Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can You Tell Where I Am? lol

Out and about writing today, so life is good. In addition to some touch up work on a couple of things, still working on a couple of scripts, may even go back to one I wrote a while back that I've been slowly updating and making more current. I love the idea, it's a comedy and I think pretty funny, but you never really know until it's read out loud and hopefully made! I can remember the last two scripts I wrote and worked on... the first time they were read aloud with the cast was very exciting and powerful. Both were really funny, still we tweaked things right up to the shooting as well, the life of a script. But that first read... the emotions and excitement behind it, it's hard to beat.

Now those of you who follow my blog, know I always respect anyone who gets a film made, it's a huge accomplishment. That goes for the big folks as well and Quentin Tarantino is back in the mix with his new flick, "Inglourious Basterds." Now I saw him on Letterman the other night talk about the film and what he was hoping to do with it, essentially throw his hat in the old time genre of a group of guys going on a mission during World War II, ala the "Dirty Dozen." I've also seen both Brad Pitt and Mike Myers talk positively about the film as well, but to be fair, they're both in it and helping to feed the publicity machine.

However to me and this is just one person's opinion... I don't think it's his "Masterpiece." Some of the performances are outstanding, namely Christopher Waltz as "Hans" and Pitt as "Aldo Raine." There is no mistaking the look and feel of a Tarantino film and it's all there in this one as well, but for me the film is entirely too long and slow in some places. It misses it's mark about being one of those "Guys on a mission" film because it leaves the mission for a huge part of the film and almost has a separate storyline that takes away from the overall idea of the film.

I am also tired of Tarantino using graphic images of violence just for shock value and there are a lot of these in the film. I get that's his thing and he wants to take those 70s kind genres that weren't allowed to be as graphic and make them up-to-date and graphic now, but you don't always need it.

A lot of folks like the film, it was number one in the box office after the first weekend, but I suspect this will be one of those films that will be enhanced by the DVD with extras and more insight into what Tarantino was thinking about when making the film and what he was trying to do.

As a stand alone film right now however, it's good, but not great and maybe not even worth seeing on the big screen, but on a big screen television instead.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Off To The Mobile Office!

It's been a hot second since I sat down and blogged so I wanted to throw up something so you all knew what's been going on and to just check in.

Right now I'm still tweaking and fiddling with scripts, both spec and the finished one. Also starting to play around with a couple of new ideas, we'll see how that all works out.

I've also been trying to watch a lot different things and get into the head of some other filmmakers. One of the best parts about DVDs for me are the extras. I love seeing the process that the filmmakers go through getting their projects to the screen.

Speaking of filmmakers, a friend of mine known to the world as Westland Armitage just finished his new short, "Trojans," take a look at it when you get a chance. He has a unique vision but more importantly, he continues to make films because of his love for the art and anyone who does that, you know gets my respect 24/7 365(6).

OK time to do some work, feeling a little funky today, but hopefully that will go away after a good session of writing and maybe a movie or two.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Out and About Again!

For the first time in what seems like forever, I am out and about!

Over the last several days, I had been battling some kind of virus/flu and I think I've finally licked it. I wouldn't say I'm 100%, but I am definitely strong enough to get up and get out of the house for a little while and what better way to celebrate than to do a little work at my favorite mobile office! Now this particular one is not my fav of favs, but it's a solid one and truth be told one of the things I love about Starbucks is that for the most part I can get my Extra Hot Grande Mocha in Maryland, Tennessee, California or Boston and it's always going to taste the same. Some days that's all you want... that familiar aroma, taste and comfort.

So even though I've been under the weather, it hasn't completely stopped me from working. I'm still trying to get my spec script read and still trying to get my new feature script read. I'm keeping my head up on both fronts and hope that someone will take a chance to at least read something.

I've also started to work on some other scripts, some that I've had and a couple that are new. One of the other projects may take over at some point, but for right now I'm bouncing around getting a little done on a lot.

So that's the latest update, hopefully I'll have some more for you later in the week, but until then... time to get hacking away!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On The Road Again...

On the road again at my new mobile office hang out, Mayorga Cafe. It's a rainy day outside, but some times those are the best to get work done.

After getting my new spec script registered with the WGA, I sent out a couple of query letters and have received a couple of responses already! Nothing major, one to record me reading the script on tape and then sending it to this particular agent so they can listen to it. (Does anyone still use cassette tape?) And then in typical Hollywood fashion, one shot me down right away, well they didn't even want to read the letter or listen or my logline for the script because they don't want to be perceived as stealing an idea. (Can you tell this one was a big Hollywood agency?)

Just once I'd like one of these agents or producers to at least read something of mine and THEN say oh it's no go, "thanks but no thanks" or better yet, "Hey we like your script when can we take a meeting and sign you up."

The hard part about writing a spec script is you put in time working on something for someone else. Today I'm going to tweak the script a bit and tighten it up, but this time may all go for not, because no one may even read it.

Instead of looking at it as doing it for no one else to see, I look at it as working on my skills. One of the things I've read over and over in books and interviews is no matter what, you HAVE to keep writing and I do believe that. Readers of this blog know my take on the writing process and I don't believe in forcing yourself to write everyday, but I do believe in the theory you have to keep working on your craft and you have to keep putting something to paper or in the modern day world, ideas to computer-computer to printer. The more you can write, the more styles you try, the better you can become and that's all I'm really trying to do, is get better.

So time to warm up my coffee, settle in for awhile and hack away!

Monday, August 3, 2009

An Exercise In Writing

One of the things I hate about apartment life living is that from time to time you have to do things you don't normally like to do in order for them to fix or work on things. That was the case this morning as the apartment complex had to have it's annual gas inspection, so that meant no hot water from 9am to 3pm, so if you wanted to take any kind of a shower that meant up early because I had to get a workout in first and then I could get a shower in before 9am.

So after the workout and shower I decided to go grab something to eat and write at yet a different place today, this time Panera Bread. Again, not one of my favorite places to write, but something different and I need something different right now.

While at Panera I decided to do something I haven't done in a long time and that's write a spec script. Not only did I decide to write one, but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't leave until I finished. Well not only did I finish, but this draft actually turned out to be a pretty good one.

I won't say the show right now because I am going to continue to work on it a bit and even try to get it read, but it's a half hour cable show I've watched a lot and know the characters. Still writing for someone else is always a tough thing to do and that in the end is why I think I went down this path today more than anything. If I am going to be a better writer, get signed or picked up by an agent, I want to be versatile and have the ability to do a lot of things so this was a step in honing in on those skills. We'll see how it ends up, but no matter what the fact that I was able to sit down and hammer out a decent script is a pretty good accomplishment for a Monday with no hot water!