Monday, June 05, 2006

The Full Plate

You may wonder why it’s been so long between posts. After returning from Hong Kong (recap coming soon), I had a meeting on a project for Lifetime TV... not just any project, a *horror script* for Lifetime. Women’s issues and decapitations? Yes! I wasn’t even over my Hong Kong jet lag, and I already had a job... plus, I had a contract waiting for me to sign on another horror project, JUST BEFORE DAWN (a zom-rom-com about “space herpes” - the good news is that it makes every woman want to have sex with you, the bad news is that it kills them first). At least JUST BEFORE DAWN is a completed script (actually - it's over a decade old) - but it will eventually go through some production rewrites.

So, I had to write a detailed treatment for the Lifetime project and finish up a piece for Scr(i)pt Magazine and work on my new Audio Classes (most of which are in rough form and really need a major rewrite before I go into the recording booth) and write up some new tips for the website from all of these summer movies I’ve been seeing (saw POSEIDON in Hong Kong - along with 2 really great HK movies)... and now I have a new deadline for another Script Mag article (which will be called SYNCHRONIZED SCREENWRITING)...

And I had to do that pitch panel for the Alameda Writers Group... and in a couple of weeks I’m teaching a class for Scriptwriter’s Network in Los Angeles.

So I’ve been a bit busy. This treatment is late, and I’m already supposed to be working on the screenplay. So what do I decide to do? Spend the weekend at the Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors in Burbank. I’ve gone to the Fango conventions for years - since the old days when we used to sell our DEAD BEAT VIDEOZINEs there - it was the Entertainment Tonight of horror movies. In those days, the event was at the LAX Airport Hilton, now it’s at the Burbank Airport Hilton. We’d spend a year doing interviews with everyone in horror and then spend two days selling the tapes. What’s strange is how many of the people from back then I bumped into over the weekend. The core horror fans and still the core horror fans.

What’s changed is the amount of new fans - the event was sold out, and there were people standing in line in 100+ degree weather waiting for someone to leave so that they could enter (room was at capacity). And many of these new fans are hot goth women. Years ago the convention was 98% guys. Now there is a pretty good mix of male and female - and lots of couples. Horror may not exactly be mainstream, but the fan base is more diverse.

These days I’m not in the vendors’s room selling tapes, I’m just there as a fan. It was cool to see Bob Clark, who made BLACK CHRISTMAS - the film that inspired HALLOWEEN and all of the other slasher pix. Cool to see an entire panel of horror writers including Stephen Susco (THE GRUDGE - his website is linked on mine). And the most exciting guest ended up being Guillermo Del Toro who showed clips from his new film PAN’S LABYRINTH - it looks amazing. As always, Bruce Campbell rocks. After he did a couple hours of funny Q&A, I went to the hotel bar to drink with friends from the Thursday Night Crowd (film folks from my local bar - Residuals) and some other people I know in the biz. After several beers I wondered if I had eaten that day. My friend Jeff said that a group was going to head to Residuals and drink with Bruce Campbell, and since that *is* my neighborhood bar, my buddy Paul (who directed SLAUGHTERHOUSE MASSACRE and DOWN TO THE BONE - now called BLOOD PREDATOR) decided to join them. First, we got a pizza.

At Residuals, it was a packed Saturday night crowd - no one realizing that the guy at the corner table was Ash from the EVIL DEAD movies, Bruce Campbell. We had some beers and listened to Bruce tell even more hysterical stories of working as a low budget star. Then I bumped into my friend Chuck - producer of a bunch of movies including BUBBAHOTEP... who had no idea that Bruce Campbell was on the other side of the bar! Chuck has a new movie coming out on 6/6/6 that stars David Warner from the original OMEN.... directed by my friend Jeff Burr (who made LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3) called...


It got amazing reviews from the LA Times when it played film festivals - and even got great reviews around the world when it played at a bunch of international festivals (winning a few places). It’s a strange mix of arthouse film and horror about maimed children in WW2 that become revenge seeking commandoes. Kind of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN meets FREAKS. From Universal Home Video.... RENT IT!

Anyway, Chuck and Bruce caught up with each other... then it was time for me to stop drinking and start sleeping so that I could go back to the Fango convention the following morning. So, today I’m a mess.... and still have deadlines up the wazoo (which is painful) and have to finish this treatment so that I can start on the script... and write two pages a day on the new Script Magazine article in order to get it finished by the end of this week, so that I can spend a couple of hours a day *next week* on the new audio classes.

I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

- Bill


Anonymous said...

**After several beers I wondered if I had eaten that day.**

Sounds like the first line of a great noir story.

You know what they say. Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

aggiebrett said...

You know, I'm sure some folks will get all jealous at the part where you suck suds with bruce, but my life is so sad and pathetic that the notion of having a BEER damned near brought a tear to my eye.

wcmartell said...

Well, that's nothing compared to having a beer with Werner Rainer Fassbinder's doppleganger.

- Bill

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