Archive for March, 2009

wip: new directions

savethecatThis past weekend was my Save the Cat! workshop with Blake Snyder.

Wow. Totally worth the price of admission.

I’ve attended more than my fair share of writer’s workshops and I have to say this format (and this particular group) is light-years ahead of anything else out there.

Blake began by having everyone do the standard “Hi, my name is Bob…” routine and I was immediately worried because an alarming number of people were already solidly in the industry with scripts sold and/or in consideration. Pretty daunting company for me, a movie lover taking a stab at writing a screenplay on little more than a whim.

Anyhoo. Around the table we went and pitched out the old “I have a story about a guy who…” Wow. Everything from a legal thriller to a SciFi Channel Saturday matinee. Really fun ideas that morphed by Sunday night into fully fleshed concepts. And our little idea got an excellent reception, too.

YAY!

But, the biggest feedback we got was that our location was ALL wrong. Location, location, location. So it took a little convincing and a lot of work to make sure that coincidence wasn’t running rampant in our ‘burb, but JB is now with me and we’re full steam ahead. And even in these early stages, it’s already an hundred times better. I swear if I didn’t have a day job (which I’m running late for right now…) I think we’d have this screenplay drafted by week’s end.

Ah well. Life and all that junk.

So it won’t be this week, but very soon I hope to be able to say in earnest, “Coming soon to a theatre near you.”

lolcat du jour

funny pictures of cats with captions

off topic: Battlestar Galactica

bsgThe end of an era?

Not quite. Caprica is “coming soon” and this November we will be treated to BSG: The Plan. Can’t blame ’em for wanting to milk every last drop out of the ol’ cash cow. And I stand ready to do my part to help them.

The series finale for BSG ran on Friday. Now, three days later, I find I’m still processing what I saw and how I feel about it. You have to admit, it’s been a pretty complicated six years. First a little personal background: I was a huge fan of the original series (even at the tender age of six…) and I faithfully tuned in whenever it would pop up in syndication over the last twenty odd years. Although now, unfortunately, after the “re-imagining” I have some trouble watching it at all.

My favorite part of this reimagined rollercoaster ride has to be the miniseries. Of all the bajillion DVDs we own, that is what I pop into the player most consistenly. It fulfilled the promise of its premise and in the context of the series as a whole – and most significantly to me – it offered hope.

Which regrettably dwindled with the human population as the seasons marched inexorably along.

It’s safe to say I’ve been unhappy, or more accurately dissatisfied, with seasons 3 and 4. They pointed the Galactica in a number of disparate and really sooper dark directions that didn’t fly for me and made me feel they lost sight of some of the basics set up in the miniseries and the first season (hope, anyone?).  I was simultaneously bummed and relieved to hear season 4 would mark the end of the journey for our intrepid survivors. So many shows run for ages past their expiration dates and you end up not wanting anything to do with them in the end (The X-Files, anyone?). Needless to say, I’ve been curious as to how Moore and Eick planned to wrap up this epic journey.

It’s tricky. To me it feels like a whole lotta nothing’s been going on since January. I would’ve thought they’d use their limited remaining time more wisely and tie off plots lines that have been flapping around out there like unfinished macrame in the wind. They dealt brutally but effectively with Dualla and Gaeta. Personally, I’d’ve preferred that strong hand in several other areas. But then, this wasn’t my show to write.

I’m not going to indulge in the bitch slapping blow by blow of the finale that I’m sure is being handed out elsewhere on the web. But I will lay down some of my finale impressions:

WARNING: SPOILERS!

Continue reading

friday musings

It’s March and in Southern California that means it’s beach weather again. As such I decided to update the old avatar:

avatar-tealWhen I dig through my closet I find that I have a disproportionately large amount of teal colored items, so this particular outfit naturally caught my eye. I love the little sandals – I’m going to need to hunt some of my very own.

I love Yahoo! Avatars. They’re basically electronic paper dolls – one of my most favorite pastimes as a kid.

Oh, and I just registered First Daughter for kindergarten. I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that she’s old enough to be in “real” school now. Freaky.

Ok. Onto actual stuff stuff.

Am making good progress with the screenplay. I’ve a little more than the first third blocked in and I feel confident I’ll be able to block in the rest before next weekend. (Fingers crossed!) My writing partner is on a family roadtrip until next Tuesday (curses!) but thankfully has access to email so I’m not totally alone out here. Whew.

Anyhoo, the writing has been really fun so far. This is the most fun I’ve had writing to date, so I’m tempted to believe the material has a great deal to do with it. What is it I’m penning, you ask? A screenplay that I think falls into the “Dude With a Problem” genre. WTH genre is that, you ask? Find out here.

But what’s it about, you demand? Well think Charlie’s Angels meets The Incredibles. Here’s the working logline:

Fifteen years ago they were their nation’s deadliest weapon; today they have carpool.  A soccer mom, a college professor and a small-time newscaster are called out of retirement to help their former boss recover a team of rogue covert agents he misplaced. 

In theory it will be an action/comedy, a la Die Hard. Hopefully that will be the actual result.

Time to get back to it. Cuz that workshop I keep yapping about? Taught by the guy who wrote the book. Yep. Oi.

wip: Screenplay

Inertia is a tough nut to crack.

I was cooking along with the beta for Tucker, then the holidays hit me like a freight train. Haven’t actually touched that mss since October. Embarrassing.

So I did what any self respecting procrastinator would do: I started a new project. A screenplay. Dropped it, started another, Dropped that and started yet a third. My partner JB and I are actually making good progress on that third attempt.

Or at least we were. It’s been two weeks since I touched it.

Le sigh.

Anyway, I have a screenwriting workshop I dropped a chunk of change on coming up on March 28th. I’m excited and apprehensive at the same time. I can’t wait to see what wisdom or tidbits I pick up, but I also need/want a complete first draft so I don’t look like a total weenie walking into this thing.

Anyhoo, back to the old keyboard. Wish me luck!