Monday, May 18, 2009

Script Update....

Wow, so it's been about three weeks since I last posted. I didn't mean to take this long of a break, but my week long trip to Virginia sort of threw everything out of balance. So now, I feel like I need to write an update on where things are, so I can feel a little more closure to this script thing.

So as I mentioned in my last post, the first draft was finished on April 26, and even though I wasn't proud of it at that point, I considered it a success that it was done. 90 whole pages. That's more than I have ever written in a single document in my life, I think... So I was pretty happy with that.

So then left for a week, and while I was traveling, I sort of used that as a chance to push the story out of my head and think about stories on a more abstract level, and process again what I wanted to do with this script, and what my goals were. This turned out to be very helpful when I got back home and started writing again, on the second draft. There were a number of additions and deletions of scenes, and basically I was doing major structural changes to the story.

Last night, I finished the second draft. I have finally gotten the overall story to a place where I am pretty happy with it, and that makes me very pleased. The next step will be to go over the entire thing and do the detail work, refine the descriptions, polish the dialog where needed, and basically check for minor problems. Once that stage is done, I will be ready to start having other people read it and give me some good ol' healthy feedback. Which is always difficult to swallow, but generally good for learning how to be a better writer.

Anyways, That's all from my end. Things are pretty positive over here, and I'm excited to have done all this work and to be so near the end. ...Or is it just the beginning???

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Script Blitz: April 26

Momentous news: The script is finished! yaaaaaaayyy!!!...

I had been really busy on Friday and Saturday, so I didn't get any writing done then, but on Sunday afternoon I decided to make up for lost time, and wrote 7 and a half pages until I was finished with the whole thing. I'm pretty proud of myself. :)

Of course, I have no misconceptions about it being perfect or anything. In fact I already know it is lacking in many areas, but that's completely fine for now, the important thing is that I made it, and I did it in 26 days! Woohoo!

To be honest, I have known for some time that I had to finish it this weekend, because as I've mentioned before, I'm traveling to the East coast on Wednesday, and I was really wanting to finish before I left. The plan is, I'll be gone for a week, and when I get back, I'll have been away from my script to look at it even more objectively than I can now, and I will be ready to tear into it for some major re-writing. As Statler and Waldorf would say, "It wasn't half bad." "Nope! It was ALL bad!"
It feels good to have finished the whole thing. And I learned a lot in the process. So maybe I'll do it again a month from now, and write another script... who knows?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Script Blitz: April 23 (and Preservation Hall)

3 more pages today. Felt very tired, but somehow it was perfect because the scene was about the characters being tired. Funny how that makes it somehow fun to write...

Bought a new CD last night. It was a greatest hits of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. They play New Orleans jazz like no one else! I am loving every second of it. Here is an example of the awesomeness that abounds. There's just something deep down about this kind of music, that just makes you want to tap your foot and bob your head to it. It's very loose and free and I really don't have adequate words to describe it, so it's best you just follow the above link.

Anyways, I just thought I should mention that because I have been fascinated with New Orleans jazz ever since I heard of it some years ago. I hope you like it too!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Script Blitz: April 22 (and Doctor Who)

I got home tonight and sat down and wrote 4 and a half pages. And then I experienced some of the best television I have ever seen.

Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up. I have recently started watching a British show called Doctor Who. And I just finished watching Series 2, which completely blew me away with how awesome it was. I know a few of you readers will be like, "Oh, I know all about Doctor Who!" but some of you are completely in the dark about what it is exactly. So here goes.

Doctor Who is a cult sci-fi show in Britain that boasts to be the longest running (started in 1963) sci-fi show ever created, and is something of a phenomenon over there. It had been on hiatus for a little over a decade, until in 2005 they revamped it, made it more fast-paced and energetic, and overall a much better show.

The premise is that 'The Doctor' is an alien Time Lord that watches over the space-time continuum and rushes in to save the day where ever there may be trouble.
Rose is a regular everyday human girl that gets swept up in the adventure.

The Doctor travels around in the TARDIS, which looks like a police box from the 60s...
But whenever the Doctor gives up his life to save the universe, he comes back in a different form. he looks completely different, but he's the same crazy Doctor!
Every season, they build up to some sort of crazy climax, and it is always awesome.
Yeah. So that's it. I love this show. I love it to death. It's adventurous, funny, scary, and emotional, all in epic ways. It's now vying for top spot in my favorite shows of all time list. And I can't wait to watch more...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Script Blitz: April 21

3 more pages. Another day, and three more pages. I can see the end in sight now.

Struggled today with how to write the scene I was on, because I had outlined it to be a rather dark scene, but I didn't want to take the characters to quite that dark a place (yet), so I was trying to figure out a good way of accomplishing what I wanted to in a different way. So I brought a different character in, and made the whole thing a conflict with a rather amusing interplay between them, and it accomplished exactly what I needed it to.

I am still trying to figure out the ending of this story. I mean I know how it ends, but I don't know yet quite how I'm going to get there. Basically there needs to be an ambush. And before I write more tomorrow, I need to research some ambushes so that I can think through how to construct this one. Can anyone think of good ambushes to reference from favorite movies (or books)? I welcome all suggestions.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Script Blitz: April 20

Still in the middle of a pre-summer heat wave, it got up to 100 degrees yesterday.... it's supposed to cool down tomorrow, so here's hoping, anyways....

Wrote 4 pages today, and supposedly that means I only have 16 pages left to write. But looking at my outline, I think it's going to take more than that to finish up this story. But that's okay, 90 pages was just an arbitrary goal. I'm going to have to do a lot of serious editing anyways, so all that really matters is completing the story in a way that works as best as I can make it. Then I'll sort the rest out later.

I'm mainly just hoping that I'll be able to finish the story before I go on my trip. Seems likely that I will.

Anyhow, that's it for today. Ciao!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Script Blitz: April 19 (and Summer heat)

6 pages today. Felt good to get a big chunk done again, and I totaled up the page count again, and I'm at just over 70 pages. Woohoo! That means there are only 20 or so more pages to write, and the first draft will be done. And since it's the 20th, that technically means I only have to write 2 pages a day to finish my original goal of completing 90 pages in a month. But this does not mean I am going to slack off. I'm going to keep pushing through and finish as quickly as possible, so that I can start editing.

My boss is sending me to Virginia to shoot some footage of Colonial Williamsburg on the 30th, which in itself is cool, but it will also mean I will be able to take a break from writing and when I come back a week later, I will hopefully be able to come back to do some much needed heavy-duty re-writes with some good perspective. Sometimes giving yourself a week away from your work is the only way to see it objectively. I have no misconceptions about this draft being amazing, so it shouldn't be difficult.

Anyhow, other than all that, today was a scorcher. First day in the year to get above 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) and boy was it hot. My roommates and I jumped in the pool to cool off, and since it is still April, we found the pool to be (rather ironically) extremely cold. But it felt great after all the swealtering heat.

So the weekend was a success. I have 70 odd pages written, and 10 days to go before flying to the east coast. I think I'm just about ready for another adventure!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Script Blitz: April 18 (and Nute Gunray)

Today Josh and I drove up to Burbank to meet with Brian. Had a story meeting which went quite productively, and then came back down to celebrate Anthony's birthday. Happy Birthday, Anthony! I got him a Nute Gunray action figure from Star Wars episode 1 that is sure to become his favorite. After I gave it to him, we both started quoting the slimy, noseless Neimoidian by saying things like "At last... we are getting RE-sults." and "Well, no, but, uh... seal off the bridge!" What a great character for an action figure...

Then I solidified yesterday as a good day when I showed Dark City to Linus Renee and Amanda. I really love that movie. I also happen to have a soapbox about that director's (Alex Proyas) latest film, Knowing, which came out in theaters some time ago. Most people didn't go see it because of some reason or another, but as it turns out, it was a really awesome film. I recommend it to everyone.

But after all that was over, I nestled down at my computer and wrote 2.5 more pages in my script. Still not quite up to snuff on the whole 3 page a day goal, but I'll try to write more tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Script Blitz: April 17

Sigh... unproductive last night. Got home and was tired. Nate somehow got me to watch a movie with him... so by the time it was over, it was 11:30.

So... I wrote a page and a half and then gave up and went to bed. Will try to do better next time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Script Blitz: April 16 (and Doctor Who)

I was inspired last night by an episode of Doctor Who, Series 2 called "The Girl in the Fireplace". It was about Rose and the Doctor visiting Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour in 18th century France. It was amazing how well they pulled off the period setting, involved mechanical robot monsters, time travel, and of course the loony Doctor running about, and yet managed to tell such a heart-wrenchingly emotional story. Hats off to Steven Moffat for writing this episode, it truly is a great one.

After recovering from the awesomeness that had just blown me halfway across the room, I wrote 6 and a half pages of my script. Felt good, but was very tired by the end. The good news was that I have now finally completed a rough draft of the entire first half of the script! I have scenes written for the second half, but at last the first half is finished.

I was also able to work through the second half of the story, and fill out the outline to get a better picture of who the second half needs to play. It was a comforting feeling to be able to look at the big picture with a completed outline. Now I just gotta push through to the end, and see where this all goes! Wish me Luck!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Script Blitz: April 15 (and BSG)

I want to pause for a moment today and say something that I've had on my mind for some time. I like the old Battlestar Galactica show more than the new one. That's it. I'm just tired of everyone being so horrified when they find out, so now it's out in the open. And I know that people who don't know me might shake their heads disapprovingly and think I'm a shallow person if I don't explain, so here's why: To me, how you get somewhere is just as important as where you end up. Everyone raves about the new BSG's season finales, and how awesome they are. But honestly, I get tired of wading through hours of angst, tension, and politics to get there. At least in the old show, the point was simple: to have crazy adventures about men vs robots. And it was fun. Maybe it's just that I don't mind cheesy effects and suits in my scifi, but at least it doesn't feel like you're getting dragged through a ditch every time you turn the show on. And you gotta admit, those 80s plastic spaceship models are still way cooler than any CG. :)

I'm not saying it's a bad show. I think most people would agree that the new BSG is a well constructed show. But I don't enjoy watching it most of the time. I don't consider the commentary on social-political situations of our real history to be all that interesting to me. I think politics in our real world suck, and I really don't care to see them mirrored in a TV show every week. So that combined with the fact that I can at least at the basic level enjoy an episode of the old show, with it's fun but simple stories, means I would rather watch it any day.

Okay. That aside, I wrote 3 pages last night. Not too much to report about it, that's why I decided to share my thoughts on BSG. Just trying to spice up the old blog, that's all. Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Script Blitz: April 14

Completed unfinished scene from two nights ago. 3 pages. Finished early and watched some Doctor Who. It's fun to watch that show, and look for all the little hints and clues they leave as each season goes on, that will eventually build to some sort of epic climax at the end of the season. Must remember in my own writing to always be thinking in terms of setups and payoffs.

To be honest, it's difficult to think about setups and payoffs without a complete outline. It's so far been sort of thinking as I go along, "hmm this could be an interesting payoff to that", but it has been rather discombobulated. But, even if my first draft is severely lacking in that area, I know I'm going to have to rewrite it anyways. I can make sure everything flows better once I have some sort of version of the whole thing.

One cool thing is that I am getting close to finishing the complete first half of the script. There's an event that happens at the halfway point that I am working towards, and so that will be a landmark worth noting when I cross it. Plus, the story will become a whole new beast for the second half, so that should be exciting.

Well, until next time, ciao.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Script Blitz: April 13

Got home rather late last night, and felt too tired to do anything, but had a bowl of Cheerios and decided to just have at it. Decided not to return to the second half of the scene I was writing the previous night, because during the day I had had an idea for a different scene, and I heard that it was a good idea to write the part of the story that you are most excited about. Good advice. Wrote 2 and a half pages before I went to bed.

Some other good advice that I have learned works well for me is to "break the ice" with the blank page, so to speak. It is often hard to start writing, especially when you don't have any idea how the scene is going to transcend the mundane. But when this is the case, just force yourself to write a line. Just one line, could be dialogue, could be action, but what that does is then you start filling in what happens around that line, either before or after, and it becomes much easier to think in terms of action/reaction, etc. I have found that often I only stumble upon the cool thing in the scene once I have started to write it.

So that's what happened last night, I discovered a neat twist I could throw on the scene as I was writing it, and it turned out to be not half bad. Still. Must remember to start writing earlier so that I don't endanger my bedtime...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Script Blitz: April 12

2 and a half pages last night. Got tired because it was midnight and I had had a pretty busy weekend, so I decided to go to sleep. I could have gone on, but the scene I was writing was going to take at least another hour and I didn't feel like staying up that late. Gotta have the sleep you know.

But I think I have the first half of the story pretty well figured out now. So that's pretty cool.

Anyhow, this is kind of an uninteresting post, not much new here... Not sure what I'm going to do about that yet. Hmm.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Script Blitz: April 11

I am very tired. Today I spent 8 hours on the road and shot a scene for a short film while I was out there. So I basically got up at 6 in the morning and got back at 8pm, already exhausted. But I sat down to my computer with the goal of writing something, dreading it because I knew the scene that I was planning to write was going to be crap. A piece of information needed to be told to another character, and she needed to be horrified by it. Yippee.

Nothing was coming. So I got up and took a shower (I was still feeling dirty and sweaty from the shoot) and after that I felt a lot cleaner. I went out on our balcony and let the cold night air refresh me, and as I was thinking, an idea came to me about the scene, which suddenly took this boring piece of information that needed to trade hands suddenly much more compelling. I sat down and wrote the scene, and 5 pages later, I was pretty happy with it. Sometimes it's surprising what a different context can do for a plot point!

...Which brings me to another cool revelation, and that is that it brings my page count to 45 pages, meaning I am halfway through. Wahoo! ...And it's only the 11th of April! I'm feeling pretty good about this month of writing so far.

Anyways, that was my exciting anecdote for the day, and now it's off to bed, to rest my limbs and my brain!

And tomorrow's Easter. Success.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Script Blitz: April 10

Got home from work, watched the first full episode of Doctor Who: Series 2 with David Tennant (well, it was the Christmas special but still awesome), wrote 5 more pages tonight, and now I'm off to introduce some friends to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I realized recently that even though only six months ago, I barely watched any television, I am now in the middle of 4 extremely excellent shows. I have a lot of watching to do!

But, anyways, not much else to report, the writing is going pretty steadily... the page count is just about up to 40 now, which is cool progress... but yeah. I think that's just about all for now. Tomorrow is a film shoot, so I may be completely too exhausted to write... we'll see.

Later, y'all

Script Blitz: April 9

Completed 3 pages last night. Struggled with this one a bit, kept trying to remind myself not to worry about whether or not it was good. Then I realized it wasn't as much being about how good it was, the problem was that I wasn't sure if what I was writing was supposed to happen or if something else was supposed to happen. I've reached a stage where a lot more is resting on my incomplete outline, and all the plot elements are going to have to come together, and soon.

Then I realized that for now, all the plot stuff didn't matter anyways, and I should just write for the discipline of it. I ended up changing the scene halfway through, but it all worked out and I am happy with the scene. So it's all good.

But I'm still getting used to the fact that it is going to be a long haul. After a week, things have sort of started to drift into habit, but it's become a fine balancing act. I come home from work every day at 5:30, and eat dinner. I can either start writing then, and try to work on concept stuff as well as my three pages, but if I do that, I will have spent all evening writing, and then it's sleep and back to work. And if I do that too many times in a row, I get extremely worn out. So last night I watched a movie with Anthony while he edited a short film I shot for him a couple months ago. It was a nice relaxation time, and a movie that I have seen before and enjoy. Then I came home and wrote for a couple hours.

Anyways, I'm buckling in for the last two thirds of the journey, and hopefully it won't get too much harder before it gets easier. :)

Until next time, Ciao, i miei amici!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Script Blitz: April 8

Breaking News! As of tonight I have crossed the 30 page mark! (And there was much rejoicing. Yay...).

I wrote 5 pages tonight, which brings my tally up to 30 exactly, according to my blog, but I'm pretty sure it will add up to a bit more than that when it's properly formatted. Anyways, it's a cool landmark, being a third of the way through, and I feel it's a pretty big accomplishment. So, it's cause for celebration! I'm eating a celebratory bowl of Cheerios right now! (And then it's off to bed pretty soon).

Anyways, I feel good about the 5 I wrote tonight, they come right after the "stunning" intro scenes, and basically set up the locale of where all this takes place, and introduces more characters. The other cool thing is that as I write more, I am simultaneously getting a better idea of how the whole story will play out. It's taking more and more of a definite form every day, and it's pretty exciting.

Okay, well it's time for bed for me, but not until after I dance my 30 pages victory jig. Okay, now for some sleep.


Script Blitz: April 7

Deep down, I hope some of you readers out there are benefiting from my blogs about writing. But I think there is an equally important implication it has had on me. When I started this whole idea of a Script Blitz, I doubted I could keep it up for very long without someone constantly nagging at me like a dripping faucet. But I've somehow managed to keep writing every day so far, and I think the knowledge that I am going to force myself to blog about it the next morning has helped motivate me. Oh the hidden benefits of blogging! :)

So anyways, I had to drag myself through the 3 pages last night, and it didn't come as easily as it did the night before, but at least I did what I committed to. So it's a success in that aspect. I also spent a lot of time developing the outline and characters more. In fact, I think I may need to write in a couple more characters for the story to work. I think one of my characters is kind of a contradiction right now, and if I split him into two characters, it will be a lot more consistent. There has been a lot of this sort of 'shopkeeping' that takes a lot of time, but every time I dig in and analyze my story, I always come out with good things that make the story less bad and more good (sorry to all you grammatic fanatics out there).

A cool realization happened last night. I already knew that the story is taking a lot from classic westerns, and I discovered that one of these characters had the ability to represent the "wild" of the west, just like in the old westerns. The man that is more comfortable in the wilderness than in the city. I love characters like that, because I grew up in a sort of wilderness area, and I feel a strong connection to nature, so I love the idea of writing a character like that.

Well, that's it for now. Until next time, Ciao!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Script Blitz: April 6

Okay, so I was pretty discouraged yesterday, but thanks to some good, healthy advice and encouragement from my friends, I was reminded of the importance of the meaning of this mission I'm on currently: To get myself to write. That is all.

I need to remind myself that while I should care about the quality of my work, and care a lot about the story I am telling, in order to improve I need to set those priorities and just write. Most importantly, not to be afraid to write bad material, but just to start typing words and let it flow from the gut. Hey, it's a first draft, they're supposed to be terrible, right? One thing I have learned about writing is that the first draft is usually the hardest part of the writing process, so it makes sense to get it out on to the page, even if it is the crappiest thing I've ever written. I'll rewrite it. And when I do, I'll come up with more ideas. That's how it works. And if you write from your gut, you open the door to the possibility of writing something really good that even you didn't expect to come out.

An Italian filmmaker named Bernardo Bertolucci said something of that sort that applies to ALL filmmaking, that you always have to find ways of leaving the door open, inviting the possibility of something genius to come walking in at a completely unexpected moment.

So that's the mindset I went in with last night, just to dive in, find a part of the story I was particularly interested in, and just start writing. For two and a half hours I wrote, and I ended up with 8 pages! Pretty much the entire ending of the movie, actually. And I even liked a good deal of it when I was done! So the experiment was a success.

I've learned that I need to continue to push myself to just write, without concerning myself with whether or not it will be good, and see what happens from there. At the very least, I'll end up with a crappy script, and I'll get to rewrite it. But who knows, maybe it will turn out okay, and maybe I might even discover some things I wasn't expecting to. At the very least, it will be an adventure.

So here's to adventures. A wise man once said, Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Script Blitz: April 5

Got very little accomplished. Wrote 1 page of a scene, then re-wrote the same one page, and then stopped. Realized it needed a lot more work put into the context of setting things up than it currently has.

I got a little bit of stuff I liked, but overall I'm pretty bummed that I didn't get much done. Gotta work on this more, or I'll never get it finished by the end of April.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Script Blitz: April 4

Did a lot of writing today. As a matter of fact, I only wrote the standard 3 pages, which happen to be the first 3 pages of the movie. But beyond that, most of what I was writing today was not actually script pages, but other more important stuff. For one, I started outlining the film. Didn't get too far with that, but at least put a lot of thought into the story as a whole. Secondly, I made a discovery regarding the 'mythology' of the film.

I have been working through a lot of thoughts that I have had about the 'world' of the film, meaning that the story is fantastical and takes place in a world slightly different than our own. A lot of these thoughts have felt disconnected or incomplete so far, but tonight I was able to think through it and come up with some really cool stuff as to how it all fits together. It's like that moment when you are doing a puzzle, and you have put together a section here, and a section there, but then you stick them in the frame and you can suddenly see what the puzzle is going to look like. That's what this felt like, and it was cool to suddenly be able to see it in a new light that brought all those pieces together.

To tell you a little more of what I am talking about without revealing too much yet, I should say that the movie I am writing involves vampires. I knew from the start that I wanted to make this movie about vampires, because they are such interesting mythical creatures that open up possibilities to look into a lot of interesting themes that I find fascinating. I even have had a cool new way of presenting them visually and stylistically that hasn't really been done before, but I know that to make this a good movie I am going to need to re-tell the vampire myth in my own way. I want to remain as true to classical vampire lore as possible, but also delve into what that means from a new perspective.

This is major big picture stuff, and I've known for a while that I would need to get this all figured out, and tonight I made a major breakthrough. I am really excited to see where it ends up going, and what stories I'll be able to tell in this world.

Script Blitz: April 3

2 Pages this time. Didn't feel bad about not hitting the 3-page mark, because I wrote 5 the day before... and I figured out a few cool things about one of the characters, so it was a worthwhile 2 pages.

So far, my writing has been scenes that could be in this movie, but in all honesty I'm going to need to sit down and figure this out more. It becomes really difficult working without an outline, especially when there is an ensemble of characters and layers of mystery to unfold. So, I'm going to try to outline this thing. George Lucas says he usually breaks up his stories into 30 or 60 'scenes' just to get the structure right. It's very mathematical, but it gives you a new perspective, from a step back, and can be very helpful. I think I'll try it that way this time, and see where it takes me.

The neat thing about approaching it the way I have been, is that by writing random scenes for the characters, Not only does it help me get a better idea of who the characters are, but it gives me ideas for themes each character can deal with. And most likely I'll be able to use them in the final script. When they were casting for LOST, Damon Lindelof wrote sides for the auditions that weren't in the pilot (a practice I've done before), but if you watch the audition tapes, you can find those scenes in later episodes of the first season. So, it seems apparent that writing character stuff without the limitation of an outline can be very helpful. But of course, at some point, the outline needs to be written. And I plan on doing that this weekend.

So, until next time, cheerio!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Script Blitz: April 2

So! Last night went better.

Took a little time yesterday to write more notes about the characters and their histories, plus their relationships to each other. I didn't touch on half of the characters, but the ones I did write about, I have a much stronger grasp on. As Chris Hartwell would say, "Ganar." *

Last night went well, I was actually happy with the stuff I wrote this time. I actually wrote a 5 page scene, which was pretty cool. I don't have limits for the scenes I write, I just let the scene dictate how long it should be, with the general idea of 3 minutes is a good average length for a scene. It was actually kinda cool that I was 2 pages above par (even though that sounds bad if you are a golfer). I don't know in the long run if I want this scene to run 5 pages, it might be a little long, but I suppose I won't be able to tell that until I have written much, much more.

This scene is about the STRANGER, who is sort of a Man With No Name / Clint Eastwood type and HIP HOP, who is sort of a combo of Lando Calrissian and a black version of Sawyer from LOST. Their interactions are going to be very fun to write, I can already tell...

Well, that's all for now, overall things are looking up. This weekend I'm going to do more legwork on the outline. Right now I have this sort of amorphous muddle of scenes, arcs, and characters in my head, I think it will do some good to organize that a little.

Until next time, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

* Yes. It's Spanish for 'win.'

Script Blitz: April 1

O-kay! so. I have a long month ahead of me.

About a month ago, a friend of mine told me he was going to try to write a 90 page screenplay in the month of April. Three pages a day. And I said to myself, "Clyde," (that's what I call myself) "...that sounds both fun and difficult. You should try it."

So I did. I am. I know this is technically a day late, but I actually did start off on April 1st (no joke) and began to write. I have had a concept in my mind for a while, and I have only a rough pitch and some notes to go off of, but sometimes having too clear of an idea of what your story is going to look like can be a good way to restrict the creative juices. So diving right in, I started writing.

Now I'm going to blog about my exploits. I'll try to do one post for every day I write. They may be brief, but we'll see how it goes. Please feel free to comment if you want to know more, or if you have any questions.

April 1
The first day was pretty difficult. I had a lot of loose ideas of scenes, and not enough detail about the backstories to really feel like I knew the characters yet. I realized I'm going to need more of an outline before I go much further. But, struggled through it, and wrote 3 pages. Not too proud of it. But it felt good to have accomplished the 3 page quota, and I started to get a better idea of who one of the characters is.

This scene was about one of the leads, ETHAN. He's a small town kid who is tired of a small town life and wants to go out and do something BIG, go on an adventure or something. He's going to be easy to write, because I had more than a little of that in me when I was growing up.

Anyhow. I'm pleased with myself for accomplishing the first day of writing. Huzzah.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Best Films of 2008

Okay... So the Academy has just recently released their Oscar nominations for 2008, and as usual, they have selected a whole bunch of boring, depressing, and well, predictable Oscar fodder films in their lineup.

And sure, they're entitled to their own opinions, but heck, so am I, right? So here's the REAL list of best films that came out in 2008. And by best I mean my favorite.

...Or do I...?

But seriously, on with the list:
(btw - click on these images to attain full effect in Hi-Res)

10. CloverfieldWhat? This movie came out this year? Oh yeah, in JANUARY. It was awesome! Bringing the moster movie genre back from the dead! ROAR!

9. My Blueberry NightsNo words can describe this film. Just watch it and prepare to fall in love.

8. City of EmberGrossly underrated and no one saw this movie. But it is teh aw3s0m3.

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonA lot of people hate on this movie, but I find it oddly inspiring. And beautiful.

6. Burn After ReadingI don't know what's funnier, the movie or that moment after the movie when you realize this movie is about nothing actually happening. At all.

5. Slumdog MillionaireEver since ruining the zombie genre with 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle makes movies For The Win!!!

4. AustraliaBaz Luhrman making an epic romance tale... and with style!

3. HancockNobody saw this, but it is actually one of the most excellent Superhero stories of all time.

2. WALL-EI identified more with this robot than any other film character this year. WALL-E for Best Actor!

1. Speed RacerFast, fun, beautifully shot, and turbocharged by the Wachowsky brothers. It's escapism at it's best and it took me back to my childhood... and then blew me away with an awesome story. Go Speed Racer GO!!!

(Honorable Mentions: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, Baghead, The Dark Knight, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Be Kind Rewind, Rambo, The Pineapple Express, and The Happening.)

Okay, I also feel like I should mention the worst films I saw this year. Just as a way of warning any of you who may be still thinking about watching them.

First of all, the Runner-Up Movie Fail award goes to...
The Quantum of Solace!!!
Yes. They replaced James Bond with Jason Bourne, and the result? it sucked!!!

3rd worst: Vantage Point
I think I gagged on this movie taking itself too seriously. And where did all this cheese come from?

2nd worst: Wanted
Everything about this movie screams angst and immaturity. Oh yeah, and they REALLY wanted to be as cool as Fight Club. Was this directed by a college student?

1st worst: The Spirit
'First worst' doesn't even begin to describe how bad this was. Try 'Worst movie ever made' and you will get close. Hopefully after this they won't allow Frank Miller to urinate all over the Buck Rogers franchise. (Gag)

There you go. Watch the movies on the first list. Avoid like the plague the ones on the second list. It's just that easy.


Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year

I guess I'm learning, I must be warmer now
I'll soon be turning, round the corner now
Outside the dawn is breaking
But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free
The show must go on.


I'm not much one for new years resolutions.

I just never felt the need. In all the new years celebrations I've been to, even though everyone cheers at the extremely anti-climactic shiny ball dropping in Times Square, and toasts with their respective champagne and sparkling cider, I have never felt like anything new was really coming. I always felt the same mixture of hope, dread, and uncertainty that I always feel about the future. And since I always forget about the last New Year and everyone's resolutions after about a week into January, I see resolutions as being rather pointless exercises to make one feel better about oneself for the new year.

But this year has been different. Not dramatically, not even substantially, but I've felt something coherent about this new year nonetheless. Perhaps it's because since graduating college, my slightly less chaotic routine during the year has made it easier to have a more holistic view of the passing years. But I think mostly it's just a sense that I've been getting of where we are and where we've been as a culture.

I really can't express where this feeling has come from, but I just feel it in my gut that we are stagnating, that we are caught in some sort of downward spiral, that we really, really need something fresh to take us out of our current slump. Somehow, the never-ending grind of life is wearing on us, I've seen it in the people I know, the people I see around me, I see it in people through the online portal we call the internet, I see it in our music and movies, and worst of all is when I see it in myself.

I mean, obviously no one is perfect. And life IS hard, it's a fact that everyone has to deal with. our lives are full of challenges and hardships, and it can often feel unfair. But in the 1930s, when people's lives were exceptionally bad because of the great depression, entertainers and movies helped pick their lives back up again. People would go to adventure movies like King Kong, or comedies by the likes of Charlie Chaplain or the Marx Brothers.

But we don't seem to have a modern-day equivalent to those things. Instead we seek out dark and depressing films, we look for the morally ambiguous, and praise how well they reflect 'reality'. Now, these films can be good and artistic, and I am not knocking them in any way, but where are the films about fun, and goodness? Where are the films about the good things in life, about hope? Oh, that's right. We rated them the worst movies of the year. (see: Speed Racer. Honestly, it is a great film, yet everyone bashes on it, often before they've even seen it.) If we refuse to go to films, or bash them simply because they are fun, and don't reflect our ideas about 'reality', we are cheating ourselves from a good and healthy view of life, and we will merely continue to sink into a stagnation. I really hope that doesn't happen, but I fear that may be the path we're on.

I wish I could do something. I wish I could create something that would help us as a culture, as a people. But I suffer from the same problems as everyone else, I'm stuck in the same hamster wheel, and I seem to be powerless to do anything about it. But I will not give up. I am not going to make any new years resolutions, but I am going to try and live to the best of my ability. I am going to try to read more books, spread my horizons, I want to engage in creativity more, with drawing, filmmaking, music making, singing at the top of my lungs if I have to. I refuse to be dragged down and cower before the oblivion. I will strive against my shackles to be free until the day I die. The show must go on.

* * *

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly - my friends
The show must go on
The show must go on
I'll face it with a grin
I'm never giving in
On - with the show -
I'll top the bill, I'll overkill
I have to find the will to carry on
On with the -
On with the show -
The show must go on...