Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dear Scriptwriter,

I received this letter today.


Dear Scriptwriter,

We hope you are proud. Very, very proud.

During the month of June, despite all the weddings and road trips, despite all the family barbeques and pool parties (or ski trips and snowball fights in the southern hemisphere), you managed to write a 20,000-word script. When the weather and the living finally got good, you did what any dedicated scriptwriter would do: You stowed yourself away, you typed like crazy, and you helped make history by writing and finishing your script during the very first Script Frenzy. Ever.

That’s right. You created scenes and slug lines and stage directions. You dreamt up dialogue and formatted it with reasonably exacting precision. You crafted characters, and you stuck to your scriptwriting regimen, pressing onward as many of your cohorts melted away into the temptations of summer.

And now look at you: A Script Frenzy winner.


We stand corrected: A Script Frenzy World Premiere Winner!

[edited out special winners-only information]

Finally, if you haven't made a donation to Script Frenzy, please visit our Donation Station. So far, we've received donations from less than 3% of our Frenzies, and we're looking at a lot of unpaid bills. If you want Script Frenzy to return next year, please make a tax-deducible, karma-enriching donation today.

And that's a wrap! All of us here at Script Frenzy headquarters offer you our congratulations and admiration. We look forward to writing with you again next June.

Warm regards,

The Script Frenzy Staff

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Can you tell I'm procrastionating when I should be working on my ScriptFrenzy script?

I know I should be working on a script and not posting video files into my blog, but this is neat.

Apparently, I'm Kid-Friendly

There is now a website that rates your blog based on the MPAA standards.

Online Dating

This shocks me a little, because most of the blogs I read are hard-R, at best.

Yet Another Reason I'm Saving up for a Camcorder

I've been flying twice a week for my job for several months. I try not to complain, but they make it so easy.

Seriously, the last month EVERY ONE of my American Airlines Flights (except one) have been delayed more than an hour. And the one that left on time, I almost missed because I just expected them to be running an hour late.

So I see this video about Delta, and think - no, that was an American flight! I swear it was American. As much as I hate the situation, I love this film. So here is my solution - for every hour your flight is delayed, you get points. Or Frequent Flyer miles or whatever. For every hour, you get 10,000 points. Then you can trade them in for prizes.

Like a camcorder.

So you can then make lovely movies like this one:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Movie Idea You Can Use

I am a member of the Dallas Screenwriter's Association.

At our last meeting, our speaker was late, so we took turn pitching script ideas to each other.

This was a lot of fun, although the #1 question after each pitch dealt with the genre of a movie. Apparently, we are at the point where any plot can be in any genre.

For example: "A professional assassin falls in love with a woman while under a fake identity. So he's lying to her about who she is. One night before a date, she witnesses one of his assassinations. She doesn't realize it is him, but all of a sudden he has been paid to kill her. Does he reveal his secret identity to her and invite her into his organization? Does he go on the run with her and put his life in jeopardy? Or does he just say 'Aw, screw it,' and kill her."

"Sounds like a great action adventure!"

"Um... its a comedy."

They were all like that.

Last night, when working on my ScriptFrenzy script, I got an idea for another movie. This often happens - my brain's way of procrastination is to come up with new ideas before I finish my first one. Anyway, I will never write this script. Ever.

So seriously, anyone out here who wants to develop this idea into a script, be my guest.

Mittens: The Presidential Cat

Trevor wanted to be a writer. Instead, he became a lawyer. He was the best, most weaselly lawyer ever. He even worked his way into the most corrupt place imaginable - the White House! But deep down inside, he still wanted to be a writer. He secretly writes legal briefings in iambic pentameter and makes wicked allusions to the works of John Cheever whenever he can.

Then one day, the Presidential Press Relations needed someone to write the authorized biography of Mittens, the White House Cat. Knowing about Trevor's secret passion, the cute press secretary thinks she is doing him a favor. She does not know that to write a bland life story about a cute and fuzzy moppet, Trevor will need a soul.

So Trevor decides to bond with the fluffball and grow a soul. This does not work because it turns out that Mittens ithe most ill-tempered, mean, and nastiest cat around. Whenever Trevor extends the warm hand of friendship, Mittens decides to keep a finger as a trophy.

Meanwhile, a group of dog-loving cat-hating radicals decide that the nation's love of Mittens has gone too far. Why does the President have a cat, anyway? Aren't dog's better and friendlier? And now the cat is putting out an autobiography? The world no longer makes any sense.

So these radicals decide to kidnap Mittens.

They succeed.

Trevor doesn't know what to do. He has lost Mittens, and will surely suffer the wrath when that is discovered. ("They'll bring back the guillotine for me!" he laments.) So he buys a replacement cat who looks almost like Mittens, but not quite, and goes on a quest for the stolen cat.

Meanwhile Mittens is wreaking havoc on the lives of its cat-nappers. Eventually, though, he warms their hearts and they grow to love him and his mouse-and-bird-killing ways.

Right when they do, Trevor shows up for the showdown.

What will happen next? Will Trevor get the cat back? Will the President decide to keep the Fake Mittens? Will Trevor ever write the book of his dreams? Will a studio option this idea for $1,000,0000? who knows?

Oh, and it is supposed to be a comedy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Thing That Made Me Laugh The Most Today

I laugh at many things. As a highly-paid traveling consultant, I have to.

This, however, made me laugh the most.

And just when you couldn't laugh any harder, Veronica Belmont posts this.

What I Have Been Up To

I haven’t been posting much lately because I’m deeply involved in Script-Frenzy this month.

The idea is you write a feature-length film script in 30 days. 20,000 words of which I have completed close to 6,000. (Don't worry, I always write like this - the closer to the deadline the more work I actually accomplish.)

I decided to do a sort of sequel/update of Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus,” but thanks tothe combination of a looming deadline and my questionable talent, the script is quickly turning into a grindhouse-style horror film and not necessarily the life-changing art film I set out to write.

Not all is lost, though. I was able to work in this scene, based on a true-life event I witnessed in the Oklahoma City bus station sometime in the early 90s.

An old man and a 20ish woman sit together on a bench. There are two children running around, screaming and generally being a nuisance.

‘Scuse me ma’am, do you mind if I ask a personal question?

No. I don’t mind.

You beat your kids?

No. I don’t believe in that.

The old man mulls this over.

Want me to?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wherein I Once Again Proclaim the My Wife is the Gold Standard

When I was 15, I had a crazy-mad crush on Laurie Anderson. Not only was she a wacked-out performance artist who was exciting and funny, she had also been a cheerleader. Oh, that Laurie... always challenging my expectations by simultaneously embodying two actualities most people would consider mutually exclusive.

Anyway, I saw this great little short video of Laurie Anderson where she begins the conversation with the words, "You know, I hate television." And I immediately thought of my wife, because she is the type of person who begins conversations with the words, "You know, I hate television."

As I get further into my marriage, I'm noticing that my thought process becomes more and more like this. Instead of going, "Whoa. My wife sounds just like Laurie Anderson," I go, "Whoa. Laurie Anderson sounds just like my wife." It is a subtle, but important change from when I was single, because she has now become the gold standard that I use to measure other people.

Sorry, ladies of the world.