Thursday, November 30, 2006

Moving Right Along...

We’re rolling ‘em up and moving on to the next big thing.

No… we’re not bailing on the blog. We’d hate to disappoint our readers.

Both of you.

No… I’m referring to writing, of course.

Dave went through our dancing-penguins/secret-agent/global-warming screenplay with a fine-toothed comb and a rusty hatchet. Shaved off something like 15 pages or so, and its now a tidy, reasonable length and reads much cleaner.

I read his rewrite, made a few minor edits so I could lay bragging rights to having made the last round of changes, and then sent it back to him.

And its now in the hands of his manager, who he’s asked to read it and give us her thoughts.

And with that done, we’re moving on to the next project.

A comedy.

A damn funny comedy, really.

Several years ago, Dave wrote a funny script that he shared with me. It made me laugh a number of times and had LOTS of dirty words. Like… enough dirty words to make a staff-writer on DEADWOOD blush. I’ve always referred to it as his dirty word script.

Anyhow… its funny, but its got some flaws. So, while Dave works on some kinda alien-dinosaur-sex-romp teleplay that his agents have demanded he write for some tv networks (the Spice Channel) or something, I’m going to give this comedy an overhaul. Seal the leaks. Patch the holes. Paint the exterior. And install a pool in the backyard. In short, make it more sellable in a buyers market.

And… you know… lay claim to a co-writer’s credit.

I have a buddy who’s working for a production company that specializes in comedies. Plan is that with some rewrites, we get to something that’s just TOO hysterical to NOT read and produce, and then hand it off to him with a fat wad of $100’s.

Hey… it works. How do you think Deuce Bigelow got made?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Draft Me

I have gone over our rough draft of the vampire/dysfunctional family/roaring 20's pic with a fine-toothed comb. Whittling it down from 257 pages to 178. Only had to cut the lesbian scenes, but I think Charlie won't mind. There's always the sequel.

So what do we do now? Well now Charlie gets to read it. And he'll make changes- if he dares. Then I'll read it and change anything he did. And so forth. And then, at some point, we'll IM each other and it'll go something like this:

Dave: We're done with this draft.

Charlie: I was thinking we could soften the bit where the hooker saves the dog from the train.

Dave: We're done with this draft.

Charlie: The character of the blind librarian needs some more depth.

Dave: We're done with this draft.

Charlie: Well, first we should fix the glaring hole with the blimp. We blew it up, the midget was on board, then suddenly he's in the hot tub.

Dave: We're done with this draft.

Charlie: ...or maybe we're done with this draft.

Dave: I agree.

Then the idea (or at least, my idea) is that we show it to My Manager and see what My Manager thinks. Hopefully, My Manager won't hate it. Maybe My Manager will, but My Manager'll realize that the script is there, and maybe we should do something with it. Or not. Nobody knows.

In a perfect world, My Manager'll read it and go. "Hey. Nice job. I can sell this."

Do we live in a perfect world? Huey Lewis said we weren't. He said we "Keep on dreamin' we're livin' in a perfect world." He also said it was hip to be square. There's a lot of wisdom in Huey Lewis, if you just know where to look.

I'm just hoping My Manager doesn't tell me that "Sometimes, Bad is Bad."

Ba dip-dip-dip-dip-dip-doo-wop.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Remember That Phone Book? Well Apparently We're Now Unlisted...

Back in April I posted about Siege, and by proxy me, getting listed in IMDB.

It actually crept up a month or two earlier, entered we think, by Producer Dude. He and Dave both had credits for it, and then mine was added in April.

Well... not to kick a stalled production when its down, but IMDB appears to have "de-listed" Siege.

The page now throws an error, and when I log into IMDB's admin and look up the ID on it, it tells me that its been "SUSPENDED."

Somehow I suspect that's code for "movie supposedly in pre-production who's status hasn't changed one iota in over a year."

Maybe Dave and I should be taking a hint from IMDB. Its not like the phone's exactly been ringing off the hook with calls from Producer Dude.

Meanwhile, Dave's working on the first draft rewrite of our un-named Mercenary/God-of-Death/Living-Dead/Musical-Comedy. He's hinting about having something after the weekend. I'm excited.

And we're already moving on and talking about our next project. A dear friend of mine just took a high-level position at a leading comedy brand. He's told me that if I ever write any good comedies, to let him have a look. So... maybe we'll look at cranking out American Pie CCXIV as our next project. Who knows...

It feels good to be done with the unnamed flick.


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

We Got Rough!

Charlie finally, finally, friggin' finally got off his lazy butt and did some writing. Finished the darned thing, to be told.

So then I went through it and made it better, of course.

And now we have a completed ROUGH draft of our mockumentary/leper colony/romantic comedy.


So now we're gonna read it. Like, the WHOLE THING. Good Leapin' Lizards there are pages in there we haven't looked at in months. I'm hoping the characters are still named the same. I can never remember.

It's fun to have a completed draft. There's a story that's whole. Complete. Finished. You can read it, and it doesn't leave you hanging in the middle. Cause we went all the way to the end. It even has a "Fade To Black" tag at the end. How cool is that?

Now the real work begins.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

By The Numbers

3:29 – Time at which I finished the initial draft of our un-named Zombie/Amazon-Warrior/Adventure/Horror/Drama.

124 - Number of pages in the current draft.

258 – Number of days it took us from writing the overview to completing the rough first draft

6 – Bottles of cheap Russian vodka consumed during this period

7? - Number of main characters that die. Kinda.

2 – Number of breasts exposed in screenplay.

2 – Amount of back-pats I’ve given myself since finishing.

0 – Number of calls or emails we’ve had from SIEGE producer in last month.

That's right, folks. My pass at the first draft is done.

I've sent it off to Dave. He'll savage it. Clean up the ending some. Or maybe a lot. We'll see.

But regardless, pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, we're over the hump.

Now its time for the rewrites. I think its pretty good, though at 124 pages, its WAAAAAYYYYY to freaking long.

And its been awhile since I've read it from page 1, so maybe I'll print it off and do so tonight.

Look for Dave to post soon about what a piece of monkey dung the 3rd act is.

But its DONE monkey dung.


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Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Day, New Project

In one world, I await Charlie's pages with anticipation. We are finishing a rough draft. That is exciting. It means we can sit down and start re-writing it. Making it better. Fixing it. That sort of thing.

And probably cutting the heck out of it, since it's, like, 250 pages or something like that.

In another world, I'm still waiting to hear if I scored big-time with an undisclosed project. It's the fruits of my LA trip (one of them, at least) and it would be beyond sweet were it to land. But it's been awhile, so I'm losing hope...

In still another world, I shipped off a ton of pages to My Manager on another project of mine, the one I mentioned that I was having trouble getting around to writing the other day. I got around. I wrote. It's good.

So now in this last, newest world, I need to start my next project. This is the project that companies in LA are waiting for. I know what the project is, I have the preliminary plot in my head, I just need to get the characters together, get the sequence of events together, all that jazz.

It's time to mix it up and start anew. Always fun. The art of creating has begun.

Never a dull moment.

And oh yeah, nothing from Producer Guy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Hitching Post

Yeah, yeah. I’m still working on the remaining scene.

Dave and I chatted on Sunday. Caught him up on what I’d written. He seemed to be generally on-board with what I’ve done. Even killing off 50% of the remaining cast.

I also dropped some hints to see if he wanted to write the balance of the scene. He sniffed around the bait. Nibbled it. Swished it from cheek to cheek, taking in its flavor and essence.

And then he spit it out and walked away. So, I guess the onus remains on me. It’s a funky week, work-wise, so it may be the weekend before I can get back in front of the computer. We’ll see, but my goal is to finish it up in my next session.

But speaking of swishing and spitting… I’ve noticed that, by virtue of our participation in the BlogBurst network, a few of the BMovie Writers blog posts have appeared in recent months on the Santa Maria Times website! Now, I’m particularly excited about this because Santa Maria Valley is one of my favorite places on earth. During my 10 years in LA, we used to go up to SMV all the time and visit the wineries. In fact, Dave and I have had many a wine outing up there… to include his Wedding, which took place in the area, with the reception at Firestone.

So to our friends and readers in Santa Maria Valley – cheers! We’re glad you’re reading. I do have a bone of contention, though. I can’t help but notice that it’s always Dave’s posts that get pulled in. What’s up with that? Is it my writing? My posts are just… well… inferior? Is it my subject matter? Do I not write about interesting subjects? Is this still because I talked trash about Fess Parker one time? Sure, I know he’s a legend and all, but come on people, that wine is swill! And the winery is like a freakin’ Stuckey’s in West Virginia!

But I digress. Welcome, readers from Wine Country! We salute you and all of your oenophile brethren!

Even you, Fess.

- Charlie

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Shhhhh.... Don't Tell Dave!

So mum's the word, but I've been writing.

A lot, really. I think at this point the screenplay for our un-named Khazakstan-documentary/animated-sewer-rats/Santa-Claus-comedy is up to 115 pages, 6 of which I cranked out (with edits to older stuff) in the last couple of days.

To you non-writers, 6 pages may seem like a trifle, but trust me, at times, writing 6 pages can be a daunting as scripting WAR & PEACE.

Anyhow... I'm not done. In his kind gesture of "not wanting to hog up the whole third act," Dave actually wrote like... 1 minute of screen time and left me to resolve the entire final action sequence - which, is pretty big stuff, as one would expect. I'm getting there, but one has to build up to it.

Out of spite, though, I killed off one of the remaining characters. To you, this may seem as undramatic as writing 6 pages, but Dave'll realize that at this point we have just 2 characters left. So... Yeah... So much for a happy ending, huh?

Screw it. It is an apocalypse picture.

On an unrelated note, my wife managed to pick the lock and chain Dave FEDEXED to the house, freeing my from my laptop and taking me to see BORAT.

I'd just like to state for the record that it is, unequivocally, the funniest movie I have ever seen. During one scene I was laughing so hard that I literally started gagging.

Sascha Baron Cohen is a genius. The movie is unique, hysterical and, despite the layer of scatalogical humor (and its a severely deep layer), decidedly smart in its lampooning of American culture. You're laughing, but you're laughing at what a sad state of affairs we're in.

I could easily have gotten right back in line and seen it again after leaving the theater.

And I predict huge numbers for it. If its selling out in Kennesaw, Georgia (a state which bears the brunt of a few scenes), I can only imagine the lines in NY and LA.

I can only aspire to someday write something that is a fraction of the quality of BORAT.

Very nice!


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