Go Watch Carnal Knowledge – November 20th, 2014

Mike Nichols, one of the EGOT dozen, just passed away. Right now he’s being remembered for his comedy with Elaine May or The Graduate or for denying us a naked Natalie Portman (bastard!) but I want all of you to take the time to revisit Carnal Knowledge.

carnal-knowledge-poster

A once controversial movie now tamed by time, this movie speaks deep truths about men, women and sex.

Once, back in film school, I directed a scene from the script. It was the one time when I told an actress that I wanted to cast her because of her “um… tremendous talent.” She looked at me sideways and asked, “what the hell does that mean?”

“I have to cast an actress with big boobs.”

Carnal-Knowledge-still-Nicholson-Ann-Margaret

Tangent: Ann Margret… oh my.

ann-margret

Where was I? Oh, right, go watch Carnal Knowledge.

carnal-knowledge-Wide-Shot

You won’t regret it.

Posted in General

RIP Glen A Larson – November 15th, 2014

Glen A. Larson, creator of television shows such as Battlestar Galactica

The-Cylons

Magnum PI (there would be no Movember without this show)…

Magnum PI tom selleck

MagnumPI-Higgins

The Fall Guy

the-fall-guy

… and Knight Rider died last night.

Knight-Rider

Thank you for all the awesome 80s TV.

Posted in General

Austin Film Festival 2014 – November 6th, 2014

Holy conference, Batman! The Austin Film Festival ought to come with a warning. “AFF may cause a feeling of elation, a boost to self confidence and general buzzing about. The inevitable crash can be eased by emailing everyone you met, enjoying good brisket and starting your next script IMMEDIATELY!”

Yeah, it was that good.

While this was only my second year attending (I placed in the second round with my spec of The Americans), it was so unbelievably productive that I’m already planning next year’s trip, as well as the next show I’ll spec.

If there’s one thing that makes the Austin Film Fest worthwhile, it’s the people. The panels are great — trust me, I’m gonna tell you all about them in a minute — but the people are the reason to go. Last year my buddy Ted told me that I could do more networking in 5 days at AFF than I could in one year in LA. He was 100% right. And don’t go expecting the guest of honor (this year I believe it was Mad Men creator Matt Weiner) to buy your script but go to meet your peers. These are the people that’ll come up with you. These are the future staffers that might actually staff you. At the very least, they’ll read your script and give you notes (a big “thank you” to all of last year’s attendees that have read my work and given me notes).

One thing that made this year better than the last (and last year was great) was that my goals were clearly defined. This year I wanted to meet a potential mentor and I wanted to get into a strong writers group. While I haven’t sealed the deal for either of those yet, I do feel that I’ve made great progress. Stayed tuned.

As for the panels, they rocked. Instead of giving you the blow by blow, let me bullet point the panels I attended and share one nugget of wisdom from each.

And I haven’t’ even talked about the parties, BBQ or all the wonderful people I met but I have to get cracking on what I’ll be submitting next year.

Want one more piece of advice? Do yourself a favor. Write something, place and attend (regardless if you place or not). It’ll do wonders for your career, your self-esteem and your networking skills.

And to wrap up with what I borrowed from Ben Blacker (met him at last year’s AFF), here’s what I read/watched over this trip.

I’m still trying to finish The Strain. They should hire me for season two.

The-Strain_s1

Started Masters of Sex. So good.

MasterOfSex_Season1

Loved the art on Down. Set. Fight! Gotta find a way to work with this guy.

down-set-fight

Started Daniel Way‘s Deadpool run. Really wanted to dig in after his Let’s Talk Comics interview.

Deadpool_09_Cover

Mind the Gap. What a great idea. Who’s developing this?

mind-the-gap-17

Injustice: Gods Among Us is fucking awesome. Everyone needs to read it.

InjusticeGodsAmongUs_Cover

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. Loved the middle, didn’t love the beginning and I’d like to rewrite the end.

Illustration by Clifford Harper/Agraphia.co.uk

… did I mention that AFF gave my confidence a real boost?

Retro X-Men? Yes Please! – November 4th, 2014

Not only did Marvel recently tease a new slate of movies (which is awesome) but they also hinted at a new comic.

X-Men_92

The X-Men of my youth? Yes, please!

…so how much is it gonna cost to hire back Jim Lee?

Posted in Off-Topic

My Next Spec: Hannibal – October 22nd, 2014

Guess what’s gonna be my next spec?

Once I’m back from Austin, it’s time to start reading the season one scripts and reverse engineering season two. Also gotta look up new recipes and interesting ways to kill people.

FUN!

 

Posted in Writing

The Green Arrow vs The Good Doctor Lecter – October 18th, 2014

After a tough summer and a terrible week, I’m calling an audible. I’ll be attending the Austin Film Festival’s Writers Conference and in preparation, I’ll be locking in my next spec script before I arrive in the land of brisket. Or, more accurately, you’ll be deciding my next spec for me. Will it be Arrow?

Arrow_Bow

I’m thinking “Ollie Goes to the Gym”

or will it be Hannibal?

What ya cooking, Dr. Lecter?

What ya cooking, Dr. Lecter?

You decide. VOTE!

Which show should I spec next: Hannibal or Arrow?

  • Hannibal (67%, 4 Votes)
  • Arrow (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Posted in Writing

Long Beach Comic Con 2014 – October 10th, 2014

Babs Tarr has the best dimples in comic. Period. Full stop.

The Best Dimples in Comics

The Best Dimples in Comics

It’s a fact. And no, it’s not because I have a tiny crush on her.

I kinda have a BIG crush on her, and it’s not just because she has killer dimples. And it’s not just because I bought this kick ass 3D print from Babs when I met her at the 2014 Long Beach Comic Con.

Did You Put on Your 3D Glasses?

Did You Put on Your 3D Glasses?

And it’s not just because she’s responsible for the awesome new Batgirl reboot.

Batgirl-35-Cover

I have a crush on her for ALL OF THE ABOVE REASONS. So go buy her new comic. It’s super easy to find it on ComiXology. It’s right there.

Comixolog_Oct8_Wide

See it?

ComiXology_Oct8_CU

Wait a second, who’s her neighbor? HOLY SHIT! It’s my ex-roommate’s new comic which is also available on ComiXology.

Cause I'd follow these guys down a dark alley.

Cause I’d follow these guys.

Be a good netizen and buy their comics.

A great costume idea for all you Dr. Who fans with twin girls.

A great costume idea for all you Dr. Who fans with twin girls.

Tell you what. Buy both their books and I’ll draw you a sketch.

David, My Ex-Roommate by Me

David, My Ex-Roommate by Me

Deal?

Posted in Festivals

My Americans Spec Gets A Little More Love – October 3rd, 2014

Good news, everyone! My spec script for The Americans got a little more love today.

Undeniably Bad Ass

Undeniably Bad Ass

It was selected as a quarter finalist for the Final Draft Big Break contest. Check it out:

BigBreak2014_QuarterFinalists_Arrow

With that and Austin, I’m feeling pretty good… HIGH FIVE FOR ME! BTW, in case you’re wondering how I knew I had to spec this show, it was this moment from season one…

TheAmericans_ElizabethPunch_1-2

TheAmericans_ElizabethPunch_2-2

God help me but I LOVE writing for a woman like that.

Posted in Writing

Rose City Comic Con 2014 – September 25th, 2014

Every industry has their Mecca. Film has Hollywood. Barbecue has Austin. Comics have Portland. Yeah, you read that right. Rose City. Stumptown. The People’s Republic of Portland (love that one). Rip City is “The Hollywood of Comics”.

HeadPDX

No, seriously. Don’t believe me? Check out the heavyweights I ran into at the 2014 Rose City Comic Con Artist Alley:

That guy’s face is priceless.

But I digress. My reasons for hitting RCCC were 1) to find a potential artist for my webcomic, 2) to get to better know the comics community and 3) maybe get inspired.

On the first front, I met / got cards for four artists that might be right for my idea. Now if only I could settle on a damn title.

On the second point, I met and talked to all of the above heavyweights but is that really getting to know the community? I dunno. Maybe that’s the introvert in me.

On the third topic, yeah, you can’t help but feel inspired when talking to those titans of the industry. If there was a highlight, it was from the Image hosted panel with Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Greg Rucka. It occured when someone asked “what makes you jealous about your fellow panelists” and Greg Rucka jumped in with an answer so heartfelt that it made one feel both awkward and endeared. By the way, Greg said that he’s jealous of Kelly’s fearlessness and Matt’s control of the form without sacrificing the emotional impact.

That Chewbacca was 7'3" tall.

That Chewbacca was 7’3″ tall.

On a nerdier point, Antony Johnson got name dropped twice during the first day. I guess that when it comes to comic book formatting, he’s the king. I’ve only just started using Scrivner (his software of choice), and I have yet to try his template/method as I made my own template in Final Draft, but I’ll give his a try in the near future.

Overall, it was a pretty awesome convention in an absolutely wonderful town. I’d love to be back in a year with something of my own (if I say it in public enough, I become accountable, no?).

"What's a cassette tape?"

“What’s a cassette tape?”

By the way, I’m gonna steal something from Ben Blacker and share with you what I’ve been reading/watching. While in Portland, I read Cliff Chang/Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman

WonderWoman01

Great Pacific by Joe Harris & Martin Morazzo…

GreatPacificCover

Animal Man by Jeff Lamire & Travel Foreman…

Animal_Man_Cover

and Over Easy by Mimi Pond (for a book club).

over-easy

On the plane I started watching The Strain.

The-Strain_s1

Posted in Festivals, Writing

Get Busy Living – September 23rd, 2014

Oddly enough, one of the last, great, sappy dude movies also debuted 20 years ago today.

shawshank-redemption

Happy birthday to the best Stephen King adaptation ever.

Posted in Off-Topic