Ex. Haus. Ted.

It’s how I feel these days.  Which is odd because I didn’t think I was doing that much.

Apart from applying to writing gigs on craigslist left and right.  And looking into in-house jobs.  And working the same hours, but pushed back 30 minutes, resulting in a 4:30-9am shift, plus additional fill-in hours.  And hockey.  And exercising.

But I have to admit it’s kind of nice being able to apply to all of these gigs on craigslist.  I had no idea there were so many people looking for help with screenplays.  Yesterday there was a webseries looking for writers.  Check.  There was the Bollywood script.  Check (but still waiting to hear back).  There’s the guy looking for a story editor.  Check, and it looks like I got that one.  And it pays absolutely nothing, which surprises me not a whit.  But it’s something else to add to my resume.  And that’s cool.

Unfortunately, all of the aforementioned stuff has also been taking away from me working on BABY LIKES JAZZ.  Maybe it’s  a subconscious thing?  Since I’m not thrilled with how it’s developing, I’m looking to fill the void, as it were. Eh. Too much self-analysis.  I know I’ll finish it, but that end date keeps getting pushed further and further back.

A few minutes ago, I saw that the Nicholl finalists have been announced.  I bet there’s not one writer who sees that and feels just a bit, maybe even a slight pang of jealousy.  What writer doesn’t want that?  It also doesn’t do me any good to dwell on it.  It’s in the past, and I have to keep looking forward, etc., etc.  Will I enter next year?  Highly doubtful.  Again, I’d be happy to be done with BABY.  And there’s no way I’m entering that.

I think for now I’m happy to keep things going the way they have been, but with a little more me-writing time thrown in.

And sleep.  Definitely sleep.

He’s up! He’s down?

I’ll start with the down part.

I didn’t get the mash-up genre gig, only because another writer offered to do it for free, which was ‘too good an offer to refuse.’  Can’t say that I blame him.  I was more interested in a co-writing credit, in case it advanced in any form or fashion.  Now I’ll have to look for it in the months to come.

And if it gets bought, or at least merits representation, I’ll kick myself.  Which isn’t as hard as you might think.

I suppose I’m a little disappointed.  It sounded like it would have been a fun project.  But I took the high road and offered the guy the best of luck and thanked him for what boiled down to a fun writing exercise.

Moving on…

Regarding the good portion, that applies to the fact that I have an outline for BABY LIKES JAZZ I was happy with.  Up to a point.

I think the story as it is solid, but something keeps nagging at me to punch it up.  Make it funnier. Have fun with it!

Part of that stems from the intro of the main character in the first scene.  He’s described as a ‘hotshot musician, ladies man and bad-boy rule-breaker.’  Or something like that.  I don’t have it right in front of me.  But you get the point.

So while the first act has been slightly reorganized, the rest of it has been trimmed down, but for the most part remains the same.  Do you see where I’m going with this?

I set up this character loaded with potential, and really didn’t change anything.  At least not drastically.  And that’s where I need to focus right now.

After seeing stuff like THE HANGOVER or HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, I really think I can make this kinda/sorta like those (but more PG-13); I just need to break this thing down and see how to put it back together in a funnier, more entertaining way.

But I’m also a firm believer in realism, more or less, and want to keep BABY pretty much along realistic lines.  No out-of-the-blue wackiness here.  Just funny situations based in what you’re seeing.

I can do that.  Of course I can.

I’m doing a lot of extra hours at work (which is nice, paycheck-wise), so my writing time may be a bit limited over the next couple of days.  If I can manage to squeeze in, say, 10 pages a day, then I should have an outline I’m really satisfied with by mid-to-late October, followed by steamrolling my way through actual pages, with a potential target date of December 31st.

What an awesome way to end the year.  Fingers are crossed, brain is percolating and I am ready to jump in.

And….go.

Busy, busy, and still busy

Today was the first time in quite a while I got to sit down and write.  It was for the mash-up genre.  Four pages of scenes.  I wrote it and sent it out.

Naturally, a few hours later, I thought of ways to make it better.  This always happens.

But I did enjoy putting it together.  The action, the suspense, and so on and so on.  It was, dare I say, fun.  Too bad it can’t always be like that.

I think it has to do with the genre.  Writing exciting action-adventure is exciting.  Gets the blood pumping. It makes the time pass quickly.

But trying to write comedy, while alone?  Boring.

But I digress.

The guy was very nice in his response.  I don’t know what kind of a chance I have with this, but at least it’s something.

There was also a listing for somebody looking for a comedy writer.  I figure ‘ why not?’  They have to do some kind of presentation and I guess they want to make it funny.

Yeah, I know.  I may not be the ideal candidate, but I can say funny things if the situation is right.  No, really.  I can.  Again, looking at it as a potential exercise.

But again, why not?  The worst they can say is no.  I got nothing to lose.

These two listings also mention being paid, but I really don’t know what kind of rate would be involved.  While I’d like to charge my editing/proofreading fee, I worry that would be too high for an Average Joe.  Then again, I don’t want to reduce it too much that it’s not worth all the work.  Ugh.

Also never heard back from the just-graduate film student looking for a professional review of his script.  This doesn’t surprise me.  For all I know, somebody took him up on it.  Which would amaze me.

If this post seems all over the place, that’s because the Movie of the Moment is IN THE LOOP, a bitingly wicked political satire. It’s hard to concentrate with it on.

It’s been in the house for two weeks, and I hate keeping them that long.  But it’s really good.  The dialogue and plotlines are so complicated and intertwined, it’s hard to believe it was written.

Thus endeth the rambling…

Hmmm…

I think I mentioned there was this listing on Craigslist last week for somebody looking for a writer to put together a ‘mash-up’ story involving the Old West, goth horror and martial arts.

So I wrote in, expressing interest.  The guy wrote back relatively quickly and included his 20-page treatment.

It was interesting.  But I’m not sure so much backstory has to go into a treatment.  I always thought it was more or less a prose-style summary of the story being told on the page.  I’ll have to look into that.

But getting back to his treatment…

I think there’s something wrong when you don’t get to the main story until the middle of the 4th single-spaced page OF THE TREATMENT!  Way too much stuff beforehand that can easily be summed up in a scene or two.  And a whole lot of info about characters who are killed within a few pages.  Why so much?

I’m sure every writer is sick of hearing this, but there’s definitely a lot of potential in this thing.  It’s all a question of putting it all together.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a solid main storyline.  More like a lot of vignettes with a barely-there common thread.  And there are some scenes that seem to come out of nowhere.  For example: the lesbian love affair between the 2 main female characters.  How did this happen?  I hope it’s not just an excuse to have a nude scene.  There are more creative and story-based ways to do that.

So for the next day or two, I’ll be working on my scene.  I’m looking at this more like an exercise than a job application; a way to test/flex my writing muscles.

The guy asked about how much I thought it would cost, and I really had no idea.  I still don’t.  Is it by the hour?  By the page?  K suggests I ask for a co-writing credit.  If the guy is going to submit it to competitions or even take it out for representation, I think I’ll have earned at least my name in the mix.

And I wouldn’t say no to some cash either…

Almost forgot. I also wrote to that just-graduated film student looking for a ‘professional’ to proofread his script. I offered myself up for the gig.  I’ll be surprised if he responds, and even more surprised if he says yes.  I bet he won’t, but you never know.

Movie of the Moment:  We’ll probably watch the new episode of VENTURE BROS later.  I hope it’s better than last season; way disappointing.

But I can’ t recommend PUSHING DAISIES enough.  The writing and acting on it are so well done.  I think the fact it’s a smart, clever show that requires you to think is why it didn’t do well.  But we like it.

Since it’s only one season, which is about 12-13 shows, I’m trying to figure out what show to do next.  I keep going back and forth between BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and MAD MEN.  Decisions, decisions.

ENTOURAGE ended with Vince’s career in coke-fueled limbo and Ari’s marriage in trouble.  Virtually nothing about Drama. Turtle and this whole tequila thing – boring.  And E may have to sign a pre-nup.  I thought this show was about their lives in the industry.  That comment I read about this being SEX AND THE CITY for guys is becoming more true.  Now I just have to wait until next season…

Not again

These are busy times.  So busy that I wasn’t able to do any writing-oriented work today.

Partially due to a lot of walking in an effort to get some exercise, and partially to save money.

Today was also the first day of Rosh Hashanah, so I took advantage of my only opportunity to go to services.  I walked there as well.

And K and I are trying new healthy recipes, so I have to get ingredients.

And since K has the car AND my bike is still in the shop, there’s more walking.

All of this adds up to not much writing time.  Which kind of sucks.

But I did get one of those mega-positive feelings today.  Like my scripts are going to be kickass and totally awesome.  It feels really cool to experience that.  Hope it lasts.

I’ll make a big effort tomorrow to try and get some more work done.  Promise.

-A listing that was on Craigslist about two weeks ago popped up again.  They want a produced screenwriter to help with a short-term project, and the person MUST have pitching experience.

Because everybody knows that if you are looking for an experienced screenwriter, Craigslist is the place to go!  If you’ll excuse me for a second, I have to hold on to my eyes so they don’t roll right out of my head.

How stupid would you have to be to think that a working writer would be interested, let alone willing, to take on this kind of assignment?  I’ve really considered writing them this exact question.  But in the end, I probably won’t.

Or maybe post a response-type listing.  I would love to hear their line of reasoning. Then again, I’d be amazed if they responded at all.

Once again, no Movie of the Moment. Part of it has to do with busy evenings that revolve around getting homework done, and then getting an almost-8-year-old insomniac to stay in bed.

Both of these activities are quite time-consuming, which unfortunately doesn’t include much time to settle in and watch a portion of whatever Netflix sent.

I miss that.