Monday, January 22, 2007

So... How was your day?

Happy New Year!

Some of you are probably wondering if I was abducted by aliens (why do they always have *rectal* probes?) and others are just wondering if this was going to become just another dead site. Nope. I'm still here.

And part 3 of the AFM entry is done (and posted), but many other entries are still on the To Do List. Problem is, that To Do List is getting out of control. It's almost endless!

I always have this crazy To Do List for the holidays - everything that didn't get done in the year so far. Add to that the London Recordings that need editing (still) and wanting to kick off the New Year with some New Script Tips (today was the first re-run, but there are new tips this week and for the next couple of weeks *written*). So, suddenly everyone wants to read scripts. Everyone. That's a good thing...

So, the plan for today was simple: I had to make copies of several scripts at Arnold's Copies on Ventura Blvd, plus I have to write a new opening scene for one of my scripts... you see, a big company that made some films I guarentee you saw in the cinema has requested this script of mine that I decided needed a new opening sequence - the current one is kind of flat. So that new opining was on the To Do List... but now it has to be done right away. And because this company is big, that puts the pressure on. Before I could have just knocked it out in a day or two, but now? It has to be *brilliant*. That has made the little critical dude on my shoulder take control and tell me that everything I write is crap. But today was the day I was going to finisg the new opening - #1 on the list. #2 is the copies. #3 is to respond to some questions that this crazy director has about a script of mine he's interested in - he gave it a quick read and has these questions... and I haven't gotten back to him (weeks) because I haven't read the script in a long time and want to make sure I get all this stuff right. Meanwhile, one of the scripts is for another director who is gearing up to make a film and wants a script I haven't written... and I have to talk him into using this one instead (which is actually a better idea and better suited to his skills as a director). But - that's work. Oh, also on today's list at #4 is call the Beverly Garland Hotel to book the theater for sometime in May for the 2 day class and call this producer who is looking for an action script and someone recommended me - #5. Oh, and another producer I met in a Starbucks who made a film that won an Oscar for screenplay - he read something of mine and wants me to call him about other projects - #6.

So, a busy day.

Over the weekend the DWP was tearing up my street and had the water shut off for a couple of hours... and this morning, I woke up to a leaky pipe in my bathroom. Drip. Drip. Drip. Those two may or may not be connected. But my bathroom is like a tiny lake. I build a towel-dam at the door to keep the rest of my apartment from washing away and tell the manager about it... so sometime next year it may get fixed. Meanwhile, I step out of the shower onto a wet floor - yech.

I grab the laptop and head to Starbucks. Not my normal Starbucks in Studio City that I've been going to since they opened their doors and the talkative lunatic at Priscilla's wouldn't leave me alone - you see, that Starbucks is so crowded that you can't get a table anymore. I go there at dinner hour, grab a table when people leave. During the day I'm at a different - undisclosed location - Starbucks. It's near a gym, so I get to see attractive women in work out clothes come in for a latte when I look up from my screen.

Today I get there... and every table is taken. Some sort of Starbucks hiring thing. People being interviewed for a job... so there's no place for customers to sit. I'm outside (not as cold as it was a week ago) working off battery... for almost 2 hours (battery lasts 2 hours). Finally, two compfy chairs open up. I grab one. A smelly homeless guy with all of his belongings in shopping bags grabs the other. Homeless guy is talking to himself. I put in earphones and listen to MAGNIFICENT SEVEN score - which reminds me to charge my ipod. Smelly Homeless guy has a free glass of water... which he knocks over - onto my pants. Then, he pretends nothing happened. Sweet! I'm covered in water, he's having a passionate discussion with himself.

So I go online, check my e-mail, and there are e-mails saying that a war has broken out on my website message boards. Swell. I have a problem guy on my boards who pops up, starts out sincere, then begins saying strange things and insulting other posters. My job, as host, is to keep the peace. I never kick people off my boards - after 7 years I think I've banned 3 people total. I want even the problem people to have a place where they can get some answers about screenwriting.

I go on the boards - and sure enough, my problem dude is acting up. I delete a couple of his crazy and insulting posts... then notice that not all of the e-mails were about the problem guy. I check another section - and there's this massive flame war under way. Perfect day for that.

A new poster has asked for feedback on his script. Another new poster has provided *pages* of feedback. A couple of regulars have also made some notes... and the guy who asked for feedback has hone ballistic - fighting with everyone over the notes and insulting them. Problem is, the other new poster has fought back - and now we have a war. So I delete all of the insulting posts and ask that everyone just calm down - and I also caution that it takes two people to fight, so even if you didn't throw the first punch - just don't throw the second. Let it die and there is no war.

That should have been the end of that. It has been in the past. Even with my problem dude, once I say "stop it" he usually apologizes and acts normal for a while.

Not with this guy. He wouldn't let it go. He keeps insulting people. I check my e-mail an hour later, and I have new e-mails from regulars who have been insulted by this guy. So I go back and try to calmly explain that we don't argue here. Then I go back to work...

Which ends up *not* being the new script opening, but rewriting a Script Tip. See, I forgot that they announce the Oscar Nominees tomorrow morning, and I have a tip that uses that as the lead. I have to rewrite it every year, because the movies change. Anyway, I finish that and check my e-mail... geeze, this new guy seems to not be quitting. When one person pisses off a bunch of regulars, I have to do something about it. Some of these regulars are *not* part of the ongoing insult war, they're just tired of reading all this crap.

So, once again I try to reason with this new guy. I explain that we don't argue here. He screams free speech... and I explain that there is no free speech on a message board that I'm paying for. I pay for that speech - it's not free. If I'm paying for it, I get to make the rules - and "no fighting" seems like a pretty non-controversial rule. My problem dude can follow it long enough to keep from getting kicked off - why can't this new guy?

Well, I don't know the answer to that, because he wrote a brand new insulting post to me *and* to one of the regulars who was being most helpful. So I had to ban the sucker.

By the time I was finished with all of this drama - Arnold's Copies on Ventura Blvd was closed and the people at Bev Gar had gone home for the day and it was too late to call producers. So just about *everything* from today's list gets shifted to tomorrow. I wonder if my leaky pipe got fixed...

- Bill (venting - sorry)

25 comments:

English Dave said...

Nice to see you back Bill.
/and I thought you banned me as a joke

David said...

Bill,
You got real business to attend to, between the apartment leak and the - hopefully- paying jobs. Let the children mess up the sandbox for a few days, it won't hurt 'em. Get the real work done. Besides, if there weren't maniacs on message boards, no one would visit them.

As much as I love reading your postings from the trenches, I'm sure people can wait 'till life in the real world gets sorted out.

Dammit Bill, you're not a babysitter!

The Moviequill said...

I love ya, Bill, read the "Tips" religiously every morning, re-read my dogeared Blue Book on Action writing all the time, catch each blog post... but man, I am getting tired of reading so many spelling mistakes in your writing. Call me a freak, but I expect you to be "professional" in your writing. I know you have a lot on your plate but EVERY tip and EVERY post has multiple spelling mistakes... just a head's up

David said...

Frankly, I like the spelling errors - it means the stuff's coming straight from the source. Save the editing for the paper copies.

Call me a freak, but I wouldn't presume to tell you how to be a "success" at what you do, which you seem to be already, spelling errosr and all.

(Another problem with the internet, anyone can show up and run off at the keyboard. We're all experts in "cyberspace" - often mistaken for a jackass convention.)

wcmartell said...

It's true - I can't spell. I'm sorry.

When the tips are *created* they are spell-checked (but still odd things get past - "think" and "thing" and "and" and "an" are finger fumbles that make it in all too often). But there is no spell check in the HTML editor, so when things are *added* to a tip or if a tip is rewritten, my bad spelling often pops up. The issue is - I can't pop the tip into WordPerfect to check spelling, because the new updated version strips away the code when it imports it... but manages to include photos and links, making exporting a mess.

My other excuse is that this keyboard needs to be replaced - the "a" often sticks and doesn't show up - and all of the letters are worn off - creating some unusual words if my fingers get out of place.

Plus, I just can't spell. My favorite stupid spelling mistake of late was "Thrown Of Blood" - that one actually engaged my imagination.

- Bill

David said...

Just don't sit on the thrown of blood. Heavy hangs the head of he who sits on the thrown of blood. Hey, this is fun!

wcmartell said...

I just wondered who catches the blood.

Unk said...

I've thrown up blood before...

Unk

wcmartell said...

You know you're in trouble when you throw up a human ear.

David said...

Sounds like the logline for the next William Martell movie

wcmartell said...

Starring Mike Tyson.

David said...

HAAAAAAAAA!

Matt Hader said...

As far as spelling errors are concerned, I admire you for living on the blogging edge and tossing caution to the spell checking wind.

I punk out by copying/pasting into Word - spell checking, and then transferring back to the blog entry.

(In fact, I just copped/paysted/tranfured this commetn into Wuurd before posting hair -- just so I donut sfcurcekw it all yup)

The Moviequill said...

I didn't mean what I was reading here didn't have any intrinsic value, of course it does, I was just giving my feelings in an open forum... and yes, I did expect the critics in the back seats to chime up... carry on Bill, your information is invaluable... feel free to delete that post even, I don't really care, that was the mood I was in yesterday

David said...

Hey, watch it. I'm a front seat critic. And a back seat driver.

ObiDonWan said...

Bill, I'm amazed that you get as much done as you do. My life is less complicated--except for an aging doggie who needs diapers--and I can't get started on my next project and haven't sold the last two.

wcmartell said...

I've done my share of deleting already over on the message boards.

- Bill

Unk said...

I've thrown up blood before...

Unk

wcmartell said...

every day, at the same time, UNK posts the same message... he's trapped in a time warp!

David said...

That's a lot of blood, Unk

Steve Barr said...

" (why do they always have *rectal* probes?)"

Because they're the most fun, silly.

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