Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dear Diary...

Ok. So here's the latest update.

Producer Dude's "Other Movie" - the one he's made just before he's really, really, really, really gonna make SIEGE - is an award winner. Last week at the Boise Action & Musical Comedy Film Festival (or something like that) it was nominated for something like 18 awards in nearly every major category, and managed to snag several of the top prizes, like Best New Actress In A C-Grade Action or Musical Comedy, Best Action Sequence In an Action & Musical Comedy Film Willing to Screen At The Boise Action & Musical Comedy Film Festival, and the grand prize, Boise's Corn D'Or.

All of this, if you believe Producer Dude, is REALLY REALLY huge news for SIEGE, and as soon as we move things forward with preproduction on it, its gonna be MASSIVE.

That said, we've all heard this song and dance before, haven't we? Yes... the cynicism is palpable.

In the meantime, I've finally taken a couple of steps forward with the previously untitled sci-fi/horror flick that I've now taken to calling "FREE 3G IPHONES: THE ACTION AND MUSICAL COMEDY FILM THAT LOVES IOWA" just because I think it increases our chances of getting butts in seats and entry into certain film festivals.

Its actually printed out and sitting on my desk right now. Look:

Yup. I've actually even made a few notes. Sure, its slow going, but I'm working on it folks, and that, in its own right, is massive progress. In fact, I haven't even heard much from Dave lately. I think he hates me now, and this is the first step in reconciling our relationship and winning back his love.

Meanwhile, I'm heading back to China in a few days. I love that country, ya'll.

- Charlie

Monday, May 19, 2008

More From China

Sorry, folks, but this'll be another posting having little to do with film-making. Truth is, a couple of folks (therefore 100% of our readership) told me they appreciated the "front lines" post earlier in the week from China.

As the result, this is a bit of a follow-up.

Today was the first day of a 3-day period of national mourning. At 2:28 there was a 3 minute period of silence.

People from the various companies gathered outside. Some were "formed up" military style by their companies. Others just stopped dead on the street. All traffic halted. All pedestrians came to a screeching halt. Amazing to see - like something out of a movie - because its such a massive city and so busy. Just... thousands of people and cars stopped dead in their tracks.

You know when you see movies and some crazy apocalyptic thing happens and they show zillions of New Yorkers all frozen in place and its this weird, freaky looking notion, because New York just NEVER stops? Beijing's like that. And that's exactly what this looked like.

After a beat, the sound started. Air raid sirens from all over the city... this buzzing drone. After a moment they were joined as every car within the city started blowing its horn. It was just this 3 minute long deafening buzz unlike anything I've ever heard before, and which is almost impossible to describe. It came from everywhere and was almost like a tv or radio station test signal sound. All around people were staring at the ground or looking to the sky. Many were crying.

I wanted to take pictures, to try to capture what it was like, but I couldn't think of a way to do so and be respectful. Its moments of massive national unity like that when you feel especially foreign.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yeah, I know... I don't do serious...

So, once again, its been eons since we posted (and I'm the worse offender between the two of us, I know).

Sadly, there's just not much to say. I have a minor update, though, and an appeal.

Last night I was blind copied by Producer Dude on an exchange between him and... well... I have no idea. The exchange went something like this:


Producer Dude,

Congrats on the thing with the thing! That's great... I hear it went well and people are excited. You must be pumped about this thing and how it'll impact that stuff. Way to go!!



Dear Fred,

THX, man. Yeah, the time is now, the place is here, the iron is hot, we're on the 1 yard line and the ball is in motion, its the 11th inning and bases' are loaded and we've got Dimaggio at the plate, we're the spaceshuttle about to blast off and the countdown has reached zero.


Producer Dude


Honestly, I have ZERO idea what they're talking about, or how it impacts Dave and I. None. Maybe the other movie that Producer Dude has been doing (in lieu of ours)?

Beats me. Maybe Dave can post and shed some light.

In the meantime, I'm back in China.

Most of you have probably read by now about the massive quake that rattled this country last week. The devastation in the Sichuan region is massive, and hard to comprehend. 50,000+ dead. Hundreds of thousands wounded. Millions homeless and displaced.

I've been watching the stories from the US, heartbroken for this nation, which I really do love. And yesterday got back to Beijing and was surprised at how dramatically this tragedy is permeating society and the public consciousness right now (though mostly, because, I guess I just hadn't really considered it, like most Americans).

Imagine the US shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Its pretty much all that’s on TV, radio, etc. There are donation drives and stands and boxes everywhere. Its what cabbies talk about, its what people on the street talk about. Every concert hall is hosting a benefit, every restaurant a fundraiser, every school a donation drive. Young couples from Beijing are convoying to Sichuan to try to adopt the thousands of now-orphaned children. Its equally heartbreaking and inspiring. Sometimes nationalism is an amazing thing. There is no "them" that were hit by the quake here. It impacted "we" -- and everyone wants to help.

This country has been rattled, both physically and psychologically, but is determined to do whatever it can. Its amazing to see how strong the grassroots efforts are in a nation known for such a strong centralized government.

Anyhow, China remains more beautiful than ever, her resilience and determination adding to her allure. And there are millions suffering right now in the far reaches of Sichuan. I'd ask if you're reading this to consider making a donation to one of the many multinational relief agencies providing support for this disaster:

Mercy Corps

World Cares

Red Cross

China Quake Donation

There are many others. Google it. But if you can, give.

Heck, if every reader of this Blog gave just $1, then... well... that'd be $2 more than they have now.

Thanks for indulging some seriousness...

- Charlie

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dave Hates The Jews!!

Of course I'm kidding. Dave loves the Jews.

It's the blacks he hates.

And Latinos.

And Native Americans.

And Asians. Especially the Chinese.

See... I've been MIA because of the Chinese. Since November I've been to Beijing 3 times, for a total of like... 80 days in China. Working hard launching a company in China... hiring people. Finding office space. Building a website. Translating content. Its hard work, ya'll. Seriously. And I've been there a LOT. I even have an apartment there. And, no, it isn't painted red.

And - get this - I get paid for this work. Its kind of like the OPPOSITE of my screenwriting career, and the work we do with Producer Dude.

But Dave... he doesn't understand. He calls me a traitor. A traitor to my country. My race. My screenplay. I think he's a script-bigot. He's jealous that I'm working on something else. And that the people I'm working with aren't 30-something White, protestant, upper-middle-class hybrid drivers. He sneers at me saying things like... "Is China nice?" and "Have you seen the wall yet?" and "will you ever review our screenplay?"

Don't think I can't read the racist subtext of his questions, my friends. I know what he's saying, and it isn't pretty.

So... yeah. I guess I need to move my ass. Before I go back to China next month and Dave tosses out a bunch of his yellow-baiting dogma, smearing the honorable people of China with his obnoxious Dalai Lama loving rhetoric.

(Okay. Now don't lynch me when I get back, guys. I'm not French. I love China. F*ck the Dalai Lama, Tibet, and anyone that screws with the Olympics. And Dave. Especially Dave.)

- Charlie

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Charlie Doesn't Love You

It's true. He thinks you're a waste of his time. And this isn't just because he's too busy to blog, he actually told me the other day.

"Hey Dave."


"You know that one guy who reads our blog?"

"You mean me?"

"No, the other one."

"Oh, right."

"I don't love him."

Doesn't get any clearer than that.

The sad truth is, there are times that I even doubt his love for me. Like when he doesn't read my draft of the Munchkin/sock puppet/serial lesbian/voodoo script that I sent him, like, months ago. Like when he'd rather spend time doing his JOB than pay attention to our dreams of getting Siege made. (Oh, it's going to be made this year. Producer Dude says so." Like earning money to feed and house his family is more important than his dreams.

As if.

So we sit and stew. Two of the greatest screenwriting minds of the 21st Century, dragged to a stand-still due to the pressures of modern life. Charlie has to work for The Man, and I have a huge conference call with a production company in LA tonight interested in producing the TV series I've put together with My Manager and My Agent.

Priorities. Bah.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

High Times, and an American Idol musing

First, Producer Dude's new movie that was not written by us has been screened at 20th Century Fox Studio, and is having a world premiere in an actual theater in a small nation that is not the United States.

This is a good thing. Why? Because Siege is going to be his next pic. It really, really is. And people who make movies tend to get bigger and bigger each time. So if this one is being shown on screens, real-life movie screens, then Siege might make it to a screen in a not-quite-as-small nation as the one his current is premiering on. Like instead of Andorra, Siege will be shown in theaters in Uruguay. That's a step up.

That's cool.

Which means we're so, so, so, so, so close. Right?

Meanwhile, in the American Idol world, I have a thought. You know what I'd really like? I'd like to see the Idols do a week of Weird Al songs. I think that would be awesome, and Simon would probably implode from agony. Talk about must-see-TV!

OK, now back to your regularly-scheduled Veggie Dance.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Building on Someone Else's Success


So while we've been twisting in the wind, Producer Dude has made another movie. This has nothing to do with Siege, and we knew he was making this film. It's made, and he's about to set off for a whirlwind tour of a few countries that you've never heard of to promote the film, which is actually going to be released in the theaters in some of these countries. Not all, and not any that have a GNP larger than Rhode Island, but all the same...

Meanwhile, Siege continues on track for a Q4 start of production. I'm assuming that's Q4 2008, but really, who can say?

So here's my thing. Producer Dude has a "hit" on his hands- at least when compared to his other films, none of which ever got any kind of theatrical release anywhere. So with success comes clout, the ability to do larger projects, the ability to bring more money into the process.

And Siege is his next film.

A theatrical release for Siege in the tiny island nation of Barbados? It could happen.

But now, of course, he wants to emmulate the success of his current opus. Which means he may want rewrites, to turn Siege into something with, get this, "character development" and "an easily-followable plot."

Oh the sacrifices we make for our art.

I guess the end result of all this inner-chaos is that I'm gonna have to try and pry more "money" from Producer Dude. Hey, if he's loaded, time to spread it around, right?

Soldier on.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nothing to see here. Move Along.

Yeah, yeah, its me, Charlie... the one who never posts anymore. I know, I know. I'm a douchebag.

The thing is, there's really nothing to say, at least as it relates to B Movie Writing.

When Dave wrote a couple of weeks ago, he told you that Producer Dude had re-emerged to tell us that this time we're REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY SUPER CLOSE, which is different from last time, when we were REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY CLOSE (no "super") and the time before that when we just got REALLY REALLY REALLY CLOSE (only three REALLY's which, really, we all know is not close, at all, but rather is quite far).

Thing is, we haven't heard from Producer Dude since. So... its business as usual here in B Movieland. Lather, rinse, repeat. Which is to say, Dave gets lathered, begs me to rinse him, and I repeat gagging.

In related non-news, as Dave said, he's sent me rewrites to the Donkey herders/firefighters/armageddon/jesus musical. And I've been hard at work on... well... not even reading them. I've just been slammed and haven't had the chance and... yeah. I'm a douche, as I said. I need to read 'em.

Anyhow... we'll post again as soon as sometime happens. Or doesn't happen and one of us feels guilty.

- Charlie

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Has It Really Been A Month?

Wow. Time flies when you don't blog.

So over the last month we've... uhm.. we've....

Actually. No. We have. I finished my draft on our rocking horse/velvet curtain/glowing spear/banana leaf epic and sent it over to Charlie. He emailed me back (eventually) to say he couldn't find my email. So I then emailed it to him again.

That's progress.

Also, Siege didn't get made. But, and this is key, Producer Dude says we're SOOOOO CLOSE. Actually blind-copying us on emails from money people to producing people talking about schedules and finances and production slates and howthere's this mysterious inload of funding that first needs to be "laundered". Or maybe our movie is the laundering. I'm not sure.

There is also talk of a re-write. Which means Charlie and I will have to read the script and see what it's all about, since we have no clue. I think there's a midget in it. Hopefully a lesbian.

Actually, the truth is even funnier. See, we wrote Seige back in Ought-Five to be this no-nonsense, people beating people up in inventive ways, all-action, every line of dialogue should be able to be plastered on a snarky coffee mug, film. Now Producer Dude says that when we go into the rewriting process (which no one is doing until some money exchanges hands and ends up in the bank account of me and Charlie) we need to try to instill the script with character depth and meaningfull, dramatic dialogue.

Character depth. In Seige. Huh. Here's my take on that.

"There are three bad guys around the corner! You only have two bullets in the gun!"

"It's OK. I've done a lot of soul searching, and I think there's a better way. Before my father died from colon cancer, he taught me what was important in life. He taught me to really be there for everyone. And though I only have two bullets, those two bullets will really be there for me."

"I understand your pain. My own father was raped by a balloon salesman and left for dead in the tiger cage at the zoo. It has scarred me to this day."

"That's why you hold such animosity toward animals?"

"Both in the flesh, and the balloon variety, yes."

"You need to be there for your own inner child."

"I try. The pressures of being a real man in today's non-stop society make it difficult to cry."

"I'm so sorry. Let me use my two bullets to violently murder the three men around the corner, then we should sit down and have a good cry together. For you. For me. For us. And for the three dead men who will be in the hall."

"They have lives, too. Lives which we are about to end."

"Sometimes I hate myself."

"It's OK. Now go plug those assholes good."

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dave's New Year's Resolution

Well, my resolution as it would pertain to this site and the subject matter wee talk about here. Writing. Writing with Charlie.

So it's really a subsection of my actual writing resolutions, which themselves are a subsection of my entire resolutions. Just wanted to be clear.


I'm gonna write more.

Hmm, that seems vague.

Well for starters, the current status of the Human Growth Hormone/Mango/Midget sex romp is in my hands. I'm going to finish the draft. And soon-ish.

Soon-ish? That tends to mean, like, when I get around to it. But before I forget about it completely.

See, some other non-Charlie-writing Resolutions will have to be satisfied before this one, because of things outside of my control. But then I'll jump on this and be rocking and rolling.

So there you have it. Dave's Charlie-Writing New Year's Resolution.
Astounding, I know. Inspiring, I'm sure.

Oh, and some day we'll make Siege.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hey America - Go F Yourself!

Hey America... what the f*ck?!

I've put up with a lot over the years. Ketchup as a vegetable when I was in school. Bush. Not once. Not even twice. Three god*amn times. Susan B. Anthony dollars. Crocs.

But you've gone too far, America. This time... you've gone too far.

Have you really shelled out nearly $150 million dollars to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets?" YES, America, you have.

You filthy, gutter-dragging, lowest-common-denominator-pandering whore. $150 mil??

That's just wrong.

Its over, America. I'm going back to China. Call me when you're ready to drop that kinda dough on movies like ONCE.

- Charlie