Thursday, December 29, 2011

Failing. Again.


So, last night I got 0 pages of writing done. In my defense, I'm really trying to finish this corporate video, and it's complicated. I'm having to re-create about 9 openings to TV shows, and that means a lot of After Effects work.

I'm currently doing the Arrested Development one, but really didn't have the time to take the proper photos of the actors involved. So I'm going through footage and exporting frames to create stills(and then I have to mask them out like they're clip-art)...

A lot of work.

Then today, I have no writing done. Had some other horseshit(read: paying-the-bills stuff) to do, and had to go BACK to the eyedoctors because the new glasses they gave me are blurry.

After going, and checking my prescription, it turns out the lady ordering the glasses LEFT OUT A DIGIT. So my left lens, instead of being axis 156 she ordered axis 15.

So, I'm gonna do a little more editing and then try to write some more. Will let ya know if I did. Because you should be on me like white on rice, telling me what a lazy piece of shit I am, and I should get my writer's ass in gear and start piling up the pages!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ha! Look! Procrastination!


Got home tonight from shooting at like 8pm. Think we got all the footage we need.

Not fun though. Some was out in the car, and it's pouring rain. Also, one guy we were supposed to shoot, who called out yesterday which is why we're shooting today instead--he shows up and says he can only shoot until 1:30pm. So we have to shoot ALL his parts in 3 hours.

What a fuckin' douche.

Anyway, home, am dumping footage to my hard drive, and came back over here to start writing! No TV or video games or editing until I get 10 pages done.

So I start writing, get about a page and a half done, so I come over here real fast...you know, to get this done. Procrastinating! Damn, this writing shit is hard. Always has been.

There's yer update! Just so you know, I was at pg 41 yesterday, got to page 45 last night. Will update this with where I am when I stop. So this blog can keep me honest.

Also, just so you know, listened to the new The Thing score by Marco Beltrami(which is really the only thing good about the prequel) while I wrote yesterday, and right now am listening to the 1988 Blob score by Michael Hoenig.

UPDATE(12:12am): Man, writing is hard! :) I am on page 51, so I am far short of my goal. I'm not sure how I'm doing, but the good news is that I've given myself chills twice(there's creepy stuff going on in this thing).

It has 54 scenes so far, which sort of worries me, as that's more than a scene a page, but I've been writing it as if I was breaking it down, meaning that if my main guy goes from the living room to the kitchen, it's two slug lines(and therefore 2 scenes).

Whereas if I was writing it to be read for others, I would simply put:
Bobby stands up.

IN THE KITCHEN

Bobby strolls in and snags a beer from the 'fridge.

Easier to read, but a freakin' nightmare if you forget to break that down in the shooting script as a separate scene. (ESPECIALLY if the kitchen and the living room are in different houses, which is very possible!)

Anyway, think I'm throwing in the towel on the writing. I really do have to get some editing done, as that's on a real deadline and I'm getting paid for that...

Scores listened to tonight: Candyman, Children of the Corn, a tiny piece of The Village(wasn't the right feel), H2(good score for a shitty, shitty movie) and Halloween H20.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Xmas Over


Super. I have grown to dislike it greatly. I'm not sure why. It just seems like a massive pain in the ass now.

Have shot about 70% of the video for my buddy's company and edited it all(including tons of After Effects work). Will post it here when it's done. It's got some funny parts, I think.

Am going to shoot the rest tomorrow, so I'm about to take an ambien and go to sleep.

I also decided, in a fit of irrationality, that I WILL FINISH A SCREENPLAY IN 5 DAYS. That's right, I started this one screenplay--I shit you not--five years ago. I have like 40 pages done.

I'm kind of angry at myself, so I decided today to attempt to finish it before the new year. I banged out 3 pages today, which is far short of the average 9 per day I think I need.

So tomorrow night I gotta sit down and really get to work. I probably won't do it, but I'll get close. Time to turn that TV off, put on some movie soundtracks, and really get back to the vibe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Title of Next Dexter Book: Dexter Sucks Ass


Only based on the show. Because let me tell you, the show has some of the worst writing going on in the biz...(very very slight spoilers follow)

Let me count the ways...

From Dexter's sudden propensity for saying the amazingly obvious("He's eating a hot dog. He must be hungry.")...

...to inexplicable fits of Dexter being retarded(someone knocks Dexter out, he wakes up and sees a trap door WITH A TABLE ON TOP OF IT and thinks, "He must have gone down there...". If so, genius, how did he pull the trap door on top of himself and THEN move a table on top?)...

...to convenient plot creations(the police have found multiple homicides at a house, but they don't go in because "they're waiting for Dexter"...would never happen--cops would have to go in to clear the house, look for anyone who might be hurt--it only happens plot-wise because there's something inside that would incriminate Dexter.)...

...to convenient character motivations/actions that make no sense. This is happening EVERYWHERE, but the latest was last night. Dexter gets dunked in the ocean, but manages to make it to shore. His sister rushes in to find him at home, saying that the police found his wallet washed ashore(so she naturally assumed he was dead). She's overjoyed to see him, but that's where the convo stops. No question of "Hey, why was your wallet in the ocean? Why are your clothes wet?" (I feel like I missed something, because later she says "You almost died", and I'm wondering, did I miss the cover story he concocted? )

...to Dexter acting very un-Dexter-like. I understand their thinking that they need Dexter to grow as a character, but change and growth are different. For a guy who's always "I don't have any feelings", he constantly has them. And I don't think it's a matter of the character lying to himself.

Really, a show that went from pretty strong to pretty weak, pretty fast.

Fantasy Football


Not sure how, but once again my fantasy football team is kicking ass. Didn't think it was that great(and let me tell you, I have the weakest receiving corps I've ever had due to injury replacements...)

Also noteable, the top two teams are actually in the final game, which rarely happens.

I'm obviously the Marauders, if you wanna check the stats there. Will let you know if I win.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Casual Fucking Filmmaking


This area seems to have become pretty big on indy filmmaking, and a lot of them are using people from my crews, so I hear a lot of stories.

And they're REALLY frustrating to hear about. There's a ton of money, time, and wasted talent going into some super half-assed productions. I mean, productions with directors who drink on set while directing(and I'm not talking A beer), directors with no shot list or shooting script, and now...

...now I hear about a local film shoot that is starting to shoot with only about 3/4 of the script actually written. That's right, they don't even have a completed script. So you know the part they're shooting now has got to be draft 1...

There is literally only one thing we no-budget filmmakers can do as well as the big studios with deep pockets, and that is WRITE A GREAT SCRIPT. Spend a lot of time on it and do multiple re-writes until that thing is as good as can be.

And these guys, these local chumps, are spending a decent chunk of change(more than any single one of my movies has cost) to shoot draft 1 of their piece of shit script.

Meanwhile they got a bigger crew than I've ever had, they have people volunteering to work for free and bend over backwards for them...I don't get it...

On the GOH front, Chad has delivered the entire six-minute deleted scene that will go online shortly. It. Is. Unbelievable. So much better than the movie it will be in.

Man...can't wait to hear more, and to unleash it. Here, listen to a tiny snippet of it...

Monday starts more filming for another "Office" video...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Looms


and I've only bought 2 gifts. A new TV for the wife(our living room TV went out--and I only watch TV up there when we eat dinner together, which isn't that often--we've got weird schedules), and an ipad for my 8 year old.

I know, I don't have an ipad, why should he? Well, since I paid for all of it(my wife insists she and her parents are going to pitch in), I'm considering it partially my ipad too.

Hey, good news though. Remember that teaching job I did for a few weeks before they stopped paying? They owed me $2400, and that was like 8 months ago.

I finally got proactive and emailed the CCO, the CFO and human resources and sort of threatened to do stuff like create web pages about their company as well as email the companies whose workers I taught to tell them about how the company is run.

That was Friday. On Monday they overnighted a check for the full amount to me, along with a sternly-worded letter that said they'd sue me if I did any of that stuff.

So I guess I won't be teaching there any more, but at least I got what was owed me.

A buddy of mine owns pretty much the largest antique doll company in the world now. They have a big auction in LA at the end of every year, and a few years back they asked me to direct/edit some "The Office" like episodes about their family.

We've done 2 so far, and they're both online if you're bored. The second one is better, but still features a lot of in-jokes you may not get.

The 2008 one

The 2009 one

We're prepping the third one, and it should be the best of the bunch. We'll be parodying a lot of TV show openings, so it's requiring a lot more After Effects work than normal.

I also found a completely ridiculous thing we did for Muvico, the now-out-of-biz theater company. Will upload it soon.

GOH misery continues, but whatever. I'm as bored of talking about it as you are of hearing about it...

Friday, December 02, 2011

Music on GOH


Was having a hard time getting in touch with my composer on GOH. He was on across the pond in London and Tokyo and a couple of other places doing a tour for a video game(omitted because Andrew is paranoid) thing he created.

He got back and THAT day emailed me to tell me he was ready to get on GOH. Sounded excited.

Then I heard nothing. Sent him a couple of emails. Nothing.

Finally email-bombed him, and he replied. He apologized, but he'd been swamped with work for this other huge company I won't name but you might be able to figure it out by the only licensed name in this post. And if you post the name in the comments I will delete it.

Because he's wrapping that up now, but he's psyched to start GOH. The kicker is that he's going to be able to get some live orchestra on pieces of GOH, and he's bringing his whole mixing crew also, and he's billing that big company for it because they're not gonna know.

This is awesome stuff. He normally does great work because he's an awesome composer and has some great libraries that sound like true orchestra. But LIVE players are incredibly expensive, so nobody ever uses them.

He's still hopeful he'll get the "deleted" scene done this month, and then the other stuff will follow. Really no big deal because I don't plan on premiering the film until March or April.

Can't wait to hear some new stuff.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Fear Goes Away


Quick thoughts today. Bleak, as normal.

I was just thinking about HH, and the thought occurred to me that as a writer you will never ever write the same thing in one period of life as another. Like, today if I had never written HH, I don't think I could write it.

The same way I am writing things today that I never could have written back then. I'm in a different mindset now than back then.

Which leads me to panic a little, because I feel like if I don't write something NOW, the time may pass and I'll never write that thing that could have been so great. It will elude me forever.

THAT lead me to thinking more about stuff like Why isn't John Carpenter making great horror movies like he used to? And Why isn't Stephen King's new stuff nowhere near as good as his old stuff?

And I think it's because you stop being afraid of stuff as you get older, at least, the supernatural/extraterrestrial/weird stuff. Your fears become so much more mundane that your imagination stops playing all those crazy what ifs it used to play.

I mean, I can remember walking home at night after watching Nightmare on Elm Street for instance, and I walked in the middle of the road so there would be no chance Freddy could jump out at me. Did I REALLY think he would? No. But still...

Nowadays, I'd walk down the sidewalk because Freddy isn't gonna jump out at me.

Sidebar: Anybody watch Fact or Faked on Syfy? Love the show. Super spotty on the science/investigation, but they do see some neat stuff, and the videos they discover are pretty cool. But what happened to the Asian chick this year? She got replaced by a black chick with no explanation.

Kinda wish I believed in ghosts, 'cause at least that would give me something to be scared of. I guess they COULD sort of exist...