Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

First off, I want to thank all of you who read this blog, and all of you who show up to read my Script Tip every day. Writing is meant to be read - so I’m nothing without you. One of the strange things about spending so much time avoiding work on the web is that I know all kinds of people that I have never actually met. Friends who are also strangers. Even though I am often cranky and hate all of the movies you love and love all of the movies you hate, I love you all and really hope that you succeed at whatever you set out to do in this new year. I want to hear about some script sales from you guys!

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?

Whether you keep your New Year’s Resolutions or not, it’s a great way to set goals and focus on what you need to get done in life. My resolutions for this year center around actually cranking out some new scripts. I spent so much of last year at festivals and conferences that I didn’t get to everything on my big To Do List. I’d planned on writing a half dozen new scripts, ended up with a couple new scripts and a rewrote a few older scripts. I planned on producing some of my own scripts last year, and revising my Action Book, and I’m still working on that. Hey, I also planned on writing two new screenwriting books... and those have flopped over to this year’s To Do List.

So, was last year a failure? Nope! I cranked out a couple of new scripts and did some rewriting... Without my big To Do List, *nothing* would have been to-done. I think the best thing you can do for the new year is to have a plan, even if things change. Especially if things change. Having a plan with clear goals allows you to get back on track after things change. Having a plan gives you goals to work toward. You may not cross off everything by the end of the year, but you’ll be able to cross off something. Without a plan you’re just spinning your creative wheels. So make up a big To Do List for 2008. You may not finish everything, but try to. Make sure your list is *possible* - this isn’t a fantasy list. Here is my list for 2008...

I have an interrupted kinda cool potential deal that could change everything, but here's what's on the list (that never quite gets done):

1) Finish the action book rewrite.
2) Get an agent or manager to take 10% of my money.
3) A spec called MANHUNT - kind of The Fugitive in Europe.
4) Finish rewriting STEEL CHAMELEONS.
5) Take a bunch of mostly unseen articles from the early 90s and compile them into a book on writing your own digital movie.
6) This spec called BETRAYAL about college kids on vacation... and then bad things happen.
7) My iPod movie - write the script, make the movie. This is a cool project I plan to do with my two oldest friends - the idea is to make a dopey little movie like we used to do when we were 20 years old... with the excitement of a 20 year old... but with the knowledge we have now. Then get a distributor for the film and make enough money to make another film.
8) A spec called DREAMWALKERS.
9) Rewrite an old spec called RAILROADED because it's about an LA to SF bullet train... and that's in the news.
10) Rewrite some other specs: DEAD RUN and HARD RETURN and whatever else I have time for.
11) Articles for a few magazines I have regular columns in plus new script tips plus the last 3 Blue Books plus way too many posts here and other places...

I’ll probably provide some play-by-play along the way on all of these projects... and I’m sure that a few will get carried over to the 2009 list. I’m really hoping the aforementioned kinda cool deal comes through - if it does I’ll tell you all about it. I just hope the other folks involved remember my name after the strike is over!

On the personal Resolutions list is *actually* get back on the bicycle and lose some weight. Get out more, be less of a loner writer, hang out with people who don't drive me crazy. I tend to be non-social, and I need to do something about that. I am also going to try to be nicer and more positive - sometimes I can be a dick and sometimes I can be too much of a realist while trying to help people - it’s the difference between bursting their bubble and guiding it in the right direction. Often online I take the bait and get into some weird battle with a troll that makes me grumpy to everyone else. Sorry - and I’m going to try not to do that. And I need a girlfriend... or a blow up doll with fewer patches. These personal things are not on my big To Do List, but I hope to get on the bike to lose the spare tire anyway.

Sometimes I find that listing the *steps* to completing a project is helpful - that way I feel like I’m completing more. I can cross off “Outline new spec” and “Treatment for new spec” and “Act one of new spec” and get some momentum going. Nothing makes me feel better than crossing something off my big To Do List! I’m getting closer to finishing that new spec!

This year I have a whole bunch of great things on by big To Do List for 2008. Some of those thing probably won’t get done this year, but many of them will!

I hope you achieve everything you set out to do in the new year!

- Bill

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Some other thing.
Yesterday’s Dinner: Had all you can eat Chinese food at China Wall in Concord with Wendy and her son Kyle... the coconut shrimp is great!
Movies: Hey, SOFT TARGET is on Encore Action tonight... please avoid it at all costs! It's nothing like my script! But it was one of the two films from my screenplays that were released in 2007... I hope to equal that in 2008.

18 comments:

Aric Blue said...

Happy New Year--let's all get some good stuff done this year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Emily Blake said...

Yay! Goals!

I want to see one of your scripts made into a movie that you're proud of. Do that this year, okay?

Erik said...

Happy New Year, Bill. Auld Lang Syne, and all that.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Bill.

Hope it's a successful one. Have you ever thought about writing a novel? Based on your blog statements your screenwriting career seems a little slow the last few years... so why not try something different? Take one of your past un-produced scripts and rework it into a novel.

Just a thought.

The Moviequill said...

Ha, too late... I watched it... I was watching something else and at the end was a Popup "Coming Up Next: Soft Target"

Right off the bat I noted the difference from your script

Matt Hader said...

Happy New Year, Bill -- and thanks for all the great advice.

Anonymous said...

"so why not try something different? Take one of your past un-produced scripts and rework it into a novel.

Just a thought.

2:27 PM"



There appears to be a lot of anonymity here; but, just so you know...

I think you should continue writing screenplays until you are no longer breathing.

Just my thought.
anonymous 5:55AM

Eleanor said...

Happy New Year Bill!

Ahv said...

"On the personal Resolutions list is *actually* get back on the bicycle and lose some weight."

First suggestion: lose the 'tasche. I know it turns women off (maybe it turned women on in 70s, ok), I used to have a sassy beard, but then I got too many comments like "clean is better", "how can I kiss you with such a animal onlower side on your face" etc. Now I'm clean, look younger (of course, I preferred beard more), but women like me more:)

Ahv said...

One more question: if you brand yourself as "non-social", how do you know how people react in real life and how do you make them act realistically in your screenplays? I'm quite social, but I'm still having hard time to come up with different and interesting behaviours in my screenplays (and it's impossible for me to come up with bios to them, even if they have bios, I can't make them act accordingly to his/her bio).

Anonymous said...

"On the personal Resolutions list is *actually* get back on the bicycle and lose some weight."


The only reason to lose the weight should be, for health reasons. The weight loss will make your heart happy, and you...well you will have more energy...to last longer banging on those keys.



"First suggestion: lose the 'tasche. I know it turns women off (maybe it turned women on in 70s, ok), I used to have a sassy beard, but then I got too many comments like "clean is better", "how can I kiss you with such a animal onlower side on your face" etc. Now I'm clean, look younger (of course, I preferred beard more), but women like me more:)"


Keep it! Lots of women like it. At least that's what they tell me.

Unk said...

Lose the 'tasche?

We'd never recognize you.

Happy New Year!

Unk

wcmartell said...

You won't get my moustache unless you shave it off my cold dead face!

- Bill

SHEIKSPEAR said...

Happy New Year, Bill!
Thanks for all the advice 'n' tips via your blog & web pages etc.
Script secrets is great.
Hope you achieve all on your "to do 2008" list.

Mine is simple...sell or least option at least one script!

(When I've re-written last years efforts ('cos I now know they should be better) and finished the new one (on page 70)...and come home from the "real" job)

I've set up a new blog now to chart the New Year, and put you in as a link (spread your wisdom etc)
If you get a spare minute, pop on over and take a peek...
Regards, Sheikspear (U.K)

Martin B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Hey Bill, just found this site via Derek Paterson. Good to see you're still toeing the line out there in California. Hope all is well, and I look forward to seeing some more Martell flicks! (Preferably with characters named after me who have sex and death scenes.)

Steve Moore

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