Posts Tagged ‘Features’

 

Mid 2017 Check-In – 8. July, 2017

Goddamn, it’s crazy hot. Seriously, this is how I’m gonna spend the rest of the summer.

Regardless, it’s time for a mid-year check-in. I’d say that, despite the ups and downs (and very down downs) of this year, I’ve done an alright job of keeping up with my goals and the required creative output.

Features – At the start of the year I said I wanted to write a contained thriller. I started breaking that story, but then a news item and a friend’s suggestion sent me working on a second, much bigger contained thriller — the first feels like an indie film, the second more like a mid-to-big budget movie. I need to pick one and write it this fall.

Comic Books – I had a script for a flawed short and it died on the vine. That’s fine. Mediocre ideas should die. Now I just need to find another short comic idea.

Pilot – I’ve done some work on my pilot but not nearly enough. That changes today. It will have my total focus until the end of the summer, when I should have a draft.

Spec – I wrote and submitted my Blindspot spec to the Austin Film Festival, the WB Writers Workshop, and the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge program. In a couple of weeks I’ll submit to the NHMC fellowship.

Fiction Podcast – This wasn’t even on the radar at the start of the year but I just wrote a pilot episode and outlined the first season of a supernatural infused noir drama — and now I’m considering making this sucker (truly, I am a masochist).

I took a Script Anatomy class for my spec and it was great. I absolutely recommend them and I hope to take one more class this year. I am also looking at a couple of other classes (will let you know what I find).

Gotta renew my passport ASAP (otherwise, how will I ever find a Canadian honey?). Still need to do something to fill the music void. Still need to develop an exercise routine.

As if that weren’t enough, this year I also followed Scott Myers1, 2, 7, 14 advice. How am I doing in that respect? Well…

I’m supposed to read 1 script a week. By now I should have read 26 scripts. I’m behind, having only read 19: 8 feature scripts and 11 pilot scripts.

Feature Scripts
In The Deep (The Shallows)
The Wall
Hotel Artemis
Hummingbird
Blonde Ambition
Bubbles
James Cameron’s Titanic
Let the Evil Go West

Pilot Scripts
Life Sentence
Reverie
Searchers
Killing Eve
Doomsday
Snowpiercer
El Jefe
Controversy
Valor
Happy!
Salvation

I should be watching 2 movies a week, totaling 52 movies to date. Sadly, I’m only up to 39.

Movies
The Cabin in the Woods
The Shallows
Zootopia
John Wick
Prisoners
A Monster Calls
Postcards from the Edge
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Sleepwalk with Me
Man Up
Monsters
The Lego Batman Movie
Lion
John Wick: Chapter 2
Elle
Get Out
Manhattan
Patriot’s Day
Non-Stop
Logan
Ghost in the Shell (animated)
Kong: Skull Island
Colossal
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Phoenix Forgotten
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Alien: Covenant
T2: Trainspotting
Baywatch
Gone Girl
Wonder Woman
Taken
Cars 3
Rough Night
Spectre
In Bruges
The Beguiled
Baby Driver
Men in Black

I should be writing 1 page per day, totaling 182 pages. I stand at 201 pages written to date, SO PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT!

I should have done 364 hours of research and I… I’m too tired to calculate that.

But see, I’m doing pretty well. Hooray for me!

Posted in Writing

Consumed February 2017 – 28. February, 2017

Short month, big content consumption, so I be like…

Television
Timeless
Conviction
Luther
Veep – Julia Louis Dreyfus is a goddamn national treasure.

Santa Clarita Diet
Broad City
Voltron: Legendary Defender – An awesome update to a beloved favorite but I miss the way OG Voltron used to murder the living f**k out of a robeast.

Legion – So many amazing things to rave about but #1 might be Rachel Keller.

Black Mirror – I am still waiting for that “blow me away” moment.

The People vs. OJ Simpson – The TV equvalent of a Long Island Iced Tea.

Blindspot
Lethal Weapon
Son of Zorn
Bob’s Burgers
The Americans – Simply the best show on TV.

Movies
Sleepwalk with Me
Man Up – an incredibly winning Romantic Comedy.

Monsters
The Lego Batman Movie
Lion
John Wick: Chapter 2
Elle – Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert are masters.

Get Out

Books
Mort(e) by Robert Repino – The first thing I read about sentient animals.

Pilots
Life Sentence
Reverie
Searchers
Killing Eve

Scripts
Hummingbird
Blonde Ambition

Comics
DC Comics: Bombshells
Animosity – The other thing I read about sentient animals.

Video Games
Ghost Recon: Wildlands – My character was basically a tattooed Natalie Morales with a sniper rifle. So, ya know, a badass.

End transmission.

Posted in General

Writing Log Week 08 – 27. February, 2017

Who’s a good boy?

… okay, not him.

I’m referring to me!

So this Feature Thriller has leapt to the front of my queue because I’m having a blast writing it. For the record, I decided to break the story using the eight sequence method. Basically, you think of your script as having eight sequences, each 10 to 15 pages. Each sequence has a beginning, middle and a cliff-hanger ending. For this particular project it’s working for me (so far).

This week I read two pilots. The first was Killing Eve, a comic thriller from Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Name doesn’t ring a bell? She’s the creator/star of Fleabag.

The second was the new pilot from The 100 creator, Jason Rothenberg. It’s called Searchers and it seems pretty cool. Boom. Out.

As for my movies, I watched a disquieting double feature about marginalization and micro-aggressions. I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about Get Out but I would beseech you to watch Elle.

Despite the excitement about about my feature, I really need to keep cracking on my Blindspot spec because I start a Script Anatomy class mid March.

Wish me luck with keeping pace this week because I’ll be at Emerald City Comicon! Who else is going?

Posted in Writing

To TV or Not to TV – 7. April, 2016

Last night I presented a beat sheet of my iZombie spec to my writing group and I got some great feed back. I’m ready to make adjustments, jump into a proper outline, and then pivot into scripting. Then it’s time to practice some project stacking. If I’m writing my spec then I need to start (re)breaking my undercover cop pilot. Technically this is a rewrite of a pilot I scripted last year but so many elements have changed that it’s like starting over again from square one… maybe square two.

But what about after that? I then confront the age old question: be a Jack of All Trades or a Master of One? Diversify or deep dive? Date around or commit to one… oops. Let’s ignore that last analogy.

Jack-All-Trades

Do I focus on another television project or do I try my hand at features and comic books? Is it better to have a diverse portfolio or is that diluting my focus? Right now I’m currently brainstorming the following…
-A sci-fi roommate comic book (or possibly a “comic strip”). Think of SPACED after snorting a line of uncut RICK & MORTY.
-An 80s haunted house feature. I’m already building an EPIC soundtrack!
-A New Orleans set monster movie. I started this last year and I really should finish it (but that haunted house idea is calling).
-A pilot about a cult.
-A pilot about stopping Armageddon.

I could keep going but these are the ones that have passed the “let me sleep on it” test. That’s one comic, two features and two television pilots.

Jenga_Falling

What’s the best thing for me to do: go all in with television or hedge my bets? What have you done in the past? How did it work out?

Posted in Writing

My Three Pitches: A Whiff, A Hit, A Who-Knows-What – 16. April, 2015

It doesn’t matter if I’m pitching for television, comics, features, tansmedia (do they still use that term?), or whatnot, I keep running into the same scenario. I prepare three pitches and the first one whiffs, the second hits and the third produces inscrutable countenances of confusion.

A little back story: when prepping my pitches, I always lead with the idea I’m dying to work on, then follow with the proposal that’s a solid (albeit less exciting for me) back up, and finally wrap with the notion that’s totally off-the-wall.

For example, when I was prepping to first enter the Top Cow Talent Hunt I had three ideas that I pitched to friends. The first, the story I was dying to tell, was a Magdalena story involving a bit of Catholic lore.

Magdalena_06

The second, my back up, was a Glacier Stone tragedy involving a fairly well known mythical beast.

glacier-stone_artifacts7p1

The third, the off-the-wall idea, was a Blood Sword story about gender swapping ninjas with 8-bit art. So this…

Blood-Sword

But more like this…

unity-8bit

*Note to any Top Cow person that might come across this: I’m discussing my entries for the 2013-2014 talent hunt, not what I submitted for the current, 2014-2015 talent hunt.

My friends didn’t jive with the first idea, they loved the second pitch and didn’t know what to make of my third. Going with my audience, I wrote the Glacier Stone story. Although I didn’t win the talent hunt, I wrote a damn good script. Friends that read it still ask if I’m going to run with the idea (and yeah, I think I can take my original elements and build a kick ass webcomic / original graphic novel).

More recently I wrote a pilot and once again I had three pitches. The first, my heart’s desire, was inspired by my love of flawed super heroes.

heroes

The second, my back up, was a gritty, updated twist on a Wiseguy like story.

Wiseguy_DVD-Box-Set

The third, my balls-out-crazy idea, would be like an irreverent, apocalyptic Joan of Arcadia.

joan_of_arcadia

Again, everyone jumped on idea #2.

Two nights ago I had the same experience pitching three feature ideas. I threw out a sci-fi thriller, a monster movie and a horror-comedy. Everyone wants me to write the monster movie.

Killer-Croc_Arkham

What is it about me and my inability to hock the ideas I love? Why can’t they find traction? Honestly, I dunno. Anyone want to venture a guess?

Also, you may wonder why I always go with the popular opinion. It’s because I want to write for a hungry audience (also, I don’t want to go hungry).

Posted in Writing