Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Time Out

I am taking some time off from writing. It isn't a long term break. I just need to spend time focusing on the other parts of my life. My kids are out of school for the summer and my husband is in Africa, so I don't have a lot of extra time on my hands. I have also had some extra stress in my life which has zapped all of my creative energy.

Due to my lack of time for writing at present, IQCrash and I have decided to go separate ways. We had a good time writing together and I learned a lot from the experience. In any case, I wish him all the best!

Right now, I am enjoying the time away from the keyboard. I have decided to use this time to catch up on some of the movies I haven't seen. I am also trying to fit in some extra reading.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Endless Summer

My dad is a surfer. My husband has been all over the world surfing. Now my children are really getting into it. My father took my kids to meet Robert August yesterday. They were so excited! They, of course, then wanted to watch Endless Summer.

Speaking of surfing movies, we went to see Surf's Up this week. The critics didn't like it, but we really enjoyed it! We had been planning to watch it since we first saw the previews, because my dad is an old surfer from the 1960s and his name is Zeke - my kids were amused by the coincidence. Anyway, we thought it was a fun movie.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Coen Brothers

I am currently reading a book called The Coen Brothers by Ronald Bergan. The book isn't fantastic, but there is enough interesting information to make it worthwhile. I wish there were more insights and less filler. In any case, the book has inspired me to add some of their films that I have not yet seen to my Blockbuster online list.

Raising Arizona has been a favorite movie of mine since I was a kid. Do you have a favorite Coen film?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Foiled Again!

I came up with what I thought was a great idea for a screenplay. The idea was original and interesting. My writing partner agreed that it had a lot of potential. The more we worked on it the more we liked it. We came up with a fantastic logline and title. We were making progress on story ideas.

And then it happened... again. My partner stumbled upon an article about a movie in development with a very similar premise. The movie appears to be stuck in development, but what do I know? In any case, we were unable to find any information about the plot other than a very general overview, but even then the major concept seems fairly identical.

So much for "original". Foiled again! (haha)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Note Giving

I have received a lot of notes on my writing over the last few months. I feel very fortunate to have so many helpful and supportive people in my life. The notes, of course, helped to improve the scripts. They also improved my writing skills. Knowing where you excel and where you stink is extremely valuable knowledge! I believe that you need to "go with your gut", but when you are starting out it is good to get a measure of the accuracy of your intuition.

Yet, I had one continuous nagging feeling throughout the process. By the end it was clear to me that I don't give very good notes. I have always tried, but I seem to have fallen short (perhaps here would be a good place to put in an apology to those who have been on the receiving end of my note giving talents). I took notice of the notes I had been given and tried to figure out what made each helpful. I plan to use this information to improve my own skills.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Knock Off?

A Canadian author has sued NBC Universal and director Judd Apatow claiming they ripped off the premise of the hit movie "Knocked Up" from her book of the same name.

I don't know the details of this case, but I am going to guess that this sort of thing happens fairly often. If you have a great idea, it is probably safe to assume that at least a dozen people have had the same great idea. Today I read David Anaxagoras' post about shelving a script upon the discovery of several similar scripts in development. After working on one of my scripts I discovered that there were at least four other writers within my small realm of knowledge working on projects with basically the same premise. Truly unique concepts are precious and few.

The Dark Side

But even when I was just a struggling writer sleeping on the floor of my apartment, I found working screenwriters to be terrific and generous.

Aspiring screenwriters? A mixed lot, I’m sorry to say. Fear can lead to the dark side. - John August (Screenwriters' Dinner)

I read this comment on John August's blog with interest. I don't want to comment for fear of saying too much, but I will say that I can't disagree with his statement. I have had the fortune of meeting some wonderful aspiring screenwriters. I have also met a few creeps. Fear masquerading as arrogance is no replacement for true confidence or talent. It is nice to have the friendship and support of other people taking a similar journey. I guess the key is avoiding those that reek of desperation.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Austin, Austin, Austin

Last week I sent two scripts off to the Austin Film Festival. I hope to attend the festival this year. Among the panelists will be William Broyles Jr., Audrey Wells and Eric Roth. It will be very educational, no doubt. I am sure there will be many interesting people to meet at such a gathering as well. Yet, I always visualize myself as the girl sitting alone at the table in the corner. I never feel like I fit in. I tend to imagine people looking down their noses at me, if they look at all, wondering what I am doing there. Something of a Sanjaya, but without the great hair.

In any case, today I am beginning to work on a fourth rewrite of my last spec. We received some very interesting and helpful notes over the weekend and I look forward to implementing some of them.