Posts Tagged ‘Television’

 

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

Consumed January 2017 – 31. January, 2017

I know 2017 feels like this…

But we have to stand our ground like…

Here’s what my eyeballs ate this month:

Television
Supergirl – Gosh darn it, that Supergirl is totally winning!

The Flash
Arrow
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
Quarry
The Grinder – Before they dove into the deep end of serialization, this was damn fun.

The Knick – Probably the best show I watched this month. Might be the best thing I’ll see this year.

Blindspot
Conviction
Son of Zorn
Lethal Weapon
The Good Place – That ending… damn fine job!

Bob’s Burgers
Maron – So, was it just me or did that last shot feel a little sophomoric and cliche?

Luther – I’m sorry but you can’t just get rid of Alice.

Sherlock – Um, that “flashback” episode was awful.

Timeless
Lucifer
Justified
Veep – Just started this series. Hot damn, it’s great!

Movies
The Cabin in the Woods
The Shallows – Once you get past that first reel with the forced family backstory, this flick kicks into high gear.

Zootopia – Maybe the best animated noir movie ever made.

John Wick – Was expecting so much more.

Prisoners – Some troubling messaging here (would probably do much better if released today).

A Monster Calls
Postcards from the Edge – Goddamn great writing from Carrie Fisher

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – Hey, I liked (most of) these movies.

Books
The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell – It’s easy to laugh but at least he had the courage to release his movie.

Scripts
In The Deep (The Shallows) – The script is better than the movie.
The Wall – Another great script. Can’t wait to see the movie.
Hotel Artemis – Can’t say much but it’s from the co-writer of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Iron Man 3, so use that to gauge expectations.

Comics
20th Century Boys – I forgot that manga takes 20 volumes to tell a whole story.

DC Comics: Bombshells
Joyride

Video Games
Star Wars Battlefront – A great way to continue those Rogue One feelings.

And that’s all for January. See ya next month.

Posted in General

A Look Back at 2016 – 31. December, 2016

2016 has got me all like…

First, we lost so many wonderful talents.

Second, my writing didn’t go so well. I did write a spec of iZombie but it didn’t get any traction.

Third, well, anyone that tells you that a merger only takes a month or two, and then you’re through the worst of it, is a goddamn liar.

But f**k all that. I consumed a lot of media in 2016 — 66 TV shows, 34 movies, 12 books, 54 comics, 6 video games and 4 theater shows. Let’s look at what I loved.

Favorite Television Show of the Year – The Last Man on Earth

No other show made me laugh out loud as much this one, and 2016 was strong with comedies. What else did I watch…

Mr. Robot
Daredevil
12 Monkeys
Travelers
Horace and Pete
Wayward Pines
The Night Manager
Dr. Who
The Last Ship
Stranger Things
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
The Jim Gaffigan Show
Agent Carter
Humans
F is for Family
Pitch
Agents of SHIELD
Conviction
Son of Zorn
Designated Survivor
Marvel’s Agent Carter
Narcos
Rick & Morty
Crazyhead
The Exorcist
Flaked
Timeless
Better Call Saul
Fleabag
The Path
Lucifer
Catastrophe
The X-Files
iZombie
Empire
The Good Place
The IT Crowd
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Lethal Weapon
Casual
Luke Cage
Outsiders
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
Justified
The Man in the High Castle
Lady Dynamite
Continuum
Gotham
The 100
The Flash
11.22.63
Arrow
Portlandia
Bob’s Burgers
You’re the Worst
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Drunk History
Maron
UnReal
Blindspot
Outcast
BoJack Horseman
Review

Favorite Movie of the Year – The Handmaiden

No other movie was as funny, thrilling, surprising or cinematic as this Korean film. Don’t research it, just watch it. What else did I watch this year…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (IMAX)
Brooklyn
Deadpool
The Witch
Spotlight
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Captain America: Civil War
The Nice Guys
Godzilla
Edge of Tomorrow
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Beyond
Train to Busan
The Town
Suicide Squad
Jason Bourne
Don’t Think Twice
The Hateful Eight
Creed
Amy
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Inception
X-Men: Apocalypse
Nebraska
A History of Violence
All is Lost
Arrival
Doctor Strange
10 Cloverfield Lane
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Moonlight
Spectral
Rogue One

Favorite Book of the Year – Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

If you want an awesome, creepy horror-ish book to take you on an a fun ride, read this book.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
This Census-Taker by China Mieville
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe
Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
The Girls by Emma Cline
Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Commonwealth by Amy Patchett
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Favorite Comic of the Year – Locke & Key

No other comic I read this year delivers as satisfying of an experience.

Huck
Birthright
We Stand On Guard
LumberJanes
Plutona
Limbo
Kaijumax
Jughead
Captain America
The Goddamned
Codename: Baboushka
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
The Walking Dead (The Alien)
Past the Last Mountain
Black Canary
iZombie
Black Magick
GI Joe: Cobra 2
Outcast
Wonder Woman
Tokyo Ghosts
Monstress
Our Love is Real
Green Arrow
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
The Spire
Virgil
Rat Queens
Invincible
DC Comics: Bombshells
Citizen Jack
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
Deluge
Revenger
The Punisher
The Walking Dead
The Surface
Karma Police
CyberForce Rebirth
Phonogram
Fresh Romance
Star Wars
Overwatch
Captain America: White
Ringside
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange: The Oath
Bandette
Paper Girls
Saints
I Hate Fairyland
Jupiter’s Circle
Low

Video Game of the Year – Fallout 4

I rule the wastelands!

Doom
Sleeping Dogs
Overwatch
Star Wars Battlefront
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Theater of the Year – Hamilton

Was there any other choice? What else did I see…

Bright Star
The Crucible
Waitress

And that was my year. See y’all in 2017.

Posted in General

Consumed December 2016 – 31. December, 2016

This was me at the start of 2016.

This was me at the end of 2016.

This is what I consumed in the final month of this cursed year.

Television
Timeless
Pitch
Lethal Weapon
Continuum
Lucifer
Justified – Just finished season 3. How in the hell did I miss this show the first time around?

Son of Zorn
Drunk History
Conviction
The Last Man on Earth
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Only a few episodes in but damn if Buffy ain’t super adorbz.

The Exorcist
Outcast – The other Kirkman show. I like the comic but I don’t think I’ll keep up with the show.

Legends of Tomorrow
Crazyhead – I LOVE Misfits. This is no Misfits but it’s well worth your time.

Horace and Pete – Do not watch this alone while blue when it’s Christmas. Learn from my mistake.

Travelers – At the end of the pilot, they wrap up the conflict. No need to watch any further (despite crushing on one of the leads).

12 Monkeys – Felt like they wrapped up season 1 but there were still 6 episodes left. Um…

Portlandia – So even this silly show got into the “depressing comedy” game. Is no half-hour safe from the sadness?

Movies
Moonlight – Simple and beautiful.

Spectral – The first Netflix original I’ve watched. Possibly the last.

Rogue One – Favorite thing about this movie…

Books
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – Beautifully written and just the right amount of icky.

Scripts
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – The first third of this is a perfectly written action script. Go read it at the Writers Guild Library (and be sure to donate).

Comics
DC Comic’s Bombshells
Overwatch
Bandette

Video Games
Sleeping Dogs
Doom
Star Wars Battlefront – If you want to keep those Rogue One feelings flowing after the movie, play this game.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

See ya in a few for my wrap up.

Posted in General

Consumed November 2016 – 1. December, 2016

The penultimate month of the year… I had so many plans to do so much and you squashed them all.

dog-sit-on-dog

At least I got to consume a lot of good media, right?

Television
Drunk History – Aw sh*t, I just fell in love with Hillary Anne Matthews.

hillary-anne-matthews

Better Call Saul – Finally finished season two. Still don’t love it as much as Breaking Bad but it’s growing on me.

Better-Call-Saul_s2

Lucifer
The Good Place
Timeless
The Exorcist
You’re the Worst – This is the goddamn best show. Plus now I don’t know if I love Kether Donohue or Colette Wolfe more.

Youre-The-Worst_Lindsay

Luke Cage – I’m sorry but this show was terrible. Two easy fixes? One, cut the order to 8 episodes. Two, find better bad guys (Jessica Jones did this very well).

diamondback_luke-cage

UnReal – I hate these kinds of reality shows but I can see how/why some people love this drama.

unreal_lifetime

Pitch – So easy to love.

pitch_uniform

Son of Zorn
The Last Man on Earth – This damn show keeps getting better and better.

last-man-on-earth_melissa_gun

Conviction – Now that it’s been officially cancelled, what are the chances of an Agent Carter reboot

AgentCarter_Shotgun

Lethal Weapon – The most fun you’ll have on network television.

lethal-weapon_gun-to-head

Blindspot
Continuum
Outsiders –
Humans – So Westworld minus all the savage ra… nope, they did that, too.

humans_bad-sex

Bob’s Burgers
Justified – Season 3 is damn good.

justified_raylan_gun

The Night Manager – Episode one = yawn.

night-manager_amc

The Last Ship – I can see myself getting sucked into this.

last-ship

Movies
Arrival – Pretty great, makes me day dream of Close Encounters.

arrival_amy-adams

Doctor Strange – So much fun.

doctor-strange_benedictc

The Handmaiden – Goddamn, now that’s a movie.

handmaiden_feet

10 Cloverfield Lane – Very good.

10-cloverfield-lane_2shot

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – Freakin’ great.

mission-impossible-rogue

Books
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Comics
Doctor Strange: The Oath – BKV & Martin FTW!

doctor-strange-the-oath_i01_p01

Captain America – Remender and Romita Jr FTW!

Captain-America_JRJ

DC Comic’s Bombshells

Video Games
Sleeping Dogs – As much fun the second time around.

sleeping-dogs_gate-slam

Overwatch – I think I get the hype.

overwatch_tracer_success-relief

Doom – Must finish this game!

doom_punch

Posted in General

A Personal ZD30: Week 1 – 3. November, 2016

On November 1, I (along with my friend Sylvia) started a personal Zero Draft 30. I’m rewriting a pilot but I’m going back to basics. This week I have to bash out a beat sheet. Can someone give me a beat?

patrick_drummer_spongebob

What is a beat sheet? For me, it’s a bullet point list of scenes and sequences. How many beats do I need? I was taught that I should aim for roughly half the number of pages in my script. If I were writing a feature, I’d be aiming for 60 beats (which is half of 120 pages). If it were a sitcom, then 15 beats (half of 30 pages). As I’m writing an hour-long drama, the goal is 30 beats.

Normally I would just find 30 “things” that I want to happen, make sure it roughly resembles a story (beginning, middle, ending), spilt the beats into acts (I usually write a teaser and five acts), and then I’d move onto a treatment.

This time around, I’m being a bit more methodical. After every 5 beats I go back and figure out…

-What’s at stake for each major characters (there are two major characters).
-What is each character’s goal in the scene.
-What is the goal of the scene (for me).

I also ask “is this the laziest version of this scene or can I think of something better?”

So far I’m at 21 beats and it’s already better than the draft I pounded out last November.

Next week: the treatment.

Posted in Writing

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

second-is-the-best

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

Consumed September 2016 – 30. September, 2016

September, you sucked giant donkey d**ks.

donkey

Yet somehow I was able to consume a metric ton of entertainment (probably because my computer died). This is what I shoved into my media gullet.

Television
Rick & Morty – Season two was pretty good but couldn’t compare to season one. It’s near impossible to top the scenes that used DMX and Mazzy Star. Those moments made that season and won me over.

rick-and-morty_spaceship

Casual – The further one gets from the pilot, the better the show gets… except for that season one closer. They ran over a huge, emotional decision and I’m not sure if I’ll jump back in for season two.

casual_cast

Doctor Who – [SPOILER WARNING] – I felt nothing when Clara died. Bring back Rose.

doctor-who_rose_serious-face

Fleabag – DEARSWEETJESUSYOUMUSTSTARTWATCHINGTHISSHOWNOW!!!

fleabag_crying

The IT Crowd – Caught the final episode. It was a nice bookend but I would have been happy without it.

it-crowd

Blindspot
Gotham – So I got to that part where the Original Poison Ivy jumps into the sewer and Busty, F**kable Poison Ivy emerges. I turned off the TV. Not sure I can go back to the series. Maybe if they squeeze her into a Power Girl suit.

gotham_poison-ivy_tits

Lucifer – Looking forward to more fun with these devils.

lucifer_two-leads

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – If they don’t get Jake and the Captain back to Brooklyn, I fear they have jumped the shark.

brooklyn-nine-nine_season-4

Flaked – Curious about white privilege? Catch some of this show.

flaked_cast

The Jim Gaffigan Show – Lord help me but I’d go back to being Catholic for Ashley Williams’ smile.

ashley-williams_smiling

Continuum – Am I going to finish the series because I once had a massive crush on Rachel Nichols?

rachel-nichols_white-bikini

Son of Zorn – Two episodes in and it’s fun. Favorite bit is each episode’s title card.

son-of-zorn_episode-title-card

The Good Place – Heaven help me but I lurv Kristen Bell.

the-good-place_kirsten-bell

Bob’s Burgers

Justified – Approaching the end of season two and lordy this show is awesome.

justified_season02

Designated Survivor – Cool concept but I don’t know if I’ll stick around for the whole season.

designated-survivor_kiefer_glasses

Movies
The Hateful Eight – So it’s a Western Reservoir Dogs? Okay, not bad.

hateful_eight

Creed – Exactly what I expected, exactly what I wanted. Bravo.

creed_echo-rocky

Amy – Did she always have a camera on her? Is this how it’s going to be for everyone going forward?

amy-winehouse_young

Hell or High Water – Maybe the best American film (about America) of the year.

hell-or-high-water

La La Land – Yeah, I saw it. I can’t tell you about it but I saw it.

lala-land

Books
Reamde by Neal Stephenson – I now understand why someone told me this was “like 14 Die Hards” rolled into one book. Holy s**t, this was AWESOME!

Reamde

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett – Maybe the best book I’ve read this year (but probably my second favorite).

commonwealth_ann-patchett

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – If you loved Locke & Key (and I did), then you’ll love this book.

nos4a2_joe-hill

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – savoring every word.

Pilots
Midnight, Texas – Still reading my way through the pilot script.

Comics
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
DC Comic’s Bombshells

Video Games
Doom – My mission: to brutally murder all monsters. Where do I sign up?

doom_suit_gun_invasion

Here’s hoping October sucks less.

dog-licking-a-mule

Over and out.

Posted in General