Closing in*

*This was intended for Thursday, but was delayed until today due to my child’s soccer practice, followed by a hockey game. Suffice to say, I was wiped.

Really good progress today. I managed to get through that gap that was hindering me over the past few days, so there are about 4-5 scenes left until I hit the end of Act 2. And since I did that ‘working backward’ thing last week, the basic blueprint is ready and waiting. All I have to do now is flesh it out a little.

Then I move on to Act 3, and voila. An outline is born.

It’s no understatement to say I’m quite psyched as I get closer to starting down the home stretch.

-I got to read Black List script THE LAST SON OF ISAAC LEMAY, a very dark Western by Greg Johnson. I call it dark because there is a tremendous amount of violence in it, which I didn’t have a problem with because it really emphasizes the brutality of that time.

Issac is an aging outlaw roaming the West in search of his numerous progeny, convinced that since he is evil, they must be as well and therefore must be eliminated. We see him kill a good-natured son, and in a daring move, a 5-year-old girl (offscreen, of course).

But as if to justify his quest, there’s Cal, who has no qualms about shooting somebody. You know these two are going to have a showdown before this is over, and it’s going to be a bloody trail while we get there.

There are also subplots involving a half-breed Army lieutenant searching for a stolen Gatling gun, a stepfather out for justice and a whore who never seems to leave her room. (That last one is my only complaint about the story; the character is a key story element, but it seems like all she ever does is stay in her room and wail.)

What I liked the most about this script was how Johnson says so much with so little. His use of just the right handful of words paints a clear mental picture. I also enjoyed how all the characters, even down to the minor ones, are developed so as to really give each one a personality. All of this really helps keep things moving at a good clip.

Even though I’m also working on a Western, mine is a little lighter in mood and leans more towards adventure, whereas this is more of a thriller and a lot more violent. Always room for diversity within a genre.

I couldn’t find any record of this being bought, but it is listed for potential release in 2013.

Movie of the Moment: THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Since I haven’t seen THE KING’S SPEECH, I can’t determine which was the stronger Best Picture candidate. But I can see why this one was.

I’m still trying to determine if Mark Zuckerberg is supposed to be the protagonist or the antagonist. Either way, he makes for a fascinating lynchpin connecting all the subplots together.

This may have been the fastest 2-hour movie I’ve ever seen. Aaron Sorkin’s script really zooms by. Easy to see why he won Best Adapted Screenplay. As a co-worker put it, he took a boring subject and made it interesting.