Friday, September 29, 2006

Prepping to Pitch

So first the Siege news.



Now on to the news on Charlie and my latest earth-in-the-balance/paper cut/sorority car wash period drama. I was going to write the end. All of Act III. Charlie had gotten us to the end of Act II in style, and I was ready to turn on the power and have my way with the keyboard.

I got maybe half way and gave it back to Charlie to finish.

Am I a wimp? Don't answer that. Truth is, it took a long time, and I started to feel bad about hoarding all the glory to myself. Charlie has some great ideas for Act III, and so he can bring us home. We know what we're doing in Act III, we outlined it together a while ago. It was Act II that needed some lovin'. Act III is pretty much written in our heads, we just need to pound the computer and make the magic.

So that's that. Now me.

I'm heading to LA next week. I have meetings with people. People who can give me money to write. This is very exciting, but it means I have to get ready to do something I've never really done before.


I have a number of projects and pitches that My Manager and My Agent like, both for TV and film (I'm meeting with both kinds). I just whipped up another batch of steaming hot ideas and sent them to the forces that be for their assessment. They may or may not get added to the list of things to pull out of my ass when I'm in those small offices trying to keep the attention of a very bored minor-level exec who's wondering how soon he can cut me off and go on a Starbucks run.

See, I've never pitched before. I don't know what to expect. Anyone out there done their share of pitching and have any advice? Because you know that advice from the Internet is gold.

My Agent told me "Dave, these people will have read your script a couple of months ago, so you may have to remind them who you are. And it'll be a pretty cold room, in general, so be ready for that."

So I said "What, like bring a jacket?"

And My Agent said "No, like they don't care who you are and will forget your name the moment you walk out the door, if not sooner. You're gonna do great!"

So I'm getting ready. Going over my ideas. Going over my 5-minute pitches. Going over my 30-second pitches. Going over my 5-second pitches. "It's Curious George meets Solaris, but with tennis players!"

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's Always something.

So we’re in the home stretch with our unnamed MTV-stunt-show/Chinese-period-epic/Football-comeback-story/Sean-Penn-Drama screenplay. Dave was going to push all the way through to the finale, but got bogged down at home.

So he wrote a whole bunch, which essentially means re-wrote everything I last wrote, and then added more on top of that. Then he sent it back to me to wrap up.

So Thursday night I sat down to write. Hit the power button on my iBook. And it started booting up.

And kept on starting booting up.

Grey spinning-thingie screen forever. No boot up.

So I take it into the Mac store. Doesn’t look good. Either the HD or the OS is corrupted… hard to know which just yet. So I did what any reasonable geek would do.

I bought a shiny new Apple MACBook, which I’ve been lusting after for months.

Its purty. I should do lots of good writing on it.

So over the weekend I spent time getting it all set up, properly configured, etc. Lunch time today I figure I’ll get in 45 minutes to an hour of writing – or at the very least review what Dave changed and wrote – but no such luck.

In installing Final Draft, I need my registration key. In the past I’ve run it off the CD and didn’t think I needed the registration key if I went that route.

So… despite having the CD, and being ready to roll, I’ll have to go home tonight, dig up the sleeve (which has the key written on it) and then properly install Final Draft.

And THEN I can write, wrapping up the first pass at this script. No more excuses. I mean... at the very least, I can read what Dave's written.

Oh yeah… and we heard from Producer Dude!

Bwahahahhaha… I slay me… I kid, of course. Nothing from Producer Dude in weeks, since we rebuffed his advances in wanting us to kill ourselves writing another spec-yet-commissioned instascript. He’s a good guy, and I’m sure he’ll circle back to Siege in a bit… but for now, we’re back to being off-the-radar.

It’s always something. Actually… on second thought… sometimes – it’s nothing.


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

And We're Back with Sound

Haven't we done this before?

So, like a cruel prom date, Producer Dude got us all worked up once again only to leave us standing at the punch bowl.

Well, OK. It's not like he's said that all the heat we felt the last couple of weeks was a simple case of d**k tease (trying to keep it clean for the sake of the children. It's all about the children.), but we haven't heard *ic* in a couple of weeks, and I, for one, am settling in for another long wait by the phone.

Pessimistic? Me?

See, in the interim, Producer Dude asked Charlie and me if we'd agree to write another film for him on the fly. 6 weeks or so. There's money up front. Enough to.. well.. enough to help out with the Cable bill. We passed. We're just too busy updating this blog to start another script on such short notice.

And truth be told, we are too busy. Charlie has a new job. I have 2 kids. Charlie has 1 kid. I have a host of meetings in LA to prepare for. And Battlestar Galactica is about to kick off season 3, and so there goes a whole other chunk of time for both of us.

But in truth, I think even if we had the time, we'd pass. Right now, as much as I like Producer Dude, and I do, I need him to finalize one of the multitude of deals he has spinning around before I commit to doing more work for him. When we started Siege, it was because Producer Dude needed a script within a couple of months for a November (or December, or something) 2005 start date. It's September 2006, and we're still waiting.

So we're gonna keep waiting. We're writing our pygmy/private detective/baseball/sodomy/Mongolian epic adventure right now. And we'll see what happens.

Keep the faith, fight the power, and smile for the picture, because those prom photos are gonna come back to haunt you.

Friday, September 08, 2006

We’ve Got Heat Lukewarmth!

A lot has happened since I last wrote.

To start with, I’m about 5 pages into my latest pass at the zombie-apocalypse/alien-abduction/stingray-attack script. We’ve now officially broken 100 pages, and are right at the 2nd/3rd act break. Have I mentioned we’ll need to do some editing and rewriting once we finish this first pass?

And in the meantime, things with SIEGE have gone from unofficially dead to… well… I’m not sure what. But definitely not dead.

It all started with an email from Producer Dude a couple of weeks ago, asking us again for the script that we’ve already sent him (and have been asking him to read for nearly a year now). Dave sent it to him.

Within an hour or two he wrote back, as Dave’s previously noted. His response:


He then apparently sent it on to a couple of other folks – some potential investors, and a potential director.

The response from them was great as well.

Director Man said something to the effect of the writing being very clean and clear, and the flick being a lot of fun to make.

Investor Guy said something like… “Wow, I didn’t want to stop reading!”

Since then, Director Man has even put together a shot list for a couple of key action sequences in the flick… presumably as part of a “package” of materials for investors to review.

So… there’s no money in our pockets, nor is the film exactly in production, but it’s kinda sorta got heat. Maybe not scorching heat, but its moving. I mean – PEOPLE HAVE READ IT, for Christsake! That, in itself, is a huge leap given that, for nearly a year after writing it, no one but Dave and I had read it. And not only have they read it, but people seem to like it!

Like Dave said… its no Godfather. Well… maybe Godfather III. But it’s not going to win any scriptwriting awards. But we did try to make something that’d be fun to watch and, from the sound of it, could be fun to make too.

And hey… if other people are getting excited, so I am!

So I’m trying to keep my expectations in check, but it’s been a fun week or so. And in the meantime, I’m clacking away on the new script so that I can hurry up and get it to Dave, who’s been nagging me daily to get my sh*t together and finish up.

Guess his red marker’s feeling lonely.

Stay tuned…


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Siege Is On?

With full apologies to Glenn Frey.

So emails have been circling like Charlie's hawk the last couple of weeks. There is life in them thar scripts.

Producer Dude is actually making noises about Siege as well another script of mine he's had for, like, 5 years or so.

But this is more movement than we've had on Siege for months, and it kinda came of its own accord. Producer Dude is trying to make some movies, and he's got a hook into something right now and he's force-feeding Siege.

Oh, and he finally read it.

And he loved it.

no big surprise there. Not that we're fantastic, or anything. (though we are) It's just that, well, I know, after all this time, what Producer Dude wants. And I know that we gave it to him with Siege. So when he read it, and he loved it, it was like "Well, duh."

Is it a work of art? We've covered this before. No.

But It's B-Movie Manna from Heaven. And Producer Dude knows it, so Producer Dude is all agog over the script, fired up.


Me and Charlie? It's nice to read emails filled with hope.

It'll be much nicer to open up envelopes of cash.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Circling... circling... circling.

I just got back from running a quick errand.

It was pouring rain outside - presumably the outer band of Hurricane Ernesto. As I slowly drove through the rain, I noticed a drenched cat, slowly skulking along a sidewalk next to the road, presumably looking for a dry spot to hide.

Truthfully I wouldn't have given the cat much thought except that, within the blink of an eye, I witnessed the damndest thing.

A hawk or falcon (not sure what the difference is... it was a HUGE bird - like eagle sized, but not an eagle) swooped down and snagged the cat.

Boom. Like that, the was gone, and I continued along in the driving rain.

Craziest thing I've seen in awhile. Its not like I live in the countryside or something. This was urban Atlanta, about as city-esque as it gets. And yet, an episode of Wild Kingdom played out before my eyes. Survival of the fittest and all that.

I can only assume the falcon was up above, circling... circling... circling... waiting for something resembling prey to peek out. I'm sure mice and other rodents are his usual prey, but the rain slowed this cat down just enough for him to strike.

Things with our writing are kind of like that falcon right now. We're circling... circling... circling.

I've been slammed with closing on a house and moving. And I guess somewhere along the line I decided that wasn't enough change, and resigned from my current job, accepting a new gig with a new company. Start in a couple of weeks there.

So, given that its my turn to write scenes in the un-named boxing-drama/high-school-musical/penguin-documentary, we've just been... well... circling. Hopefully after this weekend I'll be able to get the house in order and devote some time to writing in the early half of next week.

And... I know this'll be a shock to regular readers... we still haven't heard from Producer Dude. Presumably he's circling money somewhere. Unlike the cat, though, I bet it skitters away just in time to be safe from his (our?) claws.

And Dave's off circling around the "big time" in Hollywood... breakfasts with Bruckheimer. Lunches with Lucas. Dinners with De Palma. Good on him... maybe he'll get some heat from other avenues.

But next week I'll get my act together... next week I'll stop circling, swoop down with great fury, and tear the unholy sh*t outta the cat that is our latest script. I'm gonna devour that bastard!


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