Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Forward Progress... Right Into That Big Sticky Bog

So I sent a rabid email to Producer Dude.

"Hey! What's going on? Where's our contracts? What's your problem? Who do I have to sleep with to get this movie made? Is she cute?"

To which Producer Dude eventually replied, via IM.

"David. You there?"

"Producer Dude! Hi!"

"I got your email. We've had some changes in the company. We're switching distributors because we got much better offers. They want Siege. So it's happening. I need about a week, maybe a month, to finalize everything, get the contracts out. You're the best."

"So, what, like a month? Money in a month?"

"You're the best."

"Any more news on those big names that have signed letters of intent to be in our film?"

"You're the best."

"Am I better than Charlie?"


So there you go. When Producer Dude ever makes Siege (I said WHEN, not IF) it will be through a new distributor. Which means... uhm... to us... uhm...


But at least Producer Dude is returning my emails. More or less.

Onward, Christian Soldier!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dave's My Rock...

I've been having one of those weeks.

You know the kind I'm talking about - the type of week where everything at work goes wrong - you get screwed out of a promotion, or raise, or trip to China or something, and your boss decides you're a jerkoff...

Everything at home goes wrong - your kid turns colicky at 3 1/2, the lawnguy accidentally trashes half your yard, and your wife decides you're a jerkoff...

Everything in your personal life goes wrong - your friends don't want to hang, your relationships turn sour, and your best friend decides you're a jerkoff...

But my writing partner. Thank God for my writing partner. He was there for me the whole time...

"Hey Charlie, how are you, buddy?"

"Oh, man, Dave... could I use a friend. I'm sleeping on the guest bed, my car got a flat, and I don't have any friends here in Atlanta."

"Huh. Listen... how're your rewrites on the untitled alien-invasion/victorian-drama/existential-comedy/Porky's-remake coming along?"

"What? My life's a shambles, dude."

"Yeah... I know... shame and all that. A little behind then, eh? So you think... what... maybe end of week?"

"I hate my life."

"Friday, then?"

"Where can I get lots and lots of sleeping pills?"

"Okay. Let's make it Saturday."

So thanks to the love and support of my dear pal Dave, I've been making time here and there for edits. A page here. A couple of paragraphs there. I'm not tearing through it, exactly, but I'm making progress.

If nothing else, I'll get it done before I have my stroke or nervous breakdown or heart attack. I wouldn't leave Dave hanging...

Mainly because I don't want him to decide that I'm a jerkoff.

- Charlie

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We Got Nothing!

Wooo!! Celebrate! Throw your hands in the air like you just don't care! We got nothing!

Charlie and I received an email from Producer Dude. It was short and sweet and said, more or less, "Guys. Sorry it's taken so long. It's gonna take longer. Love, Producer Dude."

A big fat nothing.

But to his credit, it was an email. An acknowledgement that it has, in fact, been a ridiculously long time since we thought we were, like, days away from millions. Or at least thousands.


So where does that leave us? Nowhere. Nowhere new, at least. It does, however, let us know that Producer Dude's feeling guilty. Maybe we can parlay that into another grand or something, I dunno.

"Soooo.. Producer Dude. Still waiting on that contract from you."

"I know, I know. I'm sorry. Things have really drawn out. Not my fault."

"We know you mean well. Your heart is in the right place."

"You know it is, guys. If there were anything I could do..."

"Well... I mean the contract isn't finalized yet. Maybe we get an extra grand? Each?"

"No. can't do that. How about I rent each of you a fluffer for an hour?"

"... ... ok."

So maybe my negotiating skills need some work.

But in the meantime.. we got nothing!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Movin', Groovin', Stirrin' Up Trouble

So, like, Charlie is doing his thang on our multi-hyphenated project. We've each had ideas for scripts and projects on our own. We've each done zip on them.

It's time for the DAVID/charlie team to get cracking.

Since we have an open door at the unnamed company that took a gander at Siege before we gave it back to Producer Dude, we're looking for something in a similar vein. We have lots of ideas. Some old. Some new. Some borrowed. Some blue.

So we're kicking the tires and seeing if any deflate into a fantastic pitch or two.

Stranger things have happened.

It's actually a lot of fun to go back and look at some of our ideas. One of them we'd actually done some outline work on, and it's not half bad. There's another one that isn't much more than a paragraph right now, but I like it quite a bit.

So that's where we are. Passing emails back and forth. IMing each other night and day. Letting the creative juices flow.

Flow, damn you! Flow!

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Digging Up The Dead

Nearly 10 years ago I was stewing over an story idea about a guy coming to terms with his impending 30th birthday. It was, effectively, a dark, comedic look at the point where you realize you have to stop being a 20-something knucklehead, and own to up the adult life that you're actually living.

Over drinks one night I discussed the pitch with a good buddy who loved the idea. He eventually became my writing partner and we wrote the screenplay, as well as a bunch of other stuff.

Unfortunately, I think the final result was a mediocre script that was totally watered down from the original concept. It ended up being a series of sitcom-esque moments with sitcom-esque characters and the whole thing was weak.

We finished it, showed it to a few people, got lukewarm response, and it went to the shelf where it sat... moldy.

The thing is, I've always been in love with the basic concept of the story. A guy, coming to terms with where he's at in life. It's a theme we all deal with every day and, I think, the protagonist in this story does it rather uniquely.

And... well... I'm now staring down the barrel of a gun at 40. And this character keeps coming back to me... now older... now in a different life than originally imagined... but there he is. Facing 40. Dreading his mid-life. Wondering what comes next. Evaluating his existence and wondering where he goes next.

I want to write this screenplay again, from the ground up. I want to tell this guy's story. My story. Hell - the story of pretty much any guy in his late 30's wondering what happens next.

But here's the catch. I originally had the story concept - which is really all I want at this point. But then I went off and wrote it with another person. Which means, in effect, he owns 1/2 of the story.

Mind you, I want to completely retell it. But... he still owns 1/2 of the current story.

So I've gone back to my old writing partner to see if he'll relinquish the rights to it, so that I can once again try to tell it. I wasn't sure what he'd say but, literally, halfway through writing this post the phone rang.

He totally got where I want to take the story. He, too, is in his late 30's, and gets how easily the story can be updated to a perspective we both understand so clearly. And he was a true friend and a great business partner in telling me that I can define how I want ownership of the property to go.

So... Dave and I have several irons in the fire. I've committed to finishing my latest revisions to the unnamed Broadway-musical/Margaret Atwood adaptation/alien-invasion/gay porn screenplay by the end of this week. We'll then put a wrapper on it and send it out to get feedback on.

Next we plan to pitch one another one script ideas for the mysterious "production company you've heard of" that had Siege awhile back. We're hoping to go back in with some pitches and see if anything piques their curiosity.

And then, last but not least, I'm sh*tcanning the crap "new idea" I had in favor of this updated "old idea" from 10 years ago, with the hopes of it being the opus I always dreamed it would be. I'll keep you posted on how that goes, since I originally dreamt it up before the Tried And True BMovieWriters Rules were in place. It may be tough sandwiching in a lesbian sex scene and a role for Natalie Portman, but I'm up for the challenge.

- Charlie

Friday, July 06, 2007

What the heck..?

So I mentioned awhile back that I've started work on a new screenplay, sans Dave. Things were going ok... I was plugging along, working hard on it. I think it was shaping up nicely...

And then. Splat. It just seems to have run out of steam.

I'm not sure what the deal is, frankly. I thought I was on the right path, but sometimes your writing gets ahead of your thinking. To wit - I know the characters. Who I want them to be, where I want them to go, what I want them to experience. And I know the general plot - what I want to happen and how I want it to end. Happy endings all around, right?

But... well... after getting a 2nd opinion and re-reading it myself, it appears to be a mess. The character's are actually not well defined at all. The plot's all over the place. And the supporting cast is sloppy.

I'm not tossing it. Au contraire... I'm stepping up my game and intend to work extra hard to bring it together. But for now, the whole thing's just... confusing and weird.

On this script I kind of jumped out of the plane without a chute. Or a clear landing spot. Now I need to regroup and get back to the plot.

- Charlie

P.S. No, we haven't heard from Producer Dude. Shocker, huh?