Friday, December 29, 2006

A Christmas Miracle?

T'was the night before Christmas,
as I sat in a pew.
My twice yearly church outing,
(my wife says that's too few).

The priest was a prayin',
when my hip started to vibe.
I reached down and grabbed
the blackberry strapped to my side.

I stared at the screen,
mouth agape in a flash.
T'was an email from Producer Dude,
claiming he'd closed on some cash.

My heart full of excitement,
my brain full of doubt.
Was there really a chance
this flick might someday come out?

The production, he said
should begin in late Spring.
Just as soon as he finished
some other B-Movie he's shooting.

"The funding's legit,
the bank's got cash in hand.
Just send me signed contracts,
and I'll FEDEX checks cross the land."

So now we're excited...
Will they shoot in Ontario?
But this isn't the first time,
we've heard this scenario.

On drawdowns! On hold-ups!
On international bankers!
On off-shore funding sources
sunk by mysterious anchors!

Come funding that's held up
by deals that collapsed.
Or options on screenplays
that recently lapsed.

But enough with the cynicism,
it paints me so jaded.
Perhaps 2007 will really bring a tale,
of a house that's been invaded.

So we'll see what the upcoming
weeks and months bring.
And if international distributors
let us put boobs on the screen.

Until then we'll keep writing,
I'm rescribing Dave's script full of humor.
In hopes that this comedy,
will be an early Spring bloomer.

Through 2007 we'll keep blogging,
we'll keep you all up to date.
By whining about how
our movies never get made.

And so I exclaim
as I post to this site,
"Happy B Movies to all,
and to all a good night!"

- Charlie

Charlie is a dufus

He says he can't blog because something's wrong with Blogger. I dunno. Looks OK to me. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chick Power!

So I read my own blog post a few times and decided to take my own advice.

Adding a Hot Chick.

At this point, I'm on page 49 out of what looks like 80, if I'm lucky. So I've gone back to the beginning, because the Hot Chick needs to be integrated seemlessly into the entire script. Including the opening scene.

I've crafted a wonderful Hot Chick. I'm very excited about her. She's Hot. She's a Chick. What can go wrong?

Hot Chick will allow me to open up my script in a number of ways.

1) Emotional Love Triangle. Suddenly, there's someone for Lead Guy to be into, and someone he can get jealous over. Jealousy rocks.

2) Break up all the Man-On-Man scenes. Right now I've got a ton of scenes that are between two guys. Then they end and I cut to another scene between two guys. Gets old. Now there'll be scenes between guys and girls. Always a plus.

3) Extended Script. One more main character equals one more character to dispose of, which takes time. So now I'm looking at 85-90 pages. That's a big help.

4) Booty. Get to have a sex scene without pissing off the religious right. 'Nuff said.

So I'm pleased with Hot Chick. She's going to be very exciting to write. I'll try not to use the word "supple" too much while doing it.

Rock On.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Things My Latest Script Is Not Like...

1) The Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland

Because we don't all get along. We fight, and tussle, and though I play a mean Triangle, harmony is not in the cards. Discord and dissent make for a yummy script.

I mention this because my current project is in danger of being too "Everybody's happy" for it's own good. Bad things happen, and I get over them in the blink of an eye. I need to stop this. It's the mediator in me, not wanting to put anyone- even ficticious characters of my own creation- in a difficult spot. I feel bad for these folks, I like them.

I need to stop liking them. Start kicking some butt.

2) The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Addition

Because I seem to have forgotten to include women in the story. I have a young wife who has a couple of tiny scenes. A mother showed up for about two minutes. That's about it. It's a sausage hang. That isn't the best thing in the world. I need me some sweet young thangs to dazzle the camera and bring in the 18-25 year-old males. Boys like girls. I need to create some girls and get them into the action.

3) War and Peace

Because right now, it's well on its way to becoming a full 75 pages or so. That's a little short. I seem to be having difficulty with length lately. Another project of mine is 124 pages and I'm just starting the 3rd act.

Maybe I can just cut some scenes from that one and stick them in here.

Actually, if my first draft is, indeed, in the wee-folk land of length, I may be able to help out by fixing Problem #2 and inserting women. Chicks dig back story, and that's good for at least 5 pages, right?

4) Babe: Pig in the City

Because my guys seem to like to say f*** a lot. Kids, what are you gonna do? Still, I think having all 4 main characters run around saying f*** this and f*** that gets old. So I need to dive back in and give some of these guys other things to say. Not everyone in the world spouts f*** left and right. Unless they're in a Scorsese picture or something.

5) Siege

Because that's done, and this isn't. So I need to get back to work.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but it's part of the joy of writing. Rewriting. Anyone who says differently is selling something. Usual some scam story-help seminar.

But in general, I'd say this baby is coming along nicely.

Rock on.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Honoring the Kim Family.

Just a quick diversion from the usual whining about not hearing from Producer Dude and grousing about Dave rewriting everything I put to paper…

Yesterday afternoon, searchers in Oregon found the body of CNet editor James Kim, a day after his wife and two young kids were found safe and alive.

For some reason, I find myself unusually drawn to this sad story of a person I don’t really know. It could be because he’s a fellow writer, gadget-lover, and internet-denizen. It could be because of the courageous way he and his wife struggled against the elements for nearly 2 weeks, keeping the kids alive and healthy despite the harsh conditions. And it could be how he ultimately perished setting off, with little to protect himself from the weather, to find help… knowing it was a huge risk he had to take for his family.

I think it’s all of the above.

Bottom line… he was one of us, and I mourn his passing, and honor his valiant effort to save his family and seek out their rescue. And I also salute his wife, who fought equally hard, doing everything she could to keep the kid's healthy. In the end, though he lost his life, they succeeded. They're both heroes.

His friends are raising money for the family to pay for the rescue efforts (much of which was privately funded). Give generously if you can.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Art... from out of the Blue.

When writing, you constantly have to walk a fine line between interesting and believable.

I’m constantly reminded, when watching the world go by, that just because it could happen in real life, doesn’t mean it would work in a movie. For example, in the last 24 hours, I’ve been contacted – out of the blue – by 3 people I knew in Italy in the early ‘90s, and hadn’t conversed with in 15 or so years.

Now… if I put something like that in a movie, it would seem TOO coincidental. TOO contrived. Way TOO fictional.

And yet, an old buddy, a former Sergeant I worked with, and the daughter of my next door neighbors all dropped a line this weekend. One’s in NJ, one’s in the Netherlands, and one’s in Rhode Island. All unrelated, and all unheard of for more than a decade – converging in a 24 hour period.

Weird, huh?

Well… I thought so. Blog-worthy, at least.

Anyhow, point is, as I work on rewrites for this comedy, a number of key things jump out as needing work. Some overly cartooney characters, some pretty major clichés, and a few too many coincidences.

And yet… reality is full of all of those things.

They say life imitates art. Yet… sometimes that’s not true. Sometime’s life’s more fictional than art’s allowed to be.


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Friday, December 01, 2006

Mining the Past for Gold

So now I'm at that wondrous point of work where I'm at the beginning of the project.

The Pygmy/Shopping Mall/Lego Epic Biblical Romance pic is off to the Manager. I'll hear about it in a couple of weeks or so. Some other personal (non-Charlie) projects are at stopping points for various reasons. The world is fresh, it is time to start anew.

So I'm opening up some old projects.

The comedy that I gave to Charlie is an old script. Brilliantly funny, of course, but old. So I'll let Charlie gnash his teeth and re-write it, fit in all the lesbian stuff he's been dying to write since he first saw Natalie Portman on screen, etc. Then I'll read his work, cough, and rewrite everything.

Without telling my manager, who doesn't want me to waste time on this project.

Because she wants me to work on my personal new project.. another old script of mine.

Well, old idea, at least. I liked this idea a few years ago, wrote some thoughts out, diddled a few scenes in Final Draft. So now I'm coming back to it, changing everything, starting over, but keeping the essence of the spirit of the flavor of the piece.

It's a fun story, one I've always liked, and so I'm enjoying diving back into it. Especially now that I'm writing. Notes are important, but some times, it gets hard to hold back from just diving in. Steven King has an article in a recent E Weekly where he and the guys who created Lost talk about how they rarely know how the story will end when they start. They just start writing and see where it takes them.

That's nice. I can't always do that. I need to have a goal to aim for. With this story, I have a brief outline, beats, an ending climax, and an ending button. I know where it goes, I kinda know how it gets there, I just need to fill in the guts of the script, make it a story that you (or, well, people who have money to spend on horror scripts) will like.

So I'm hoping Charlie takes my old script and spins gold. And I'm hoping that I'm able to turn my scary thoughts and ideas into a chilling script that knocks you out of your seat. And I'm hoping My Manager likes the finished script I just sent her from me and Charlie. And I'm hoping something happens with Siege.

Mostly, I'm hoping for world peace.

Rock On.