Saturday, July 26, 2008

'Book Me

So I signed up for Facebook recently. I like it, it's a neat alternative to myspace, and it feels cooler and less dirty/nasty/filthy than myspace.

Anyway, just get on their if y'alls got a facebook page and look me up!

Saw Stepbrothers. Funny stuff. not amazing, and more of Will Ferrell/Man Child antics, but it's still funny shite.

Going to see The Knight That Is Dark on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BlueCat Feedback - UNION

Ok, so here is my feedback from The BlueCat Screenplay Competition for my script, Union (currently a quarter-finalist). Fingers crossed that it advances. Here goes.......

What I liked?

What worked in this screenplay was a well written, good natured family/holiday comedy, with a good central plot arc, compelling characters, and a significant theme.

Some of the best of this screenplay were a number of very funny moments throughout the screenplay. Some examples are as follows. Page 45 and 46, very funny, “I’m pregnant”, followed by “I’m a lesbian”. The timing used here was also on point, and showed a sophisticated understanding of comic elements. Pages 81 and 82 were also very funny with the disastrous hunting trip. The scene on page 92, with the mayor on down, confessing their gay experiences in public, was also very entertaining.

The screenplay featured good emotional movement throughout. This was definitely a story with a strong moral center, specifically focused around values of family and acceptance. These thematic elements were a major driving force behind the central plot and character arcs.

Structurally the screenplay was successful in several ways. Scenes turned well with good beats of conflict. Act climaxes weren’t that pronounced, but there were major turning points and reversals placed in strategic locations, roughly based within a three act structure. The main character arcs, Barnaby and Hoyt’s in particular, worked very well in congress with the story’s central plot arc. Further more, from early on starting at the inciting incident, it occurred to me that the success of the screenplay would depend on two things, character dynamics and an increasingly complicated and tenuous set of progressive complications, and second act obstacles. I’ll get to the characters in a minute, but as far as the progressive complications were concerned, you delivered, and kept the screenplay engaging and entertaining.

There were a number of really likeable characters in the screenplay. You easily cultivated an audience investment in all of the family’s collective success, and specifically in Barnaby and Hoyt obtaining their objects of desire. With Barnaby it was about finding himself. With Hoyt it was about making peace with his family, his town, and his self. Both Barnaby and Hoyt had great emotional movement and turning points. Hoyt in particularly was a very dynamic and entertaining character. Though Barnaby, narrated the story and was technically the protagonist, in a way Hoyt’s desire to sort out his family was the spine of the screenplay, more so than Barnaby’s personal character arc, as it would seem. In this screenplay Barnaby’s own character arc, in all actuality, takes a back seat to the collective character arcs of the family members.

What needs work?

A big problem here is genre. Since this is a family/holiday comedy, with an adolescent protagonist, most of your audience is going to be either young adults or entire families. Your audience is young adults, while the content is very adult. The situations are often too thematically sophisticated for your demographic, and the humor is usually too edgy.

You’ve written a very good adult comedy in a family genre. A great example of where this is a problem is on page 68, the sex scene between Liz and Hoyt. This scene is very graphic and has very explicit conversation and content. This scene alone would guarantee you an R rating. Forget that you lose most of your audience demographic right there; no audience wants to see this scene. No one wants to see or think about their own parents having sex, and they certainly don’t want to see Barnaby’s. As a general rule, parents having sexual intercourse should be left out of any cinema altogether. There’s also a ton of cursing in this screenplay. Some of it could be cut without affecting the story, or the humor. Some of the bad language seems to derive solely from Barnaby’s narration, and that I think it would behoove you to tone it down.

The ending is a little sappy, and emotionally contrived. I liked the fact that Hoyt becomes friends with Pissbottom, but from the way in which it occurs, there isn’t any strong motivation or catalyst behind the change. Suddenly Pissbottom just breaks down and admits to Hoyt the reason for his animosity. This is fine, but maybe there can be something stronger which drives this change in Pissbottom.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

We'll Survive - The 7 Song Meme

Okay, Crymes hath tagged me with the 7 song Meme (What I'm litening to right now). This is pretty much it, in no order:

1. Weezer -The Greatest Man That Ever Lived. A fun, jokey song, but also one that you can listen to and decide that you're gonna kick some ass.

2. Weezer - The Angel & The One. This speaks to me. Truly. Usually a tongue-in-cheek band, they drop a few serious ditties once in awhile. The lyrics:

It's not my destiny to be the one that you will lay with
So many reasons why I have to go but want to stay here
Sometimes I want a taste, but then I don't know what I'm saying
You are the angel and I am the one that is praying

There is another love that I would rather be obeying
I see the ecstasy, and already I'm anticipating
I feel a deeper peace, and that deeper peace is penetrating
I've got the magic in me, I am complete is what I'm saying

I'm flying up so high, my purple majesty displaying
I've reached a higher place that no one else can make a claim in

I'll take you there my friend, I'm reaching out my hand, so take it!

We are the angels and we are the ones that are praying
Peace, shalom
Peace, shalom
Peace, peace

3. Maps - Don't Fear - Simple song really, with only 5 lines and it's 6 minutes long. The lyrics are:

Don't fear
The sun
Feel like someone
Somehow, somehow

4 & 5. Coldplay - Lovers In Japan & Strawberry Swing - My 2 faves off of their new album, and album full of great songs, but these stand out to me. Just wonderful, wonderful stuff here.

"....One day, the sun will come out...." Lovers In Japan

6 & 7. James - Great band from the UK. They sang the classics Sit Down and their biggest hit, Laid, among other gems. They've got a new album (Hey Ma) with some great stuff, most notably Boom Boom, just a bittersweet, precious song (it ends in a flourish of strings, the icing on the cake) as well as Of Monsters & Heroes & Men - Sample lyric, the end of the song:

Rambling poets
Manic with vision
We are the drivers yet we feel driven
Moths in the moonlight
Fooled by a flashlight
Caught in a jam jar
Gasping for air

Either way. I’m in awe of you.
Either way. We’ll survive. We’ll survive.

I shall now tag Aaron & Moviequill.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cue theme from The Natural - Updated

Okay, I had to update this post - I forgot some inportant info such as the title of what the hell I'm talking about!

I'm a quarter-finalist for the BlueCat Screenplay competition! Yeeeaaaahhh bboooooooooiiiiiyyyyy!

My script is called UNION, and is a family comedy. I also sent Union to Austin & Writers on the Storm.

Ok, it's just a quarter-finalist, and there's about 100,000 others with me (I think a bazillion people entered this year) but it's been a shite year thus far so give me a frakkin' break. A guy's gotta celebrate.

I'll post the feedback when I get it, as I've done in the past. C'mon, gimme some love! Pat needs some love!