Today was pretty busy around the house, so I didn’t get any work done on the LUCY outline.  Drat.

But I said I’d read through Patrick Sweeney’s GHOST TRAIN again, and I did.

I sent him some comments, but the gist of the whole thing was that I was really impressed with it.  I’m a sucker for a good western, and this comes really close.  It’s a great premise (outlaw’s son goes after limitless riches on a train carrying the condemned to hell).  The writing is vivid, colorful and really holds your attention.  This would make a kickass movie.


I did have some questions about some parts of the story.  Some things weren’t exactly clear, hence my need for a second read.  I would read something, and it would stick in my mind as I tried to figure out if that’s what it was supposed to be read.

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed it a lot, but it helps when I can fully grasp the rules of the world a script is portraying.  Makes it easier to follow the story.

When Patrick sent me the script, he said he was open to another draft.  Hopefully my questions will result in answers that clear up some of these problems.

Movie of the Moment:  FRIGHT NIGHT, based on the Filmsack podcast. It was okay.  Interesting to see how this was one of the earlier flicks to cash in on the vampire craze.  Roddy McDowall really helps elevate the material.  I know they’re remaking it with former Doctor Who David Tennant in that role, but this time as a Vegas magician instead of a TV host.

(BTW – Filmsack is free on iTunes and oh-so-worth-it.)

Highly doubtful I’ll see that in the theatre, but definitely out it into the Netflix queue.

Tomorrow:  back to work on LUCY!

Cowboys and soldiers are MY kind of crap

Through some miracle unbeknownst to me, my Adobe reader at work was up and running, so I was able to read through Patrick Sweeney’s GHOST TRAIN.  Due to time constraints, I got halfway through, then finished it at home.  I want to read it again because I’ve got some questions that a second read may answer.  Comments will be posted Monday.

In the meantime…

K is out of town for the week, so while it may mean the usual readjusting of child care and a slightly different menu (my dishes tend to run simpler when it’s just me and V), it also means I tear through the stuff I put on Netflix I know she won’t watch.

Which usually means westerns, WWII flicks and cheesy recent releases.  Not so much of the first two categories this week, but some of the stuff I’ll be watching over the next few days includes: GI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (which looks really, really stupid, but I can’t help myself), THE LOSERS (mixed reviews), and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (I read the book, but don’t have any desire to see the upcoming American remake).

I regret not being able to do much with LUCY this weekend, but this whole parenting thing is quite time-consuming.

Speaking of which, V got HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON for Hanukkah.  She loved it when we saw it in the theatres, but I think I’m more interested in watching it again than she is.  Which is okay.

She’s really into Miyazaki films lately.  HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE. KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE.  She wants to see MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO.  Tonight’s feature is CASTLE IN THE SKY.  I saw it when she was really little, but don’t mind having it in the house again.

I don’t know which is more fun to watch.  The movies or her reaction to watching them.

Someday she may even want to watch STEAMBOY, which is just wicked cool.  It was made by Katsuhiro Otomo, the same guy who did AKIRA.  While AKIRA is cool to look at, the story just gets too confusing.  At least for me.

What’s playing at your place?

Totally unexpected but much appreciated

After weeks of agonizing self-doubt and re-examining of whether or not the outline works, I may have stumbled onto the solution I’ve been looking for.

And I owe it all to a guy I’ve never met.

During some of my downtime earlier today, I was checking out some of the screenwriting blogs I like. Some of those led to links, which led to some I’ve checked out once in a while, to a few I’ve never seen.

This guy falls into the middle category.

Patrick Sweeney lives in the Sacramento area and runs the blog I Blame Ninjas.  He wrote a script called GHOST TRAIN, which is also a western-adventure, but apparently with a more supernatural bent.  I asked him if I could take a look and he sent it without hesitation.  I plan on reading it tomorrow.

I also asked him what his logline was.  He sent it.  It is totally kick-ass, and put mine to shame; anything that includes the phrase ‘a train carrying phantom gunslingers to Hell’ has to be good.  But instead of wallowing in self-pity, I realized mine could be almost as good.  So I tinkered.  Now I’m definitely closer to a better one than I was a few days ago.

It also got me thinking that my existing outline is NOT written in stone, and that I CAN make changes and take liberties and all that.

So I did.

Right now I’ve got a completely different beginning, which I like a lot.  I still need to work on the rest of it.

And by reading a script review on Scriptshadow, I also discovered what had really been holding me back before in terms of my antagonist: his motivation.  Why does he do what he does?  For now, it’s one of the two standards: money or revenge.  I’m not sure yet, but both have definite possibilities.  He can’t just be bad because it suits the script.

I also thought of introducing yet another subplot about a treasure map (to tie in with that whole ‘money’ motivation), but I don’t need any more headaches over this thing, so I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

No Movie of the Moment today, but I’ve been enjoying the risque anime MOUSE about a cat burglar and his three buxom assistants.  More or less PG-13 material, but typical Japanese sex humor and not for kids.  Unless you’re a teenaged boy who gets a big kick out of skits on Benny Hill.

Amazingly, I’m not the one who put this on our Netflix queue.  That honor goes to the lovely K.  But I’m really grateful she did.

Really grateful.