Sunday, January 28, 2007
*Checked in with the ER Nurse, then sat for 10 minutes.
*They called us to check his height & weight, then told us to wait to be called in to register (give contact/insurance info). Waited 15 minutes to register.
*After registering, we waited 40 minutes to actually be seen by a nurse.
*We see Nurse, tells us to wait for Doctor to come. While waiting, a med student comes & takes info about our son, then we wait another 20 minutes for the Doc.
You see where I'm going with this. In the end, everything seemed to be OK (knock on wood - I'm knocking on my head right now) but God forbid this was a crucial medical situation, these people just seemed to have all the time in the world. I mean, this is an ER, right? EMERGENCY room?
I won't name the hospital but for our area it's one of the better ones. We have a closer hospital but I wouldn't want to go there if I was hit by a car in front of it.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The DaVinci Code - Took a fascinating topic/book and sucked any sign of life out of it. I didn't mind Hanks or his hair, I minded the boring script.
Failure To Launch - Not a bad starting point, dude loves living with his parents, but the lame-ass script and boring direction literally put me to sleep.
Art School Confidential - Damn, this movie blows. Hard. Bored me too tears. Awful script, clunky direction, and painful performances. That Minghella kid? I don't are who his Daddy is....Horrible.
The Covenant - It's like The Craft, only much worse.
American Dreamz - Could have been a smart take on pop culture, reality TV, etc. It wasn't.
V For Vendetta - This movie can go fuck itself. Dreary, stupid, meandering, and by the end - ytterly pointless. I really really hated this movie. Snooze.
I'll have a Best Of list in a few weeks, I still need to see a few things. But in the meantime, what were YOUR worst movies of 2006?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
As many of you know, there are a lot of screenplay competitions out in screenwriterland. But only some of them are worth their salt, and one competition that I'd put at the top of the list is BlueCat. It's one of a few that I would highly recommended entering.
The following is an interview I did last week with Gordy Hoffman, the founder of BlueCat. Heck of a nice guy! Check it out.......
ME: Why did you start BlueCat? And what is "BlueCat?"
GORDY: As a writer who had submitted to screenplay contests in the past, I wanted to start one from the perspective of a writer. I had a tomcat named Blue, and he died shortly before I founded the competition.
ME: Typically, how many scripts are entered into BlueCat?
GORDY: We had over 1800 screenplays last year, and we expect over 3000 this year.
ME: What's the most popular genre that you see entered into BlueCat? Does genre matter? (Could a slasher script win?) Do you find dramas winning more so than comedies?
GORDY: We find every genre is submitted, with comedies winning one year and a drama the next. I would love a horror film to win. Send them in!
ME: Do your readers read an entire screenplay entry? Just the 1st 30?
GORDY: Every entrant to BlueCat receives written analysis on their screenplay. This means our readers read the entire screenplay. Most competitions do not do this.
ME: What bugs your readers when reading an entry? Typos? Poor Structure? What bugs you? And what are some common mistakes that might get a particular script tossed aside? What kills a script?
GORDY: Misspellings. Describing the thoughts of a characters.
ME: Describe the stages a script might go through when moving forward in your competition. Is it a points system?
GORDY: I personally review what the readers have said, and then I start cracking the scripts, reading until I am in awe.
ME: Have any of the past finalists/winners been produced?
GORDY: Our 2005 winner, GARY THE TENNIS COACH, recently wrapped shooting in Austin, directed by Gary Leiner and starring Seann William Scott. It will be in theaters this year. Two years ago, it was file sitting in a hard drive in Nebraska. Then they submitted it to BlueCat. Now, our 2006 winner, HYUNG’S OVERTURE, is in pre-production.
ME: How long do you see BlueCat lasting?
GORDY: Unless I die, BlueCat will be around a very long time.
ME: There's a boatload of screenplay competitions/contests now. Why enter BlueCat?
GORDY: We have the largest cash prize and greatest access to the industry for a competition that offers analysis to every entrant. When you enter BlueCat, you receive support and prestige that is unmatched.
ME: What does the winner receive?
ME: How did you become involved with the High Falls Film Festival?
GORDY: I was born in Rochester, New York, and I am involved in the film community there. High Falls is a great film festival.
ME: Once a winner is announced, does BlueCat help the writer get an agent or interest from a studio or production company?
GORDY: I personally handed GARY THE TENNIS COACH to a producer I knew, and that man was Peter Morgan.
ME: Let's say a writer lives outside of California or NY, how the hell does he/she market themselves? If a screenwriter is serious about making it, do they need to be in California?
GORDY: In general, yes. But if you want to make it work from Atlanta, give it a shot. If you’re writing independent movies, i.e.material the studios don’t make, then have at it regionally. But if you’re writing studio movies, where do you live? You walk to the market and sell your bananas, or you can ship them.
ME: Do you have a writing process, such as notecards, outlines, etc?
GORDY: I recently started writing in a non linear way, simply writing whatever scene I wanted to. I feel grateful to have broken a rigid way.
ME: How do you think the possible WGA strike in the Fall might effect aspiring screenwriters?
GORDY: It won’t. Keep writing. Writers are always looking for ways to avoid the work.
ME: Are there any screenwriting books you would recommended to aspiring screenwriters?
GORDY: Read interviews with the master directors. Fellini, Renoir, Welles.
ME: In your opinion, what is your favorite film of 2006? Of all-time? Best written script of 2006? Of all-time?
GORDY: The best movie of 2006 was United 93. The best screenplay was Hyung’s Overture. All time favorite: The Third Man. It’s not my fav, but I would maybe take it to a desert island. Or Once Upon A Time In The West. Or…..
ME: Tell us about A Coat Of Snow. Where did the story come from?
GORDY: I saw a limo of girls at a Burger King and thought that would be a good idea for a digital movie.
ME: Is it beneficial for a writer to direct their screenplay?
GORDY: If you know how to direct. It’s a different thing you know.
ME: How do you feel about the digital filmmaking revolution?
GORDY: I have never shot on film and probably never will. Film is over.
ME: Are you currently working on any other projects?
GORDY: I am writing a digital movie about war.
ME: If you weren't a screenwriter/director/producer/competition kingpin, what would you be doing?
GORDY: I would be an economist.
For more information about the BlueCat Screenplay competition, or to enter, click here.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I touched on this earlier, but all I can say is I was floored, from start to finish, with CHILDREN OF MEN.
Please see it in the theater.
The performances are all top-notch, with Clive Owen & Michael Caine leading the way. Love to see Caine pick up a supporting Oscar nod for his work here, but it seems Hollywood's already made up its mind about the nominations, we'll see next week.
The screenplay is haunting, and the plot is actually pretty scary. It just won the USC Scripter award so I'm hoping this will help get it a nomination for adapted.
The direction & cinematography are what defines this film. Breathtaking. Astounding. I can't explain how amazing the direction is, from the brutal action scenes (the car, the apartment) to the calmer scenes (the scene in the school is one of my favorites) and the fact that these are all one long take makes it even more thrilling.
The music is perfect as well. Haunting.
This is the kind of movie that kicks me in my skinny ass, a wake-up call that says - Get it in gear, shithead. And I'm talking about in life and career.
The last movie to floor me upon first viewing was Saving Private Ryan, others to do so in the past were Glory, Platoon, Fearless, and Field Of Dreams.
Children of Men will join them as one of the best I've seen. It's one of the greatest achievements in cinema in a long time.
Go see it.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
My new script, UNION, is still holding together great, and it's been a blast to write.
Also, look for my interview with Gordy Hoffman, founder of the kick-ass BlueCat Screenplay Competition. I'll be posting it soon.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Damn! Tough guy!
Monday, January 08, 2007
According to 20th Century Fox:
"AVATAR is also an emotional journey of redemption and revolution. It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival. "
Sweet! I just pray it's no Fifth Element, one of the worst movies ever created.
So far, Sam Worthington (he's Australian) and Zoe Saldana (she's hot)have been cast. Special effects will be handled by Peter Jackson's WETA.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Pathfinder - Vikings Vs. Indians. Could be good. Looks like Apocalypto meets 300, which might not be a bad thing.
Alpha Dog - Legal troubles, Sexyback, not sure how the flick will turn out. I'll catch the DVD and let you know.
The Hitcher - Remake, seems to flip the roles of the original (seems like the boyfriend will be torn apart like the girlfriend in the original), starring the hot as heck Sophia Bush. The original is an amazing, kick-to-the-balls thrill ride, we'll see how this one goes....when the DVD comes out.
Blood & Cocoa, I mean Chocolate. Dumb as shit title, movie looks even dumber, plus if you've seen the trailer you've seen ALL of the movie. From the creators of Underworld - which suck balls so I'll wait 'til this is on HBO so I can still NOT watch it.
Smokin' Aces - Looks freaking great. I'm there.
Hannibal Rising - More H. Lecter, when he was young. Yawn. Rumor has it he might not have had the best upbringing. This will bomb.
Black Snake Moan - Ricci's hot!
The Number 23 - Or "5" if you add the 2 & 3. Depends how you look at it.
Zodiac - Might be good, the trailer actually starts off ok but then turns sucky.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 - Amazing teaser trailer.
300 - Wow.
Reign Over Me - Sandler. Cheadle. DVD.
Fast Track - Go Bateman!
Blades Of Glory - Could be hilarious. Or not.
Grindhouse - Hope it's good, it's gotta be better than their last 2 movies, Kill Billy & Shit City. Still, it seems like they're wasting time with this kind of stuff.
Trade - Amazing trailer. Looks like a must-see.
Spidey 3 - Looks great. It might even make a buck or 2.
28 Weeks Later - Not necessary, but I haven't seen a trailer yet. Jury is out.
Pirate$ 3 - Wow, May should be the biggest grossing month in the history of cinema.
Ocean's 13 - Wow, and it's on the 13th! It actually looks like fun.
Fantastic 4 - Nice teaser. Could be a fun ride. The 1st ain't great, but I'll watch it when it's on.
Ratatouille - C'mon Pixar, kids can't say the damn title. At all. Are they gonna rush to Mcdonald's for Ratatouille toys? Plus, they already saw Flushed Away....actually they didn't. It sank. I love Pixar stuff, but I don't see this doing all that, which means 140 million.
Live Free Or Die Hard - Great teaser, could be fun. Again, not necessary as movies go, but what the hell.
Evan Almighty - DVD.
Transformers - This might actually kick some ass. The current teaser trailer is great.
License to Wed - Jim from The Office + Mandy Moore, could be the date movie of the Summer.
The Simpsons Movie
The Bourne Ultimatum - Paul Greengrass is back at the helm, which rocks.
Rush Hour 3 - Why?
Alien Vs. Predator - Why?
Knocked Up - Judd Apatow - Probably hilarious.
Michael Clayton - Clooney. Oscar stuff.
30 Days of Night - Vampires in Alaska during their 6 months of darkness. Great idea. But so was Underworld.
Bee Movie - Written by $einfeld, animated. This year's Happy Feet.
Fred Claus - Fun.
Beowulf - Animated like Monster House, could be amazing.
12/07 - The Golden Compass
Ripley's Believe It Or Not - jim Carrey & Timmy Burton.
I Am Legend - The end of the world, Big Willie Style.
Hairspray - (Wretch)
Very tentative list, some highlights from each month. Release dates will shift, more movies will get added, but you get the general idea of what's coming in 2007. What do you want to see the most?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Did major re-write work on Cricket Hill (A feature turned into a TV pilot) as well as my comedy feature script, Food Fight. Waiting to hear responses on both.
As for original stuff, I completed work on WHITE GOLD, a comedy set on an indie movie set. It was fun to write, it's nothing that would sell, but would be perfect for an indie filmmaker (low budget, minimal cast, 1 location). Also, wrote ZUCKER, a romantic comedy/chase epic.
And I'm starting off 2007 strong like bull. I'm hard at work on UNION, which is going so fanfuckingtastic I can't believe it. I'm actually sailing through Act 2. It's all coming together quite nicely. It's been a while since a script came pouring out of my like this, the last one was probably Cricket Hill back in late 2002/early 2003. I won't tell much about it yet, I'll just say it's about a family comedy. And it's REALLY good. Can't wait to send it out.