Thursday, October 25, 2007

Radio, Radio

Much like Cameron Crowe does while writing, I've been listening to a lot of music while working on Left of the Dial. Not just any old music, but a genre that's specific to the time period of the story: early 80's college radio.

For those of you who miss hearing bands like the Replacements, the DB's, X and R.E.M. (when they actually used to sound like R.E.M.) on your radio, you're in luck...

Check out Radio Hidebound.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I, Meme, Mine

Okay, folks. It's time for our first meme game on 120-Page Monster...

"Five Films I'm Ashamed To Say I Haven't Seen"

1. Casablanca
Yep. The big one. This one really gets to me. I try to avoid mentioning my ignorance about it, but I promise I'll get around to seeing it soon. Promise. Really.

2. The French Connection
Yeah, I know...killer car chase and cool grittiness. I don't know what I'm missing.

3. Chinatown
Again. I'll get to it. Oh, and tough luck about your nose, Jack...whatever happened to it.

4. Raging Bull
Someone apologize to Deniro for me.

5. Crash
I can't be the only person out there who hasn't see this, can I?

I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend...

I've tagged Dave, Scott, Julie, Rod, and're it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Sea of Holes

So far, the rewrite of Left of the Dial is going pretty smoothly. It's truly amazing how, when you leave a story alone for a few weeks, the holes appear. Everywhere.

When I was outlining, I thought the flow of the story was pretty tight. One scene just logically moved to the next and so on. But looking at it now, I realize that my outline consisted merely of broad strokes, not the detail that comes as the script is written. And rewritten.

I must admit that before settling in to start the rewrite, I was pretty nervous about the whole affair. However, now that I'm into it, I've found the process to be extremely therapeutic. Like pulling and punching a mound of clay, working it into something that is hopefully approaching attractive. It must be the ex-English teacher in me, but it's surprisingly comforting for me to hack away at this thing, chopping out bad scenes and planting needed ones.

I'm hoping to be done with this initial rewrite by the end of next week, so we'll see how it goes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Script Cops!

Their coming for you...* (thanks, John August!)

* Ironic misspelling intentional

Friday, October 12, 2007

Break Out The Red Pen

After a two week break from the Left of the Dial script, the rewrite starts today. I printed out the script and put it in a three-ring binder, dropped it in my bag and got onto the bus.

Before I opened it up to start, I decided that I need to approach the thing not as a writer, but solely as an editor. I told myself that it was written by someone else and it was my job to make corrections, story notes and brutally honest suggestions.

Kinda like a reader.

Admittedly, it's a bit difficult to distance myself, but when I can get into that mindset, it's really refreshing. I don't get protective or possessive about it. I just let the red pen do its job.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tripping on Daisies

I just finished watching Pushing Daisies and I'm happy to say it absolutely exceeded my expectations. Visually, it's very Tim Burton-esque...a slightly odd but brightly colorful world. Kinda like a Claritin commercial on acid.

The story unfolds like a sort of magical fable, with allusions to both Sleeping Beauty and Forrest Gump, but with a bit of procedural crime drama thrown in.

In short, Ned, who runs a pie shop, has a remarkable gift. With a touch, he can resurrect the dead. However, as with any magical gift, there are stipulations. One, if he touches the person (or dog, or plant) again, they die again and cannot be brought back. Two, if he keeps them alive for more than one minute, they will remain alive (as long as he never touches them again). And three, if he chooses to keep someone alive past the 60-second mark, someone else has to die to take that person's place. With the help of a streetwise cop, Ned realizes the profitable potential of his ability. He awakens murder victims, asks who killed them, then after putting them back to "sleep", collects the reward.

It's this conundrum that creates the interesting relationship between Ned and his childhood sweetheart, Chuck. (Chuck is a girl, in case you were curious.) When Ned finds out that Chuck has been killed, he revives her with the initial purpose of reward money, but when they realize that they both still have feelings for one another, he decides to keep her alive past the minute mark, invariably causing the death of the nefarious funeral home director.

Ned and Chuck, though very much in love, can never touch. No kisses, hugs...nothing. But through some inspiringly clever writing, this limitation is overcome, at least emotionally.

The writing on this show is fantastic. There are too many cleverly crafted bits of dialogue and story turns to mention. I can't wait to see how future episodes play out. If tonight was any indication, consider me hooked.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Monday Night = TV Heaven

Welcome back, Heroes. It's so good to see you again looking so fit and ready for action. And thanks for bringing your new friends, Chuck and Journeyman. Now I don't have to touch the remote for a whole three hours...until 11:00 when I hit the power button.

...And then hit it again Wednesday night and switch it to ABC for Pushing Daisies. I'm really looking forward to this show. Great premise, interesting relationship between the male and female leads and enough eye candy to send Augustus Gloop into a diabetic coma.