Gun the engine, pop the clutch and let ‘er go!

Ah, the car chase. A film staple. And a fantastic opportunity for the writer to really let their imagination run wild.

Mine started with the short description in the outline “Chase! (2-3 scenes)”.

I knew how it was going to start, and how it was going to end. It was all that stuff in the middle I had to figure out.

Despite the story’s fantasy-like setting, I’ve made a point of trying to keep things as realistic as possible where applicable. This falls into that category.  No crazy cg effects or unbelievable stunts; just simple, basic and peppered with mad driving skills.

“But there’s only so much you can do with a chase scene,” you may think. And in some ways you’d be right, except there are countless ways to make things happen.

Break it down to the simplest elements – somebody’s trying to get away, somebody’s trying to stop them, and there are going to be obstacles in each one’s way.

The challenge is to think up ways for both to go about achieving their goal, as well as what can stop or prevent that from happening.

It’s not just about having a chase just for the hell of it or something that looks cool, but what makes the most sense and what fits in, plot-wise. Is there a way to make it feel it really belongs there and is connected to other parts of the story? If it means adding a little something to a previous scene, so be it.

Need a little inspiration? Go to YouTube and type in ‘car chase in movies’, or check out William Martell’s blog, which always includes a classic chase in the Thursday posts.

Most of all – please, please, please avoid tired cliches like the plate glass window, the fruit cart, the baby carriage and the large construction vehicle.

Hard-workin’ guy

Real quick script update: Got to page 3. Like what I have so far. Nice feedback from fellow writer/other remaining member of previous writing group.  I really need to relax and have fun while I write; helps make it an easier experience.

I can officially add a new work thing to my resume: on-camera personality.

There was a listing on craigslist around the end of May looking for screenwriters.  I applied and got an offer to come in for an interview.

Turns out it had nothing to do with screenwriting whatsoever.  They’re a small startup looking to provide short narrated videos; such potential subjects are Top 5 lists, real estate listings, the SPCA and so on.  The writing would be putting together the scripts; about 10-20 a week. A lot of work for not much pay, but I didn’t mind.

I had asked about the narration and was asked if I wanted to audition.  Sure; why not?  It could have gone better – I was faster than the teleprompter, but kept a good attitude.

Two weeks pass and I hear nothing.  Ah well. Back to combing the internets. Then I get an email congratulating me on being selected as one of their on-camera narrators!

Boy, they must have thought my writing really sucked.

A date to film some samples was arranged.  I ride out to the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. One I had heard of, but never been to.

Their studio is a converted basement in a house. Very low-tech, but work is work.

It takes me a while to get used to the iPad-based teleprompter, but it goes well.  I also learn that this is considered my second audition, and that the writing has been put on hold for now.

After that first day, I hadn’t heard anything from them for almost two weeks. I dash off a quick-yet-tactful email asking what’s going on, but hear nothing.

Is it over before it began?

Yesterday, I get an email saying my payment for the previous session had gone through. Literally five minutes later, the producer calls, asking if I’m available to come in today for another session. You bet!

I wasn’t n my A-game today. Lots of flubs, but easily corrected.

When it’s a wrap, I ask if I passed the latest round of auditions.  Most definitely is the response.  I also learn that one of my writing samples is the highest-viewed video for their YouTube channel.  (I offer no explanation for the guy reading it) My on-camera one – okay, but there’s me in all my dorkiness.

But that’s okay.  This is occasional, semi-steady work that can only yield positive results.

-Movie of the Moment – finished IP MAN. Loved it. Phenomenal martial arts sequences, complete with several jaw-dropping moments.  Slightly more inclined to watch the sequel.

-Regarding Netflix price gouge/increase. Understandable, but 60 percent?  Couldn’t 20 or 25 worked?  We’re opting for the 1-disk/streaming combo. I suspect we’ll be watching a lot more on streaming in the coming months.