Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Office - Lost Dialogue Unrated Director's Cut Thing

My hobby is screenwriting, which can be a fun and inexpensive hobby if you work hard at it.

Because the film and television is so competitive, another new and entirely different industry has grown up around breaking into the film and television industry. If you say, “I want to be a screenwriter,” there are dozens and dozens of people who will tell you, “You can only be a screenwriter only if you pay me money so I can show you how it is done.”

If you do this, your fun and inexpensive hobby becomes a REALLY EXPENSIVE hobby. Plus the advice you get from people you pay isn’t always the best.

I was at a writing workshop one time and the person leading the discussion said, “You see on the table before me twenty books about how to have a successful career as a screenwriter. Out of all of these books, only one of them was written by a person with a successful career as a screenwriter.” It was true. The rest of the books were written by people who made a living writing books and conducting seminars on how to be a screenwriter.

But that is beside the point. Once you say, “I’m a screenwriter,” there are a million billion screenplay contests for you to enter.

Some of them are very fun but don’t have prizes, like this punchline contest by Ken Levine. (Actually, the real prize was his advice to aspiring writers, which he posted here.)

And some of the contest have thousands and thousands of dollars worth or prizes in the form of magazine subscriptions and discounts on their screenplay reading and reviewing services.

One of the screenwriting I like the most is the Scriptapalooza TV contest because they ask people to write scripts for existing television shows.

This has lead to a few awkward social situations. I remember talking about my script for Arrested Development where Gob decides to open a women’s clothing store, but all the clothes are the same size – the size of a woman whose proportions Gob considered attractive. That way, he could use the store to score.

Apparently, I got a little passionate about pitching to this guy because he responded to the whole thing by saying, “Dude, you really get into your fan fiction.”

Ugh. Hate to sound all snotty, but what I do is not fan fiction.

Here’s why:
  1. Fan fiction is almost always bad. I like to think my stuff is not bad.
  2. Fan fiction often ventures into the world of wish fulfillment, which makes it bad.
  3. Fan fiction often ventures into the world of slash fiction (sexually explicit encounters between fictional characters) which tends to make it either bad or just creepy (I’m talking to you Harry Potter fans!).
  4. I am not writing scripts to fulfill some creepy fan fantasy. I am writing to show that:
    1. I know the formula of the television show in question.
    2. If asked, I can follow the formula and do it with a flourish.
  5. Do people really write fan fiction about The Office or Arrested Development? If so, why?
In the one book actually written by a person with a successful screenwriting career, he says that you need to watch out when making a script that focuses on a television guest star of some sort. It hurts the producer's feelings if you totally ignore their characters.

I secretly believe that guest stars in your script are secret indicators that they are fan fiction, so I don’t try to use them. All elements for a successful show (premise, cast, etc.) are part of the show’s formula. That's the theory, at least.

But all of that is beside the point. The point is that I’m in the middle of a script for The Office and I thought of a good dialog exchange that is perfectly in line with the tone/spirit of the show, but doesn’t fit in my script. So I thought I would post it on the blog. And all of the blah blah blah before this section is just over-hype and set up for four lines of naughty talk.

My parents are not allowed to read past this point, because of a naughty, yet literary, word I normally refer to as "hoo-haa."

Here is the Cut Scene from my Office Script that is not Fan Fiction:

We are not going to have this discussion, Michael

Come on. We’re not like that, Jan. We’re not the Vagina Monologues. We’re the Vagina Dialogs.
(dawning realization) Then that would mean that you also have a-
Shut up, Dwight.

And if that wasn't funny enough for you, this is guaranteed to cause some laughs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

If you got anything from my dorky MySpace account in the past 48 hours - delete it, please

It looks like my love of Kanye West and 50 Cent rap-off videos has compromised my dorky MySpace account.

Apologies to the person? People? who were affected by this. I am more than a little upset by this whole thing, but MySpace Tom with the incredibly poor posture assures me it is now all fixed.

So... to make sure you don't feel your time is complete wasted with this blog entry, here is a music video comprised of old church revival footage - once again showing that video cameras and church services shouldn't mix.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How I Spent my Colorado Vacation

To all of the three of you who expect this blog to be updated regularly, you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting for the past two or so weeks – even the embedded-video-that-doesn’t-really-count-as-a-post posts haven’t been popping up as often as they normally do.

There are a couple of reasons for this and they all boil down to me not having too much time on my hands.

It is good for me keep busy. I don’t spend as much money and fewer things blow up. Plus, I get to go on vacation.

Yes, not only did I get to go to Portland earlier this year, I also got to go with the Mrs. to Colorado.

How can I afford to go on two vacations? I sold a mountain. See? Here is a photo of me selling it.

The secret to good salesmanship is this – NEVER TAKE OFF YOUR HEADPHONES. As long as you are listening to happy music, you feel better. And if you feel better, you will give off a more positive impression. And giving off a positive impression means effective salesmanship. I would go into more detail, but you will need to attend my $99.95 half-day seminar to find out the incredible technique of my amazing Seven Steps to Selling Mountains (and Molehills) Method.

Colorado is a very beautiful state. I am genuinely surprised that it is possible to build anything there, because there is so much raw, wild, aggressive nature. It is easy to imagine going to bed one night and the next morning discovering that your front yard has been reclaimed by nature.

You think I'm joking, but one morning we went through a park with a paved walking path.

And the next morning, the mountains and scrub brush swallowed it whole!

In the struggle of Man vs. Nature, Man's only defense is the same one I used against my brother when we were younger - Man sits on Nature and calls it funny names.

Here is a photo of Man scaling up nature...

...and here is a photo of Man sitting on Nature, using the full force of his hefty buttocks and and saying, "I'm not getting up until you say that you are secretly in love with Arlene Moffit! Because I know you are! You are! You are! You are! MOFFIT LOVER! You're a MOFFIT LOVER!" Then Man bounces a little to drive the point home.

It wasn't all nature and hiking trails for us, though. We saw the famous Boulder Falls...

...and we also saw the truly incredible Air Force Academy Chapel.

The Air Force Academy Chapel has a Wednesday night Buddhist service which struck me as odd, because aren't Buddhists supposed to be pacifists? Why would they be in the ARMED SERVICES? This is yet another reason I marvel at the U.S. Armed Services, they can do these sort of things with a straight face and no one thinks it is ironic. Well, no one but me.

We ended our whirlwind tour of the state in Denver, where we got to see the spider bite on my cousin's arm. Her dad almost got on a plane to make sure it was ok, but we took this photo to prove to him that it was indeed NO BIG DEAL, and then we promptly forgot to email it to him that evening. Soooooo.... yeeeeah... That's why we're placing the photo on the blog about a week and a half later. So now eveyone knows the spider bite is NO BIG DEAL.

While I was there, I often asked myself where Kat(e) was. I kept seeing her handiwork everywhere.

And I also saw the BEST SIGN EVER! Seriously, if you only learn one thing from my trip to Colorado, learn this - NEVER LEAVE BABY UNATTENDED!

In conclusion, I like Colorado.

Happy Trails!

If I could make six figures making videos like this, I would leave my job tomorrow.

I love stuff like this, especially the raccoon part.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reasons Why You Should Listen to My Cousin

My musician cousin has pretty much made it a mandate to only like bands she can hear live, because that is the only way to separate the true musicians from the lip-syncing fashion plates.

Because I have no inherent musical ability outside of remixing things using Sony's ACID software, I try to disagree with her.

But then, my favorite new band St. Vincent does two super cool live music YouTube things and suddenly, I don't have a leg to stand on.

And, for no real reason whatsoever, here is a picture of Veronica Belmont in a bear costume.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Looking for Richard: The Abridged Script

Apologies to Rod Hilton. Also, if you haven't seen this trainwreck of a movie, it can be found here.




Iam AL PACINO! Iamthe PRODUCER! Iamthe DIRECTOR! Iamthe WRITER! Iamthe STAR! Ispeakthefirsthalfofallofmysentencesreallyfast AND THEN SCREAM THE SECOND HALF! (turns to the camera and speaks in an overly sincere monotone) I consider it my sacred mission to bring Shakespeare to the common man.



Shakespeare is very important. (turns to the camera and speaks in monotone, as if reading cue cards) If only someone…. some… one… would bring Shakespeare to the common man.



Shakespeare is very important. (turns to the camera and speaks in monotone, as if reading cue cards) If only someone…. some… one… would bring Shakespeare to the common man.


You think it would rock the entire world if I used this documentary on Shakespeare to act out Richard III with my actor buddies?




That wasn’t really a question.



Wow. This is incredible! Who would have thought of bringing Shakespeare to the common man?


Only Al Pacino! He is the best! He is wonderful! He is a genius! No one, and I mean no one would ever possibly in a million years think of bringing Shakespeare to the common man!


Promote that gaffer to assistant director and give him more screen time than anyone but me.


What am I doing here, again?




Did Shakespeare actually make Richard III say HOO-HAAAA?

AL PACINO (to crew)

Kill the traitor.


I’m so glad this movie played only in art theaters and then got shelved in the documentary section of the video store, because now I'll never see it.