Class is in session

All I need now is the magnifying glass
All I need now is the magnifying glass

When I start on a new project, I make a point of reading scripts and watching films that are similar to the kind of story I’m trying to tell.

This time around, it’s a rewrite of my mystery-comedy, so among the works being studied are CHINATOWN, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL and WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (comedy, remember?). There are a lot more to consider (suggestions are always welcome), but I don’t want to overdo it. As much as I love submersing myself into these stories, I would like to eventually get around to actually working on the script.

Putting myself through this has a double benefit: I get to see solid examples of elements of the story and genre, which forces me to come up with different ways of how to tell a similar story but with my my own stamp on it. I’ll also be the first to admit that my skills at putting a mystery together aren’t exactly the best, so studying these will hopefully help me get a better sense of how to develop that part of the story.

Since this also happens to be a story I’ve worked on before, a lot of it is already in place, but there’s still a ton of work to do, with lots of ideas and changes being considered. Luckily, I have a few previous drafts to mine for material. Almost like starting anew, but with something very familiar.

My hope is that studying these scripts and films will help me get a better understanding of how all the puzzle pieces fit together in those stories, which will in turn will help me figure out how to do the same with mine.

This is the kind of homework I actually look forward to having.

Air! Stat!


Despite a busier-than-usual weekend, I managed to crank out a kinda-sorta decent revised outline.  It’s far from perfect, but hopefully the director will find it acceptable.  When your subconscious is screaming at you to wake up and get to work, you tend to listen.  Especially when you only have so much time to work with.

Sometimes a tight deadline can make you come up with things from completely out of nowhere.  For a while I thought I was stuck, but took a step back, considered “how about…?” and out it came. It’s nice when your brain cooperates.

-This is the director I wrote a 10-minute short for last year.  I got a pair of DVD copies of the finished film, but it’s also on YouTube here.  Overall, not too bad for a first produced effort.  Only problem is he cut out a key scene in the middle that really tied all the subplots together.  He included it on one of the discs; I’ll see if I can post the entire film in the Portfolio section.  Give it a look-see and let me know what you think; feedback is always welcome.

-I found another motivator to finish DREAMSHIP here.  The logline always seemed like it was almost perfect; this is the chance to make it so and see how the script fares.

-Movie of the Moment – WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (1988) This was playing at the movie theatre I worked in after graduating high school.  We were the only theatre playing it for what felt like the entire tri-county area, and had the crowds to show it.  I’ve seen this more times than just about any other movie that doesn’t involve Jedi Knights or flying DeLoreans and can jump right in to any spot in the dialogue and follow along.  Some of the luster and novelty has worn off, but it’s still a tight story and definitely told in an original way.  It’s also better enjoyed in a theatre, rather than at home.

K suggested V and I watch it.  One thing you should know about my child is that at the end of a busy day (i.e. school, or in this case day camp), she tends to slow down. Significantly.  Not to the point of actually falling asleep, but darned close.  She wasn’t as full of questions while we watched, but sometimes would ask why something was happening.  I don’t think she has a full understanding of what constitutes a traditional cartoon, so a lot of the jokes and gags went right over her head.  Maybe we’ll try again in a few years.