Quel est le bon mot, baby?

Normally I'm a G&T kind of guy, but one these sounds pretty nice right now
Normally I’m a G&T kind of guy, but one of these sounds kind of nice right now

Opting for a random assortment of topics today. Enjoy.

-Ever get to the point where you just want to finish whatever is you’re working on and get it out of the way? That’s about where I am right now with this first draft. I wouldn’t call it a slog; more like resisting the urge to make a mad dash to the end.

On a positive note, the closer I get to finishing, the more I see how much has to be fixed.

Here’s a great guest column from Lee Jessup’s blog about how a writer should approach rewriting.

-Sometimes you come up with a story idea out of nowhere that makes you wonder: Even though this is a totally new genre for me, could I make it work?

I came up with a concept for a found footage story, including what may be a workable grasp on how to handle the ‘omnipresent camera’ part. It can be a little intimidating to try something new, but you won’t know until you try and possibly even discover a strength you never knew you had.

-I connected with this fine fellow the other day on Twitter. Do so if you haven’t already, and make sure to take the screenwriting survey. One of the questions is something along the lines of “what are some of your basic screenwriting rules?”

This is what I came up with:
1. Don’t be boring.
2. The audience is more intelligent than you think.
3. Write as if ink costs $1000 an ounce.

There are lots of others, but I think those are pretty important. Feel free to contribute yours in the comments section.

-This isn’t necessarily me hopping on the Kickstarter bandwagon, but check this out if you’d like to help preserve the small moviehouse experience. Give if you can, even if you don’t live in the Bay Area. It’s a great theatre.

Who doesn’t appreciate a gold star?

Deep down, this is all we really want to hear

As a screenwriter, I’m naturally predisposed to self-doubt and the inability to know whether or not my stuff is any good.  I thrive on feedback (as should we all).  So whenever I get a word of encouragement, it’s an electrifying jolt of confidence-boosting.

I’m not expecting standing ovations and ticker-tape parades, but if somebody says “Hey, I like this thing you wrote,” then I’m going to feel pretty good about it, not to mention be motivated to keep going and try harder so next time they say, “Hey, I really like this thing you wrote.”

I submitted WOK & ROLL to an online script showcase on Friday, then woke up Saturday morning to find an email from somebody who liked it. It doesn’t look like this is anybody who can actually make anything happen with it, but positive comments are positive comments. I appreciated it.

I also got some encouraging feedback on DREAMSHIP. He broke it down page by page, offering suggestions on how to improve this and that. Can’t say I disagree with any of them.  Anything to make the script better.

That’s one of the benefits of joining a writing group or being part of an online group.  You get the feedback you need (and you will need it), and you get to help somebody with theirs. Sure, you won’t use all of their comments, but hearing somebody liked something you wrote may be the unexpected shot in the arm you didn’t realize you needed.

-Movie of the Moment – TROLLHUNTER (2010), a clever take on the found-footage genre from Norway. I liked this a lot. The premise: A college film crew looks for a poacher, only to discover he’s a one-man government taskforce assigned to keep the country’s troll population under control. And it ain’t easy.

This managed to avoid the ‘constant filming’ issue; handily so.  Great use of sound to enhance the suspense, especially in scenes where you can’t see anything.  Despite only a handful of scenes involving CG, each looks seamless and really packs a punch. Even more fun if you watch at night with the lights out.

More days like this, please

We all deserve one

In terms of writing, Monday was fantastic.  I got to the midpoint of my revamped LUCY outline, and I really like how things are developing.  It has a genuine pulp-y feel, which is kind of what I was going for.

The rest of Act Two still looms, so how that works out is still being developed.  The previous draft has a lot of stuff I can’t use anymore, so getting through it will be a bit of a slog.

Didn’t get to work on DREAMSHIP pages, but the editing of the first act continues. Hoping to get back into that sometime next week.  Over the weekend I realized it’s been about a year since I got my Script Quack notes. That really was the kick in the pants I needed to get started on this rewrite.  Definitely worth it.  Click on their link over there on the right to check ’em out.

-You’ve probably noticed the growing trend of the ‘found footage’ genre.  THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, CLOVERFIELD, and the forthcoming CHRONICLE.  And the spec market seems to be growing with more and more unique takes on it.

I think I’ve stumbled onto a potentially great idea for one.  And even better, it fits perfectly with a story idea I came up with years ago.  I don’t want to divulge any details just yet, but I’ve got the logline down on a long-standing list of story ideas, with the intent of coming back to it later.  What’s nice is that I can keep track of the market and see how any new scripts compare with mine.  Knowing me, I probably won’t get to this until sometime next year, but it’s definitely an idea worth holding on to.

-Movie of the Moment: BRIDESMAIDS (2011). It must be me.  I didn’t think this was the comedic work of genius I was led to believe it was.  There were some funny moments in the second half, but overall I wasn’t impressed.  Some of my co-workers thought it was hilarious, so maybe I would have enjoyed it more in the theatre, rather than at home.  But this isn’t something I would have paid to see.

I bet as soon as this was a hit, they announced plans for a sequel.  No doubt this time it’s Annie who’s getting married.  Such originality!  Puh-leeze. Spare me.

-On a more positive note, we watched WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971) because V had caught the second half on TV and wanted to see it from the beginning.  She loved it.  One of those films that holds up after numerous viewings.  We’ll probably see the Tim Burton version this weekend.  While Gene Wilder definitely makes for a more interesting Wonka, I like the Danny Elfman songs in the Burton version a little more.

If we’re really lucky, we may even very slyly ‘convince’ V to read the original book for school.  That would be quite a coup for us.  And even better, she’d probably like it.