Friday, June 29, 2007

Pimping Myself

This has nothing to do with my writing, or Charlie's writing, or Siege, or anything.

I write about things besides my film career, but they aren't posted here. So if, for some reason, you ever have a desire to read more of my work, you can check me out over at:

The site is called This Is By Us. Writers just writing whatever they want. Anyone can do it. So go ahead and check out the link, it leads to my latest posts. If you like what you read, you can "vote" for it, which is good for me. And I know everyone wants to do things that are good for me.

The only thing I don't write about over there is my writing career, because I write about that here. Not into cross-pollination.

So go! Read! Vote! Worship me!

Or something like that.

Now back to your regularly scheduled film blog.

PS: Nothing from Producer Dude.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fits and Starts

So, remember oh-so-long-ago when I told you all how I was being considered for a total big-name remake? Wasn't that exciting? News like that comes around and it gets you all jazzed, and you can't wait to tell everyone in your world, or at least, on your blog.

Since then? Nothing.

It's enough to give a guy an ulcer. Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait.

"David, get that rewrite of the TV project in tomorrow because I'm meeting with a guy who knows a guy who is looking for a project and owes me a favor."

"Uhm.. OK My Manager."

**three weeks pass**

"Hey, My Manager. Any word on that TV project thing that I rushed out to you three weeks ago?"

"Has it only been three weeks? Man, you need to chill out."

"Did you at least see the guy who knew the guy?"

"David, David, David. So young, so naive."

"Am I pretty?"

"Shut up and write."

My only real experience, not counting Producer Dude- who runs on Island Time as long as it's the Island from Lost, was with the Big Company that looked at Siege. They took a long time. Turns out EVERYBODY takes a long time.

It's like Hollywood is stuck in a time bubble where events churn along at a snail's pace. They've done studies and discovered that time moves at approximately 37% the speed it does anywhere else on Earth. Something about all that sun.

So we wait and we wonder.


Producer Dude is on the ball. In fact, he forwarded us an email from his people that said they'd have the contracts back to him (and hence back to us) by the end of this week.

Place your bets! Place your bets!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls (of Spiders)

Sometime back I blogged about a fictional exchange between Dave and I in which he commented on an idea I'd written about. In it, the discussion went something like this:

Well, what did you think about what I wrote???

It was okay. Kinda verbose. And the waterfall of spiders thing... I'm not really feeling it. And the characters suddenly got all flippant and light on us. The tone's wierd. But I like the rest. You know... the line where the character asks what direction they're heading. That works. Let's tweak the rest, though. I'm not sweating it.

The humorously fictional exchange was based on a REAL one, related to our un-named May-December Romance/Bollywood Musical/American-Beauty Remake, that went something like this (months ago, as I agonized over the now infamous waterfall scene):

Well, what did you think about what I wrote???

It was okay. Kinda verbose. And the waterfall of spiders thing... I'm not really feeling it. And the characters suddenly got all flippant and light on us. The tone's wierd. But I like the rest. You know... the line where the character asks what direction they're heading. That works. Let's tweak the rest, though. I'm not sweating it.

So last week I tossed the latest iteration of the waterfall scene to Dave. I hadn't quite finished it yet, but after swapping out a tentacle monster for underwater zombies for killer whirpools, I finally stumbled on something basic that I thought would work. Dave read the 2/3 of a scene I'd written and liked it, but I was taking too long so he took it back to finish up.

Cut to 24 hours later. I'm in a meeting at work and my cell rings. Its Dave. I assume that him calling can only mean that Verbinski has agreed to do SIEGE. I duck out of the meeting and answer.


Bugs! Bugs, dude.


The waterfall scene. What if it were bugs. Like... not monster sized bugs or anything... just you know... scary bugs.

Like...oh... spiders?

EXACTLY! Killer idea, huh?

Yeah... listen... you may remember awhile back I did a draft of this with spi...

Right. Bugs! I'm glad you like it. Love ya, babe.


So bugs it is. Killer idea, Dave.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Little Script That Could

Not to make this blog all about me, me, me, but...

Let's talk about me.

Actually, first, let's chat about Charlie and Me. I have some time on my hands, and told Charlie to send me what he had on our untitled tree-hugger/boa constrictor/window pane romance and I'd dive in with gusto. Since he was taking longer to get any writing done than Natalie Portman answering his creepy fan mail, I figured it would be good to get a fresh set of eyes.

So he sent me half a scene, about 5 or 6 pages.

Granted, he had an unenviable task. We had this big action sequence in the story that didn't really go with the rest of the movie, so it was decided to switch it out with something new. And we had no idea what that would be. So he tried. And truth told, his idea isn't bad. Still not sure it works. But I certainly haven't come up with anything better. So there ya go. I'll probably tinker a bit, see if I can get his idea to work. If I can't, then I may go back to the drawing board. See if I can come up with something, then see if it floats Charlie's boat. And then back again. See, we've been doing this dance for a while, and we're having a heck of a time of it.

So that's Charlie and Me.

Now me.

So, like, remember when I told y'all about my little horror script that got me some meetings last year? Right, that one. And how it's got some life again? Right, that one.

More life.

I guess My Manager, not having anything new of mine to work with, has decided to send the same script out, one year later.

So last night My Manager tells me that a company that you haven't heard of, which was started by a producer who did a movie that you have heard of, has taken a liking to the script. And now they are considering me to work on one of two projects they have in development. One project is an as-yet unknown horror project that may or may not be based on a Japanese horror film. The other project is a remake of a very big film that you've heard of.

We'll know more in a couple of weeks. Could be nothing. Could be something. Could be something really big. But this little script of mine is once again opening doors. Now if only one of those doors would lead to some cash cash.

Rock on!

Oh, and nothing new from Producer Dude.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm Frothy

Sometimes we blog because we have exciting news to share with you, our reader.

Sometimes we blog because we had deep thoughts to share with you, our reader.

Sometimes we just blog.

This is one of those times.

We are waiting, per usual, on all the different people to get back to us. Charlie claims to have written a few pages on our operatic/jungle/fresh fruit romance. I'll believe it when I see it. I have gone over my draft of my TV pilot for the umpteenth time and sent it on to My Manager. To wait.

So actually, I need something to do. Now don't get me wrong, I have a number of things I SHOULD be doing. I'm supposed to be going over my book treatment with a fine-toothed comb. But I'm just not in the frame of mind for that. I could try to work on the hot new idea I hinted at a few blog posts ago, but right now I'm not burnin' with the fever, if you get my drift.

Right now, I want to sit on my ass and watch TV. I'm TiVoing Star Trek: Enterprise reruns on Sci-Fi and HDNet, since I never watched the show when it aired. I'm tired. My daughter is out of school, so I don't get any break even when my son naps. I could write in the evening, after they're all asleep. But instead, I want to watch Star Trek.

I'll get through this little bump in the road. Producer Dude will get his act together, or one of the many people I'm waiting for will get back to me with news, or My Manager will get back to me on the TV pilot. Or something. And I'll get jazzed to write.

But for now, set phasers on stun and turn off the TV if I've fallen asleep on the couch.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Beauty of Youth

If you've read even a single post over the last month or so, you know that I'm woefully overdue in my pass at some rewrites on the untitled German-porn/workplace-comedy/outback-western. Woefully.

And I swear by all that's holy, this weekend I've blocked off half a day of time to get over this hump and do my part.

But in the meantime, I find myself distracted. You see, I've started work on something new. All by myself, no Dave. Yeah. A new screenplay.

The allure of a new script. Its young, and fresh, and full of promise. A metaphorical stack of 100+ pages of virginal-white paper, just waiting to absorb new ideas.

When I'm writing something new... putting an idea to paper for the first time... its like breathing cleaner air. The sun is brighter. Children play in meadows. Puppies lick your face.

You've got a whole world you can explore together with your new story. No boundaries. No conventions. No limitations. It can be anything.

Whereas the untitled roller-disco/puppet-show/Roaring-20's-musical is a harsh mistress. I know it. It knows me. I want tentacle monsters, it wants something else. Who knows what, but God-help-me, I'll find out.

We've come a long way, together with Dave. But now they both give me dirty looks when they think I'm not looking. Rolling their eyes and "tsk tsk"ing. Judging me.

So Saturday its ON. Tentacle scene? As good as gone, and in its place, something new. Bold. Dramatic. Ah. who am I kidding. At this point I'm just looking to find something Dave thinks will be a passable replacement in his agent's assistant's lawnboy's eyes. But Saturday I'll be finding it.

But don't judge me when, come Monday, I'm staring, moon-eyed, at the new screenplay...

Wondering how long until I f*ck it up.

- Charlie

Sometimes you bomb...

As I've waxed neurotically before, once your screenplay is in the hands of the production, your job is essentially done. There might be rewrites or revisions along the way, but by that point there's little influence a writer can have on the final product.

Hopefully you get lucky, but sometimes you bomb.

Way back in 2005 I posted about a comedy video that Dave did for Brunching Shuttlecocks starring yours truly as a bumbling adventurer. When it premiered on Brunching several years ago, it was well received and got lots of laughs.

So earlier this week I shared it with a friend from work.

Who was genuinely, deeply, profoundly... appalled.

Now, as a performer, that's exactly the response you're looking to get. Revulsion.

So what's the point here? Sometimes a joke tanks. Or a scene. Or an entire screenplay.

Or sometimes what plays well for one audience doesn't work for another. The gag about cats being scared by a vacuum may be high comedy to an old 40-something codger, but play like a lead balloon to a 22 year old just out of college, where they don't know what vacuums are, and cat humor usually involves forced-feline jaegerbombs.

Really, though, all you can do is make it and put it out there. Hope for giggling, not gagging. Cheers not chunks. Be moved, but not have a movement.

Guess we'll see how it shakes out for Siege. Until then, I'm crossing my fingers. And not showing any more videos to people from work.

- Charlie

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spark of Life Proves Hollywood Harmony

I have a new belief. A new mantra. Though I don't say it aloud all the time, just when my 18 month old is around, since he isn't gonna tell me I'm being strange.

All will be well. Relax. Breathe deeply. He wanted her. She'd never tell. Secretly she wanted him as well.

Damn, sorry, started to channel Avril Lavigne.

See, a long time ago in when life held promise and joy.. like 9 or 10 months ago... I had a script. It was a good script. It got sent around town. (Hollywood, not, say, Boise) I had meetings. Life was good.

But no one wanted to make the script. So no biggie. My Manager and I moved on to the next project, and all was well. Though I still shed a tear every now and then for the script that was my first love.

So naturally, out of the blue, there's life in them thar script again.

A guy at a company read it, liked it, we talked about how he wants to change it, I said no problem (if you're gonna make the movie, I'll even take out the lesbians).

(Not that there are lesbians in the movie. Not yet, at least.)

And now this guy is gonna take it up the ladder to his boss. And if his boss lies it, there are no other bosses to impress. It's a 2-gate system. And I'm through the first gate with flying colors.

Of course, the budget range of this new company is.. well.. actually.. kinda.. similar to Producer Dude. But since the contact is through My Manager, I'll get a ton more money for it. They may even pay me in American money, which would be a first. (You know how hard it is to find someone who'll exchange Tibetan currency?)

And what did I do to get the heat burning on this script? Nothing. Nothing at all. My manager told me she still sends it around every now and then, you know, for shits and giggles. And got a bite.

Just like that.

See, the more sticks in the fire, the more chances of a bite. So I started counting my sticks.

Siege. That's a good stick. Contract talk, movement, what have you. A good stick.

Raunchy Sex Comedy script in the hands of former exec. Another stick. Not as exciting a stick as when former exec was, in fact, exec. But he still knows people, still wants to make movies, and still has our script. It's a stick.

Original horror script with new life. A stick. Can't call it anything else.

TV project. Another stick. Though it has cooled over time for reasons which I won't go into at the moment. But it's still a strong stick. And My Manager is going to move Heaven and Hell to cash that stick in. Which is a good thing.

Another old script of mine that Producer Dude owns. Haven't talked about this one in a long time. But since Producer Dude is in a chatty mood, I asked him about it. He said "I was going to tell you. I may get some money and get the rights to this away from the Development Hell it's currently stuck in. I'll know more in a few weeks.

So that's five sticks. All five burning with people besides me. I mean in the hands of folks who could, might, maybe, do something about them. I have 5 sticks burning. One of them has to catch fire, right?

So I'm just gonna do what I do and not worry about it. You can't hurry Hollywood. You can only keep jabbing it with sticks until you poke someone in the eye and score.

So for now I'm just a Sk8er Boi.