I finally tried it. And it was good

So last week the writing group took a look at my first act for Baby Likes Jazz. A comment I heard a few times was to watch movies of a similar nature to get a better grasp of how to approach the material.

So I put Baby Boom at the top of my Netflix queue. It’s more or less a similar story.

I was going to just watch it, when the idea popped into my head to take notes. I already had a blank document on Word open, so I started typing what was going on in each scene, primarily from a “what’s the scene about/what’s going on?” perspective.

It was really helpful. And when it was finished, I looked over the whole thing and was able to follow the story quite easily. I wonder if it will be as easy in, say, a week.

When that was done, I started thinking about what kind of changes would need to be made to my story. Especially in the first act. Somebody in the group said it moved to quckly; things were happening too fast.

In Baby Boom, lots of scenes are short, but make their point in an easy-to-grasp way. I don’t think I have that yet. I also need to show more of how the kids impact my hero’s world.

I keep going back and forth regarding hammering through to the end of the current draft. Part of me wants to, then I think about starting again, but with the changes I would develop based on what I picked up from Baby Boom.

-I got a very nice email from the Eric of Script Doctor Eric regarding my prize for ensuing triumphant in his recent Logline Friday contest. The life coach I get 30 minutes with is on vacation, but should return later in the week. The more I think about it, the more intrigued I am as to how he might be able to help me.

I also joked about someday being able to afford his analysis service. He recommended saving up. Either him or the $60 guy. I like it in concept.

-there was another listing on craigslist for a screenwriter today. A guy in Cow Hollow is looking for a collaborator on material. But he’s more of a videographer/editor type, it sounds like. I’ll be curious to see if he responds.

Movie of the Moment: Night at the Museum 2. Only because it was free and on cable. Overall, not as much charm or cleverness as the first one. Some of the subplots didn’t seem to have much purpose; probably in there for a cheap laugh more than anything. And Hank Azaria’s character was way too passive. He should have been more threatening and dangerous. I don’t need to see it again.

I also attempted to watch Fanboys, but the disc was really scratched up. It’s enjoyable, but guys who talk about nothing BUT Star Wars gets irritating after a while. Hopefully the replacement disc will be in better shape.

All those starts, stops and digitized frames were driving me crazy.

How liberating!

I didn’t write at all today.  I did think about BABY while I was running, but actual pages?


And it felt pretty good.

I’ll do something tomorrow, or at least next week.

It’s weird, but I think once I get this draft done, making changes won’t be as hard as I think.  I also find myself going back to ideas way back in the early days of developing the outline.  Some of them could actually work.

I’ll have to look into that.

Movie of the Moment: HOT TUB TIME MACHINE.

Don’t you judge me.  Parts of it are really funny.  I can see how they were hoping it would be the next HANGOVER.

So my attention keeps going back and forth between this screen and the TV.

TV wins.


At long last…

I have written a script, and somebody gave me money for it.

Okay, it’s a 10-minute student film and I earned all of twenty dollars, but this really represents a milestone for me.  I’ve been working at this for 11 years with some real near-successes, but this is the real deal, as they say.

I know my writing isn’t perfect.  Far from it, but I still consider it better than most.  I still like to think I have a shot at making this actually happen.

I read the sale write-ups and the script reviews.  There is some really good stuff out there.  Stuff that is totally unlike anything I could do.  But I highly doubt these same writers could do the stuff that I do.

In some ways, that works to my advantage.  Now I just have to make it work.

It was interesting meeting with the director today.  He liked the 3rd draft, but did have some questions and comments.  Nothing too serious, but also nothing that required yet another rewrite.

I mentioned that if any of his friends need help with their scripts, to send them my way.

His agenda involves meeting with the production designer today, meeting with the producers and taking care of pre-production in the next week or so, then casting.  Shooting is in September, editing and post through October, then completion in November.  I get a copy of the finished film and script when it’s all done.

While part of his plans include submitting it to festivals and competitions, he also plans to move to LA in January.  He hopes to find work soon after that, and also wants to work on a feature film.  He said there was a good chance he’d be in touch for help on that as well.

As I’ve said, I wish him the best of luck.

As for me, it’s time to dive back in on BABY LIKES JAZZ.  As much as I’d like to go back and apply some of the group’s comments, I’d rather plow ahead and get the draft done.  This is late-mid-August, so if I do 3 pages a day during the week, that should take me to about the end of September or so.  That would be good.

Then the rewriting begins.  Again.

Movie of the Moment:  A double-header, so to speak.  It took me a few days, but I got through HIGHLANDER.  It was…okay.  But I think that’s mostly due to really lousy sound.  While the sound effects were loud and emphasized, a lot of the dialogue was muffled or just hard to understand.  I like the concept a lot, yet have no desire to see any of the sequels or the TV show.  It was also pretty hard getting past the ‘hey, this was made in the 80s!’ look.  Also cool that Clancy Brown played the bad guy.  I’m curious to know how old he was when he made this.

The other movie, which may have been mentioned here before, was JAWS on cable.  I never get tired of watching it.  I’d like to know if the documentary about it (THE SHARK IS NOT WORKING or something like that) is available.  Or is it a book?  Either way, bet it’s great.

A sort-of new beginning

This is going to be a short one again. The less-than-expected members of the writing group just left. It’s too hot to think and I’m tired, so bed awaits.

They had some very constructive comments re: BABY LIKES JAZZ. I’m not sure if I’ll go back and incorporate the ideas now or wait until I finish the first draft.

I watched a little more if Highlander earlier. Pretty good, but the sound on this disc is awful! Lambert’s dialogue is tough enough to follow, but sporadic fading in and out makes it harder.

And why again is a Frenchman cast as a Scotsman while the Scottish actor is cast as a Spainiard?