Busy again with many things, least of all work which has me on the road quite a bit. It’s nice, even though the sun burns us precious. There are a lot of things I like about just being in a car on the road jamming to music… Sidenote: I actually heard Will Smith’s ‘Men In Black’ opus on the radio and had a hard time convincing myself I wasn’t hallucinating. Don’t get me wrong Men In Black is totally a jam, even if it doesn’t get airplay these days and even 1200 miles in a week is a little much for me so I wasn’t sure. In any case if someone somewhere is willing to play it, I may just have to start requesting it and ‘Wild Wild West’ regularly.
Part of the 1200 was a trip to Winston-Salem on Saturday to see Bloc Party who totally rocked out. Moreso than Will Smith in the MIB track. Great show from a great group and if you’re looking for music I can’t recommend ‘A Weekend in the City‘ enough. I apologize to the grads at School of the Arts if you found a mess back near the stage door, between watching the Yankees lose (yay) at the Pub and walking to the venue I ran into a little trouble.
On the way to the show with Megan and Jeremy we stopped in Greensboro at Don’s Music something-or-other. For a while lately I’ve really been keen on the idea of getting a nice Telecaster, not necessarily new, but something that might entice me to play guitar a little more. I have two guitars already, but like anything else I get bored easily. Don’s was sorta fortuitous because I ended up seeing something I liked and on the advice of Megan I’m waiting three days to see if the overwhelming impulse to own it wears off. Not certain how successful that’s going to be seeing as I left two rings in the shop (perhaps subconsiously ensuring my return) after trying the sexy sexy Nashvile Tele out.
Anyway, on other fronts Script Frenzy started over the weekend and I dove into my story (also new, sexy and shiny) today. I don’t know what it is about new things, but I really have a compulsive streak in me that latches onto them. Same thing with books or subjects- if I’m reading or learning something and I’ve managed to stall, it’s sometimes impossible not to be seduced off in another direction for the newer, somehow more accessible things. I need more willpower.
Got my Nicholl email confirming my script was entry number 729. Nice low number, if nothing else, but not enough to out weigh the thrice damned spelling error I found on page six a while back. Which I’m still mad about because I know for a fact that it came about because I changed and then un-changed the word moments before printing it. Also I’m just making up words now.
Did see Pirates. Nothing that’s stirring up for a big post at the moment, but I’ll see it again so maybe later. Looking forward to a lot this summer and it’s just starting off.
Lastly, Unk’s got a discussion about theme that really beats the band over at theunknownscreenwriter as part of his Transformational Character Arc. I’ve always been particularly keen on forming stories by exploring the depths and potential of character and I think he really makes some strong points about how to approach theme and how it’s kinda intrinsic (or it should be) to character.
Now I’m going to snooze and hopefully dream of my future awesome Telecaster, finishing all my scripts, not just the new shiny ones and possibly even David Tennant because Human Nature & The Family of Blood were the two most awesome Doctor Who episodes EVAH. I mean damn- Spoilers: Suspending bitches in time, in the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy, in chains forged at the heart of a dwarf star and all phantom zone-like in every mirror in existence FOR ALL ETERNITY! No one is that bad ass! *Le sigh*
Screwed up my sleep sched today so I thought a good use of my time would be to cop to signing up for Script Frenzy. There’s a good chance that if I don’t mention it I’ll wander off and forget about it and honestly blogging doesn’t really hold me that much more accountable, but every fractional bit helps. If anyone else has signed up and wants to add me that might provide further guilting.
That said, for SF I have a new idea I’m going to tackle- in addition to continuing to draft Gallows Gulch and hammering out some honest to god pitch-like-things. I haven’t done any pitch-fests or anything in the past and aside from a lot of reading have no experience in it, so it’s time I got off my ass.
In other pitching news- okay what the hell Chicago? Here I was ready for another year of bitter griping and you jump from last to second I the NL Central. With the Brewers at no. 1 even. It’s awesome, but strange in an apocalyptic kind of way. I’m going to have to check the August sched to see if there’s a good looking matchup on deck, cause I want to get up there this summer.
And before I try and get back to sleep, I have thoughts on LOST for the two folks that read the blog and also enjoy the show, but I’ll save it or the weekend when I’m drunk and incoherent. Well, more incoherent.
As I felt like death warmed over this morning I ended up taking a sick day and fighting off a headache while trying to get some writing done, which I did most of Sunday. I’m actually depriving myself or beloved beer until I get the major new elements worked out, which is a pretty good motivator- but brings the question that my headache/warmed-over-deathness of Monday may in fact be the DTs! Yay, I’m a cliche!
Bears are really out of control in the NFC right now, which slightly makes up for the Cubs’ season. Also Dusty Baker is banished and President Andy MacPhail ain’t far behind him. As things can’t possibly be any worse, well see what’s shaping up in March. They still have a good roster and if we can get some brains behind it, maybe I can start wearing my ballcap everywhere once again.
The Mystery Man on Film has an interesting post about Character studies up, which I quite want to participate in, because to me character is everything. This could be because character and dialogue are the only things I handle well and the things my scripts tend to emphasize. But the question is, which character do I want to hold up to the light and give the eye? We’re supposed to focus on contradiction and depth through character design, which is a good way to look at any character to decide if they have dimension. You want a character to surpise you, but in a way that’s believably founded.
Take Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop– Axel’s pretty static, as heroes go, and starts out in trouble for playing things his own way, and he sorta ends the movie the same way. His main affect is on the people around him, which makes him an incredibly strong character, he’s the gravity of the script and his goal is pretty heavy itself, taking on the people that have killed his childhood best friend. But Axel’s pretty much light as a feather the whole picture, not breaking a sweat even as bullshits his way into Victor Maitland’s crosshairs. Cool as a cucumber- (Or banana even. Wait, this is starting to sound obscene,)- mostly. But what’s really established well is the contradiction that Axel’s a cop who acts like a con. It speaks about where he comes from and how he operates, especially when you take that the people Axel has the most heat with are other cops- Taggert and Bogomil. These guys are supposed to be his brothers in arms over here, but that gap of urban Detroit kid and white bread Cops, that’s what gets his blood up. And dudes who eff with his friends. Then you may need to go check yourself out with a physician before things start falling off.
But anyway, I’m sure MM will have a few folks a bit more insightful than me, so check it out, cause I don’t trust my memory of BHC very far. Axel’s pretty enjoyable without all the analysis, for whatever reasons.
from the loose change rattling around in my head…
Pooks hooked me up with a very awesome screenwriting blog that I had not stumbled across before – Mystery Man on Film – who immediately got my attention when he called out that scripts and screenwriting blogs should act more like their film counterparts. Playing it close to the vest is all good in poker – which by the way I was playing a few days ago and pulled the most amazing 5-9 straight out of my ass, it was really a thing of beauty- but close to the vest in writing can be sort of laughable. So I may try my hand at some more indepth script reviews as I read things coming across my path. Those of you only visit the blog to find out if I’m still breathing and/or in jail, mental asylum, political office will have to tolerate it. Hijinks continue to ensue at regular intervals.
I’ve somehow ended up back on Nickel & Dime, as I languidly dash for October 30th for a small NC festival. Mind recently has been geared for plotting Gallows Gulch, working out minutiua, but deadlines are kinda the godsend for actually making progress, so now drafting N&D again. It’s weird, time does some weeeird things to what you’ve written. I worked damned hard from January to April 26th 2006 to get that script in shape for Nicholl. I got coverage, workshopped, and every single day went over it. And about March, with the help of some coverage, I realized I was banking on some flawed major elements. So I start hammering out new ideas, new locales, new action, and realized that draft wasn’t going to make the May deadline, so I set it aside and worked on the flawed draft and tried to clean it up as best as possible. My eye was twitching, I was thinking all the time, and I knew I needed to let it rest for a while. This is the one thing I fail miserably at as a writer- I cannot leave anything alone. I knew I needed to take a break, but that May deadline was getting close and it wasn’t just going to fix itself- and the thought of not entering seemed like laziness and failure and blah blah blah. So. Now, after a few months of not working on it, the Nicholl dink and playing with other scripts, it’s amazingly obvious this needs to get established earlier, that needs more support, etc. And since I’m at it, I might as well gut that flawed chunk of story and replace with something hopefully stronger, better, faster, smarter… The rewrites. never. end. But there’s a new deadline in place, and so I’ll make another hefty push and hope that I’m improving it rather than tinkering it into oblivion.
It’s occured to me that Dick Cheney = Mr. Potter from ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Mostly due to Jack Straw’s comments about the Bush Administration working against Colin Powell in the quagmire of Iraq. The NPR report I heard made some mention of agendas and such and all of a sudden I just thought – ‘scurvy little spider’. So I think it’s worth saying:
You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn’t, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I’d say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider.
Unfortunately, I don’t see any Clarence-types floating around to change things any time soon. Heck, an Acme Safe would even do the trick.
And since it’s almost October the world of baseball seems to be forecasting the Apocalypse. I’m still going with the Mets mostly because they seem to be the only franchise left playing something that resembles baseball. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Detroit, but if the Twins fall I’ll look forward to a Tigers/Mets series. In other news the Hell is expecting a cold front next week…