Infinite #ZD30SCRIPT – November 26th, 2015

I’m two weeks into scripting my Zero Draft Thirty pilot and I’m killing it. No, really, this week I’ve been in beast mode. Check it, this is a selfie of me writing.


Let’s look at the numbers for proof.

Note: my goals were 3 pages every weekday, 5 pages each weekend day.

Day 7 = 3 pages = script page 26, Act One complete, started Act Two
Day 8 = 3 pages = script page 29, Working out Act Two
Day 9 = 7 pages = script page 36, Punching my way through Act Two
Day 10 = 9 pages = script page 45, Finished Act Two
Day 11 = 3 pages = script page 48, Started Act Three
Day 12 = 6 pages = script page 54, Ended Act Three
Day 13 = 6 pages = script page 60, Middle of Act Four



Since I am such a bad ass this week I decided to start some light reading, too.



Posted in Writing

This #ZD30SCRIPT Life – November 19th, 2015

I’m one week into scripting my Zero Draft Thirty pilot. And I mean scripting, not beat sheets or outlines, actual script pages. How did I do? Did I hit my targets?

Let’s just say I was all…



A reminder, my goals once I started scripting were 3 pages every weekday, 5 pages each weekend day. How did I do?

Day 1 = 3 pages, Teaser
Day 2 = 6 pages = script page 9, Teaser complete, start Act One
Day 3 = 5 pages = script page 14, still in Act One
Day 4 = 3 pages = script page 17, deep in Act One
Day 5 = 3 pages = script page 20, way deep into Act One
Day 6 = 3 pages = script page 23, super deep into Act One

I know some of you might be thinking Act One is running too long but this is a Zero Draft, and the Blindspot pilot ends Act One on page 23.

[insert emoji of me sticking my tongue out at you]

*note to self: learn how to use emojis.

Now to keep up the pace until the end of the month. Wish me luck.

And go listen to This American Life. Especially this episode.


Posted in Writing

All Your Word Are Belong to #ZD30SCRIPT – November 12th, 2015

So I’m doing it. I threw in with Zero Draft Thirty. I’m writing a one-hour pilot this month.


How is it going? So far…

I know my theme.
I know my central conflict.
I know it’s Teaser + Five.


I know my main characters.
I came up with 23 story beats.
I wrote a 3 page beat sheet.
I’ve written an outline for the Teaser through end of Act Two; 5 pages so far.

Tomorrow I start writing actual script pages. From then on out I have 3 pages due each weekday, 5 pages each weekend day. If I hit that number exactly, I’ll have written 63 pages by the end of November 30. Wish me luck.


PS, a big shout-out to my #ZD30SCRIPT buddies Tara & Sylvia.


…in case you were wondering about the title of this post.

Posted in Writing

Looking Back at AFF 2015 – November 5th, 2015

I put my foot in my mouth often. Only at the Austin Film Festival Writers Conference would calling Pamela Ribon “the B.A. Baracus of the fest” — to her face — result in a “save” that turns into a story she can dine out on.


This was my third time attending AFF and, while it has only been four days since I left Austin, I can tell you that it is absolutely the best thing any aspiring writer can do for themselves. Why? Well, yes, the panels are awesome; show of hands, who attended Michael Arndt’s 3.5 hour presentation on insanely great endings?


…pardon, Academy Award winner Michael Arndt (PS, he can’t talk about Star Wars).

And yes, the parties will stuff you so full of brisket that you’ll be crying smokey, beefy tears.


But it might be the sense of community that makes AFF the best fest for writers. I had an amazing time meeting old friends and making new ones. This is why you attend. These are the people that read your next script and give you the notes that’ll propel you in the rankings next year. These are the people that will introduce you to someone looking for a project just like yours. These are your future peers. That’s why you must attend AFF.


Okay, enough of the mushy reminiscing. Time to get back to my Zero Draft Thirty pilot.

Posted in Festivals

AFF 2015 Day 4 – November 1st, 2015

This is it. The last day of the fest. Are you ready?


Let’s do some panels.

10a, Hair of the Dog Brunch – Gotta start the day right. Extra points if you’re still wearing your Halloween costume.

11:30a, Creating and Sustaining a Kick-Ass Writer’s Group – Newsflash: I’m currently in four writers groups so this is pretty much mandatory for me.

1:15p, Building Worlds: The Development Side – I got a few “world building” projects in my future, so it’d be good for me to check this out.


1:15p, ENDINGS: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great with Michael Arndt – Kinda says it all, no?

3p, The Write Program: Labs, Fellowships, Competitions, and Workshops – Seeing as I want to land one of the television writing fellowships so I can muscle my way into a staff writing job, attending this panel is a no brainer.

And that’s a wrap! I’m still around Austin for the rest of today (and some of tomorrow), so if you want to try Gourdough’s or Shake Shack or just get into trouble, drop me a line or find me in the Driskill Hotel Bar.


Over and out.

Posted in Festivals

Consumed October 2015 – October 31st, 2015

Hello once again from the Austin Film Festival. Despite all my festival goings, it is the last day of the month so that means it’s time to reflect on all that I’ve consumed over the past 31 days. Let’s go!

Turn – Enjoyable, not perfect, but damn if Captain Simcoe isn’t an awesome villain.


The Player – I really enjoy this action show so I’m bummed that their order just got cut.

The Player - Season Pilot

The Jim Gaffigan Show – Really fun but now I have a crazy crush on Ashley Williams.


The Awesomes
Minority Report
Bob’s Burgers
Sleep Hollow – I’m not a fan of the new co-stars but it feels like the show is getting back on track.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Last Man on Earth – Goddamn I wish I had created this show.


The Flash
Black Mirror – Have only seen the first episode. Yeah, THAT episode.


Drunk History

The Martian – Really good. A solid adventure flick.


Every Open Eye by CHVRCHES – This sophomore album is a goddamn winner.

1989 by Ryan Adams – Don’t judge!

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins – Want one good reason to hate this book? A character says the title of the book as a line of dialog not once, not twice but three f**king times! Ugh. Every page made me wish I was buried in a better piece of apocalypse fiction, like Fallout 4.

Tomb Raider – A great comic, and proof that sometimes reboots are the right thing to do.


The Bunker
Batman: Arkham Knight
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four
DC Comics: Bombshells
The Life After – Not quite the suicide comic I was looking for… but I can’t stop reading.


Lost at Sea
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life – I knew these comics were good but I had no idea I’d fall head over heels for them. They’re the absolute perfect blend of indie rock, young adult and tournament fighting.


Immortal Weapons
Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Baldur’s Gate
G.I. Joe: Cobra – I know what you’re thinking but trust me on this one. The stories centered around second and third tier characters are among the best action/espionage comics you’ll read.


Scott Pilgrim vs the World
G.I. Joe Cobra Special

Star Wars Battlefront (beta) – This is the game you want to play. The beta was awesome and this commercial gets me every damn time.

Want more ? How about awesome aerial combat where you get to pilot… just take a look.

Want more than that? How about a battle on Hoth.

And that’s a wrap. Happy Halloween!

(miss ya Wes)


Posted in General

AFF 2015 Day 3 – October 31st, 2015

So yesterday Austin experienced a once in a century deluge. I spent the entire day — 3 panels, 1 roundtable, lunch and one BBQ supper — soaking wet. I mean like-a-dog-caught-in-a-downpour wet.


But today is a new (not as rainy) day. Here’s what I’m thinking of attending.

9a, Pros and (Comic) Cons – Shane Black (Iron Man 3), Christos Gage (Daredevil) and Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) dissect the art of successfully adapting comics into film/television — and then my nerd heart explodes.

10:45a, Based on a Short Story: Sleepy Hollow – the guys behind the film and television show do a compare and contrast. Could be damn interesting.


10:45a, The Three Page ChallengeJohn, Craig and Kelly Marcel put a handful of writers through the wringer, live and in person.

12:30p, Dual Protagonists – Do I spend another session with John as he explores two-handers…


12:30p, Structurally Sound – Do I spend another session with Craig as he takes a new angle on structure?

2:45p, Breaking In? Check! Now What? – You gotta plan for what happens after you jam your foot in the door and trip over the (un)welcome mat.

4:30p, Die Hard vs. Lethal Weapon – That panel title alone makes my little geek heart scream out in joy.

11p, Heart of Film Conference Costume Party – So I don’t have a costume. Anyone want to help me put one together at the last minute?

So, are these the panels you’re looking for?


Happy Halloween, y’all!

Posted in Festivals

AFF 2015 Day 2 – October 30th, 2015

What’s up! You enjoying your AFF? I had Torchy’s so I’m excellent!


Here’s what I’ll be checking out today.

9a, Dystopian World’s – I write a lot of apocalypse fiction so this would be a good panel for me.


9a, Hybrid Writers: Diversifying Your Portfolio – I do write television, features and comics, plus I sometimes direct, so maybe I should attend this one instead.


9a, No Business Like Show Business – It never hurts to know a little more about the business, right?

10:45a, Roundtable: The Art, Craft and Business of TelevisionYo, been trying to meet ya.

12:45p, Toy Story 3: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned – Am I gonna cry all over again?

1:30p, Finding Representation: The Writer/Rep Relationship – It’s a business about relationships, right?


1:30p, The Creative Carer: Practical Tip for Starting Out – Dreamers gotta be practical, no?

3:15p, Scriptnotes, Live! – Party time with John & Craig!

4:45p, Film Texas BBQ Supper – No description needed.

11p, Filmmakers Happy Hour – It runs two hours, not one, so I’m very happy about that.

And on a complete tangent, apparently I’m rebooting The A-Team with an all female cast and I just locked in Pamela Ribon for B.A. Baracus. I think Pamela wants Jenny Lumet to play Hannibal or Face but I’d like to add Nicole Perlman to that line up. Who would you cast?


Posted in Festivals

AFF 2015 Day 1 – October 29th, 2015

Welcome to the first official day of the 2015 Austin Film Festival Writers Conference.


Technically, things kicked off last night at the Film & Food Fundraiser/Party (where I stuffed my face with Shake Shack).


Of course once I wandered down to the Driskill Hotel Bar, I kept meeting old friends and making new ones.


Enough about last night. Here’s what I’m attending today…

12p, Opening Remarks – Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean) would like to welcome you to Fantasy Island… I mean AFF.

1p, Anatomy of the Writers Room – Writers from Justified and The Americans lay down the law of the writers room.


1p, The Life of a Screenwriter: Structure On and Off the Page – Practical tips from Justin Marks and Terry Rossio.

2:45p, The Hart Chart – I’m told there will be graphs.

5p, Austin Film Commission Opening Reception – A good excuse to meet, mingle and drink.

11p, WGA West Late Night Welcome Party – Hey, I love your library!

See ya at the fest.

Posted in Festivals

Zero Draft Thirty – October 22nd, 2015

As November looms large, so do all the nutty events that come with it. Do I grow a mustache? Do I switch medical providers? Do I write a novel in a month like John August?


Or do I join Scott Myers — he runs The Black List‘s blog, Go Into Story — and participate in Zero Draft Thirty. To be a part of ZDT, you have to pledge to write a draft of a feature or a pilot in November. Sounds insane, right? Yet for some crazy reason I want to give it a shot.

What would I write? I just had this idea for a one-hour pilot that I’m hoping to pitch to a friend. Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to make it happen. Want to join me? At worst it’ll be like this…


So, are you in or are you out?

Posted in Writing