Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's a Wonderful Film

One of my favorite things about the Christmahanukwanzaa season is the return of the traditional holiday TV shows. Charlie Brown, Rudolph and Frosty - even Burgermeister Meisterburger and Heat Miser - all hold a special place in my heart.

But for me, no seasonal movie holds a candle to Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. For those of you who've never seen it, see it. I won't do a complete synopsis here, but IMDB does a pretty decent job of summing it up.

It's not only my favorite holiday film, it's one of my favorite films of all time.

Why?

Because it deals with something we can all relate to - our self-importance in relation to the world around us. Each of us from time to time have had moments of crisis and, much like George Bailey, we've contemplated how much better off those around us would be had we never existed. Emotionally, it's a pretty selfish view to take, but troubled times can loom large and force us to rationalize situations in pretty desperate ways.

But George is a truly compassionate soul, not because he wants to be, but because in the situations he finds himself in, it's just the right thing to do. Time and time again, he gives up his dreams of traveling and seeing the world to make things right for those around him. When he and Mary are leaving for their honeymoon and he sees the swarm of people outside the savings & loan, he makes the compassionate decision to use the money for his honeymoon trip to save his customers and bail out the savings & loan - even if there's only two dollars left at the end of the day. George could've kept on going toward his honeymoon and happiness, but his customers - the people of his town - needed him.

It's when things go horribly bad for George that the story really hits home. After jumping off a bridge, he meets Clarence, an angel who shows him exactly what life would've been like if he'd never been born. It seems like a stretch at first, that George's mere existence could've saved the town from the monopolizing influence of Mr. Potter. But is it really a stretch?

We all touch the lives of others and our words and deeds have a butterfly effect that ripples through the lives we touch, as those people interact with others and so on. We're all important to each other and, as any Buddhist will tell you, we all share this life with each other.

In the end, those close to George come to his rescue. His good karma pays off and everything comes around for the best.

So, during the holidays - whichever holiday you celebrate - take a look at those around you. Even those whose lives you don't think you touch. See a little bit of yourself in their eyes. Take their hand. Connect. Share. Enjoy this wonderful life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Case of the Gimmies

Fellow screenbloggers Dave Anaxagoras and Warren Hsu Leonard have posted an interesting exercise. Go to Google and type in "[your first name] needs" and see what you get. Better yet, post the results on your own blog.

I did the same, but with a bit of a change. Since we're coming up fast on the holiday season, I decided to change "need" to the more blatantly greedy "wants a". So, here's my web-generated holiday wish list - five from Google, five from Yahoo...

Alan wants a $10,000 income strategy.
...yep...that'd be fine...

Alan wants a tox screen run on Edward.
...I always suspected he was on something...

Alan wants a good bull.
...and a heifer who'll respect him in the morning...

Alan wants a G5.
...already ordered...shipping in two weeks!

Alan wants a twin brother who will handle the paperwork while the real Alan plays with lights.
...can he be an eeeeevil twin?...oooo...pretty lights...

Alan wants a D100.
...I've outgrown the C99...

Alan wants a paternity test.
...but only if I can get the results as a guest on Springer...

Alan wants a two-seater with a secure load space.
...for my D100 Anti-Traffic-Jam Missle...

Alan wants a word with you for a minute.
...it's about Edward...

Alan wants a production he can really sink his teeth into.
...here's hoping Santa knows some people...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Do You Want To Play A Game? (The Finale)

I hate it when the phone wakes me up. When shopping for alarm clocks, I try to find one that has a somewhat pleasant ring. Something mellow, yet...alarming. But the phone – no matter what kind of phone it is – never wakes me up nicely. Because I know that on the other end of that alarm, there is someone who wants to ask me, tell me, or otherwise bother me.

It was my agent.

“Alan, they need you back on the Mario Brothers set.”
“What for? I thought I was done.”
“They need you for some pickup shots.”
“But I'm scared of Dennis Hopper.”
“They're flying you down there.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah. First class.”
“I'm so there.”

Now, you have to understand. This was a big deal for me. First, I'd never flown first class, and second, I'd never had a major production company need me badly enough to fly me first class. I was really excited about this. And no amount of Hopper weirdness was going to ruin it for me.

As I walked toward the plane the next day bound for Wilmington, NC, my head was filled with bizarre first-class fantasies of semi-nude air waitresses feeding me champagne and truffles while massaging my feet with olive oil. So, it's only fitting that the only thing I ate or drank was some kind of messy thing on a plate that made me wonder what those poor schmucks in coach were getting. And the only action my feet got was from the kid sitting next to me stepping on them whenever he got the playtime jones.

When we finally arrived, I walked down to baggage to find a guy holding a sign with my name on it. We got in the van and drove out to the set. As it turns out, they needed me to shoot the segment in the devo chamber where the big chair slides back, taking me to the big flashy thing. What I found out after putting on my Devo (the band) duds was that while I'm in the chair, it would move back along a track, stopping under the big flashy thing. The chair would then shoot upward, propelling me head-first into the hole in the big flashy thing. I immediately looked around for someone who looked a lot like me, was dressed a lot like me, and who would hopefully be doing this stunt for me.

There were just so many things that could possibly go wrong with this. The chair could fly backward at Mach 5, firing me through the factory door like a new-wave cannonball. The chair could stop under the big flashy thing, but not precisely aligned with the hole my head was supposed to fit into, resulting in a deadly cranial fracture when the chair shot up.

The AD (a different guy, who was apparently hired the day before) wanted to run through the scene a few times before shooting. Dennis and I wouldn't have lines this time, so I felt a little more at ease. I'm sure Dennis did, too. I sat down in the chair and learned that the chair operator had already tested it throughly and I had nothing to worry about. The only thing I had do was to sit really still when the chair shot up. He hit the switch and the chair started its trip toward the devo machine. When it finally stopped, the operator told me to look up. I was staring into what looked like the back-end of a huge cement mixer with Christmas tree lights. I felt like the space shuttle preparing to dock with the space station for an intergalactic drag show. 

“Okay, look straight ahead and don't move,” he said. As soon as I looked back down, the chair shot up surprisingly fast and I found my head inside a small chamber, surrounded by more pulsing multicolored lights. Then, a whoosh of movie smoke surrounded my head and poured out of the hole around me.

As the chair lowered, the first thing I saw was Dennis, Bob Hoskins, and some guy named John Leguizamo staring at me with the most perplexed look on their faces. It was like they were watching an exotic dancer do a certain trick with a banana that I won't describe here in detail. Unexpectedly, they applauded as my chair moved back into position. After a couple more run-throughs, we shot the scene, except that I was instructed to scream bloody murder when the cement mixer lights started flashing.

We finally broke for lunch after a few successful shots. It was a really warm summer day, so lunch was served outside under tents. And we were apparently the last ones to eat since there was hardly anyone left out there. I grabbed a plate and sauntered down the line. Lots of pasta and salad type things. I'm a big fan of any kind of pasta dish, so I went for a few of the pasta salads. Nice creamy pasta salads with mayo and cheese. Man, it sure is hot out here. I wonder when they actually started serving lunch.

I think you know where this is leading.

We had a few more takes to do, so I finished eating and headed back inside. Later that evening, we wrapped for the day and I waited for a van to take me to the hotel. I wandered around outside for a bit, looking at various set pieces, when my stomach started gurgling. Must've been the onions in the salad, I thought. Then it got worse. The next thing I knew I was heaving several major organs into the bushes outside the makeshift production office.

When the van finally got me to the hotel, I ran up to my room and spent the entire night either in front of the toilet where nasty things were shooting out of my mouth, or on it where similarly nasty things were shooting out of my ass. I was completely miserable and while I was sitting there blasting bodily fluids all over the place, I had but one thought:

I actually did a scene with Dennis Hopper.

I kept seeing his wicked stare in my mind while I barfed. This is for you Dennis. This is all for you. (flush)

The next morning, I was officially done with this damn film and wanted to get back home in bed with my mellow alarm clock. However, while they were willing to fly me down there, they weren't so generous with the return ticket. So, they duped one of their PAs into driving me the 5 hours back up to Norfolk.

My wife met me at the door, hugged me, and told me I looked like total crap. I told her the whole sickening story and she took me straight to the ER. A diagnosis of food poisoning and couple of IVs later, I was back on my feet, a little woozy, but back on my feet nonetheless.

I didn't actually see Super Mario Bros. until it was released on video. My wife and I were on the edge of our seats when the devo chamber scene started. I saw myself over on the right side of the screen for a split second and then even longer when I stood beside one of the Goombas. But then the devo chamber scene came and went with no devo chamber technician sliding chair action, no overworked scene with Dennis, no shots of my head in the drag show cement mixer. The scene had found it proper resting place on the cutting room floor.

At first I was a bit let down after working, barfing, and crapping so hard for that scene. But I later came to appreciate the director's (whoever it was that week) judgment in cutting the scene because it really did detract from the rest of the scene, as well as from the main storyline. I doubt that anyone involved ever mentions it anymore.

Except Dennis and I.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Do You Want To Play A Game? (Part II)

The StareIf you’ve ever seen Super Mario Bros., you’ll probably remember the scene where Mario & Luigi push Koopa into the devo chair and zap him back a few million years. Or maybe you’ve seen it and chose to block it out. At any rate, as everyone is pushing each other around, you’ll notice a large greenish brown splotch of ooze on the floor. You never get to see where it comes from. It’s just there.

That’s me. I’m the slime.

Now, several people have who have studied the film’s continuity have speculated on the origin of the goo on the floor. But here’s the real scoop -- The way the scene was supposed to have played out.

By this time, Koopa is making his point about the importance of cleanliness and sanitary conditions. (Too many personal hygiene films in school, I guess) While he’s explaining all this to the plumbers, I’m busily pushing buttons and pulling levers in the background. I suddenly let out a sneeze and Koopa turns on me in a flash saying “You’re sick!” I tell him it’s just the dust or something, and he tells me to “sit in the big chair and we’ll fix you right up.”

That there is some world class story building. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Koopa pushes me back into the devo chair and hits the button, metal straps pop around my wrists, and the chair starts moving backward toward the big flashy time transformer thingy. Meanwhile, Koopa is going on and on about how everything evolved from primordial slime and how this amazing invention can zap any living creature all the way back and anywhere in between.

So, to make a long story short, I come back from the big flashy thing as a large mess of gloop which oozes all over the floor, thereby providing our heroes with a method of knocking Koopa and his Goombas off balance, sending him to a time trip in the devo chair while making their escape to rescue the princess.

What a flippin' mess.

That’s the way the scene was supposed to go. I was really psyched about getting to do some dialogue with Dennis Hopper and made sure I had the lines down perfectly before our first run-through. You actors out there know that while memorizing your own lines, you inadvertently end up learning your scene partner’s lines as well. By the time we were ready to start setting up the shot, I could play out all parts of the entire scene in my head.

Now, after our brief run-in at the hair trailer, I had formulated the following impression of Dennis:
  • The man is a little scary
  • The man is a little lost
  • The man had a little too much fun in the 60s…and the 70s…and most likely the 80s.
Finally, it’s time to start shooting. We’d already blocked out the scene with scripts in hand and knew all the movements. Dennis and I are ready to make movie magic. Mr. AD yells “action” and we start.

Dennis does his line.

I do my line.

Dennis does his line.

I do my line.

What happens next takes me completely off guard. Dennis just freezes and hits me with the second in his arsenal of deadly stares. This one, however, is much different from the first. This one is a lost and confused stare. I’ve seen this stare in only two other situations before this moment. The first occasion was with an elderly relative who was struggling to figure out who the hell I was as she slipped rapidly into senility. The other was when a fellow actor had absolutely no idea what his next line was.

Since this seems to fall under the latter example, I’m faced with a bit of a dilemma. Should I wait for Dennis to remember the line? Or should I be bold and feed the guy his next line? Suddenly, my brain goes into “WTF” mode and I feed him the line. That snaps him out of his gaze and he continues as the AD cuts the scene.

This happens again and again as I feed him line after line. Finally, after over a dozen takes, he nails it. The AD quickly wraps that shot, eager to get it over with so he can beg his agent to get him out of this disaster of a project.

After the shoot, I get out of my Devo duds and rejoin my wife, who is receiving a demo of the operation of the Goomba head puppet.

“I’m done. Let’s go home,” I say.

We drive the five hours back to Norfolk and flop down on the couch, satisfied that the whole messy ordeal is finally behind us.

Or so we thought… (Cue spooky music)

Continue to Part III

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Do You Want To Play a Game?

Scott the Reader, in addition to being the first to post a comment on this blog, is a reader (duh) and frequents quite a few screenwriting blogs. He even has his own blog and since it’s a good read, I feel honored that he swung by for a look. After reading my intro post, Scott asked me to share the Super Mario Brothers story. So, here goes…

The year was 1992. My wife and I had been married a year and a half and within two years, we’d have our first of three kids crawling around our apartment.

We lived in Norfolk, VA, but for these few days, I was five hours away in Wilmington, NC and had just finished shooting my tiny walk-on part in an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. (Actually it was a sleepwalk-on part. I would take a moment to explain, but it would be doomed to the cutting room floor anyway). After getting out of wardrobe, I stopped to call my wife to let her know I would be hopping in the car and heading home soon. She quickly informed me that I needed to call my agent right away.

Now, my agent never called me twice in a week, not to mention calling to tell me about an audition while I’m on the set of another film. My first thought was, “There’s a problem with these schmucks paying me.” It was a real throwaway role and I really didn’t have much hope of it making the final cut. But they had to pay me, right?

I hung up the phone and immediately called my agent. She wanted me to run over to this abandoned cement factory to audition for Super Mario Brothers. I was really damn close to asking her what the heck she was babbling about.

“It’s a movie based on the video game,” she said.
“But I’ve never played this game,” I replied. “I have no idea what it’s even about.”
“That’s okay. They just need to cast someone for this right away.”

Great. I just love being kept in the dark about things. But I’m a nice guy and she’s a really sweet lady, so I ask her for directions and make tracks for this little slice of desolation.

She wasn’t kidding after all. It really was an abandoned cement factory. Except there were trucks and people milling about. Not cement trucks and not factory workers. Transportation vans and production people. I turned in and was guided to the crew parking lot. The guy asked who I was there to see. I told him…Rocky Morton and Anabel Jankel. At the moment, it didn’t dawn on me that they were the duo responsible for Max Headroom.

So, I go straight in to meet them. They were pleasant, middle-aged artsy folks who spoke to me all of one minute and then informed me that I was now cast as a Devo Chamber Technician. Now that I think back, it should’ve worried me that they didn’t bother to explain anything about the film’s plot. Because I now believe that, at the time, they probably didn’t have a solid idea of what the film was about, either.

I’m not saying they’re shoddy directors. I kinda liked Max Headroom. Not in a fanboy way, just an interesting concept. What I am saying, however, is that this film went through more screenwriters, directors, cast and crew than a dozen films combined. By the time I came to be involved, no one really knew what the hell was going on.

At any rate, I was taken directly to wardrobe to get fitted for a costume. Blue coveralls and a red hardhat. They must’ve found them lying around the factory. I wasn’t sure if I was to be working in a devo chamber or with the band Devo. I was then to report to visual effects. Visual effects? Sweet! This scene wasn’t just going to be people standing around talking. I would be part of a mind-numbing visual film event. I walked into the trailer and was told that they would need me to do a full-head cast. This was just getting cooler by the second.

I decided that I had to ask them what was going to happen in this scene. I figured if anyone knew, it would be the visual effects team. They had to have this thing planned for weeks, right? Here’s the answer I got:

“You’re a technician in the devo chamber. It’s a de-evolution chamber, capable of evolving or de-evolving anything millions of years in a matter of seconds.”
“Uh…Okay.”
“Koopa is the main villain. He evolved from a T-Rex.”
“Uh-huh. Who’s playing Koopa?”
“Dennis Hopper. Basically, he gets mad at you and de-evolves you into primordial slime.”
“Jesus!”

I don’t remember which part of that answer I was responding to…Doing a scene with Dennis Hopper or being turned into slime. Looking back, they both generate the same emotional response.

After having my head covered in white goopy shit for a half an hour, I was ready to go home. They told me they needed me back in three days.

A few days later, I’m driving back down to the cement factory, but this time I’m bringing my wife with me. “You have got to get a load of this freakshow”, I told her. We arrived and headed over to wardrobe to put on my new work clothes.

Next stop was hair and makeup. This is when things got truly weird. My wife and I climbed into the trailer and sitting in a barber chair was Dennis Hopper, no eyebrows, hair slicked back in tailored rows going straight down the back of his head. He turned to see who had just arrived.

Now, sometimes when you meet people, you get an immediate gut feeling about them the second they look you in the eye. You either like them or you don’t; they’re either friendly or they’re not. The look that shot out of Dennis’ eyes was just plain creepy. If you’ve ever seen Henry Rollins on stage, you know the gaze. He could nail you to the back wall of the concert venue with that stare. The last time I saw Dennis Hopper come close to the look he had in his eyes at that moment was when he was telling Isabella Rossellini not to f**king look at him. But he wasn’t staring at me.

As I followed his gaze over my shoulder, I saw my wife’s face. She was absolutely terrified. I turned back to look at Dennis. He was locked on her like a cat on a bird. And I’m thinking, “Holy shit! Do they know each other?” I was half expecting him to say in a horrified whisper, “It’s YOU!!”

Just then, one of the hair crew broke the tension and asked him about his golf game. He blinked and turned around, carrying on a perfectly lucid conversation about his swing being off or something. It was like someone flipped off the psycho-switch on the guy.

They ask which role I’m playing and take a quick glance at me. Hell, I’m wearing a hardhat. How much attention to my hair is really necessary? As my wife and I start to leave, this short, stocky, brute of a fellow storms in, kicking and cursing like a cockney sailor. We take a couple of steps back to give the guy some room to vent when he looks up with a wry grin and a wink. It’s Bob Hoskins, pulling a fast one on the crew. As it turns out, he’s a really nice guy.

Finally, we get to the devo chamber. If you’ve seen the film (and I pity you if you have), you know the set. Decorated in pure white bathroom tile, reminiscent of the “TV Room’ in either of the Willy Wonka movies. I was beginning to feel like an Oompa Loompa with an overactive pituitary. I get my sides and we work out the blocking for the scene. It doesn’t take me too long to memorize them. No tricky words or “sci-fi speak”. In fact, I’ve read over it so many times, I’ve even memorized Dennis’ lines.

Which, we will soon find out, is a very useful thing.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Look Who's Linking!

Last week, John August, a screenwriter who runs one of my favorite blogs, provided the less-than-six degrees of separation between him and the other screenwriting bloggers he links to from his site. Since I also link to those same folks, I thought I’d write a bit about each one myself.

Now, since John actually knows these people, his list is emphatically different in tone from mine. I’m just writing a bit about what drew me to those other blogs and why I check in on them regularly.

John August
The writer of several produced scripts (Go, Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), John was the first screenwriting blogger I stumbled upon, and his site’s been a huge source of information for this budding screenwriter. He is quite modest (and a bit of a fellow geek) and is brimming with solid advice, which he gives freely. He also has mixed feelings about pictures of himself.

Man Bytes Hollywood
David Anaxagoras (hey, I spelled it correctly!) feels much like a kindred soul. A fellow aspiring screenwriter, struggling with rewrites, work and occasional self-doubt. (don't we all?!) One major difference, though – he's finishing up the UCLA grad MFA program, and has written somewhere in the vicinity of 12 screenplays. And he lives on the correct side of the continent.

I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
Reading screenwriter Josh Freidman’s (War of the Worlds, The Black Dahlia) site is like hanging out with a fellow writer at a local bar, ranting about stupid industry people, while knocking back few drinks. I’m not sure if Josh actually drinks, but I like to imagine he does on occasion. Probably rum and Diet Coke.

The Artful Writer
This blog is maintained by Craig Mazin (Rocketman, Scary Movie 3) and Ted Elliot (Aladdin, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) and not only has a plethora of writing advice and WGA news, it also features a great message board haunted by some really smart people. I really try to be one of them, but it’s no use.

The Thinking Writer
As a 12-year veteran of the business, Jon Deer (not the tractor guy) has worked jobs from mailroom jockey to producer. Plus, he’s an entertainment lawyer and loves to answer questions. Standard legal advice disclaimer applies.

Wordplayer
A vast knowledgebase of screenwriting wisdom. A great choice for the first place to check when you’re looking for the answer to a sticky writing problem. Run by Ted Elliot (see the Artful Writer description above) and his writing partner, Terry Rossio. Check out the columns. There’s gold in there.

Now, I’m not claiming that my blog will in any way stand up in quality to the ones I’ve mentioned. And yes, I’ll probably end up linking directly to their posts from time to time, thus contributing to the massive replication of content that links all blogs together in some way or another. They’re just really great sites. Hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's In the Cards

Finally, after a few weeks of poking and prodding, slapping it around, I’ve finally come up with my first basically workable outline. At least it seems like it’s workable. (Not too sure about the cheesy-ish third act, though) I was kinda torn between whether I should even attempt an outline or throw caution and common sense to the wind and just jot things down on some index cards and play around with the structure that way. I mean, we’re supposed to use index cards, right? It’s almost expected of us.

Syd Field preaching about it in his books. Nick Cage sitting on the floor pouring over a sea of white rectangles in Adaptation. Index cards are simply a tradition among screenwriters. Shuffling story elements around in an unfathomable number of combinations, until just the right order reveals itself like the pattern to an impossible code rising out of the chaos. For some reason, I just feel like I’ll be a real screenwriter if I break out the cards and move them around like a blackjack dealer.

But, I’m glad I decided to go the outline route first. I’ll still put all the elements on index cards and try different structures. With an outline, at least, I’m getting all the ideas down in one place. Whether their current order is optimal remains to be seen.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Note Bene

If you’re anything like me (and God help you if you are), you’ll be doing something completely ordinary and menial when the idea first hits you. The great “what if” story idea that has eluded you for months. It’s a spark so combustible that the basic plot practically writes itself.

Then you suddenly realize that this flash of entertainment industry brilliance is like most any other idea…so fleeting and transitory that you have to record it – NOW! Hurry up and get that shit on paper or on a voice recorder or something! C’mon, just drop what you’re doing and jot it down. You won’t remember it later. Hell, you won’t remember it in the next five minutes.

But what should you use? You’re nowhere near your computer. What’s the best way to record the nugget that might lead to your first bought and sold screenplay? Quickly, you consider the options:

  1. Paper. Easy enough, right? But do you have paper on you right at this moment? Even if you did, you got something to write it down with? I can’t carry pencils in my pocket. Whenever I sit down, either the lead breaks or I get stabbed in the ass with the wooden hypo of black graphite in my jeans. Pens? Forget it. Pens leak and mess up clothes. Besides, I have children in my house. They eat writing utensils when you’re not looking and hide the ones that taste nasty.
  2. PDA. You could write it down on a PDA. Palm, Pocket PC, whatever. That seems like a good choice. You’ll be writing on your computer anyway. You can just copy and paste that sucker and zoom, you’re off! But have you ever tried to write down anything on a PDA? I’m sure there are some out there who are true “Graffiti artists”, able to wield a stylus like a conductor. But, I’ve never been able to write so much as a sentence without having to go back and rewrite it twice as many times. I guess I should get used to doing rewrites, right?
  3. Voice Recorder. Yeah, you could just grab the voice recorder and tell yourself your idea. Like some kind of self-pitching session. But before you do, look around. Are you surrounded by people? Now consider the guy jabbing away on his cell phone in front of you in the grocery store yesterday. Arrogant little prick, wasn’t he? You don’t want to be like him, do you? Of course you don’t. Anyway, you’ll have to listen to your own pathetic voice again when you transcribe this fantastic idea. And the more you listen to yourself ramble on, the less fantastic this idea suddenly seems.

By the time you’ve considered the options, the moment of genius has passed. The spark is gone and your idea, once brilliant, is now a rapidly fading memory as the current task at hand takes precedence. Or your four-year-old wants to start up a rousing theological discussion about whether bunnies go to a different heaven than people. Or the dog has just knocked over something in the kitchen.

My solution? The Hipster PDA. It’s a stack of index cards. What could be more perfect for a screenwriter?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fade In:

Before I kick off this blog, let me state right here and now a few facts to bear in mind as you pick through future posts:

  1. I am currently an aspiring screenwriter…aspiring…as in, not yet paid for it.

  2. Being an aspiring screenwriter, my experience in the professional realm of motion pictures is somewhat limited to my nearly non-existent past experience (more on that later) and the documented experiences of others.

  3. Having only a small amount of personal experience in the business and having never sold a screenplay (yet…YET!), I am not qualified to dish out sage advice on screenwriting and the business of selling a screenplay.

In short, folks, don’t expect me to tell you how to do it. You’re welcome to follow my progress and watch me stumble along the way, but don’t look for the secrets of the force.

That said, a little about me…

I’m a husband, father of three (not counting the ark of pets around our house) and, not surprising in this business, an occasional actor. It’s this last hat that brings me to the miniscule past experience I mentioned earlier. I have only two entries on IMDB…one for Super Mario Brothers, which would provide more than enough angst for a whole other blog, and the other for a film called Deuce Coupe that has all but disappeared completely from the planet.

While I’m clawing my way toward my screenwriting goals, I bring home the bacon as a multimedia developer.

But here’s the best part…I live in Virginia. Completely opposite from the coast where I should be living. But that’s the challenge. And what’s the fun of reaching your goal if there isn’t a bit of a challenge involved.

Stay tuned and enjoy!