got about 3-4 that I'd like to take swipes at. Plus about 10 that I'd love to begin. Just not enough time in the frakkin day.

On TV - Reaper & 30 Rock rule. Chuck has moments. Nip/Tuck is eh. Weeds is getting old. Bionic Woman is better than expected.

In da Theater - I need to see Juno & No Country.

Song of the day: The Killers - Shadowplay.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Create A Logline Meme

Thanks to a Rhys meme tag, here is my meme post. The meme goes a lil' something like this, to quote the lovely Rhys:

1. Post 3 consecutive pages of any script you choose that you've written. It can be a completed project, something you're still working on, a movie, spec pilot, spec episode, whatever...as long as it's 3 consecutive pages. You must tell the title if it's an existing TV show. If it's a movie or spec pilot, revealing the title is up to you.

2. Tag 5 peeps to do the same.

3. Follow the meme around (it can be the people you tagged, the person who tagged you, someone's you stumbled upon) and after reading the pages, come up with a logline/episode summary you think fits and post it beneath the entry. Try to do this for at least 5 people.

4. After your own meme has gotten enough guesses, post the REAL summary/logline and see who got the closest.

Ok. Some of you may know this script from past postings, and if you do, well, I don't know what to tell you. It's called HEADSHOT.

INT. CASTING COMPANY - LOBBY
DAGNUS TODD, a paranoid-type in his late 20s, sits across from JENNY JAMES, a hottie in her early 20s. A pile of her own headshots sits on her lap.
Near her are three other ACTORS. One reads a Variety with a headline that reads:“Indie Film Cast & Crew Found Slaughtered”
Pacing near Jenny is NICK, a perfectly-built dude in his 20s.

DAGNUS
Nice headshot.

Jenny sighs.

DAGNUS
I said, nice headshot.

Jenny looks at him.

JENNY
I didn’t realize you were talking to me.

DAGNUS
It’s cool.

Jenny smiles politely and fidgets.

DAGNUS
So anyways, nice headshot.

JENNY
Oh, right. Thanks.

DAGNUS
No problem. I’m nervous. You?

JENNY
No. I just wanna get it over with.

DAGNUS
It’s my favorite part of the process. The audition.

JENNY
Oh. Well, my favorite part of the process is actually getting the part.

Dagnus laughs annoyingly.

DAGNUS
That’s a good one. Can I use that?

JENNY
It’s all yours.

DAGNUS
You had any big roles?

JENNY
Few things here and there. Was a stand-in on a soap. A few supporting parts in some college films. A lot of theater.

DAGNUS
You’re too pretty for the theater. You should be up on a great big movie screen, in the lead role. Way too pretty.

JENNY
Oh. Um, thanks.

Nick stops pacing.

NICK
Hey, dude. You’re like harassing her. Leave her alone.

DAGNUS
I’m not harassing anybody.

NICK
Whatever, creep.

Nick sits next to Jenny, staring at Dagnus.

DAGNUS
You here for the audition?

NICK
I already got a part. My buddy is the director. I’m just chillin’ like a villain.

DAGNUS
Oh, cool. I’m chilling, too.

NICK
It ain’t “chilling.” It’s chillin.’ And you're not.

DAGNUS
Hey, you say tomAto, I say tomAHto.

NICK
And you’d be wrong.

I hearby tag Tom, Aaron, Robert, Lew and Scriptweaver.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cranberry Sauced frickin' rooles!

Poster is from a little indie called Teeth. Not sure how the movie will turn out but I like the poster.

Turkey day is over. Thank Christ. Such a pain. But I do look forward to chowing down on the sides (turkey is ok, but I'm not thrilled about eating it). I'm a Stove Top stuffing guy, and I also need to have my cranberry sauce (from a can obviosuly, I won't eat it unless it has the can shape on it. An assortment of pies is nice, I prefer Pumpkin, Lemon, and Apple.

Haven't worked on much this week. Been crashing a lot, maybe I need to switch vitamins. Trying to get my Laid re-write done, and I'm eager to push ahead on some new scripts I've been kicking around.

Songs of the week: Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head and 2 from Radiohead - All I Need & Videotape.

Be safe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Flashbacking

Every once in a while, I get slapped in the face with a image from my past, usually just a flash for no reason at all. This ever happened to y'alls? Perhaps I'm just loony. Probably that.

Anyhoo, I've got a two part question for those give a rat's. List some cheesy/cool/whatev stuff from your past that you think of every now and then that takes you back to a moment/event in your childhood. 2nd, name some flicks that you saw when you were young that you thought were like totally rad but now, not so much.

Here's My Part 1 List:
*Parachute Pants - I looked PHAT in those, boooooyyy!!!
*Good bad bands I loved: Night Ranger, Asia & Journey, all the way. Asia once said, "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes." Has it?
*Mousse - I used a LOT of mousse when I was in my teens. I mean, my hair would not move. At all. Why should it?
*"Girls" by the Beastie Boys
*NKOTB
*Jailbreak
*Playing Chinese Checkers with my Mom.
*My X-Wing (best spaceship EVER).
*Thundercats - Um, ho.
*Legos - Before they came with directions & moving parts.
*My Diamond Back bike.
*Mix Tapes (I made dozens)
*Braces - I got them during my freshman year and had them removed the week after I graduated. Go, high school!
*Hitting Disney with my Grandparents.
*Drakkar Noir

And don't forget videogames:
Atari 7600, Colecovision, Intellivision.
Dig Dug, Q-Bert, Galaga.
And the Gateway/MAC of its time: The C64. I ruled Bard's Tale, by the way.

And now, my movies (forgive me, I was young and stoopit):

Red Dawn: "WOLVERINES!" Loved that!
Friday The 13th Part 4 - I was cheering with the rest of the guttertrash in the audience when Jason was getting hacked up by Corey Feldman.
Rocky 4 - Two words: Ivan Drago.
Commando - Not that commando. I prefer boxers or boxer-briefs. I'm talkin' Arnie kicking ass & takes names. Sweet.
Invasion USA - Chuck Norris. Also kicking ass & taking additional names.
Lucas - I don't blame you, Luc. That chick is HOT.
Oxford Blues - Rob Lowe's finest hour.
St. Elmo's Fire - Rob Lowe on sax (Not the finest hour)
They Live - Roddy!!!
Gotcha! - Totally awesome teen spy triller!

Teen Movies that fucking ruled:
The Breakfast Club (Actually, one of my all-time faves).
Weird Science
Better Off Dead
16 Candles

Note: I was never a fan of Pretty In Pink (Gasp!)

Your turn............

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Best & Worst

Here is a list - just for the hell of it - that describes my best and worst screenplays, as well as the in-betweens.


Da Worst:


Lost & Found - first script I ever wrote (1997), painful to read now. Painfull. I'd rather crawl across a field of glass (yes, naked, obviously) than have someone read it. It was about friends searching for themselves, blah, blah, blah. Get over it.


Stain - 2nd script ever. A story about homeless youths. Made a movie out of it too, which was even worst 'cause of its crappy budget. The main problem was that I held back, and I should have pushed the envelope more. Plus it was bad.


Love Interest - Has some decent scenes, but overall a mess. About a guy who is in love with a girl, then meets another cool girl, and then some other stuff happens, and ends up alone anyways. Why? I dunno.


True Colors - My worst title, by far. About a long distance college relationship that doesn't work out. Lame, pointless. I never actually printed it out from my old word processor (Then does it really exist?)


Alleys & Intersections - Another dopey title. Crappy crime drama where the main character dies at the end 'cause I thought it be cool if the main character died at the end. Main character didn't really need to die at the end.


My Best:


Union - My latest and greatest, at least in my own eyeballs. Trying to come up with a decent logline, and I'm not sure I want to post it for the world to see quite yet - I'm afraid the idea will get stolen and then I'd go postal.


Good People - A fun story, and my first option. It's gone through a ton of drafts, and I might revisit it soon. Wrote it back in '98.


Cricket Hill - A pretty edgy take on family dysfunction. Includes but not limited to incest (the game the whole family can play - by Milton Bradley!) between one of the brothers & the sister, adoption, weed, an affair, etc. It's better than I'm making it sound.


The Flight Of Barnaby - This will win me the Oscar, if I don't leap from the Walt Whitman Bridge first. It's a period love story set in the early 1900s about an inventor trying to invent the first airplane. Kind fo a hard sell, but worth it damn it! Written in 1999.


The Money Shot - Apparently, producers shun porn-related movies, but if they didn't they'd love this puppy. It's about a college kid whose financial aid gets screwed up so he decides to make a porn & sell it to cover his tuition. Was optioned for 6 months in 2002 but then the producer dropped off the face of the Earth.

Shuttlecock - Comedy about Badminton. I love this script, it's fun, and I got a kick out of putting the word cock in a title.

The Rave At Danny Carter's House - well, it's about that. I wanted the story to build up to the rave at the end, but some people said it needs to happen sooner. F them.

A Couple Of Joes - This was optioned a few years ago. It's a fun, family movie about a kid named Joe (and his buddies) helping Joe's Grandpa (also named Joe) run for governor.

Doing It Sideways: The Joshua T. Bolt Story - Another porn script. Always loved this one. An out-of-work actor gets in a bind and turns to making porn with his friends. Their pornos take off just as Joshua's childhood love returns. Like a grown up versi9n of The Money Shot.

Tom Noodle - Tom (little kid around 9) goes searching for his Mom in the late 1920s, and his guide is a prostitute. Yeah, hard sell, but I thought it was solid.


Toss Ups:


Headshot - I set out to make a funky horror comedy about a weirdo extra who loses his shit on a film set and tries to kill everyone. Everyone who read it recommended to keep the killer's identity a secret, but the fun of it for me was to see this nutball losing it and offing everyone, I really didn't plan on making it some twist later, I wanted people to know that this is the killer, and let's see who can survive. Maybe I'm just an idiot.


White Gold - Yeah, that white gold. This was meant to be a simple little script and is, it would need only 1 location (a house). It's about a film crew trying to shoot a sex scene. I think it's fun and would be good for a low budget quick shoot, but plot wise there isn't a whole lot going on.


Smoking America - Pothead from NJ wins the Powerball and runs for President. Has promise, needs work though.


Brightsword - Kinda like The Princess Bride meets Lord of Da Rings. This would be a 180 million production. One of my fave scenes is where the main characters are swallowed by a whale and after stumbling around its belly, they are shat out. But I noticed the main character has a limited arc and I need to work on him.


Tourniquet - Small town goes searching for a missing penis that was flushed down a toilet. Too many characters and a little confusing, plus it takes too long to get to the slicing it off part, but I love huge portions of it. Obviously, a tough sell though.


Jablasco - Driver's Ed teacher hires students to kidnap wife so he can save her and look like a hero. Students turn on him and try to rob him and kidnap her for real. Not really like To Die For but it's been compared to it. I think it's a fun/dark script, but needs some work.


Zucker - I like it but it hasn't gotten great reviews from the peeps who have read it. Older man (Zucker) falls for a rich younger chick, then panics and takes off for Mexico, leaving her in debt. Rich dickheaded father of the chick sends a hitman after him. Zucker realizes he loves her and tries to break back into the US, with hitman in pursuit. I like it a ton, but it needs work, I need to get to the meat of the story quicker, Act 1 wanders a bit.


The Go Getters - Exactly like Freaks and Geeks, written before Freaks & Geeks. My longest to date, 140 pages.


The Bomb - I'd like to re-visit this. It's about a bomb that accidentally falls on a small town (doesn't go off) in the mid 50s. The government wants it back and the townsfolk try to hide it. Fun but needs another pass or 2.


Monster - My first horror flick. I wrote it back in 2000. I ramped up the action in it though, so there were bridges blowing up and scenes with the Army, etc. It's got some good stuff here and there.


Superhero Blues - Written before Mystery Men bombed. Basically about the everyday lives of Superheroes, what they deal with (Bills, divorce, etc).


Deacon Street - Dark dark drama. I mean, DARK! Guy watches Dad shoot himself, then loses his mind, ends up in a mental hospital (that's all BEFORE it begins). If I had the $$, I'd shoot it and win Sundance with it.
95% of the movie takes place in the mind of the main character.


20 Seconds In Dullville - Something Ed Burns has probably already made. I still like it, though I'd love to punch it up. A drama about coming back to the place where you grew up, and you've failed at life in every possible way.


Being Gordie Flynn - Depressed guy kidnaps then pretends to be Gordie Flynn (a cool rich guy) at Gordie's high school reunion. I'd work on it but I lost my disc, and didn't back it up. Note to self: Don't do that anymore.

West River Drive - I shot a version of this a few years ago. It's about a kid dealing with his mentally unstable mother. The script was pretty much taken from my childhood, although it had years of situations crammed into 100 minutes. I'm going to make it a book instead.

That's it. I've got probably 15 scripts I didn't mention, not too sure what categories they'd be in, but this is enough. I'm tired, and after seeing all the shit I've written (and not truly sold) I've gone and depressed myself.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Meme

Okay, I just got slapped across the face by a meme. (love ya, MO). So here it is.

Post a song/video/link/lyrics to a tune that has inspired your writing, given you a script idea, has something to do with whatever you're currently writing, or just gets you in the mood (for writing, scumbags). Then carry on the grand meme tradition and tag some of your peeps.

Now, I'm internet-impaired so the best I can do is post links. But click on them because they rock.

So many choices. Geez. But there's one song that always blows me away, and it's best experienced with its video. Click here, then simply choose the 2nd video (glósóli music video), sit back and get inspired. This Sigur Ros composition astounds me, such a simple, beautiful piece of music and the video is breathtaking. Watch it and try NOT to be a better person afterwards.

But I've got a follow up, and it's a song I used in my movie from 2001 (Better Days), called Just Like Fred Astaire, by James. They've got about 6000 amazing songs that inspire me but this one is among my faves. The script for Better Days had a lot to do with finding love and all that jazz, and this song was a perfect fit. Check these lyrics:

I believe in happiness
I believe in love
I believe she fell to Earth from somewhere high above
I believe in Hollywood
Don't believe that love must bring despair
Cause when I hold her in my arms, I feel like Fred Astaire

Who said love is just a disease
A plague for the naive
These days no one believes

Meteors may strike the earth
Nations live and die
I'm the boy who got the girl
And now were gonna fly
We can cross the race divide
Bridge a gap that wasnt really there
Cause when I hold her in my arms, I feel like Fred Astaire

And here's the video.

I shall now tag Aaron, Crymes, Todd, Da Weaver, and Sweet Lew.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sing A New Song

Several posts ago I mentioned that I sing in the car, not the shower. Well, today I thought about what songs really make me want to lose my voice; the songs that you sing along to until your voice cracks/breaks/shatters/melts. Here are some I came up with, most are things I listen to on a regular basis, with a couple oldies (for me at least) from the 80s. Feel free to add to the list!

U2 - 40, Desire, Bad, Where the Streets Have No Name, Exit, Beautiful Day, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, One

INXS - Don't Change, Guns In The Sky, New Sensation, Suicide Blonde

James - Sit Down, Sometimes, Seven

Youth Group - See Saw

Arcade Fire - Wake Up, Keep the Car Running, No Cars Go

The Waterboys - The Whole Of The Moon

World Party - Way Down Now

Tears For Fears - Shout

Snow Patrol - Run

REM - Superman, Green

Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down

The Cure - Just Like Heaven, In Between Days

New Order - Regret, Age Of Consent, Love Vigilantes

Coldplay - Yellow, In My Place

Travis - Turn

Radiohead - Let Down, Just, Karma Police, Fake Plastic Trees

Interpol - Not Even Jail

Sum 41 - Pieces

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

GNR - Paradise city, Sweet Child O'Mine

Journey - Faithfully

Asia - The Heat Of The Moment, Only Time Will Tell

Secret Machines - 1000 Seconds

Nada Surf - The Blizzard Of '77, Killian's Red

The Killers - Smile Like You Mean It, When You Were Young

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Shorts

Been a while since I've made a movie, '03 to be exact. And that's just fine. I like just writing for now, maybe someday in the future I'll get the bug again, but after shooting 3.5 features and some shorts - all of which went nowhere after lots of hard work by most involved - I have no plans to get back on that horse.

I was going over the list of shorts in my mind today, and here they are:

The Passenger - My Senior Thesis project. What a wasted opportunity. I had access to cameras, film & editing equipment, and I blew it on a lame concept/plot:

Guy is driving home from college, passes broken-down motorists, then he breaks down, starts to walk. Calls home, hangs up on stoner brother, gets beat up by broken-down motorists he passed earlier, then keeps walking.

What did it mean? Was it a metaphor for his life? Beats the shit out of me.

Neil - In class project, the only one I didn't direct. I acted as a newscaster who delcares his love for the weatherman while Neil Diamond's "Today" blasts in the background.

N2 - No budget horror: A group of friends is stalked and killed in a house during a night of nothing happening. At the end, after the last person is killed outside, we see the killer - It's a film camera, who comes back inside the house and sits in front of the TV to watch Neil Diamon sing "Sweet Caroline."

Short - Actually pretty good. Story of 2 homeless guys trying to make ends meet. Very little dialogue, mostly stark images & music mixed in with flashes of their past (via old home movies).

FeedMeBack - Non-sensical film class project, basically I just slapped a bunch of images together (including funky feedback of a video camera taping its own images from a TV screen - trippy). Teacher loved it for its meaning. Damned if I knew its meaning, I just thought it looked cool. Got me an A! Yeah, boooyyy!!

The Family Dog - The most successful. Played a few minor fests and made some cash off the internet (back when Hypnotic, Ifilm and Atom websites were popular). Shot on Super 16. Sweet.

The Reappearance Of Homer Pitts - I liked this one. Story of a kid who feels left out and turns invisible. When he realizes he family indeed loves him, he reappears.

The Disintegration Of A Boy Band: Made before bashing boybands was popular. Ended with a "where are they now" sequence. One was lost in a forest, one cleaned trash of the streets, one was homeless, and the last was a stock boy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

George Clooney as Michael Clayton

Damn! A must-see. One of the best of the year (My tops of the year list is now Sunshine, Michael Clayton and The Lookout).

Clooney is just amazing in it. He really is. A very layered, incredible performance. He lays it all out there. Tilda Swinton is as good as always. Tom Wilkinson and Sidney Pollack rock out in their supporting parts.

Tony Gilroy's writing and directing are so perfect, it blew me away. Not a scene is wasted.

One of my faves was the sequence at a birthday party (at Clayton's childhood home), including the scene with his son in the car afterwards. Any scene with Clayton and his brothers were perfectly done. Gilroy knows mood & tone, and he pulls it all off. Brilliant.

And there is a scene about mid-way through that will rock you. It was so creepy, so freaking disturbing, it easily blows away any junk-gore torture porn bullshit you'll see in Hostel or Saw 9: Buzzsaw!

Check it out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

UNION - Done.

Still polishing my newest baby (UNION), but for the most part, it's complete. And I love it. Can't wait to get a nice, sleep logline together, when I have one I'm pleased with I'll post it and see what y'all think. It clocks in at 102 pages.

Have been editing LAID with some notes from my managers, so although I have a decent version I can send out, it's not officially out of the oven. It's like I put it back in because the middle was gooey....or another way to look at it is they gave me some killer notes and I decided to work on it further.

I just don't have enough freakin' time to write. Between work, wife, kids, and awesome TV like Reaper, Chuck, & 30 Rock, it's hard to get more writing done. Two scripts this year is decent (Laid & Union plus 2 re-writes of 2 older scripts) but I've got about 9837 more ideas I want to write, and easily 100 saved files on my cpu that are either partial scripts or a bunch of scenes that I've been dying to get to.

I'm itching to work on something dramatic next, so I might get to my Dakota idea, or my horror epic. If I feel comedic then I'll jump back into the Stand-In (already at page 60, I just put it aside to simmer) or Temp'd (I'm into act 2) or my mini-golf comedy I started 2 years ago, or Rollin' Thunda, another comedy. Jesus, see?!

For tonight, I'll polish Union. It's a damn good script, I just know it. It's sorta not too commercial, but then again, kinda is.

Oh well, I'll listen to the new Radiohead while I edit. I downloaded the new album. Amazing. As Tommy Cruise once said while manning a machine gun in TAPS: "It's fucking beautiful, man!!!"

Monday, October 15, 2007

Perry Does It Again

Box Office:
Why Did I Get Married: 21.7 million - Damn!
Game Plan: 11 million
We Own The Night: 10.8
Clayton: 10.4
Heartbreak Kid: 7.3 (ouch)
Lizzy 2: 6.2
Da Kingdom: 4.6
Across the Universe: 3.8
RE:3: 2.6
Seeker: 2.2
Final Season: 664,351 (Jesus Christ)

I'm gonna try to see Clayton this week, would love to check out Darjeeling & Yuma, too. Is it just me or does 30 Days Of Night look bad ass?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Damn!


Man, those Rockies handed our asses to us. I almost feel like the Mets....oh, wait, no I don't. We beat the piss out of the Mets all season and skipped past them to win the Division.

Tough loss for the Phillies, but it's their own fault, they just didn't hit.


So, Redsox vs. Rockies? That's what I'm thinking. If so, it's the Redsox in 5.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

j o y d i v i s i o n


Please check out this trailer for the Anton Corbijn film, CONTROL, about the life (and death) of Ian Curtis, lead singer for Joy Division (who, after his suicide, became New Order). The film looks amazing, love the crisp black & white, and the actor playing Ian looks JUST freaking like him. Can't wait for this.

IRON MAN


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Go, Ben!

I saw this on the movie-bytes.com website:

Newcomer Ben Frahm, who had been working as a special-needs teacher at a middle school, has sold his comedy spec Dr. Sensitive to Universal in a deal valued in the mid-six figures. Shady Acres will produce. The script, in the vein of Liar, Liar, is about a doctor with the world's worst bedside manner who undergoes a transformative experience that makes him overly empathetic. The screenplay was discovered by Frahm's reps at Underground Films through a query letter, and was developed for a year prior to going Shady Acres, where it was developed further.

The thing that caught my eye was that it was initially discovered via a query letter. Whoa. Somebody actually read one of those things? Anyways, good for Ben.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Funny Games Poster

Kudos to the marketing people for this film. Actually, there have been some pretty cool posters coming around lately. Can't stand the typical "headshot" posters Hollywood usually slaps together. Anyway, check this out........

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Phillies Phever!!!

Congrats to our Fighting Phils, who came from 7 games back only a short time ago to the champs of their division. Certainly, it helped that the Mets completely C H O K E D, but the Phillies kicked all kinds of ass to win their division. Sweet! Jimmy Rollins - MVP!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Before The Devil.........



I need to add this to my list of "must-sees," this is the new film from Sidney Lumet. Sweet poster.

Also, the Wes Anderson short film (prequel to Darjeeling) called Hotel Chevalier is a FREE download on itunes (co-stars Natalie Portman (she gets nekkid!!!). Check it out.

"Union" countdown - I'm into the 80s, I should have an updated page count for my next post.

Go Phils! Goodbye, Mets.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Script countdown - UNION

Finally finishing this one. Been creeping and crawling around my head for a few years, got it started last year but put it on the backburner while I did other scripts.

It's called Union, and is a sorta comedy/drama about a family, set around Christmas. I won't divulge the rest yet, the actual plot is pretty high god damn concept.

I'm on Page 74 now, and plan to wrap it up within the next week.

Friday, September 21, 2007

TV


Some cool stuff coming up this season. The shows I'm looking forward to most are Chuck & Reaper, and the return of Lost, Weeds, Dexter and Heroes. Californication is holding my interest, but Tell Me You Love Me is a snooze. It's supposed to be so "real." Try lame. Bunch of whiners.

It'll be interesting to see where Heroes goes after their limp finale - some showdown. They should have just had a rock/paper/scissor battle royale. But it's a good show that should get better.

Thought the first K-Ville was decent, although I'm not sure that an escaped convict could join the Army & be a cop, just because records were lost in New Orleans from Katrina. Wouldn't his social security number come into play?

Bionic Woman could go either way, but I think it'll be decent. Can't promise I'll watch though. I'll check out Pushing Daisies, at least it sounds different.

What will get canceled? Hmm, there's no way Life will make it past a few epdisodes. It's a so-so premise, and too much other stuff on for people to care. Big Shots will probably have a big premiere then die. Journeyman looks blah - people didn't dig Daybreak and that had Taye Diggs. And Dirty Sexy Money might make it, but it's got a shit title and a lesser Baldwin.

What will U be watching??????

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back 2 Work

Thanks, team, for all of your condolences. It means a lot. Some day I'll meet y'all and buy you many drinks.

Been a rough week, but the services are over, things are slowly getting back to normal. It's a pretty horrible feeling I'm left with though, thinking I could've done more - even though I did the most really. But I just hope my mom is in a good place - a place without fear, pain, and lame remakes. Maybe Heaven is a constant Coen Bros, Weir, Spielberg and Scorcese marathon. Could be!

I'm slowly getting back to writing. I'm working with my manager on my Laid re-write. Need to re-work the beginning (to similar to Superbad - how was I to know 4 months ago when I wrote the beginning!!!???) and get some character work done.

Other than that I'm going to work on some stuff that aren't comedies, namely my horror script Route 66, my crime drama called Dakota, and another new idea callled Rollin' Thunda.

Just trying to keep busy, and finally sell one of these puppies.

Monday, September 10, 2007

K.R. 1944-2007

So, my Mom died yesterday at around noon. She had been a heavy smoker most of her life, and had battled horrific emphysema for many years.

(Hey kids - Stop smoking - Yes, it will KILL you. Chew some fucking gum.)

The real tragedy of this was the life she led. I'm won't get into specifics too much (this is a LONG story), but I'll say it involved her deteriorating health (mentally & physically), which began when I was young, at a time when people who suffered from mental health problems were labeled as simply "nuts."

The main thing she suffered from was depression, which I think began as a form of post-partum depression that went un-noticed, then spread into other things as a lack of understanding & frustration from her family basically made her an outcast. Her disintegrating marriage couldn't have helped, either. She had been diagnosed as bi-polar, with psychosis n.s., depression, and schizophrenia.

Yeah, that's a pretty bad hand to be dealt.

Note: When someone is suffering from depression, get them help (!).

I'm sure some relatives attempted to help at first, but it certainly wasn't enough, so it was left up to me. But by the time I got her the help she needed, it was too late really. Like I said, this is a long story, this only scratches the surface.

And even though 90% of childhood was a living hell, I knew that deep down she was still a good person and a loving mother, and I made my peace with her before she died. But seeing her get worse as the days passed was heart-wrenching, and although her passing has hit me like a ton of bricks, I am glad she is finally at peace. The last 30+ years of her life sucked.

She was 63.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Austin Newz

My family comedy, That's How We Roll, made it into the 2nd round of the Adult/Family portion of the Austin Screenplay Competition, but did not make the Semi cut.

Still, they say 2nd rounders are in the top 10-12 %, so I can't complain.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What Summer?


Damn, that was fast. My oldest heads back to school on Wednesday, I feel bad because his Summer was lightning quick. I hope his year goes fast, and I hope by the end of it I've got a script sold and in production.

On that end of things, there are some rumblings. My Agent pitched my family comedy A Couple Of Joes to a producer who liked the idea and wanted to read it, so we sent it to him before Labor Day. And my Manager and I went over Laid and I've been tweaking it over this past week, and am almost done Draft #2.

For music fans: Check out recent releases from The National, Editors, The Bravery, and Interpol. Good music to write to.

Late!

PS - Pic is from Hotel Chevalier, the short film that will play before The Darjeeling Limited, and stars Jason Schwartzman (as his Darjeeling character) and Natalie Portman. Super cool. Can't wait to see this!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wait A Minute - Stills


Back in 2003 we were in production of a no-budget epic I wrote called WAIT A MINUTE. My wife and I were self-producing, and I directed and was DP, also.

Things were going pretty smoothly, and then I pulled the plug. The main concern I had was that we were wasting our time. It had a crap budget, and looked like a crap budget, and even if we finished it, NO ONE would EVER distribute it. NO ONE. It was just this scrappy little movie that would never sell.

Plus, the actors were nailing it. They all rocked. If Philly has anything, they've got a kick-ass pool of talent.

It was my own fault for ushering it into production without a real budget, but as I learned from my other past projects, it would'nt have gone anywhere. Some stills I took in '03:




Saturday, August 25, 2007

2007 Thus Far




Not many flicks have completely blown me away. I'm waiting to see stuff like Sunshine & Rescue Dawn, and upcoming films like Jesse James, There Will Be Blood, The Darjeeling Limited, Michael Clayton, No Country For Old Men, Trade, Crossing Over, 3:10 to Yuma, And Gone Baby Gone that will likely make their way onto a Top 1o list.

Best of the year so far? Scott Frank's The Lookout. Very well made all around.

Stardust was fun, but it wouldn't end up on an end of the year Top 10. Also thoroughly enjoyed Knocked Up & Superbad.

300 was barely okay. The Simpsons was funny but pretty much like a long episode - not that that's a bad thing. Pirates 3 was decent but 2 was better. Shrek 3 had moments but didn't need to be made. Saw the original recently and thought it was still great.

In the Land Of Women was interesting, I'd give it a C+. We also saw I Could Never Be Your Woman starring Michelle Pfeiffer & Paul Rudd (it's been retitled All That Really Matters and comes out in November) and that had some fun stuff, but again, didn't rock me.

Worst of the year so far is still Hostel 2.

What are your faves/non faves of the year so far?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Super

Superbad - Go see it. It's a hilarious ride. The writing is sharp, and the actors really carry it. Great performances all around. Smart, fun, and pretty damn real.

And the good news it, I didn't unknowingly rip it off when I wrote Laid. One thing I worrried about was doing that as I finished my script, but they are pretty different so I'm not concerned about that anymore.

I was gonna start a new script tonight, tentatively called Rollin' Thunda but decided to go back and punch up some Laid. The Agent is reading it this weekend, and I'll get his thoughts.

Check out Superbad though. I liked it a lot. Knocked Up was probably a better movie overall, but Superbad has some truly classic scenes & dialogue. Damn funny stuff.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Done

It's sloppy. I gotta go in and pull some teeth, whiten some others, break out the floss, but for the most part, stick a fork in it. It's done.

Gonna take a few passes at it, hunt for typos, funny up some scenes, then move along to the agent, see what he thinks.

It's done!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Final Lap!

Almost there! Page 88. If I don't crash, I should have it done on Saturday night. It should land in the mid 90s, right about where I want it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ah, The 70s.

Blasted through Page 70 last night, tonight I'm aiming for 80. It's almost done. And it's feeling great.

Below is a scene (I can only cut & paste it, please forgive it's appearance) from LAID. I was trying to think of one to post, and I thought this one would be good. Our hero, Joe, has a flashback to when he lost his virginity:

INT. CARAVAN - NIGHT - FLASHBACK
Joe and GLORIA, 17, are getting hot and heavy. He tosses a condom wrapper aside.

GLORIA
Is it on?
JOE
Fits like a glove.

She looks down between his legs.

GLORIA
Doesn’t it get any bigger?
JOE
I think that’s gonna be about it.
GLORIA
It’ll be fine. Just put it in.

Joe nods and concentrates, trying to insert himself.

GLORIA
I don’t feel anything.
JOE
I’m still searching. Wait, here you go.
GLORIA
Hey. Not up the ass, please. I’m not an up-the-ass girl.

JOE
No problem. I’m not an up-the-ass guy.
GLORIA
Good to know. Here. I’ll help you.

She reaches down between his legs, pulls him closer. She BELCHES loudly into his face.

JOE
Wow.
GLORIA
Sorry about that. Kinda did that in your face. Must’ve been those peppers I had at dinner.
JOE
Yeah, I thought it smelled like peppers.

GLORIA
Here we are.
JOE
Oh, God. Oh, my God!
GLORIA
Feel nice?

JOE
Shit yeah! Oh, boy. Gloria. Oh, Gloria.
GLORIA
No, no! Wait, Joe! Don’t come yet! I want to get it, too!
JOE
Yes! Oh, yeah! I’m coming! I’m coming!

GLORIA
God dammit!

He shudders and pulls away, exhausted, with a huge smile.
JOE
Nice. Did you get an orgasm, too?
GLORIA
Fuck off.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

60s

Laid is into the 60s now. Kinda hard to put an exact number on it, I have another file with notes, scenes, etc, that I will cut & paste soon which will add to the total.

The end is finished, and I feel real good about it.

On my main file I'm at 64, and will get some more done tonight. I'll try to post a scene or 2. trying to figure out which ones though. Many are filled with extreme raunch. I mean, I don't want to offend EVERYONE.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

LAID

Oh, man. This is a good one. My goal is to have this baby finished ASAP. It's so damn funny, it's raunchy, it's cool. I'm just happy as a pig in poop when I'm writing it.

I'm talking about Laid, and it's about, well, getting laid. I'm concentrating all firepower on it until it's done, then my agent will send it out and it WILL SELL. I have no doubt.

I'll update my progress throughout the week. I'm on Page 55, and am aiming for the mid-90s, maybe lower 100s before I slice & dice it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mist


This could be a fun fright flick. It's directed by Frank Darabont, and stars Thomas Jane (see Stander - awesome flick) and William Sadler, and based on the Stephen King story.
What's THE scariest flick you've ever seen?
My top choices would be:
1. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (70s version, really cool movie).
2. Nosferatu (70s version, directed by Werner Herzog & starring Klaus Kinski).
3. The first Nightmare On Elm Street
4. The Thing (1982)
5. Alien
6. Halloween
7. Friday the 13th
8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (70s version)
9. Wolf Creek

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yuma + Darjeeling + My Meme


First, this poster is absolutely BAD-ASS. 3:10 To Yuma stars Bale & Crowe, directed by James Mangold. Good stuff. Also, please check out The Darjeeling Limited Trailer. Looks awesome.

Okay, now, onto my meme: 8 Things you don't know about me. Hopefully it'll be more things you didn't know since we all did the last 5 things you don't know about me/us from 2 months ago.

1. I don't sing in the shower, but I sing like a mofo in my car, usually singing along to something like U2, Coldplay, Radiohead, Travis, Killers or Arcade Fire, and some old school rock like Journey.

2. When driving in my car or work van, I'm not only singing my heart out, I'm usually inspired there, too. The best place I come up with script ideas, dialogue, titles and/or scenes is while driving.

3. In 2003, I had my first big pitch meeting. It was at CAA. After ALMOST (this FRIGGIN close) winning for best comedy script at Austin I set up a meeting with a cool woman I met during the festival (a story editor). Anyhoo, I went in there and she introduces me to a hip agent dude and he tells me to pitch him some of my stuff.

AND I BLEW IT. BIG TIME.

I went in there not prepared to pitch, which was my fault. I thought I was basically following up with a friendly meeting and it became a meeting to snag an agent. So, I didn't snag a thing. Neat experience but come on, I should have been prepared. Note to all reading: BE PREPARED. It was freaking CAA!!!!

4. One day after 9/11, I deleted a script I was working on that revolved around hostages. Completely deleted it. Just couldn't work on it.

5. I hate......HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE loading a roll of film into a camera. I did it during college for my film projects, and one time while trying to load a 16mm roll in a dark closet, the inside spool popped out, and a gallon of film spilled all over the dark floor. I felt like pulling off my own head and punting it down the street.

6. When I was little, I played with Star Wars figures, GI Joe, Hot Wheels and.......Smurfs.

7. I hate to write, manually, with my hand. LOVE typing though, just don't ask me to write something out. My hand hurts just thinking about it.
8. I've never seen an episode of Survivor, American Idol or the Apprentice. But Beauty & The Geek? Oh yes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back

We've returned from our 2nd Outer Banks vacation. Great place (We stayed in Kitty Hawk 2 years ago, this time we were in Nags Head). Good stuff, they've got great beaches there, plenty of mini-golf, and some kick-ass restaurants. So, it was a good week. Now we're flat broke, but that's what vacations are for, right? Sweet!

Here are a few cool posters for some of the more interesting flicks coming soon:






Thursday, July 12, 2007

At 98 We All Rotate

Name the song from the above-referenced quote and I'll buy you a shot.

Mid-year report.....

Screenwriting - A lot in the oven, but none of it has finished cooking. Usually at this point of the year I'd have 2 completed feature-length screenplays, but for the better part of this year I've been burned out and exhausted/disheartened/depressed from the daytime job. Luckily, I'm getting out of the slump and have made great progress on my raunchy teen comedy called LAID. It'll be finished by early August and hopefully after I've worked on it with my agent it'll be set to go out by Fall.

Flicks: Haven't seen all that many movies. What I have seen:

The Invisible - I liked this. Pretty neat idea (not totally original, but what the hell is). Anyway I thought it was done well, had crisp direction and a great soundtrack.

In The Land Of Women - I think EW gave it an F. That's harsh. I'd say B minus. It wasn't awful, not great either, but wasn't a total loss.

Shrek The Third - Had its moments, a few funny gags & lines here and there, but for the most part, really not necessary.

Hostel 2 - Worst movie of the year. I dig horror movies, and I don't mind gore and all, but this movie was a steaming pile of feces. It was ruthless, brutal, and bad. A shame because I think Eli Roth isn't a bad filmmaker.

Pirates 3 - I liked it. It was fun. Way long, and there was simply too much story going on but overall it was fun, not as good as the 2nd but a decent bookend.

Knocked Up - Best of the year so far. See it.

300 - Meh. It looked neat and all, but I kinda got sick of it.

Box Office
In April, I made some guesstimates. Here's how they are holding up:

I said:
Pirates - 390 million. It's at 301 million and grinding to a halt.

Spidey 3 - 360 million. Well, it's at 334. Close, but no cigarette.

Shrek 3 - 320 million. It's at 316 and is almost finished. Close!

Transformers - 240 million. I didn't take into consideration that it might be good, or at least get decent reviews. It made 155 mil so far in its 1st week, so it'll likely cruise past 240, depending how it holds up.

Potter - I said 235 million, and it made 44.5 in ONE DAY. but it'll probably fall off, so we'll see where it lands.

Surf's Up - I said 180. not even close. It's at 56 million and just about dead.

Fantastic 4 - I said 170. It's at 123 and running out of steam so it won't be making that.

Oceans 13 - I said 150. It's at 109 and will probably get to 118-120.

Knocked Up - I said 160. It's at 132 but has good legs.

Ratatoullie - I said 140 and it's at 109 so it should clear that. Surprising it didn't tank.

Die Hard 4 - I said 130 mil. It's at 84 currently and should be passing 100 soon, so this might be a close one.

License to Wed - I said 150. Hahaha. Good one. I'm sorry, I thought it might actually be good. Oops.

Mr. Brooks - I thought around 110. Oops again.

28 Weeks Later - I said 30 and that's about what it made.

Evan Almighty - I said 90 million. It's at 78 and croaking, so I might be right, but it could sneak by 100 and make like 107 million.

1408 - I said 60 and it's at 58 but still going, might finished with 75-80 million.

That's all team. I'm off to The Outer Banks from the 14th to the 21st. Be good!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Poor Liberty

Wow - This teaser is attached to TRANSFORMERS. It's a hush-hush movie from JJ Abrams, creator of Alias, MI3, etc, and is operating under the title Cloverfield or its release date 1/18/08. Check it out here.

It's like some odd/awesome combo of Blair Witch (shot on "home" video) and Godzilla (or that Korean flick The Host). Sweet.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

C'mon Jason


Okay, I like Jason Lee. I do. I think he's always been a great talent. But holy crap - this looks BAD. Not only because it's Alvin & The Chipmunks - the movie, but just look at the chipmunks. They've been hip-hopped.


Dreadful. From the director of Garfield 2!!!!! Bombing this X-Mas!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

2007's coolest-looking flicks









Looking at the rest of 2007, there's some good shit coming. My must-sees are:

No Country For Old Men - Coen Bros. Nice-looking trailer, has a nice feel to it. I think it'll rock, and look for nominations for Tommy Lee Jones & Javier Bardem.

There Will Be Blood - Killer trailer. Reminds me of the better parts of Days Of Heaven. Daniel Day Lewis looks amazing already.

The Darjeeling Limited - Wes Anderson directs Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman & Owen Wilson. I'm so there.

Margot At The Wedding - Sounds like a chick flick, and it sorta looks like one, but it's directed by Noah Baumbach, who I've loved since Kicking & Screaming (not Will Ferrell's) from way back, although I didn't love The Squid & The Whale so much.

I Am Legend - The trailer is promising, and as long as Will Smith doesn't yell "Oh, hell, no!" I think it'll be a good sci-fi/horror epic.

The Ten - A 10 commandments comedy, with Paul Rudd, from the creators of Wet Hot American Summer. Seek out the trailer. Funny as hell.

Rescue Dawn - Werner Herzog's POW epic, nice buzz for Steve Zahn and Christian Bale.

Sunshine - Looks wonderful. Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Weeks Later) usually delivers, and even his "misfires" like A Life Less Ordinary are at least worth watching.

30 Days Of Night - Vampires. Alaska.
What do you guys wanna see?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tow Truck Driver Wisdom

I met a neat character for a script: Mike, The Tow Truck Driver. I met him this morning when he took me from Middle Village, NY to South NJ - Don't ask. I was a long freakin' drive.....

Some kernels of his wisdom included:

1. He's "no fag."
2. Wishes his wife died during the childbirth of any of his 5 children.
3. When his wife was in a car accident, he prayed to God.....That God would take her.
4. His wife left him (why?) and ran off to Puerto Rico to file for a divorce. No matter to him, he's glad to be rid of her and can buy any woman he wants.
5. At the baby shower I was supposed to attend, tell the baby:
A. If it's a baby boy: "Stay clear of women - they're bitches."
B. If it's a baby girl: "You're a fucking bitch."
6. He cried during The Notebook.
7. On 9/11, the plane that hit the Pentagon was hit by a missle before it crashed. On a related note, if a plane carrying his mother was headed for the Pentagon, he'd shoot it down "in a heartbeat" to protect "his president, his government."
8. The Edge (starring Alec Baldwin & Anthony Hopkins) is a great movie....I'd actually somewhat agree on this, it wasn't a half-bad adventure flick.
9. If I was opposed to his smoking, I was allowed to crack my window.
10. And get this, by the end of our journey together, he said if he went back in time to the place where he met his wife, he'd still ask her out, marry her, etc. Because after all the "bullshit" it was worth it for the good times. Perhaps an arc for the Tow Truck Driver?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sweet - A COUPLE OF JOES Feedback

A Couple Of Joes has been named a quarter-finalist in the Writers On The Storm screenwriting contest. Got some great feedback, too, which is included with EVERY entry (it was a $30 entry with my movie-bytes discount, can't beat it!). Here it is:

Recommendation: Consider With Reservations

Strengths/Weaknesses: This is a unique, engaging concept. The story of a boy running his grandfather for governor of New Jersey has lots of comic potential - as well as a good emotional core. The structure is good. There are three identifiable acts. The writer's style is engaging and the script was an easy read. The pacing was good. The ending was satisfying and the journey along the way was fun. The problem with the script is that the stakes for the boy need to be clearer and higher. What will happen if he fail at getting his grandfather elected? What will happen if he fails his class? Why is this a critical moment in Joe's life? Also, there are some believability issues. Grandpa Joe's first speech in the square was not remarkable enough to garner attention. Also, his appearance on the talk show was bland. What makes him so remarkable? Why do people get behind him? Look at the movie "Being There" and we see how an ordinary man can capture the imagination and ignite the hopes and dreams of average people. What is it about grandpa that makes people want to vote for him? Right now, it seems implausible that he would be able to run and implausible that the kids would be able to get him so many high-profile media appreances. There also needs to be more conflict in the script. The beginning is a bit slow... there needs to be conflict on every page of the script to keep a reader/audience fully engaged. But, the writer did a very good job. This is an entertaining script. The premise is good, the writing style is good, but the execution just isn't there quite yet. One more rewrite and it'll be good to go. Good work!

Reader suggestions: What sells scripts in Hollywood these days is... emotions. Plot is important, but getting the audience fully invested in the characters is paramount. The relationship between Joe and Grandpa Joe is the core of this story - and so this relationship has to be developed much more. Perhaps younger Joe disliked his grandfather before and now, through the campaigan, he is drawn closer to him and understands him more. The author has this in the end, but it needs to be brought out much more. In the first act, we need to get more invested in the characters - on an emotional level. It feels too superficial right now. The end of the first act needs to come sooner (it happens on p. 38 right now). They decided to run Grandpa for governor. Great. Now, we are off and running. The second act needs a stronger tension. Make things more difficult for the Joes along the way. Give the protagonist more obstacles, more challenges. The third act is a bit weak - feels like an epilogue. There needs to be a strong narrative drive to the third act. It seems like young Joe wants to find Grandpa, but he does so right away and then we are back to Grandpa running for Governor. It's a bit predictable (and implausible) that Grandpa Joe would win the election - particularly based on what he says as a candidate in this story. Make it stronger, more real. Make him a real candidate - someone that people would vote for. Allison subplot is good. Brenda subplot doesn't do much - thought it's nice for Dudley. EVERY scene in a script needs to 1) move the story forward and 2) expand our understanding of the characters. If the scene does not accomplish BOTH of these things, it has to be reworked or cut. The script needs more original action and more clever methods that younger Joe uses to help get Grandpa elected. And raise the stakes, for younger Joe. Why MUST he do this? What happens if he doesn't? Title is too vague. Titles are important - make it a strong one. I enjoyed the script and the writer did a fine job - just focus the story and dig deeper into the characters. Good luck!

Also, scoring a "GOOD" was STRUCTURE, DIALOUGE, COMMERCIALITY, MAJOR & MINOR CHARACTERS, EXECUTION & TITLE. Scoring better in the "STRONG" category was STYLE/VOICE, ORIGINALITY, & PREMISE.

Overall, pretty nice feedback. Actually useful for me as I'll certainly keep some of those notes in mind when I take another pass at it soon. I'm waiting to hear if I made the semi-finals.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Week In Review - 6/15/07

TV:
The more I think on it, maybe Tony didn't get killed. I don't know. I mean, all of his immediate threats were either killed or had a truce.

Although that long black screen at the end has to mean something.

But one theory is that he's always going to be living in fear, and I don't think that's true either. If he wasn't killed, then I think Chase was saying that the Soprano clan will pull through, and could even survive parallel parking.

MOVIES:
Hit YOUTUBE and check out a trailer for P.T. Anderson's There Will Be Blood. Wow.

Also, floating around on Yahoo are cool trailers for The Ten and 3:10 To Yuma.

Box Office looks like this:
Fantastic 4 - 57 million

Nancy Drew - 8 million (by the way, the most negative thing I hear about this movie is Emma Roberts blah-performance). That'll make her feel good about herself!!!

Ocean's 13 is losing about half its audience, while Knocked Up (Awesome flick, go see it) is only losing about 26%. Nice! Oh, Hostel 2 is down 71% from its opening weekend. Ouch!

MUSIC
Found a mix-tape I made a few years ago. Killer stuff on it! When In Rome, Ocean Blue, Blur, Depeche Mode (or Depressed Mood as my friend used to call them), and some older u2 (is there a more amazing sone than The Unforgettable Fire?).


WORLD NEWS
The US says about 60% of Iraq is not under control. Again, thanks George W.

SPORTS
Phils only 2 games back! Nice win over the Tigers. Look out, Mets!

And I'll end with this:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Soprano Finale

1st of all, no, they aren't setting up a movie. James Gandolfini is pretty much done with Tony, as he's stated for a long time now - although he might be thinking differently in 2 years depending on his career status. I loved him in Get Shorty, but beyond that he hasn't done much except for Surviving Christmas & The Last Castle. And for some reason, Lonely Hearts (starring James plus Travolta, Jared Leto & Salma Hayek) when straight to AOL (?!?!?!?!?!?).

Overall, my feeling was that it was good. I didn't mind the ending, but I wish people would stop calling it a "fade" to black. That was no fade!

My main problem with it is the same problem I've always had with the series - it's choppy as hell. Not sure if it's the writing, editing or both. Scenes just seem to be piled on after the other, and it's always been like that.

Do I think Chase was giving the audience the finger? Nah, I just think he was doing it his own way, not really caring. So, what happened? I don't buy the argument that Tony S. will always be looking behind his back, that much we've known for years.

He was killed. To me, there's no other option. And the last thing he saw was Meadow coming in the door. Because there's simply no other reason for the long stretch of black after it ended. as was discussed earlier in the season, that's what happens when you get whacked.

Bam, then nothing.

How would I have done it? Well, not like that - Using the same set-up I'd have everyone killed (off-screen, while Meadow struggles with parallel parking) and she walks in to chaos & the aftermath.

But maybe Chase's works better. I don't freakin' know. I love the tension in that end scene, but since not too much went on in the episode, and we were all expecting him to get killed, it was pretty easy to create tension there. Still, it was well done.

On a scale from 1 to 10 I'd give it a 7.

Your thoughts? The time is yours...........

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Week In Review - June 7



I'm gonna try to do a sorta "week in review" called "week in review" that will have silly writing updates, entertainment news, etc. Here goes:



WRITING NEWS:
I writing again! Been a while since I got much done in one sitting, but am currently working on 2 kick-ass comedies. Yay!



TRAINWRECK UPDATES:
Paris Hilton - She's still an asshole. Oh, and she might have to go back to "jail." It's to be determined. Aw, poor thing, after all she did serve almost 5 days of her 23 day sentence, but was released to her mansion because of a medical problem. What could it have been? Crotch rot? Da clap?She's a fucking idiot, and she'll be back on (or off) the roads until she drives over some old man on a bike. A seriously useless person. Paris, that is. Not the old man. He's probably somebody's Grandpa and they love him so.



Lohan - Another asshole. This one is worse because she's actually shown that she has talent, but continues to vomit it away on her ridiculous drinking binges. Total fuck-up. Aw, poor beeyotch has some family issues? Join the rest of the fucking world, idiot.



TV NEWS:
JERICHO is returning! CBS uncancelled it. Good show, I'm happy about that. Can't wait until Big Love & Weeds, plus the next season of Entourage looks good.



MOVIE NEWS:
Sean Connery out of Indy 4. I heard he'll be replaced by John Hurt. Hmm. Hurt's a good actor and all, but my 4 year old could put a beat-down on him. He's pretty frail-looking. John Hurt that is, not my son. My son will kick all your asses!



MUSIC NEWS:
Not too much in music. Just go by Arcade Fire's Neon Bible and Travis' The Boy With No Name. Great stuff.



WORLD NEWS:
We just cleared 3,500 US dead in Iraq. This is a message for people who voted for Bush (AGAIN). You are idiots.

SPORTS NEWS:
PHILS SWEEP METS! HA!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Knocked Up - A "Crowning" Acheivement


Fantastic movie, one of the funniest I've seen in years.

Congrats to Judd Apatow for creating this movie, and also to Seth Rogen Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Katherine Heigl, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonal Hill, etc, etc, etc, for their awesome work here.

Now, it's certainly not just some raunchy comedy, although there is plenty of raunch involved. But mostly, this movie is real. And not just with the pregnancy stuff, but with issues like marriage, kids, work, stress, all that stuff.

And it's fucking brilliant at times. Because you know people like this. You are people like this. The writing is sharp as hell, and the actors certainly own these characters in & out. Also, there are dozens of inside movie jokes that made me almost cry with laughter. I won't mention them here.

Just go see it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How I Gots Represented

Just had a question regarding representation in the comments section, so here goes my tale:

To date, I've had 1 agent and 3 managers. Zero Script Sales. 5 Options.
Note: 1st Option (4th script I wrote, it was called Good People) was optioned independently.

Got my first Manager back in '98. Super nice lady, had a good head for the business. At that point, I had been listing my scripts in a Spec Script Marketplace type of thing she was running and she was about to start up her own management company and grab some writers who had been listing there. So I jumped on-board. She gave great notes on some of my earlier scripts and we had some buzz, but no sales or options. Then she got in a car wreck and was unable to continue managing.

She hooked me up with an agent who took me on. Interesting dude. Older gent, the 1st time I met him in Beverly Hills we went for a ride in his fancy car (A 1920ish-style oldie) to chat and he got a case of road rage and almost beat down the driver of a car that beeped at him. Yikes. But I had no other way in at the time, so I hung in there. We had an odd relationship.

He had no assistants and answered his own phone in a different voice, then would always connect me with himself. Yeah, that'd be a red flag. But we did have 2 options (A Couple Of Joes & The Money Shot) so we had some success. I let him go once because we'd go MONTHS without speaking, and he fumbled the buzz I had after almost winning the Austin Screenplay Competition in '03 (set up zero meetings, etc) - and I had some nice buzz!! I decided to go back after a lack of options, then eventually ended it for the same reasons after another year.

Then came my next manager. He was actually one of the producers who optioned Good People, and we kept in touch. So I got with him, but we had 2 problems: 1. He was a friend. 2. He was also working for a pretty major director (still does) and had little time to actually handle my stuff. I mean, I know he sent some of my work out (although I have no proof), but he'd never give me any feedback or follow-ups. Plus, one time I was contacted by 2 production companies about my scripts and he told me he'd send them for me.

I heard nothing back and when I dropped them an e-mail, they both said they were never sent scripts. Thing is, this guy was super busy, and I should have known my screenplays would not be of any priority.

Then came my most recent manager. He found me through the Movie-bytes website called WinningScriptsPro. The Manager/Friend got miffed that I was going to defect to New Manager, however, I thought it best for my career, especially since Manager/Friend seemed way too busy to handle my scripts. The kicker? He hasn't talked to me in over a year now. Sucks, because he was a good guy.

Working with New Manager is great. He's very hands-on with my screenplays and WILL NOT send them out before they're ready, even if it takes countless re-writes. Brutal, but smart in the long run.

In a nutshell, that's my story.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Writing Update #4389678394b

Finally, trying to focus here. Most of my nights recently have been spent opening my Final Draft, staring at the 20+ screenplays in various stages of development, then falling asleep. Been in a rut. Work is blah. No news from the Manager (but he is waiting on my script The Stand-In, he thinks it's an easy pitch, high concept stuff). Problem is - I haven't had the inspiration to finish the damn thing. Hard to write without wanting to write it.

Instead I went back and worked on older scripts, even started a new one. But I've shifted my focus on 3 of them, a re-write of Cricket Hill, a comedy called Union that I started in December, and yes - The Stand-In. I mean, if he thinks he can sell the damn thing, I should at least finish it. I had some decent ideas for it so I'll work on it, but I won't force it.

Also, finally got my prize for being in the top 10 of a recent screenplay compeition - MovieMagic Screenwriting software (I first mentioned it was coming many posts ago). But I'm a Final Draft guy so I'll just hang on to it I guess. Received news of another recent competition - Nada. Sending out 1 or 2 for Austin. fingers crossed.

Have a good Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ugh (UPDATED! UPDATED! UPDATED!)


Bad News - Ol' H-Wood is remaking The Long Good Friday.


Want more bad news? The director who is attached to direct also directed:

Yes! It's Paul W.S. Anderson time! He also directed the classic films Soldier, Resident Evil, Event Horizon, and Mortal Kombat! Be afraid.

UPDATE-Now I've just read that Fox is remaking TAPS, fucking TAPS, man! Christ! To be written & directed by Frank E. Flowers (Haven). And most of us out here can't break into this business???????





Sunday, May 13, 2007

Blown Away


What movies have blown you away? Now, they don't have to be on your top 10 lists or whatever, but maybe when you saw them they just suprised you, took your breath away, or stuck with you. Here are some of mine:

Red Dawn - Saw this on cable (Prism) a long, long time ago. Loved every minute of it. And it's not the cry of "Wolverines!" that got me, no, it was the eerie beginning: Paratroopers floating from the sky, landing near the high school. The teacher walks out to see what's up. "Hello there my friend" he says, then rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat! Down he goes as they riddle him and the school with bullets.

Jaws - When the boy is on his raft one minute, and then the next he's gone, and the raft is getting tossed around the waves, destroyed. Brutal.

To Live & Die In L.A. - Good cop movie, awesome highway chase, but as the movie starts to near its climax, the hero (WIlliam Peterson) is shot in the fucking face! Damn!
Gallipoli - Watch the ending. Made me want to make movies.
Fearless (Peter Weir not Jet Li) - solid movie all the way through, but that damn ending - astounding.
Children Of Men - Yeah, the car scene.
28 Days Later - The field scene - After some scary carnage stuff, this smart movie pauses and lets our heroes watch the beauty of a pack of wild horses run free across a field. Great stuff. Looking forward to the sequel.
Dawn of the Dead (remake) - The 1st 10 minutes simply rock!
You get the picture. Your turn!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Funny Grindhouse-style posters



These are pretty funny. Check out this site for a bunch more.





























Thursday, May 03, 2007

Maybe Your Screenplay Simply Blows

It's tough. How do we sell these damn things? Maybe we can't write.

Contests? God damn things. Yeah, I still enter them, not as many or as often as I once did. Because in the long run, I truly feel 99.9% of them WILL NOT GET YOU ANYWHERE.

I visited a message board recently, with screenwriters talking about all the contests they've won, and they are NOWHERE. And they had some decent placements in some good contests. I keep seeing the same names pop up as winners of various contests, with the same script, all the time. After winning these contests, they haven't gone anywhere? What the fuck?

Okay, you'll see a news blurb once in a blue fucking moon about a writer who sold their screenplay after it placed in a contest, I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but they may have had something in the works before the contest.

Think about it, did a bunch of do-gooders just wake up one morning and say - I want to help no-name writers!!! No, they didn't. They said - I want to make some fucking money!

Query letters? Useless. I tried that road before, and it's a sucky road. I hate that road. 99.9% of query letters will end up in the trash, or if you're lucky they'll wipe their ass with it (Hey, at least they were holding something written by you before they cleaned off their stink star).

Do you make it yourself with local actors? You can, and if you're actually talented, you might make something worth while. Or if you at least havea budget to work with so it doesn't end up looking like cable access quality. I went this route, makde some shorts, made 3 features, and they all went....nowhere. Sure, we had some local screenings and all, and our family and friends thought they were amazing! But they weren't amazing, they were low-budget crap. Don't get me wrong, I loved the process and I worked with some incredible cast & crew, but I wasted their time, too.

Or, maybe our stuff just isn't good enough. Maybe we're not inspired enough. Maybe we're too wordy, or maybe we put screen direction in our scripts (I NEVER do the last one by the way, it'll get you nowhere and fast). Maybe we do need to live in LaLa Land. But maybe there's too many damn writers there already.

Friend of mine won best Noir at Fade In a few years back. Script went nowhere, but it picked up a few more wins here and there. Still, nowhere. He ended up sending it to a company where you send them a ton of $$ and they'll guarantee you a read & detailed critique/meeting with a producer. And guess what, so far, it's worked. He hasn't sold it yet, but it is out to several agents, and the producer himself is putting himself behind it, so we'll see. But who has that kind of $$? Of course, it may have all been in vain.

You can also try the Inktips & Moviebytes websites. What I find funny is someone will request your script, and then they'll say it's "not for them." Hey cockdog - You knew what the fucking story was when you read the logline & synopsis. Don't make me go through the bullshit of sending it out if you're not gonna consider it anyway. Fucking idiots, man. I had someone request a script (HEADSHOT) back in March. Still haven't sent it to them. My main reason was that I wanted to tweak it a bit, but my inspiration simply wasn't there.

It's times like these where I get a bit annoyed (can't you tell) with this whole screenwriting thing. I haven't written much in the past 2 months (few tweaks here and there, nothing major).

I came up with a new idea for a script this week that I really like and will run with it. My other partially-begun scripts (there are about 40 of them) will just have to wait.

I'm not giving up. Fuck that shit. But I gotta figure out a better way. There's got to be a better fucking way. I mean, not all my stuff can be bad, can it?

How do you guys handle it?