Friday, June 30, 2006

Godly Excrement!

Its pretty much status quo here in B Movie WriterLand.

Stuff’s happening, but nothing dramatic.

We’re writing away on the untitled midget-wrestler-amazon-snakes-on-a-tugboat-harry-potter-ripoff script. A couple of weeks ago I managed to get through the last scene I blogged about. It was tough finding time, so I rushed a bit. It was pretty amusing how Dave responded.

“So I read what you wrote, and liked most of it. But you sure used ‘Holy Sh*t’ a lot with the characters. Were you trying to be ironic or something, or was that just lazy?”


Now here’s the thing -- since I rushed, I didn’t go back and re-read what I sent. And as the result, I may have been a little liberal with the term.

It’s just that as I wrote all of this horrific stuff happening, I kept hearing the characters yell out “Holy sh*t!” in my head. Frankly, its what *I* would say if I just saw my best friend rendered from limb to limb by cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers, redundant or not.**

But I wasn’t being ironic. Nay… I’m not nearly that clever, I fear.

Now was I being lazy, per se. It’s not like I couldn’t THINK of anything else to say but “Holy sh*t.” Nope. Its just how the characters spoke to me. That, and I was being sloppy and rushed in not doing a review and clean-up before sending it to Dave.

But neither’s the same as lazy.

*cough*

Getting downright Clintonian, ain’t I?

Anyhow… Dave did his rewrites, cleverly changing some of the exclamations to things like “Holy poop,” “blessed sh*t,” and “Godly excrement.”

Not lazy, but definitely ironic.

So I then went back and cleaned it all up, and then decided I should re-read the entire script from the beginning again, having a spare moment finally. I did so, and made a number of clean-up type revisions through the entire script so far, and have now submitted it back to him.

And now the ball’s in Dave’s park. Its funny… he would bust my chops DAILY when it was my turn to write, nagging me incessantly, making me feel like a slacker and bad partner. Me. The guy with an actual day job. Me, the one who gets up daily and goes to work in an actual office… wearing pants and everything.

But when I bug him, its like…

“I’m going to get on it as soon as I can, Charlie, but I’m busy working on a rewrite of another project I have due to my manager and agent on Friday.”

“Yes, Charlie… did I mention I have a manager and agent!?! That’s right, bitch. Manager AND agent.”


Anyhow… things are rolling along, and we’re making progress, one “holy sh*t” at a time.


Charlie


** Calm down… I’m using this as a silly example. Sadly there are no actual CHUDs in this movie.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

What's Good For Me Is Good For Us

So like, all of you devoted readers out there are well aware that my individual writing career is taking huge leaps forwards towards legitimacy. Now I'm not yet at the point where I can ignore this blog once and for all, or order a hit on Charlie to get his whiny behind outa my way, but I'm close.

I have My Manager. My Manager rocks and is currently helping me develop 2 features, 1 TV show, and a Graphic Novel treatment. For starters. Now, she's setting me up with An Agent. (Not yet My Agent, just An Agent.) I have a call with An Agent later today (much later, actually) and An Agent may or may not decide to sign me.

So I've got that going for me.

But I am still devoted to Charlie, my limp limb of a partner, dragging me down with his continual hackery. So after My Manager had a meeting with Sci-Fi Channel, wherein they were very interested in our TV show, as well as some other ideas we have, they came back to My Manager with something along the lines of:

"So, you know, we do a lot of Sci-Fi B-Movies. Would your guy want to write some for us?"

"Yes."

So My Manager comes to me and says:

"David, you've written a lot of B-Movies. Any of them Sci-Fi?"

"Uhmmm... sure."

"Let me see them and maybe we can submit them to Sci-Fi."

So I go through my shelf of scripts, looking for ones that aren't currently entangled up with Producer Dude. And it hits me. I'm currently writing a Sci-Fi B-Movie with Charlie. The pygmy/holocaust/insect/musical thing. So I send what we have to My Manager. Then I tell Charlie that I did so. He's cool. I make sure My Manager understands that this script is one I'm writing with a partner.

And My Manager likes it.

So now when Charlie and I finish this thing, My Manager will look it over, and then (after some probable notes) send it out to Sci-Fi Channel for them to digest. And maybe they'll want to make it. It's more or less right up their alley.

So my fledgling success is now officially opening a door for Charlie and Me.

And that's what it's all about, right?

Monday, June 19, 2006

In The Heat Of The Night

It’s hot.

Summer in Atlanta hot. Nothing outrageous, but a good 93 degrees outside, according to the thermometer on the patio.

Inside it’s only slightly better. The freaking A/C filter needs changing and I’ve realized it far too late in the day to really act upon it. I swung by the grocery store, but they don’t have the right size. Home Depot is closed, and I’m too lazy to drive the ½ hour distance to a Walmart, Kmart or similar that’d be open past 9.

I’m sitting in front of my laptop, Final Draft open, scene ideas percolating in my head. But each time I put fingers to keys, I get distracted.

I start to type.

PLOP. A bead of sweat drops from my forehead onto the SPACE key.

“Damn,” I mutter aloud. My dog, Ralph, looks up at me from the shade of an end table. He’s panting like Pat O’Brien on a cellphone call.

(Two Pat O’Brien jokes in a row! Wooo hoooo!)

I try to focus. We’ve just gotten to the first batch of action scenes in the second act, and I’ve been mentally pounding out this sequence in my head for more than a month now. I just need to put it to paper.

Just. Put. It. To. Paper.

Suddenly an IM dialogue box pops to the front of my screen.

“bbstucco: Howdy, partner!!”

It’s Dave. I sigh. No doubt he’s gonna bust my chops, wondering when he’ll get the scenes. Sure, its easy to be impatient when you’re sitting up in NY, man-of-leisure, nothing to do but place calls to your Manager and harass your writing partner on your “low priority” projects. And what the hell is he doing up so late?

I reply, heading him off at the pass. “Hey Dave. Working on it right now…”

5 seconds passes. No reply. Then 15. 30. A minute.

I shut off the iBook, open the window, and go to bed.

Tomorrow is a new day. And Home Depot opens at 9am.

Charlie

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Of B-Pride And B-Prejudice

Over lunch today I was talking with a buddy who used to be in showbiz. Granted, it was several years ago, and it was on the Springer Show, but it was showbiz.

As we were talking about entertainment stuff I decided to let him in on my “other” job – writing. He was both intrigued and excited as I told him about our potential/semi/pseudo-success with SEIGE, which may or may not someday get made.

“It sounds like fun… I’d love to read it!” he enthused.

Oddly, I didn’t feel quite so excited. “I dunno,” I hemmed, “its still in a funky contractual limbo… I hate to really have anyone else look at it.”

He wasn’t convinced. “Come on! It’s just me. I’m not going to show it to anyone, or copy the idea or anything. I just think it’d be fun to read.”

Having hemmed, I decided to try hawing. “It’s just a b-movie, you know. Full of big action flick clich├ęs and over the top dialogue. We tried to have fun with it, but there’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”

Rather than shaking him off the scent, he only got more excited.

“Do you blow up something big? Maybe a plane or a helicopter or something cool?”

“A helicopter,”
I weakly replied.

“Kickass! And does your hero have to like… I dunno… save a buddy or his kid or wife or something, like in COMMANDO?”

I sighed. “His wife.”

“YES! And is there a Mexican standoff?!”


I felt like I was talking dirty to Pat O’Brien or something. He was just way too into it. Thing is, I think my buddy actually really digs B-action-movies, and was genuinely excited and interested.

But me? I hate to say it, but I was feeling pretty embarrassed. I mean… we know, and have acknowledged here and elsewhere, that SEIGE is very much a b-movie. Hell, there’s a reason we named this blog what we did. But for some reason, the idea of this guy reading the screenplay made my skin crawl.

I’m proud of SEIGE, in the context of what it is. We were given pretty specific conditions for the location, characterizations, market… even the title. So, for a b-action-movie, I think it’s a fun little script. We tried to create some entertaining action sequences starring some larger-than-life heroes and villains.

But without that context (or without seeing it on-screen at 3 in the morning on TNT), I’m afraid it’ll come off as… I dunno… “B.” Maybe I’m being overly sensitive. Lots of people like what generally qualify as “b” movies. He certainly seemed to.

Regardless, I told him no. He seemed disappointed, but I promised to get him a copy of the DVD if it ever actually gets funded/cast/shot/edited/printed/screened/pressed. I’m hoping the final product will make us proud, and they’ll do our little script justice.

If not, though, at least I’ll have the reassurance of knowing that we’ve been paid as I wince, watching him toss SEIGE into his DVD player.

Charlie

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Greetings From Dobbs Ferry!

So, like, I'm in New York.

The house is a mess, I have no day job (anyone out there hiring?), it's been raining pretty much ever since I got here.

So how have you been?

I drove a 22-foot truck, towing my Prius on a flatbed behind it with my Father-In-Law from LA to NY. (Prius got incredible gas mileage. ;)) Saw parts of this great land of ours I ain't ever seen before, and likely won't ever see again. Was nowhere near Atlanta, so I didn't get to stop in and see Charlie. I'm forgetting what he looks like. I think he might be American Indian. A bald one, I'm pretty sure.

In other news, there is much news to share.

My Manager (I love saying that) had another successful meeting with Sci-Fi Channel. She pitched a TV Series that we're working on, and they were interested. Not "I'm buying this right now!" interested, but more like "You're offer intrigues me, I would like to take some of your literature home with me and learn more about your services."

But in any case, it's an open door to Sci-Fi Channel. Is that not awesome?

Also, while there, Sci-Fi Channel said to My Manager "You know, we make a lot of Sci-Fi B-movies. Your guy have any of those?"

So naturally, I sent My Manager the unfinished pygmy/nudist/tribal/aliens/midget script that Charlie and I are working on. No word if they'll like it. No word if My Manager will even pass it on to them, but it's a start.

And in this business, we're all about starts. Right?

Who's with me?

Dave

Oh, no word from Producer Dude, except to say we're sooooooooooooooooooo close.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Schwag Is A Damn Fine Idea!

As most of you know by now, Dave and I write by night. During the day I'm actually a mild-mannered internet geek, slaving away for a major medical-news dot.com.

So... my geek side got uber-excited when I heard about a great new website - ValleySchwag. Its truly a fantastic "web 2.0" kind of idea.

In short, the guys at this new company go around to the zillions of internet start-ups in the Silicon Valley area and hit them up for the cool schwag that every dot.com has.

In bulk.

They then turn around and sell subscription packages of dot.com schwag to nerds like me, who want to be the first kid on their block to sport a Technorati or Digg t-shirt.

Frankly, its brilliant, and makes me insane that I didn't think of it first.

I mean... Hollywood is rife with crappy schwag. Nearly every good movie production and/or premiere results in some form of schwag. T-shirts. Letter jackets. Miscellany. For awhile I was collecting fun movie premiere schwag. My favorite was (no joke) a bottle of SOMETHING ABOUT MARY hair gel.

I gotta think there'd be a killer market for taking this idea to LA. Bloody shame I'm in Atlanta now. Hey... I know... I'll get Dave to be the front man.

Oh wait. He bailed, too.

Anyhow... as I mentioned, I'm a geek. I ordered and received my first VALLEYSCHWAG goodie bag today.

It included a Ruby Labs tshirt, a whole gaggle of stickers from companies like Feedburner, Riya, EFF.ORG (good guys... kinda the ACLU of the internet world), and most disturbingly, a GOATSE sticker. For those of you not familiar with Goatse, check out this Wikipedia entry for the history of Goatse. Scary stuff, for sure.

Anyhow... for $14.95, I'm a little disappointed. A single t-shirt and a handful of stickers ain't worth the dough. I hope they do a bit better with June's shipment, otherwise it'll be time to cancel with Valleyschwag and start calling the guys in the studio marketing departments to pitch Holleyschwag.

Charlie

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