O, the joy of a southernly jaunt

gable colbert
Fortunately, I didn’t have to resort to this

The suitcase is put away. The dirty clothes laundered. The thank-you notes sent.

All the result following your humble blogger’s recent trip to the land of potential future employment, aka Los Angeles, which continues to yield results and, hopefully, keep on doing so.

“Los Angeles? How in the world did that come that about?” you may ask, and probably just did.

I was invited. At the behest of a new media company (as in “new media” i.e. online content, not “a media company that is new”) called AfterBuzz TV that produces a myriad of programs about an even wider variety of topics – all entertainment-based.

This one in particular is called The Unproduced Table Read. As the title implies, after finding a heretofore unproduced script they deem appropriate, they assemble members of their core group of actors and do a table read of the script – first as livestream video, then viewable on Youtube. Following the read, there’s a brief q&a with the writer. Sometimes the writer’s there in person, or if they can’t make it in, done via Skype.

Seeing as how the City of Angels is an hour-long plane ride away, I opted to attend.

They’d found my fantasy-swashbuckler in the archives of the Black List website and thought it fit the bill. The producer contacted me earlier this year, and after some informative back-and-forth emails, it was all set.

Seizing the opportunity of being in town, I also went about setting up meetings of both personal and professional natures. Although the scheduling didn’t work out with a couple of potential representatives, I was able to have some very productive conversations with some exceptionally talented professional contacts.

Networking, people. Establish and maintain those contacts! SO worth it.

But getting back to the table read. It was great. And fun. The actors did a fantastic job, and as a bonus – they really, really liked the script on several levels. I’m quite thrilled with how it turned out.

Was it worth doing? I’d say so, and not just because it got an enthusiastic reception from the people involved. It’s probably a little early to see if it’ll contribute to the career-building aspect, but it definitely makes for a strong marketing tool.

If you ever get the chance for a table read to be done for one of your scripts, take it. You can even put it together yourself. It’s a great way to evaluate the material, plus the actors might provide some unexpected insight. All you need is a workable space and the ability and willingness to feed your performers.

While talking afterwards with the show’s producer and some of the actors, somebody asked what other scripts I had. I mentioned the western. “We haven’t done one of those,” was the reply. Thus raises the possibility of a return trip. Time will tell.

Dispatches from the road

Who doesn't love finding one in their actual mailbox?
Nothing like finding one in your mailbox

Visiting my folks this week, so not much time for writing. That being said, there are a few items worth mentioning…

-The Tracking Board Launchpad top 10 finalists were named earlier this week, and I was not one of them. It was a little disappointing to not see my name on the new list, but I can still claim to be one of the semifinalists, which is at least something.

The logline to DREAMSHIP is now officially posted as part of the contest update, so now it’s a wait-and-see situation regarding being contacted by potential reps. Which leads me to…

-Having an actual face-to-face meeting with my manager today, so I’ve been working on questions to ask and topics to discuss. Looking forward to hearing feedback on the latest (and hopefully final) rewrite.

This is a great chance for both of us to further explore what we’re both hoping to achieve, and what we can do to get there. Should be interesting.

-Your thoughts on summer movies so far? Hoping to see STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS this week, and looking forward to MAN OF STEEL next week. IRON MAN 3 was fun. No interest whatsoever in HANGOVER 3 or AFTER EARTH.

As much as I enjoy a lot of these fanboy films, it would be nice to see more original stuff (the forthcoming PACIFIC RIM, for example). Sequels, remakes and reboots can only carry you so far.

-The fine folks at United were generous enough to let us use the DirectTV for free on the flight here, so got to see WRECK-IT RALPH again. Still fun. Wish they’d do that all the time.

Didja miss me?

Nice to travel, nicer to come home

You never realize how much you miss writing on a semi-daily basis when you don’t get to do it for a while.

But I’m back home and ready to tackle my assorted projects.  Actually, we’ve been home since early this week but I’ve had practically no time to work on the outline or on this blog.

The time away was nice. It’s always pleasant to visit the in-laws, but eating and big meals are a constant part of these trips, so I feel like I gained about 5 pounds.  Lots of carb-, sugar- and sodium-heavy stuff. But now that I’m home, I can eat things my body is used to. Like vegetables.

As expected, I didn’t get a lot of writing done during this trip. The closest I came to anything like that was during the flight out. K took a look at what I had so far for DREAMSHIP. She liked it. Good enough for me.

Problem now is I need to take care of Act Three, but I don’t want to rush through it. I want to make sure everything works the way it’s supposed to.

I did the midday traffic shift yesterday and was frustratingly blocked.  I like to think it’s my subconscious saying “For crying out loud, don’t mess this up!”  Or at least hope that’s what it is.

Hoping to get the outline done this coming week, fine-tune it as necessary, then start on pages.  Fingers firmly crossed.

-Movie of the Moment.  Never got around to seeing SUPER 8 or X-MEN in theatres, so will probably catch ’em both on Netflix.

The day after we returned, I took V to see GREEN LANTERN. What a disappointment!  I’d tried to not read too many spoiler-laden reviews, but the one thing I kept hearing was “lame second act.” And that really applied.

When you’re watching a comic book/superhero movie, you should not be thinking “why isn’t the main character doing more superhero-ish stuff?” Hal should not have returned to Earth. I wanted to see him really learning what it took to be a Green Lantern.

It didn’t help that it took Carol telling him something like “you don’t need to be fearless; just have courage to face your fears” for him to complete the character arc.  Just awful.

Why would you make a movie about a space cop and keep him on his home planet for most of the time?

I didn’t have a problem with the cgi/ring effects.  I thought they were pretty good, and there should have been more of them. After all: that’s what the ring does.

And that mask?  Ugh. I was really worried they were going to go the ‘can’t recognize him ‘ way, but was pleasantly surprised they didn’t.

In summary” First act: pretty good. Second act: terrible. Third act: good for what it was, which isn’t saying much.  I feel bad for Warner Brothers, but you should make a good story to appeal to all moviegoers. Not just the fanboys. They’re never happy.

I hadn’t realized it until the other day, but this summer movie season seems to be going on forever.

I’d still like to see CAPTAIN AMERICA and COWBOYS & ALIENS, but those don’t come out until later this month.  And CAP would have been an appropriate open for this weekend, but I suspect everybody was already suffering from comic book movie fatigue.