Posts Tagged ‘Screenwriting’


Writing Log Week 07 – 20. February, 2017

Who shot Mr. Burns?

We all know it was Maggie but it could have been me because I sure as hell wasn’t writing…


Did you see that? Right there in the middle…

HOLY S**T! I actually wrote a script page!

I know, you’re not impressed, but it’s big for me. So, you’re asking, what the hell is this project? It’s a Taken like thriller and so far it’s fun for me. Writing for fun? Crazy, right?!

As for the movies I watched, Lion is the kind of movie that used to win Harvey Weinstein Oscars. John Wick 2 is… it’s okay. Don’t believe the hype. It’s good but it’s no Hard Boiled.

Blonde Ambition was the highest rated script on this year’s Blcklst. It’s a fun, unauthorized biography about Madonna’s rise from obscurity to budding icon. It’s written in a clean, simple style, nowhere near as muscular or stylish as other Blcklst scripts I’ve read (and all the better for it).

Time to get back to writing. Therefore, I’ll leave you with a track that would absolutely be on that Blonde Ambition soundtrack.

Posted in Writing

What’s the Best Action Movie Script? – 17. November, 2016

What are the best written action movie scripts out there? Many will say Die Hard


… or Aliens


… or — if you require a contemporary example — Gravity.


What do you think is a terrifically written action movie script?

Posted in Writing

2016 Austin Film Festival Half Hour Spec Competition – 6. October, 2016


And to prove that I am, in deed, bipartisan, here are the half-hour specs that placed in the second round (or better) at this year’s Austin Film Festival.

TV Sitcom Specs 2016
Create your own infographics

What can we take away from this gorgeous infographic?

-Everyone and their mother wrote a Broad City spec (and they were mostly good).

-Comedy thrives on Fox.

-Second and third season shows rule (just like in the one-hour competition).

That’s all for now. See you in Austin real soon!

Posted in Festivals, Writing

2016 Austin Film Festival One Hour Spec Competition – 29. September, 2016

Another year, another complete whiff with my iZombie spec.


Still, I don’t want to be that sourpuss that gripes. I want to be that sourpuss that gives you an awesome infographic about the drama specs that made the second round or better at this year’s Austin Film Festival.



TV Drama Specs 2016
Create your own infographics

So what can we glean from this beautifully presented info?

-The popularity of Daredevil and iZombie prove that comic books rule the small screen.

-Writers love to spec CW and Showtime series the most, Netflix and AMC the second most, NBC and FX third most. Also, there’s at least one talented writer watching Audience and El Rey, respectively.

-Folk are busting out the 2nd season shows.

Congrats to everyone that placed.

Posted in Festivals, Writing

Mid 2016 Check-In – 23. June, 2016

Hello June!

June Carter Cash

You are a hot bitch… of a month. No seriously, it’s been over 100 degrees in my tandoori oven of a bedroom. I wish that were an excuse for my pathetic creative output but it’s not. I lost my mojo the first part of this year and… blah, blah, blah. You don’t want to hear me whine. You want to see the half-time score card. Let’s roll.

Feature – Haven’t touched it since last year but I do need to bang out a draft this year.
Comic Books – Just started working on my script again. Going to San Diego, Portland and possibly New York to look for an artist.
Pilot – Just starting rewriting one of my pilots. I’m hoping to have a draft done by September.
Spec – HEY! I ACTUALLY DID THIS ONE! I wrote my iZombie spec and have sent it to the WB Writers Workshop and the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge fellowship — still need to submit to the Final Draft Big Break contest and the NHMC fellowship.

As for the other goals:
-Still looking to take a full fledge class this year but I did take a great seminar with Meg LaFauve, considering seminars with Aaron Sorkin and Corey Mandel.

-I’ve told a few people that I’m looking for work as a Writer’s Assistant or as a Writer’s PA. Okay, I’ve told exactly one person but it’s a start.

-I’m still looking for a sport. A couple of people are trying to convince me to take up running. One person wants me to start doing triathlons… but maybe I should start with something a little less ambitious.

-I still need to do more traveling. Yes, I’ve been to New York and Seattle this year. And yes, I’m traveling to San Diego, Portland and Austin later this year but I would love to still love to see Canada.

-I am looking to get more music back into my life.


So that’s me. How has the first half of 2016 treated you?

Posted in General, Writing

What Should I Spec for 2017 – 9. June, 2016

Despite the fact that I still have 2 more submissions left for my iZombie spec, I find myself thinking about what I’d spec for next year’s fellowships. Let’s take an insane stroll down that possibility.

Daredevil – According to this AFF tweet, DD was the 5th most scripted spec. A Catholic avenger is certainly in my wheelhouse, so this is a strong contender.


Jessica Jones – I loved this series even more than DD but that might be my downfall. I might be too much of a fan. Plus how do you top Kilgrave as a villain?


The Flash – Absolutely up my alley but it would also be the 3rd CW show in a row (my last two specs were iZombie and The 100).


Better Call Saul – I was lukewarm about the first season, have just started the second. It was also the 4th most scripted spec for AFF. I’m fifty-fifty on this one.


Blindspot – This would be the broadest, most mainstream show I’ve scripted since ever.


Mr Robot – Am going to watch it this summer — I know, I’m the last person on the planet to watch this — but everyone tells me that I’ll love it.


The Affair – Haven’t watched this show but certainly checks the “prestige” box.


If I had to shortlist the above, I think it’d be

1, Daredevil
2, Blindspot
3, Better Call Saul

With Mr Robot and The Affair as wildcards (since I have yet to watch either). Got an opinion? Tell me what you think.

Posted in Writing

Consumed May 2016 – 31. May, 2016

I finished submitting my script at 4:31AM. I’m done… at least until I have to submit to Final Draft Big Break and the NHMC fellowship… but for now, I’m done. This is me for the next week:


Here’s what I somehow managed to consume when I wasn’t writing like a maniac.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Giant robots! Awesome!


Agents of SHIELD
Bob’s Burgers
The 100
The Flash
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – A pretty great season finale.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Captain America: Civil War – Everything I expected and hoped.


The Nice Guys – Ryan Gosling goes for the funny. I like it.


Frightened Rabbit live @ The Fonda – I have been loving this band for a decade. So great to see them live.

Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte – If a thesaurus were to masturbate, you’d get this book.


Locke & Key – Finally finished the whole thing. It’s pretty goddamn great. No wonder they want to make it into a TV show.


The Walking Dead (The Alien) – Maybe the best single issue of The Walking Dead I’ve ever read.


Captain America: White
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
Codename: Baboushka – Met the artist. Love her style.


Our Love is Real – Not as disturbing as I thought it’d be.


DC Comic’s Bombshells
Birthright – Pretty cool idea


iZombie – The comic is nothing like the TV show.


Doctor Strange
Black Canary – So damn good. Want more!


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – Tons of fun!





















The Surface

…Tony sleep now.

Posted in General

Hacking Sleep: The Cat Nap – 19. May, 2016

When you’re dead tired, do you know how to fight exhaustion? By sleeping! Specifically, by taking a cat nap.


Want to maximize that nap and not accidentally doze off for three hours?

1) Set an alarm for 15 minutes. Don’t sleep for longer.

2) Set a second alarm and put it far enough away that you have to get up to shut it off.

3) Nap with the lights on.

4) Drink a small tea or coffee before napping.

As for my writing, the deadlines loom large. Then I learn this fun little fact.

So I’m submitting the second most popular drama spec? Guess I can expect a lot of competition.

Cool. Bring it.

But first…


Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite comic book cover artist. This poll will close in one week.

Who is your favorite 2016 Eisner nominee for "Best Cover Artist" (pick up to 2 artists)?

View Results

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Posted in General

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.


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.


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

INDEX CARDS RULE(d)! – 17. March, 2016

Why do I love index cards? Because they’re portable, because they’re tactile, and because I can go from this (the A, B, C and D stories for my iZombie spec)…


to this (the 6 acts of my iZombie spec)…


Are index cards for everyone? No, every writer has a different process. Heck, I feel like each of my projects demands a different process. Still, all that matters is that I get to “the end” on time and I finally feel like I have an actual episode on my hands.

Posted in Writing