Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Obviously, there are no writers on this show... which is why it doesn't work at all.

Here's what I would have done:

1) Start with 15 contestants - 50 is just crazy.

2) A dozen challenges that actually flex their filmmaking muscles (or show them to be girlymen). I would have modeled the show on THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS kind of...

a) Pitch their take.
b) Make a team movie.
c) Make a documentary.
d) Make a movie based on some random elements (like those 24 hour movie challenges).

Then take 5 or 6 scripts and pass them out at random and every week they all make one of those scripts as...

e) Make a silent movie (no title cards - visually told).
f) Make a comedy.
g) Make a horror movie.
h) Make a western.
i) Make a romance.
j) Make it Dogme style.

These would all be the same 5 or 6 scripts alternating - so one of the scripts might be written as a thriller, but they have to *film it* as a comedy. Using their *direction* to change the genre. And it would be fun to see the same stories pop up in different genres every week.

Plus, I'd have a stock cast - a talent pool of actors. Enough actors so that no two films each week would have the same actors... bit every week we would see the same actors tackling different roles in different genres. This repetory cast would be a reason to tune in - familiar faces in different roles. Plus, we could see how well the directors work with *actors* - if one actor is great in one director's film, then over the top or just bland in some other director's film, we can surmise that one director works well with actors and the other doesn't.

K) Final Exam: Make a movie based on the same character - but any genre or story they can think of.

The movies are 3 minutes or 2 minutes - so we have time to see them all and get some background and set up the cliffhanger vote - so that we can axe 'em at the opening of the next episode.

And have some good judges - these people are brain dead. They need someone who can *discuss directing* - and a nurturer, a Simon Cowell and a *really famous* guest judge. And a better host - this woman has problems reading cue cards!

Big problem with these films is we have apples and oranges - 4th episode: the musical was great, but it's so different than the Meet The Parents thing or the doc on the Gay comic or the toilet version of LOTR or the date thing that you can't judge them. You need to give everyone a *type* of task so that we have similarities to judge on. I think it's more realistic, too - because a director in this biz is going to be *hired* to direct some project.


Yesterday's Lunch: Mini carrot cake at Starbucks.
Movies: BLACK SHEEP - you *must* see this film! Funny and Frightening and featuring killer sheep!
Pages: Cut a quarter page in the Guy Blows Up script and added a quarter page at he end - I think it's done! Also wrote a 10 page article for Script Mag on... BLACK SHEEP. You must see this film!

- Bill

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bumper to Bumper

So, my friend Rod and I are headed to the movies on Saturday afternoon - and we hit bumper to bumper traffic on the 405. We could have got out and walked faster than the cars were moving. This is on the weekend, in the middle of the afternoon. Not rush hour. No reason we could see for the slow down - no fender bender or stalled cars... people just driving slow. A great deal of lane jockying - and I think that creates slow down. One car sees the traffic moving just a little faster in the other land and changes lanes... slowing down both the lane they were in and the lane they are now in. Multiply that by hundreds of drivers and you have gridlock.

We missed our movie, and waited for two hours until the next showing.

Warned you I was going to bitch about traffic on the 405...


Yesterday’s Lunch: Caesar Salad with chicken, no anchovies.
Movies: I saw a whole bunch of films bumper-to-bumper, too, including.... HOSTEL 2 in a cinema... The original plan was to see OCEAN’S 13, but it was sold out and the only other thing showing at that time was the torture porn sequel.

Much better than the first film. It actually develops the characters, and has some good suspense, and some really good twists. But in the end, it's about bathing in virgin blood and skillsaws jammed in people's faces and head removals... Even though it gives us more information about characters, it still keeps its distance from them - they are meat.

That's the main problem - we never get involved, we are spectators.Movie starts strong with the survivor of the last film worried that they will find him - and plagued by nightmares. They actually lift a scene from Hitchcock's 39 STEPS, which it a plus - stealing from the best.

Eventually we get to our 3 gals on a backpacking vacation. The rich girl, the slut and the ugly duckling (Heather Matarazzo - who steals every movie she's in). Where, in the first film we just got to see the guys exploiting everyone (making us hate them and hope they get that drill through the head later), this time around our gals are on the Eurorail from hell - filled with thieves and potential rapists and all kinds of threats - that generate some suspense early on.

Though the rich girl is supposed to be our ID character, Roth seems unable to pull this off - and that's where the film goes wrong. It's almost as if he knows she's just going to be meat later in the story, so he treats her like meat throughout the film. Too bad. She's the "normal one" who feels responsible for the slut and the ugly duckling... but that never really comes across.

Once they get to the Hostel, the movie shifts focus. We get this great sequence where our 3 gals are basically put on e-bay and members of the "hunting club" bid to torture them. It's almost funny as they show people all over the world bidding while in the middle of their normal day.

Two of the winners are American businessmen - and we follow them for a while. Interesting stuff here, too - one is gung-ho, the other really isn't sure he can do this. So we actually get into the minds of the torturers. My favorite line pops up with these two guys - discussing lawless 3rd world places like Chad and New Orleans.

More suspense at the Hostel, as there seems to be danger all around the gals - but they don't see it or don't understand it. There is s great harvest festival sequence where everything seems to be a threat - and some scary costumed people, and scary regular people... and a cool bit where the torturers and soon-to-be-tortured cross paths: neither knowing who the others are.

This is in the middle of act 2 - pacing is much better this time around. After that, people go missing and there are some twists and turns and early escapes and recaptures and later escapes and more twists and... well, all of those power tools.

And here's where things come crashing down for me. Because, though this is better than the first film - it's still a freakin' snuff movie at heart. It's still about skill saws to the face. And more character stuff about the people who get tortured and killed doesn't make me feel any better about it. Maybe it makes me feel worse. It makes me feel sick and dirty. I don't like the other people in the cinema - and I kind of fear them. And I kind of fear myself - I paid to see this, didn't I?

It's strange, because I can laugh my butt off at BAGMAN and cheer some violent revenge film... but torture just because it's "cool" repulses me. Maybe it's because violence as a biproduct of revenge means there is a motivation - and revenge is about someone who has been wronged. But violence just as something cool seems unmotivated (insane, depraved, sick). I'm all for killing the guy who tried to kill you... but killing some randomly selected person for sport? I think the problem with HOSTEL 2 is that its point is that we all like to see skill saws tear up people's heads... and I don't.

The film flopped big time, so they are saying that horror is dead. But some of this is probably marketing's fault (and you'll want to save this, because I will never say that again). The poster shows the guy in the outfit ready to torture you - focus on the torture rather than the story or characters. The trailer showed all of the torture stuff - appealing to people who like to see skill saws and people's faces connect.

A *better* trailer would have been the "e-bay sequence" - where people check in to a Hostel, the kindly desk clerk takes their passports, they go to their room - nicer than they expected, the kindly desk clerk takes the passports to a back office and scans in the pictures... then we see people all over the world get calls on their Blackberrys - the passport photo of the guest and a minimum bidding amount... and the bidding becomes a feeding frenzy! Finally, we see the guy who wins.

What's good about this as a trailer is that it feeds into *your* paranoia. It's not about torture, it's about a tourist you can identify being turned into property without them even knowing it. Wait - will that happen when *I* go on vacation later this summer? We can put ourselves in the shoes of the tourists... and that emotionally invests us in the film before we have even seen it. Now we want to see how these tourists will get out of it... and what will happen to them if they don't. It asks a question - rather than gives us an answer (that not many of us are interested in).

Another element is that at the end of the day, it's still the same movie as the first one. Backpackers check in to a hostel where people use power tools on them. Why would an audience want to see the same film again?

But... once you've seen the movie, word of mouth isn't going to help. "The exact same story done better than the first, but still creepy in a bad way."

Other Movies: AURA (French), FIDO, OCEAN’S 13, FANTASTIC 4... more on them later.
Pages: Actually finished the new draft of the Guy Blows Up script... but now I want to cut a quarter page so that I can add a quarter page top the end.

- Bill

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fan Mail From Some Flounder?

Over the weekend I went to a Visual FX Expo, and it brought up an interesting question about screenwriting. I never planned on going to this expo, I didn’t even know it was going on. My friend Rod, from my home town, called and asked if I wanted to have breakfast with him. I haven’t seen Rod in several months - he used to run the Public Access studio in my home town and is the tech on my audio classes. He took a day job a while back as the factory rep for some visual effects software, and ended up becoming the factory expert who trained guys at FX houses on how to use it. So he accidentally became a guy with a bunch of visual FX connections, and started doing visual FX on a bunch of movies - like HOOT. So we have breakfast, and I ask him why he’s in town - a movie? - no, he’s here for this expo. Hey, would I be interested in going? Doug Trumbell is going to be there.

Hell, yes! I trash my work weekend and go to hear panels talk about visual effects.

Sunday’s program seemed designed for me. First up was John Knoll, visual effects guy for all three PIRATES movies. Now, I’m kind of on the other side of these films. I remember having dinner with Terry and Ted and others at the Robert Blake murder scene (Vitellos) soon after the crime - and Ted pitching the story in the parking lot for the first film. They had just landed the job, and this was the raw creative material that would go into the screenplay. The cursed pirates, the Governor’s daughter who must chose between three men, and those three men - the pirate, the swordmaker, and the dashing sea captain. It was great to hear the story *before* they had cast the movie. Later, Ted took me on a tour of the sets on the Disney lot that began with a tour of the production offices where pages torn from books on the period gave way to conceptual sketches which lead to storyboards which lead to models of the sets which lead to the actual sets themselves: the blacksmith set and the treasure cave.

I knew how the story began, and the visual FX guy was going to give me the final chapter. Very interesting stuff - including the FX guy’s version of how a standard length script becomes a 3 hour movie. The director keeps adding stuff. One of the interesting things was how the skeleton pirates became a challenge because motion capture requires a ton of light and the characters wearing strange outfits - and duplicating those moves on set and then in the motion capture room was basically impossible - so they used a very labor intensive method to use the actual performances as models for the skeletons. They loved the challenge of finding the way to make the FX part of the story and part of the character (part of the crew, part of the ship). For the 2nd and 3rd movies they developed a brand new motion capture system that works *on the set* so that Davy Jones *is* Bill Nighy. Whatever you can imagine, they will find a way to do.

One of the highlights of Knoll’s presentation was the blooper reel - where CG pirates lost their CG clothes in the middle of a scene or two CG characters became conjoined twins in the middle of a scene when their paths crossed. I hope they put this stuff on the DVDs.

Next up was a panel of FX legends discussing the 50 most influential FX movies. John Knoll moderated, and he brought an FX magazine he bought as a kid that had interviews with every single panelist - from Doug Trumbell (2001) to Dennis Murren (JURASSIC PARK and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS) to John Dykstra (STAR WARS). He was a huge fan of these guys when he was a kid, and they were the reason why he got into the business. And as they went down the panel and asked each why they became interested in special effects, they all mentioned movies they fell in love with as a kid... and how they found out who created that magic on screen, and became fans of those FX guys. Ray Harryhausen’s name came up again and again,.the Lydekker Brothers (WIZARD OF OZ) and several others. All of the ILM guys got into the business because of Trumbell and 2001. One of the names they mentioned was Albert Whitlock...

You know those birds in THE BIRDS? Whitlock. You know that earthquake in EARTHQUAKE? Whitlock. He was the FX guy at Universal, and every big FX movie Universal did had Whitlock’s fingerprints on it. As a kid, I was amazed by FX in movies - the magic part that can not be real - and noticed Whitlock’s name as FX guy again and again. So, I wrote him a couple of fan letters. And as an 18 or 19 year old, got a chance to meet him. I gave him a welcome mat - a joke, because his specialty was matte shots. There’s this scene in Hitchcock’s TORN CURTAIN where Paul Newman walks through a huge mansion... which doesn’t exist. It’s a painting by Albert Whitlock. There’s a scene in, I think, DAY OF THE LOCUST where hundreds of people are dancing in a huge ballroom - those people are *paintings* by Whitlock, articulated by having a second painting behind the first that is moving back and forth - like the old Hamms Beer signs that had a waterfall. Anyway, I was a huge fan of Whitlock and he’s one of the reasons why I’m in this business....

And this made me wonder about screenwriters.

There are *fans* for FX guys, and *fan magazines* for FX. When some kid sees PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END and becomes fascinated with Davy Jones and his crew and wonder how they did that... and find themselves interested in the FX on the movie and see in the credits that John Knoll was the FX Supervisor and start to look at other films he’s worked on... and become fans. They end up subscribing to CineFantastique or one of the other FX magazines and include Special Effects in their list of "Things I want to be when I grow up". And some of these kids will send fan letters or welcome mats and might even evolve from fan to FX supervisor.

Do kids ever notice who wrote that film? There are now some screenwriting magazines, but do you think kids who become fans of writers (if that even happens) seek out those screenwriting magazines and read them the way the FX fans do?

There was a story on the news today about a SAG (Screen Actors) program to encourage kids to write. There were hundreds of kids in a theater and some TV stars reading some of their work. All of these kids were from lower income areas and writing stories empowered them. Wanda DeJesus from one of those CSI shows said she hoped this program would create the playwrights and screenwriters of the future - writers with a unique view of the world that is under-represented in Hollywood. Wait a minute! Why is SAG doing this and not WGA?

But a moment later they interviewed a kid and asked him he wanted to be a writer when he grew up... said no.

Writers - not what kids want to be when they grow up.

Just not interesting enough. They don’t see the *magic* in screenwriting the way they see the *magic* in turing Bill Nighy into Davy Jones. There aren’t kids becoming fans of screenwriters. Forming little clubs in their tree houses or backyard forts and discussing screenwriting the way they discuss movie monsters. There is no Forrey Ackerman of screenwriting. No Fango Convention for screenwriting - sure, there’s Expo and Showcase... but people who go to those events want to pitch their scripts, not stand in line for an Alvin Sargent autograph.

Screenwriters often don’t even know who wrote their favorite movies. That’s just weird.

I may be strange, but in addition to Albert Whitlock’s FX I also became interested in movies due to Dan Mainwarring, the guy who wrote OUT OF THE PAST and INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS (remade with Nicole Kidman). Oh, and throw Ben Hecht and John Michael Hayes in there too. I started noticing that my favorite movies were written by the same people, and became a fan of those people. Screenwriters. Which may make me a freak in the screenwriting world.

I think screenwriters deserve to have fans - but that needs to start with us. We need to be fans. We need to know who wrote that. We need to talk about screenwriters the way many of us talk about directors. We need to be excited about *screenwriting* and be fans of *screenwriters*.

And we need to figure out some way to get kids interested in screenwriting. Not just the next generation of screenwriters, we need to get those kids who love movies to realize that someone wrote that film... they way they notice the FX and become fans of that FX artist. That means we need to show kids the magic of creation. Someone created that story - a screenwriter. They used their imagination to come up with the *idea* of Davy Jones and his crew being of the sea... so that the FX guys could come in and use their computers to turn that screenwriter’s creation into something on film... the same way a director takes something from our imagination and puts it on screen.

The magic starts with us.

Our imagination. Our creativity.

We start with a blank page... and create characters and worlds and amazing events.

I think that deserves some fan attention.


Yesterday’s Lunch: One of those sour cream cinnamon cake things at Starbucks.
Movies: Man, I need to get to the cinema! They keep releasing films, and I managed to go the whole weekend without seeing anything - usually I see a movie on Friday and one on Sunday.
UNKNOWN on DVD - a bunch of stars, but I never noticed this film in cinemas. A twisty thriller that needed more character work, a theme, and a more clearly defined relationships... But the real problem was the gimmick - completely unbelievable! Killed the film from the opening scene! See, 5 guys wake up in a warehouse and all 5 have no memory at all of who they are or how they got there. Three are kidnappers and two are the kidnaped - but nobody knows who is what. The *excuse* for how 5 guys would all get amnesia at the same time just seems contrived and lame. When you start off with something unbelievable, no matter how clever the rest of the film is, you just can’t get into it. Adding to that is that we have no idea who any of these people are - on purpose.
Pages: Puttered around on the Action Book rewrite - but really didn’t do much.

- Bill

Monday, June 11, 2007

There Is Progess To Report

One of the problems with the never ending to do list is that it just never ends. As soon as I finish something, something else pops up. And most of the time I feel like I spend more time running from one project to the other than actually working on projects. So part of my thing is going to be an attempt at focus - even though real life doesn’t seem to give me one thing at a time. But even with all that running around, I managed to complete some things.

I had a producer who picked a script from the bottom of my list to read - a script that was 20 years old and needed a page one rewrite before I showed it to anyone. So I did a page one on that script and managed to write some good new scenes and threw enough putty and paint on the old scenes to make it work. That was delivered... and I suspect it’s sitting on some huge stack on the producer’s desk and he’ll read it some time before the end of the year... and hate it.

I also did a page one rewrite on my Guy Blows Up script. I’d written that script without an outline - and as I wrote it I learned why I always use outlines. Halfway through the first draft I scrapped almost everything and started again... and it still didn’t work! I put it away and worked on some other stuff, came back and reread it... and thought I had the answer. The main reason why I looked at it - I mentioned the concept to a manager a couple of months ago and he was interested in reading it. I needed to do the rewrite before I showed it to him. For the new version, I created a whole new secondary character and about 30% of the script became new scenes for this character (a cop chasing our hero). That meant 30% of the old scenes had to go. Well, how do you cut almost a third of your script? I cut whole sections from the script to make room for the new stuff... and in some cases it was easy because the new material covered some of the same story stuff as the old material.

I got to the end - a new first draft - and couldn’t print the sucker because my toner cartridge was at UPS due to some delivery screw up. Then they returned it to the sender after they told me they were holding it 5 days for me to pick it up. UPS fault, but that doesn’t help me print the script. So I created a PDF of the new first draft and sent it to some writer friends for notes... and *seconds* before sending it I made a major change to the end. A change that required some set up that didn’t exist. Oh, and *after* everyone got the script I realized that one of my new scenes contained the exact same info as one of the existing old scenes, creating that sledgehammer effect (Okay, I get it already!). But it’s a rough draft and I just want to make sure the new 30% works in the story and doesn’t seem like something added later (which it was). So far - all of the problems I knew about have been pointed out and people say the 30% new material is their favorite part of the script (even though they had no idea it was new). So this script is now going through one more draft... in my spare time. I hope the manager is still waiting.

In the middle of all this - I had to write an article for a European film magazine. If you think I get rich on stuff other than screenwriting, you are soooooo wrong! Script Magazine, where I am the West Coast Editor and have a column in every issue, pays me $600 a year. You read that right. This European magazine doesn’t even pay me pizza and beer money - it’s just pizza money... and one topping pizza money... with a coupon. I’ve paid more to park my car in Century City than I make from these guys. Anyway, I’d already turned in my article and crossed that off the to do list when I got an e-mail from the editor: Due to some rights problem they couldn’t get the art work for that article, could I write another? Before the magazine goes to press in a couple of days? Sure! Not a problem. Back on the to do list. So I wrote that article and got it to them by press time. Back off the list.

The biggest thing that got crossed off the to do list was this possible waste of time Sequel Project. This producer who loves my work (but has never bought anything) has a connection with the home video division of a major studio. Now, in case you haven’t noticed, DVD is the new mother lode. DVDs make something like 3 times theatrical. Studios are rethinking the idea of direct to video - now, that’s the best thing that can happen with a movie - video is where the money is. So studios have started direct to video divisions - name the studio, they are ramping up production of movies that will probably never see the big screen - yet make more money than that big summer blockbuster you just wasted $10 on. So look for many more slices of AMERICAN PIE on your video shelves.

Anyway, studios are going to producers they have deals with to make these films, and this producer who loves my work (yet hasn’t bought any of it) asked me to find movies from the studio he has a deal with that might look good with a number after the title. My (unpaid) job was to make a list of films the studio had made that could spawn a sequel, then come up with the idea for that sequel and pitch them to the producer. That’s kind of 3 parts to this (unpaid) job. Adding to the difficulty was that other producers were doing the exact same thing - looking for films to sequel in this studio’s library. And, for all I know, my producer has sent every writer he knows out to do this. So, I figured if I was going to turn this unpaid job into a paid job, I’d needed to find the films that no one else knew about or find sequels to movies that could never have a sequel.

So step 1 - finding the movies in the studio’s library - was more time consuming than I planned on it being. The first thing I did was look at my DVD shelf, find the movies from this studio, then find the ones that I thought no one else knew about. Oddly, some of my favorite films from this studio were somewhat obscure. Next, I walked the aisles at Blockbuster and did kind of the same thing - and I found some films that I’m sure no one could think of a sequel to. A couple of major flops from the studio that I thought no one would suggest - even though sequels were possible. My theory is that an interesting direct to video film might create some interest in a theatrical flop. Yes, that’s a long shot. But this whole thing is a long shot.

Anyway, that list was in my computer bag for a couple of months - I would scribble sequel ideas in my spare time. Finally, I realized I needed to just set aside a couple of days to focus on this and get it done.

Step 2 - coming up with the sequel ideas and writing them up... I realized that it would be good strategy to focus on movies that could spawn more than one sequel. That would be attractive to the producer - he would probably be in charge of making all of the other sequels if he made the first one. Also attractive to *me* because I might write the other sequels. So I wasn’t only going to focus on the films that would spawn more than one sequel, I was going to come up with at least 2 high concept sequels for each existing film. Some of the films ended up with 4 high concept sequel ideas.

So I did some triage - and focused on the 20 movies that I thought were the best shot...
Yes, that’s somewhere around 50 high concept ideas.

Many of these ideas are stand alones - if nothing happens at the studio, I can probably write them up or pitch them as *non-sequels* somewhere else. The high concept that I came up with usually is better than the original theatrical film’s idea.

The stand alone possibility is stronger in the movies that don’t seem to have a sequel in them - one of the things I did there is identify a character or aspect of the original film that could be used for the sequel. For instance, I’d spin off the *antagonist* or a henchman when the original movie was all about the protagonist. In one case, a film had a secondary character with an interesting job... and my sequel will be the continuing adventures of the secondary character (instead of the hero or the antagonist or anything that happened in the first film). These story ideas can completely stand on their own two feet without the original film. If this producer or the studio isn’t interested, I’ve still got these ideas to sell elsewhere.

Part 3 ended up being writing up all of the ideas, sending a copy to WGA registration, and now I’m waiting on the Producer.... and I’ll bet that all of this work was for nothing. But you never know. Part of being a screenwriter is creating your own work - as in creating your own jobs. There are no "Help Wanted" signs on the studio gates. If you want a job, you have to create your own position. In this case, it’s kind of chumming the waters and hoping that the fish start biting afterwards.

One of the other projects I’m poking around with is my Rewrite Project. This came from that 20 year old script I did the page one on. I have a bunch of old scripts - some that just need rewrites because I’m a better writer now, some have great concepts but poor execution and need page ones, some have great characters in the wrong story, some great stories with the wrong character. So I’ve started a notebook with a bunch of pages for each old script, and started jotting notes on what each script needs and how I might fix it. Some are just a couple of notes, on others my brain just opened up and I came up with some pretty good rewrite ideas. My plan is to come up with as many ideas for each that I have the blue print for the rewrite in the event some producer picks the logline I’ve buried at the bottom of the list...or in case I get some spare time (yeah, right) and I’ll have all of the material for the rewrite ready. So many of these scripts actually have something - I should really fix them and make them presentable.

So, I have made some progress... but that list still goes on forever!


Yesterday's lunch: Breakfast at DuPar's Studio City - scrambled eggs and ham.
Movies: I was at a video FX expo and skipped 2001 with Doug Trumbell speaking afterwards because I was tired (and had seen 2001 with the cameraman only a couple of months ago). Did see Cronenberg’s THE BROOD on DVD - his dialogue is awful and he seems unable to deal with actors... but the ideas and filmmaking make up for it. A creepy tale of a shrink who can make your inner demons into outer demons... who then go on a killing rampage.
Pages: None yesterday.

- Bill

Friday, June 08, 2007


So, last month - doesn’t seem like that long ago - CE over on the Inside Pitch blog announced he was throwing in the towel. He had a great blog, it really took you inside the walls of a major agency, and he often answered questions and discussed story. But CE said maintaining the blog was one more thing on his already very busy schedule (he’s a newlywed - actually, I think he started the blog around the time he got married). I wanted to beg him to keep the blog going - but I knew exactly why he stopped blogging.
My blog is often the very last thing on my never-ending to do list.

After CE announced he would no longer be adding to his blog, I ran over here and posted something. And then I posted a couple more entries. I want to keep this blog going and make regular entries.

Then a million things hit at the same time. I had to pinch hit on a panel, I went to the Fango Convention, I had to do my 2 day class, I had a bunch of friends in from out of town, a last minute article for a European screenwriting mag, I had a friend’s birthday party, I had 2 script rewrites to do, I had this insane Sequel Project to work on, and I wrote a new tip that ran on Thursday (yesterday - if you missed it, wait until it reruns next year). The Blog? Not even on my radar.

Now, the amusing thing about all of this is that during this time I also posted on a bunch of message boards answering questions. That’s kind of a coffee break thing that I do when I need to get away from the rewrites or class prep stuff. So why can’t this blog be that coffee break thing? Well, writing in the blog is *work* and a responsibility... but answering someone’s question is kind of reactive.

And one of the problems with *this* blog is that the contents seem to be informational in some way - every time I’ve done a "dear diary" entry bitching about something that happened in my life, the response has been "We don’t care, tell us about screenwriting". That means I have some sort of requirement to be on topic...

And I already have a website that is on topic.
I write articles for magazines that are on topic.
I teach a class that is on topic.
I am not UNK ! His blog has some of the best screenwriting articles I read on it.
So, folks, screw you.
Yes, screw you.
Sometimes this blog will be about screenwriting, sometimes it will be about getting stuck in traffic on the 405 when I’m *not* going to a meeting. And sometimes I’m going to grab some answer I gave someone from some other message board and paste it here (copyright issues be damned). And sometimes there may be a big gap between posts (so, what else is new). But I’m hoping that taking away the on topic requirements will help me spend more time posting here... and maybe that will turn into more stuff about screenwriting.
So, be prepared for some freakin’ boring dear diary entries about what I had for lunch.
Today's lunch: Carrot Cake at Starbucks.
Movies: A Simple Plan on DVD - a film so well made it's almost impossible to watch. I squirm and cringe and cover my eyes and just want to turn it off to escape.
Pages: Finished the Studio Sequel project.
- Bill
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