Script Frenzy 2011

Script Frenzy 2011Two years ago, I attempted an adaptation of the Punisher: Circle of Blood graphic novel.  It isn’t bad, and I might even show it to someone someday.  Last year, I took a short story I wrote and did an adaptation of it.  It also isn’t bad, and it too I might show to other people in the future.  Both need another couple of passes before I’m happy with them though.

This year, I decided to write an original screenplay instead.  And it was much harder.

I’m sure the screenplay itself won’t actually be harder to write, once I get to it.  See, the hard part this year was that by working on an adaptation, like I had the previous two years, there is less prep work.  The characters and the plot is around 90% there.  Sure, you’ll have to make changes, but the foundations are there.  But with an original, I have to make all that stuff up myself, which I didn’t do before hand, and so I’ve spent the last four weeks fleshing out characters and plot points, layout out arcs, and doing everything I should have done in March but never got around to.

Lesson learned: start prepping in March next year.

That said, I like what I’ve got, even if with a day and a half to go I don’t have a single page of screenplay.  I’ve got notes.  Lots of notes.  And I really like the idea I’ve come up with, so I will continue to work on this and hope to have a finished screenplay in a couple of months.  What’s it about?  I’d rather not say, but I will leave you with one little tidbit.  The title.

“Ursa Major”

Movie Round-Up: March 12th, 2010

Remember Me:

If I didn’t know better, I might think this was another Nicolas Sparks book turned into a movie.  I’m pretty sure the movie is going to be entirely unsurprising.  Boy gets in trouble, boy has poor relationship with father, boy decides to get revenge on man who does wrong to him by dating that man’s daughter, boy falls in love with girl, girl finds out about trouble and revenge scheme, they split, boy proves he really does love her even after his own father tells him he’s better off without her.  Roll credits.  It doesn’t look horrible, it just looks typical, and as much of a sucker as I am for romantic comedies, romantic dramas I tend to wait for DVD.

Our Family Wedding:

I watched the trailer for this and I can’t put my finger on it, but I think I’ve seen this movie before.  Mixed marriage, cultures collide.  Eh… I won’t be running to the theater to see this, but I can see myself putting it on Netflix when its there and I’m bored.

Green Zone:

Matt Damon makes good action films.  You know, from the beginnings of his career I wouldn’t have guessed that, but he does.  The Bourne films showcased it, and this movie looks to be following in those footsteps.  I really want to see this one.

She’s Out of My League:

The only movie releasing this week that I managed to see a screening of, and it was awesome.  The story is about a guy who isn’t particularly good looking, with a crappy job and no real ambition, who has been dumped by a girl that treats him poorly but he thinks he loves, and how he begins dating a girl who is smart, successful, and gorgeous.  I think what I loved most about this movie is that while it does have a bit of foul language and some shocking scenes, it never scrapes the bottom of the barrel.  It never goes disgustingly scatological.  Even when it gets close, it handles it in a more mature way, leaving the “worst parts” to be inferred by the audience.  I really enjoyed this film, much more than I thought I would.  And the wife loved it too, so I’d even safely recommend this as a date movie.

Movie Round-Up: March 27th, 2009

Hitting the theaters today are three films: 12 Rounds, The Haunting in Connecticut, and Monsters vs. Aliens.

12 Rounds:

I haven’t seen it yet, but I want to, which means I will likely rent it.  It seems like a decent action flick, but I’m just not sure its worth $10 a seat to see it on the big screen.  I will have to wait until I read a few reviews.

The Haunting in Connecticut:

Based on a true story.  I’m always a tad skeptical when I see that phrase associated with a film, because without a lot of leg work you never know how much is “true story” and how much is “based”.  But I like a good scary movie, so when the opportunity arose for me to see this one early, I took it.  There are two great things about this movie.  The first is that the build up of suspense is very well done.  A flash of ghost here, a noise there, with a dab of odd things over there.  Its done without getting right in your face, and is fairly creepy.  The second great thing is that they manage to tell the story without buckets of blood, tons of gore or any real kind of torture that has accompanied so many horror films over recent years.

I did have some problems with some of the characters in the film, and the sort of matter of fact coincidences that lead to all the right people being in all the right places.  The son with cancer just happens to meet a reverend in treatment who happens to know quite a bit about ghosts and hauntings and the psychic world.  But as long as I ignored that, it was a decent scary movie.

I’m not sure its worth $10, but its easily worth a matinee price if you enjoy movies about hauntings.

Monsters vs. Aliens:

Oh man.  When I saw the trailer for this, I knew I had to see it.  The trailer was pure unmitigated awesome.  Which is probably why I was a little disappointed with the movie as a whole.

Don’t get me wrong, still a good movie, but I expected it to be better.  The main problems I see for this film is that on one level it is clearly aiming for kids, but its got a few slow dramatic scenes and a number of older-skewed “inside jokes” that will sail right over their heads.  I’m almost 35, and I got every single inside joke and I thought they were hilarious, but someone ten or fifteen years younger or older might not get them.  Small children probably won’t get the Close Encounter or Beverly Hills Cop or a slew of other references.  As for the dramatic scenes… well, Pixar has proven that they are kings at giving you drama without stopping the action.  Sure, they slow down, but stuff is still going on, even while Mr. Incredible is explaining how he failed.  The Dreamworks people are still a bit clunky in this respect.  They want to have a serious or heartfelt moment between two characters and the entire movie grinds to a halt so we can see it.

Should you go see it?  Even with the problems I mentioned, I would.  But definately see it at a theater that is showing it in 3D.  You miss half of the awesome without 3D.  But even in 3D, if a few overly dramatic halts and inside jokes are going to spoil it for you, then you should pass on this one.


So, another year ends.

In 2001 I had a pretty horrible year. I got caught in the downturn of the economy for IT professionals and what should have been 1 or 2 weeks between jobs turned into 5 months. Then some shitheads flew a couple of planes into the World Trade Center, and what should have been 5 months turned into 8. I actually had 3 interviews lined up for the few days after 9/11, but by 9/12 every one of them closed their doors in a hiring freeze. I think the tragedy of 9/11 is exactly that. It was the worst single day in the lives of lots of people, but more than 2 years away from the shock and awe of that event, I mostly only recall that it extended my unemployment for 3 months, and added in excess of two thousand dollars to my already mountainous pile of debt.

In all honestly, when 2002 rolled around, I figured that I had just survived the worst year of my life. And as 2002 progressed, I felt that was accurate… until December 31st, 2002. That was the day my mother called me to let me know that she had cancer.

2003, as it turns out, would wind up dwarfing 2001 in personal pain and hardship. From day 1 life started to spiral downward as my mother started her chemo treatments. In February, we found out that the cancer was terminal, but that she had 2 years or more left because she was responding well to the treatment. In March, due to complications of a prior surgery, chemo had to be stopped and my mother entered the hospital. On March 17th, my mother came home from the hospital. Because the treatments had been stopped, and because of the prior surgery, the cancer had spread quickly. On March 26th, my mother passed away.

The rest of the year followed as many might expect. My mother was very important to me, and the loss of her darkened everything. Everyone in my family had to go through their first birthday without her around… first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, and first Christmas. 9 months later and everyone in my family is outwardly okay, but I know for myself that inside it still hurts.

So what does 2004 promise to bring?

More of the same unfortunately… Everyone keeps telling me it will get easier, but so far, the only person I believe is the one who said, “My father has been dead for 13 years, and it still hurts.” Hopefully though, there will be more to this year, and in some ways, after even only 2 days into it, there already is as I’ve been (sort of) given a promotion at work. No extra pay, but more responsibility. We’ll have to wait and see how that all works out…

2004… one day at a time…

December and Christmas…

As December decends upon us, it is clear that the time is nigh to draw close the books on 2003.

I’m not feeling particularly jolly this year. In March my mother died, and from all I ever saw, the holidays from Halloween to Christmas was her favorite time of year. So as a result, this being the first year without her, I’m stuck in a funk. I just can’t seem to get happy.

Add in to that the fact that my job is… well… unsatisfying, and that finding a new one isn’t going too good… add to that that I’m still mostly broke with the same pile of debt I had last year (though it seems bigger)…

In all of this though, I have become decidedly clear on one thing. If I had a million dollars, do you know what I would do?

I’d buy the rights to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Sure, that sounds to be a horribly poor choice of where to spend the money, but I want to bring back something that I miss from my youth. See, a long time ago, Republic, the company that owned the rights to the movie wasn’t enforcing them, so, every TV station would show “It’s a Wonderful Life” about ten or a thousand times from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

The movie itself isn’t the most fabulous thing in the world, in fact, when it opened in the theater, it bombed. The story isn’t terribly fantastic, and these days you’d almost consider it a “cookie cutter” Christmas tale. But as I was growing up, there was something magical about it. I’d be waking up for school and while eating breakfast I’d flip on the TV, and George would be yelling about finding Zuzu’s pettles… then I’d come home, and sure enough, George was getting boxed in the ear for not delivering the pills… on Saturday, George would be jumping into the lake to save his brother and messing up his ear… Wednesday, they’d be singing “Buffalo Gals won’t you come out tonight”… Every time you had a few minutes before getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you’d catch a minute here or a minute there… you’d be flipping the channels looking for something to watch for 10 minutes until the show you wanted to see came on… it was there, in the background, blending in and hiding away, sometimes you wouldn’t even realize that you’d actually watched the movie three or four times, although never at a single sitting… until finally, you’d pick a time and set your mind to settling down and watching it… but even if you didn’t, it didn’t matter, because you’d seen it, it was there….

Then through the legalities of the business world, someone found out they owned the rights and pulled in their strings. It only airs once or twice a year now. I bought it on video (and then on DVD), but its just not the same… there’s something missing, something less about it now…

So that’s what I would do… If I had a million dollars, I’d buy the rights to “It’s a Wonderful Life”…

And then I’d let everyone who wanted to to show it as often as they wanted to, for free.

19 March 2001

Just Talking
Sometimes it just feels good to put things on paper, so to speak.
When I write here, even though I am fairly sure that no one is reading it, it still feels better once I put things here. Get them said, in a manner of speaking.
It’s almost 8 AM here in the city of Atlanta.. Nope, not up early.. up late. 🙂
Finally reached a goal last night that I have had for a long time. Over a year in fact. I made 50th level in EverQuest with my first character.
Of course, its largely meaningless now since Verant made the level cap 60 a while back.
On a good note though, I just sent out an email for a job that I would like to have. Not going to jinx it by talking too much about it. Just, if you read this page, think good thoughts for me.

8 March 1999

Let me start with this. Stanley Kubrick is dead. He’ll be missed. I’m going to have a screening of 2001: A Space Oddessy and A Clockwork Orange tonight. If you know where I live, feel free to drop by.
Next on the list, wisdom teeth. I had mine pulled on Friday. Egads! It hurts like nothing else. And I can’t eat. But I do have some wicked pain killers. So at least I got something out of it.
So I’m sitting at home all weekend, just watching TV, some DVDs and chatting on the PC in IRC. And my ex-girlfriend and I talk quite a bit. It’s odd I guess, but she and I seem to talk just as much as we used to. I think I like that. But then there is this other girl I’ve been kind of seeing (who might just give me hell if she reads this here) who didn’t say two words to me all weekend. It seems its always like that. I’ve been running an odd sort of experiment and I’m sad to say the result were what I expected. You see, I noticed that I was starting all our conversations. So I decided that I would wait for her to say the first words. We’ve barely spoken in over a week now.
All of this reminds me of a movie I saw, and not really the whole movie, but just one line, one idea. Which is better: to be with someone for the wrong reasons, or alone for the right ones? In my relationships, I’ve always tried to be right, to end things when I became aware I was sticking around for the wrong reasons. This girl, she just got out of one of those “love of my life” kind of relationships. And I totally understand that, I had one myself once. And I get this feeling that maybe I’m the “I just don’t want to be alone” guy. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions. Maybe I’m reading too much into nothing. Maybe… maybe I’m not.
I was alone for 4 and 1/2 years because I needed to be, and because I didn’t want to be wrong. I don’t recommend the experience to anyone. 4 and 1/2 years without someone in your life, it’s hell, it’s even worse when you try starting over again. But my unique perspective gives me pause, and makes me wonder… did she wait long enough? did she wait at all? does she need to? Some people don’t. Some people can hop right back in the saddle like they never fell off. But… I just don’t read the situation that way.
Perhaps it’s something I should take up with her instead of typing it out here to no one in particular, and I will. I just don’t know when… when is a good time for something like this?
Today’s Movie: Somekind of Wonderful. It’s the movie that the idea above came from. Good movie. Go see it.