Tuesday, September 27, 2005

4:38 AM

It is, in fact, insanely late here in LA. I've been working on a computer all night that has some sort of virus/bug in the system, and so it freezes and needs to be shut down every ten to fifteen minutes, losing whatever work I've done in the meantime. I don't mind editing, but I can run out of patience with it very quickly. And having been working at a snail's pace for seven hours now, I'm just about fed up with the whole mess. But I can't go home and sleep - tomorrow night it's someone else's turn to use the broken computer, and someone else's the next day, and the movie's due the day after that. I need to have this picture locked tonight, regardless of circumstances. And on that note, I'm going back to work.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Peruse at your leisure

I'm posting two scripts here, but I promise that this time I'm not begging desperately for help.

Here's the final copy of "Dark." It wasn't selected, but I'm hoping someday that I'll revamp it and make it, or hand it over to someone to make. Either way, here's the copy I turned in.

And here's a script that I'm actually interested in having your opinion on. This is the script for the boxing short that I've been handed. I have two weeks to re-write the script. I'm not looking for specific re-writes here as I am for just crazy ideas. What could I do with it?

Scott Free

Good news! I've started work at Scott Free Productions. This is very cool, in case you didn't know. I'm not allowed to tell you too much, I'm sorry to say - I'm under the veil of secrecy inherent to working at a film producer's office. But I'll tell you what I can, falling on the old standby of a pros and cons list. The good news is that the pros easily outweigh the cons:

  1. No one trusts me yet.
  2. The company has a new president, which means that everyone is really careful about secrecy, and no one lets me read anything cool.
  3. They don't really have anything for me to do. Yesterday I sorted the metal brads in the copy room. No one had asked me to.
  4. Interns are sort of invisible in this business.
  5. People are mad because I don't have a car and have to bike my K-Mart bike to work, and therefore cannot deliver any packages for them.
  1. As time goes on, they're going to begin to let me read cooler and cooler scripts.
  2. I'm working for a film producer. How cool is that?
  3. Free snacks and soda.
  4. Mondays are free buffet, and the rest of the week they order out for food. Everyone gets $7.50 of credit towards lunch. Except for interns. They have no cap whatsoever.
  5. I'm given lots of free time to work on my scripts, if I want.
  6. Everyone is quite incredibly nice.
  7. My supervisor is just about the coolest guy west of the Mississippi. He finds all the secrecy ridiculous, and tries to find me interesting scripts that I'm allowed to read. And whenever I come in the office, he pretends he's not busy, and doesn't have anything to do besides talk to me.
  8. On my first day, I got to work on a network TV interview about French actresses.
  9. I find running errands sort of fun. Yesterday I spent $96 on a bow to go on a gift that someone was giving. That's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
  10. It's only two and half miles from where I live. So I can bike there. I don't need a car.

Case closed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

People tell me boxing movies make lots of money

Good news! I was selected yesterday as one of the eight directors for LAFSC! My apartment did extraordinarily well, as three directors and three scripts came from our group. Off the top of my head, this means that in mathematical terms, our little group, a mere 5% of LAFSC's population, seems to have 37.5% of its talent. Not bad. (Keep this fact in mind. It will be important later in the post.)

"Dark" was, unfortunately, not selected. I cannot deny that I was at first disappointed, especially after reading some of the selected scripts. But I've come around. The various scripts were selected, not on the basis of being better than anyone else's, but on being different, something that the professors hadn't seen before. So we have a wide range of very strange movies. Which is fantastic. And troubling. Here's why:

Of the eight directors, three had their scripts selected as well. Two of them decided to direct their own, while one went the other way and directed someone else's. Which left us with five scripts among five directors. And a couple of those no one wanted to do. We had until the next morning to make a decision.

I had two scripts that I really liked and wanted to pursue - a boxing movie set in the deep South, and a messed-up fairy tale about a servant who does all the rescuing while the Prince gets all the credit. I liked the boxing script best, though, and wanted to pursue it. But two other directors really liked it, and it was the only one they wanted. So I decided to step aside as the two directors wooed the writer. But later that night, after the second director had finished her pitch and left, I told the writer, who lives in our apartment (see paragraph one) that I didn't want to get in anyone's way, but I really wanted to direct the script, too. He asked me why. I told him. He went to bed. And I thought that was the end of it.

The next morning, before I left for class, he told me that he really liked my pitch, that my ideas for the film lined up with his perfectly, and he really wanted me to direct the script.

And the plot? Thickens.

I arrived at the Center all aflutter. I really wanted to shoot the boxing film, but what about the other directors? And what about the fairy tale? I was afraid if it ended up in the hands of someone who didn't see the promise there as a great movie, it would end up being yet another tired Python retread. I couldn't bear it. So I decided (await the courageous decision here) to just float on and hang on until there was a sea change. And fortunately, one came.

Vanessa Roggio asked to direct the fairy tale, and the writer conferred with me and we agreed that she should get the chance. Vaness was awfully excited about the script, and knowing that I was leaving the script in enthusiastic hands left me convinced - I had to direct the boxing movie. And so I am. And I can't tell you how excited I am about it.

There's a flip-side, of course. One of the directors who wanted the boxing movie is directing a script about grandmas who act like teenagers, and is awfully unexcited at the prospect. The other is directing a live-action offshoot on Monster's Inc. - but, she's very enthused about it, so I feel pretty good there. And now that I've got my production team assembled, I'm wild about the project. I've got a really good group: Asburians, you'll remember Susan Harper, of course - she's my DP (director of photography); while Laura Hunt is one of my producers. And though none of you readers know any of the other members, they're all top quality: enthusiastic, fun, creative, and talented. So life is good.

And looking back on it, I can't think of any better way for this to turn out. I have an opportunity here, a chance to do something truly amazing. A chance I wouldn't have had if my script had been chosen. And though I can be pretty prideful in regard to scripts and stories - I freely admit that it's true. And I'm thrilled that it is.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

... and Jack Black was there

Beck played a surprise show at the El Rey tonight, which is right next to the LAFSC. Did I get to go? 'Fraid not. The El Rey's tiny, and tickets sold out too fast. Jack Black went, though. We saw him outside, hanging. So instead of kicking it with Jack at the Beck show, I perfected a storyboard, did some pre-production, drew a picture of a girl in a red dress for someone else's project also shooting tomorrow, and sat in the Center and talked to the other people stuck doing work. While Beck played. A hundred feet away.

This is the second of two amazingly cool shows I have missed by a very slim margin (the Wallflowers played for free just down the road a week or so ago). Which is sad, but plans are in the works to hit some of the cooler small shows around, and we're also planning on seeing David Crowder with Shane and Shane, and also the New Amsterdams, and Copeland. So things are looking up.

In other news, the following people are outstandingly cool:

Erin Schumaker
Ben Peracchio
Jeremy White
Beth Coakley
Justin Ladd
Ashleigh Graves
my Dad

These people are cool because they're the sort of people to whom you can send a screenplay, unannounced, the day before it's due to be turned in, and they still find the time to read and give thoughtful commentary on the piece. Yet another example of why my friends are cooler than me.

Production on "Always Got It" starts today!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The latest of many pleas for help: "Dark"

I finally finished a typed draft of "Dark," my eight-minute non-dialogue script for our film production class. I turn it in on Thursday at 5:oo PM (PST), so any critique you could give me before then would be wildly helpful. My script will go into competition with 50 other scripts to be one of the eight films produced this semester, and I'd like to give my script the best chance it could possibly have. If you have a moment, please: go and review the script. I welcome all criticism, helpful or not - even something as banal as "I didn't like it." Or, conversely (and preferably), "I liked it." I just want some reaction to work with.

The first copy of "Dark"

Electronic Yearbooks and Premature Sentimentality

I created a Facebook profile tonight. I feel very collegiate, and a little foolish. You have to admit it's kind of a dorky endeavor: I'm creating my own page on the world's biggest online yearbook, searching through other entries for faces I know, and sending them (literally!) a "will you be my friend?" notice. If they do, they come over and sign my yearbook, and then later maybe I'll go over and sign theirs. I don't know what you're supposed to do if they don't want to be your friend. I'm no fan of e-begging. Still, it's awfully nice to be connected. I threw out a bunch of wistful invitations, and by the time I finished, I had three new friends. Plus, hopefully I can catch up on all my Asbury gossip this way.

I trekked over to the Roggios to get my hair cut tonight, and Vanessa and Johnny insisted that they throw in an old video they found of me from our freshman year during spring semester Midnight Breakfast. We sat down and watched it, and I'll tell you, lads, times have changed. I'm not saying the current edition of me is necessarily much improved, but at least I've slowed down a little. White as a ghost and rail-skinny, I was bouncing around hyperactively and pounding people wildly on the back, talking a mile a minute. My favorite bit was me holding Paula in a headlock while whacking her in a friendly fashion on the top of the head. "This is Paula," I announce proudly to the camera, as if I'd invented her. Can you be nostalgic for your college years before you leave them? Because tonight, at least, I am.

Good times, good times.

Shooting script of the coffeehouse script, now re-titled "Always Got It," is up for comments. As always, I appreciate your critique. Special thanks goes to Beth, Peracchio, and Smash, who helped edit the last copy, and to Queue and Jonathan, who've thrown in their two cents as well.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Let That Be Enough

I first heard this song back in high school, and I always wondered if it'd be true for me. As I lay in bed last night, the tune came back to me, and I realized that, in every way, it was. I'm not one for posting song lyrics, but here they are.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rigged (Commentary)

Co-Director Ben Wyman and Star Justin Ladd sit back, relax, and jokingly dissect this romantic comedy/heist in a late-night session where nothing is sacred.

troubles? watch it back on vMix.