Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Missed It!

I went back to brush up my AFTER ALICE script before mailing it off to the Austin Film Festival. I was happily reading along when WHAMO there it was... a typo. I felt physical pain.

This spring I had hoped to finish the script in time for the Nicholl. I knew placing was a long shot (like one to a zillion), but I thought it would be fun to give it a try anyway. Worst case scenario, I lose a few bucks. After getting off to a slow start, I gave up hope of submitting this year. I was a bit bummed about it, but kept on writing with my eye on 2008. All of the sudden it began rolling. I finish just in time for the 2007 Nicholl... one day before the deadline, to be exact.

Unfortunately, this left no time for it to sit a few weeks and then return to it with fresh eyes. I did the best I could to proof read it (but sometimes my eyes just auto-correct). I also had my sister read it over to look for errors. But, something was missed.

It isn't the end of the world, of course. Yet, I wanted it to be in the best shape it could be in when I sent it out. Too late now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fox's 'On the Lot'

I watched On the Lot last night. This article pretty much sums up my first impressions. I will probably tune in again next week, but with the hope that the show will get better as the number of contestants narrows.

The worst part of the show was watching the contestants try to pitch based on loglines they had been given. It was actually painful at times. Some of the people clearly had zero knowledge of how to pitch or even what it means. Others were victims of their nerves. I, too, go completely blank when I get very nervous. I cringed for them.

If that was not bad enough, they then had to form groups of three to write, direct, and edit a short film in just 24 hours. Having to work with strangers is very difficult. In college I had fits over group projects (perhaps I don't work well with others). It is unfair to judge someone on the work of others, particularly others that they did not select for any professional merit.

I would have enjoyed the show more if it had shown some of the short films that had been submitted. These challenges were at times interesting, but not what I had expected.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Art of Compromise

Writing with a partner has many ups and downs. I have learned a lot from the experience. There are many benefits, but as Ted Elliott said, "It doesn't make it easier." The art of compromise is constantly at the forefront.

The biggest asset to working with another writer on a project is having two different minds which are generating ideas. One of us will make a suggestion and the other person will improve the concept and so on. There is much to be said for writing chemistry. We have definitely come up with ideas together that we would not have come up with alone.

Yet, when you have two people with different notions of which ideas will work best and which direction to take the story it can be stressful. When do you compromise? When do you fight for a concession from the other guy?

My writing partner and I are currently working on a rewrite of our script. We have both had to bend. In the end, the story is not exactly what either one of us would have written, but it is, hopefully, something better.

So, I will take two aspirin and prepare for our discussion on the latest notes we have received.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

FD For Sale

Have you ever had one of those days that just made you want to quit?


I hope to feel better tomorrow. Otherwise my FD goes to the highest bidder.

Do I hear $.05?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What's Up Next?

Though the current script is still a work in progress, I am beginning to think about what I plan to write next. There are a couple of ideas I have toyed with over the past few months. My partner also has some ideas that we have discussed pursuing.

My first script, After Alice, was a dramedy. I was nervous about the comedy aspect. With some help and encouragement from a girl who knows comedy I forged ahead. I ended up with a script that made those who read it laugh. I was funny! Who knew?

I was then approached by my partner to do a comedy. I was a little intimidated by the prospect, but with the little bit of confidence I had gained writing my last script I thought I should go for it. It was a blast. Writing comedy is fun! And whatever our script may or may not be, I think it is funny.

What is up next? I don't know yet. I am at a place where I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I am keeping my mind open to genres that I had not intended to try my hand at writing. Why not?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One Draft Down

Last night my partner and I finished our first draft. It was exciting. We had done it! The script needs some work, but it is on its way. We have decided to take a moment to breath before we begin the task of rewriting.

This crazy partnership experiment worked. It worked really well. We managed to not only resist the temptation to cause one another bodily harm, but we had a lot of fun! In the process, we learned a lot about our strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to our best advantage. I guess "rebel without a cause and sound of music" do make a good team.

So, what will I be doing with my night off? The same thing I do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!"

Friday, May 11, 2007

No Smoking!

I just read this BBC article and this CNN article concerning the announcement by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) that it would now take smoking into account along with sex, violence and adult language when classifying movies. I was interested because both the script I finished in April and the one I am currently working on involve characters that smoke.

What are your thoughts about the announcement?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Lesson Learned?

I am making good progress on act two. The second act always scares me a bit, but it is going surprisingly well. I am working from a great outline (something rare for me). It has made act two look much friendlier. Hmm... perhaps I just learned a lesson!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Girls vs. Boys

I like the idea of having a writing partner that is a girl like me. We see the world through female eyes. We understand the mysteries of womanhood. Let's face it, there are just things that guys will never understand.

But, my writing partner is not a girl. This makes for an interesting creative dynamic. We bring two different sets of views on life; the girl view and the boy view. I think this adds a lot to the writing.

This also can cause conflict. Here is an example from our discussion last night:

Him: She wouldn't say that.

Me: Yes, she would.

Him: She wouldn't say that. It's cheesy.

Me: Girls say things like that. She would definitely say that.

Him: You love cheese. I'm telling you, she wouldn't say that.

Me: Yes, she would. And she'd cry.

Him: She wouldn't cry.

Me: Yes, she would. A girl would totally cry at that moment.

Him: No. I don't want her to cry. What is wrong with you today?

Me: I have PMS. Do you really want to fight with a girl who has PMS?

Him: I have lost my will to live.

Me: Fine. She doesn't cry.

I lost that one. As Charles De Gaulle would say, "Annabel has lost a battle. But Annabel has not lost the war!"

Friday, May 4, 2007

Last Night

Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead

We were really rolling on the new spec last night. Then my partner took a five hour dinner break... I am guessing something shiny or jiggly caught his attention. But, it worked out. I went over to chat with some old buddies at Artful Writer (Ronson and three guys all, oddly enough, named Dan). My favorite cowboy agreed to read "After Alice". He is very busy right now, but I hope to get some feedback from him before I send it off to the Austin Film Fest . The deadline is a few weeks away, so I have time to fiddle with it.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Under Pressure

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me

Less than five hours after mailing out "After Alice", I began work on another spec. This spec represents a big change for me. It is a different genre and I am working with a partner. Oh, and did I mention we are trying to bang it out in 30 days?

I have toyed with the idea of writing with a partner for awhile. I like the idea of collaborating. Writing is a lonely business and there is something comforting about having someone running the race with you. So, when I was approached with the idea of teaming up I jumped at it.

My writing partner and I are very different people. It is like, "Rebel Without a Cause meets Sound of Music". Yet, it works. We get along swimmingly. We balance each other out.

We are working along at a good steady pace. The first three days we got an amazing amount accomplished considering the amount of time we spent laughing (we think we are quite humorous). Last night we learned the key to writing together is writing separately. It only took an hour and a half of bickering about the description following the introduction of a minor character to figure this out. But, we are back on track now.

We set some very ambitious deadlines. Fortunately, I work pretty well under pressure. Yet, there is that rebellious part of me that balks at writing just because I know I have to do it. Hence the reason I am here talking about writing rather the getting the job done.

Under pressure
Under pressure

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Into the Wild Blue Yonder

I mailed my script off to the Nicholl yesterday. Right now it should be somewhere between Wilmington and Hollywood. My first contest... how exciting!