November 9, 2013
Amazing I still have this photo? That is Mr. Butts in his rocket pack. Originally he had a globe helmet he wore for the movie but the helmet photos were too smoky for the magazine so we gave him a space hat and put his space pack on him to shoot these for the Dog Fancy article.
I am holding anchovi pizza off camera to get this pose [every dog has his weakness] while Fabiana Cesa who I went to film school with and who is great with a camera shoots the pictures.
Mr. Butts was a major player in Plan 10 From Outer Space directed by Trent Harris starring Karen Black which I crewed on in college.
There is an entire Dog Fancy article and also a Cinefantastique article on Mr. Butts [yeah yeah yeah, you didn't think I was paying tuition in college?] if I get time I will put them up and link them in. For now, you just get the really sweet dog. Also, the “Holy Mother of Christ, no tongue, Mr. Butts!” story is not currently online. But could be. If you ask nice.
November 3, 2013
I ran into —
Joanne Lammers at Austin Film Festival. Joanne is a friend and really cool and is the Director of the Archive at Writer’s Guild of America.
I have known Joanne more years than I will say in public but to put it in perspective, one of those babies was a bump in a hot dress at a big awards ceremony when we first met.
Joanne was out at AFF with a really cool WGA exhibit featuring archives like Billy Wilder’s original scripts and the typewriter the original Psycho was written on. [That type writer weighs like a hundred pounds too so kiss your laptap and say "Thank you dear God, that I live in a time in which moving the writing machine does not include a hernia and blow up donut" --- also they didn't have blow up hernia donuts back then either, those poor bastards.]
One of the things Joanne said to me was how surprised she was a lot of exhibit guests [and people lined up around the block so I give credit for that, that is pretty cool, but still, there's a question here] and these exhibit guests are, you know, “writers”? How many of them looked at script pages in the presentation and and looked mystified and said, Wow I didn’t know they wrote what the characters were actually doing in the scenes.
This of course confused Joanne because she was wondering, Well what are these people writing or even doing at a writer’s conference if they don’t know that? And, haven’t they ever read a script before? Because all scripts — okay, all good scripts — do that.
People trying to write scripts who have never read scripts was not as much confusing or mystifying to me because even though it is totally confusing and mystifying that anyone would actually attempt to write a script without actually reading one? Ever?
[Isn't that like trying to write a symphony without learning how to read sheet music? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?]
I have been around on the internet long enough to know it happens. Over and over again. [I blame Final Draft! Anyone can write a movie! Just buy this software! Ahhh!] I also have seen the appalling statements online that go something like, “Oh I don’t write anything that characters do physically or that actually happens in scenes physically or describe any settings or action at all, the director will do that and I would be stepping on his toes if I put that in.
Really? Writing the movie would be “stepping on the director’s toes”? Because, you know, no movie? In the real world, no movie on the page usually spells, no director signs up to direct. But I digress. Bottom line —
You should wonder, if you aren’t writing action or setting descriptions or what characters are doing or, you know, a movie? What is the director actually supposed to sign on to direct?
I’ve never met a director who wanted to write the script for the writer since the writer didn’t actually write it. I meet a lot of directors who want to change the fuck out of an existing script. Just not so many who want to write the script that doesn’t exist.
Let’s ask a real question. In a poll. Yay!
How many film scripts have you read?
August 27, 2013
So foolishly Saturday night I went dancing in totally inappropriate shoes. [Hey, I did not know I was going dancing, I thought I was going to a comedy club. And I did that too. The dancing was a surprise event that came after.] Then for good measure, I trotted up and down unfriendly stairs in said inappropriate shoes, did two shots of some really suspicious cinnamon flavored brew, and slammed my [bad, okay, they are both bad, but I picked the most bad for this stunt] knee into a hard surface just to bring that baby home.
The knee is not feeling very forgiving. My knees have never been forgiving. In the words of a past ortho doc, “So pretty on the outside, so ugly on the inside.” So I am a little hobbled here, but hey, the knee has not demanded the knee brace yet. Ooh la la, I can still wear shorts and pretty dresses — if I don’t go crazy on the shoes. [Yeah, don't count on that.]
Meanwhile, in other news. If you were planning on that free bumper sticker with swag, you missed out. That ended Sunday. But the swag is still cool, free [bribe!] bumper sticker or not, and there is cool new book news on the horizon.
:::THE BOOK::: is now available at Book People [Austin], Book Soup [West Hollywood], Cinema Books [Seattle], Samuel French [Hollywood], and coming soon to Trident Booksellers and Cafe [Boston]. Yay!
[Check out :::WHERE TO BUY::: for the current list of booksellers.]
Also we’re talking to Book Soup about an author event. That would seriously be yay, though involve [uh ohs] me getting on a plane.
And in other cool ass news, knee willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be playing softball in the upcoming Gridiron Heroes Celebrity Softball Tournament September 13-14 in Schertz Texas [that's by San Antonio for the geographically impaired] so if you want to see mind over matter, come out to the Gridiron Heroes event and watch me run on this punk ass knee. Yay!
I promise to wear appropriate foot wear and swing that bat. Also I throw in home via Second and yell “Not the face!” a lot [my short stop days are over shut up] and should be doing a fabulous Kirk Gibson impression from the year The Dodgers brought that baby home. Except I’m shorter and blonder. Bottom line, It should be entertaining as hell, if you like to see small blondes run and curse a lot.
AND. It’s for a :::DAMN GOOD CAUSE:::
See you there.
Your Gridiron Heroes Adams Girl
*BTW, we have done hot crazy Gridiron Hero action here before. Oh yez, last year we did the hot poker tournament and auction. Stop in. We’re not going anywhere.
February 28, 2013
Julie is one of my students. I would love to take credit for everything she has accomplished, but I can’t. I am her teacher, I guide. I’m a good teacher and a good guide. Hell, I’m a good writer, if it comes down to that. But. A guide can only guide someone willing to be guided who has drive to push through. I could be walking someone up Kilimanjaro, but it would not do any good if that person said, Oh I’m tired now, I think I’ll turn back. And it wouldn’t do any good if I said, Hey, try to avoid that edge. And the person being guided didn’t listen to me and walked over the edge. So there is this fine line of taking credit for the student’s accomplishments. Because, if the student isn’t special, well all the guiding in the world won’t stop that student from quitting or walking over that edge.
That said? I’m mad cap proud of Julie Howe. Here is her recent post on the Austin Film Festival blog:
AFF GUEST BLOG: JULIE HOWE IN SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT HEAVEN:
I know what you’re thinking. “She must be directionally confused, poor thing.” But hear me out because I actually do own a compass and know the difference between north and south.
When Matt Dy first rang me back in 2010 to say Joyce San Pedro, a producer based at Sony and an AFF judge and panelist, wanted to meet with me about my script, I was thinking he must have meant to call someone else — some OTHER writer who may have had the same last name as me — and he hit my number by mistake. Happens, right? Thankfully, it wasn’t a butt dial.
I’m one of those lucky writers who caught a break thanks to Austin Film Festival; as well as to an army of fellow writers who were generous and kind, brutal and honest, and most of all just plain supportive. As a result, my 2010 AFF comedy script is in development with Joyce San Pedro and Alex Siskin. It’s not a studio deal; it’s a handmade independent production deal. And I didn’t leave the baby on the doorstep and walk away. Instead, I made an arrangement with the producers that included involvement from start to finish. I wanted to learn, I wanted to know what it was really like to make a movie, to be part of a team. I didn’t know if I would be chewed up and spit out like a stale Chiclet or be able to hold my own. Not to mention being able to hold my tongue when necessary while still holding true to my vision.
As luck would have it, I was taken under the wings of the good guys and I’m thanking the gods of screenwriting I didn’t end up stuck to the bottom of somebody’s Nike. Those who championed the script from the beginning, Joyce San Pedro. Michael-Ryan Fletchall and Alex Siskin, opened the door for me and I ran through it like my hair was on fire. Let’s face it, I’m not a kid. I’m staring down the point-blank barrel of middle age. I want my shot before Medicare kicks in or I start thinking my purse belongs in the refrigerator.
I owe my tenacious attitude not only to the opportunity afforded me by Austin Film Festival but also to an amazing writer’s group called 5150 whose founder Max Adams, won the screenplay award when AFF was a pup. From the beginning of my tenure in the group, Austin Film Festival was touted as THE festival. Everyone in the group aspired to place well in the screenplay competition. Needless to say, winning was unbelievable and surreal. Like I had brought home 5150’s version of the Stanley Cup (yeah, I’m from a hockey state!). I would not be where I am without the help and guidance of these wickedly smart, talented peeps.
Although this all sounds like rah-rah cheerleader fluff…
December 15, 2012
*Don’t know what this is about? Maybe you should :::find out:::
November 6, 2012
November 4, 2012
We have a delivery date of November 21st for the eBook after which, barring major catastrophe and/or Apple complications the eBook will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.
But wait, you do not have to wait in line and jostle elbows and servers with the unwashed masses for the eBook. You can pre-order the eBook right now. How is this wizardry possible, you ask? Hit the :::book order page::: and as soon as the book becomes available it will be delivered straight to your in box.
October 28, 2012
August 23, 2012
I’m having this conversation with some friends. They are making a movie.
My friends are also creating a comic book for the movie — or in more polite terms, a graphic novel — as a pre-launch ad campaign.
It’s a smart idea. Get it out there, get it circulating, get people knowing and talking and seeing and thinking about it. My friends figure they will break even on the comic too so it is free advertising hitting comic cons.
But they’re talking about this other guy. This guy who was pre-vamping for a film and made a comic book and never put the comic book on the market. He just printed up copies and gave them to studio suits and industry people, and never ever sold the comic. Sort of a fancier cooler kind of story board, that. And a collector’s item since there were only a very few in existence and you could only get them as a gift, they were not for sale. And my friends are saying this journalist one time hit him with this question, “You created the comic, you had it all graphed out and whatnot, printer friendly, ready for market” why didn’t you ever sell it?
And the filmmaker didn’t answer the question.
So we are sitting there. My friends are puzzling over why. And so am I. And then I know —
If he had put the comic book on the market, while he was selling the film? Industry people would have wanted to know the sales numbers and would have walked away if those weren’t high enough. So he made that book a gift, a special thing, that only some people could get, that wasn’t even available for sale. And he never had to answer the question “Is this a best seller?” in a meeting.