Friday, August 29, 2008

Trying to get the groove back.

Been off for the last couple of weeks. Off the day job, and pretty much off from the writing thing. The time off was GREAT. Saw a couple of friends get married, took a ton of pictures at the stag and wedding, and hung out with a couple of friends from out of town. So after such a memorable pair of weeks, I gotta now figure out how to shift back into work mode. And by work, I mean writing.

Well, the focus is still screenwriting. The TV pilot and screenplay #1. So the other day I watched Miami Vice (the movie). Next up is season 1 of Heroes, which I haven't seen in over a year. After that, I'll probably re-watch Season 4 of Lost (I'd watch every season but my dvds have been loaned out to friends and family.) The tricky thing, I guess, is finding the right inspiration and then eventually admitting that it's all bullshit. Man-up. Sit down and write.

One thing that helps is the little victories. A week after I received notification from the Nicholl Fellowship stating my screenplay did NOT make it to the quarter finals, I received another letter from them. The same one. I didn't make it. Not once, but twice in the same competition.

That must be a record.

But.... then I looked down at the bottom of the letter. Underneath Mr. Beal's signature was a little handwritten note: "Close - in the top 10%"

Wicked. Wicked cool.

I know that I'm not the only person to get that. I know it wasn't a "personal" note. But the point is that was a victory for me. Especially considering that this particular screenplay has been a curse. I wanted to know if I was on the right track with my revisions. And now I know thanks to Greg Beal.

I'll take that little victory the way I took positive feedback from friends on mere ideas. Anything positive to fuel my "improbability drive." Anything to help me sit, and stare down that blank page.

I won't blink. And eventually, I'll jot down a thing or two.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Doh ver. 1.2

Wednesday night, I had a good talk about the tv pilot with Mark, my writing partner (and hopefully future contributor to this blog). So in a way... some work got done on it (don't forget; Bailey has scars, Miranda doesn't). But it feels like I slacked off since I was planning on going to a coffee shop to do a pass or two on a scene. You see, everything was going according to plan, then "work" got in the way. I left late. Mark called and asked if I wanted to meet up for a beer.


Sure, I could use a beer. Initially, I turned him down. Got work to do. But then I saw my plan go out the window. (the plan was complicated, relying on the TTC [uh...] and the ability to leave work on time [yeah, right]) So what ended up happening was the usual shits and giggles, some brainstorming, followed by the requisite "We're geniuses. This is G-O-L-D."

Uh-huh. Then of course, I end up feeling like crap the next morning. And guilty. Guilty hangover.

The interesting thing was our conversation about character. The pilot is an ensemble and we had slightly differing opinions on who you could call the main character. Actually, we agreed on which character is becoming numero uno, but it's not who we originally intended to be the protagonist, our Jack Sheppherd. Our Malcom Reynalds. Our Bugs Bunny.

Now, this is not a bad thing. Characters are coming to life, taking over the story and all that other crap writers say when they're buzzing from a creative burst. The only thing that concerns me is that - at least as far as the way I write - this is a sign that the former main character has been somewhat neglected. I mean, this is an ensemble, but imagine if the crew behind LOST were developing their stories and designing their characters... and Locke suddenly became Bernard. Or Dr. Artz.

So, while I agree that our new protag will fill that role nicely and won't change that, at some point me and Mark are gonna have to put some serious thought into this other, neglected character. 'Cause when characters come to life, it's awesome. Until they knock on your door with a chip on their shoulder and slap you around for neglecting them.
Either that, or they start a band.
A grunge band.
A whiny grunge band.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Progress ver. 1

From about 12:30am until 2am this morning, I finally got some work done on the tv pilot. One scene. One scene, rewritten about three times. And then I couldn't sleep until about, oh... 4:30am. Tricky thing was there were a lot of characters in the scene, and the show is an ensemble. Everyone's trying to put there two cents in and I realized it came down to the pov of the one character who's the most emotionally invested in the situation. And if his pov or motivation clashes with say... his son, then perfect. Conflict. Drama. Just add water. (ok, there's a little more involved that that.)

In other news, someone is getting married soon and their stag is this weekend. Paintball and Pubs. How much fun is that? Lots. I'll be bringing the camera (my new Canon Rebel XSI) but am a little irked that my trial copy of Lightroom 2 keeps crashing my laptop. What gives?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Still no work done on the tv pilot. Aggravating. Todays distractions
shouldn't put me behind but, man... what a frustrating day. I don't
think a "retail environment" is good for creative energy. But it does
help out in the character development area. Especially if your
characters are all asses.

Not enough Espresso

This is not a drug. It's motivation in a tiny cup and today, it just wasn't enough.

Having a very slow start. I'm usually out the door at this point, but not today. I did my usual web-trolling and there's not a lot of interesting stuff going on in film, literature, or music. Though at some point I'm gonna have to look up the Chris Cornell/Timbaland album. Hey, I'm curious.

Haven't gotten any work done, but soon I'll be combing through the TV pilot. If all goes well, the latest draft will be done by the end of the month and uploaded to Inktip. And if I'm really smart, I'll come up with a plan for this here blog. Or rather, a direction.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why now?

Why now? Why start a blog - or, reboot a blog - now? It's been two years since I touched "Rantaro's Case Journal" and since I "parked" TWIP. So, why now?

I have no answer.

6 years of writing, but the last two (or has it been three?) have been mostly focused on screenwriting. Or rather, screen-re-writing. What a pain in the arse. There's been a desire, a need, to write in prose. I've been wanting to get back to some short stories and in my musings (or frustrations) the notion of maintaining a blog has come up. So why not? But I need a plan.

Over the next little while, I'll tinker with this "template." I'll also try to get some friends on here. We'll link to stories that interest us, probably film or literature related. Music too. Oh, and photography. Maybe some politics? Travel? HANG ON, you say. That's a bit much, you say. Well, it's TWIP. The Weekly Insanity Press. (monthly....KIDDING)

The only thing you can rely on here is unreliability and inconsistency. We'll make it work. I'll make it work. And now, I find myself in need of another coffee. So I'm going to get one, and maybe even pitch this to a friend. Hopefully he'll jump on board.