Monday, June 30, 2008

Teen Film Class - The Boys

My teen film boys are so rad. They crack me up to the point where my head's on the desk and I can't catch my breath.

Just like when Flanders went into the future to stop Homer from blowing up the world ... like that, right?


They're a mile a minute. I almost can't keep up sometimes. What? Huh? Thoughts run through their heads and then spin them all around. Mostly one in particular who I had in class last year. He's one of those kids that has to interject every two seconds comparing something to something else or asking what a superhero might do in that situation. He's going to be the next Woody Allen with a twist of Ed Wood and Jon Favreau, I think.


The Retelling Needs Your Help

Emily Hagins is making her second feature film this summer. Emily made her first feature Pathogen at age 12 and is making her second, The Retelling at age 15. She's such a kick ass kid I can't tell you enough. With all of that said, she could really use some help. They're trying to cover their meals with donations from friends, loved ones and people who just want to support teen filmmaking at its finest. This is how we got almost our entire craft services covered for jumping off bridges. This was huge for us.

They'll be shooting this summer in Austin, TX from July 9th - July 17th. I'll be bringing two meals to the set. If you think you might be able to do the same, you can contact Megan Hagins, Emily's mom. Or if you have connections to a restaurant and can get donated meals that way ... Anything you can do would be huge to them.

Megan Hagins: meganhagins@yahoo.com, 512.633.7232

Guillermo del Toro

How can you not love this guy? I saw him talk years ago at an Austin screening of The Devil's Backbone. But if he didn't inspire the whole audience with a mouthful of expletives and that thick accent of his ... I love the man. You can just tell he's a big kid in a pudgy man's body who has a heart that's plastered all over his movies.

*********************************************

Hellboy director: I would've been a bank robber


Jun 27, 9:47 PM (ET)

By E.J. TAMARA

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Guillermo del Toro has had it with the beautiful people of Hollywood. It's monsters - or bank robbers - he wants to see.

The Mexican director, whose latest movie "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" opens next month, said Thursday night that monsters have a inherent beauty that not enough people appreciate.

"We live in a world that's constantly trying to tell you what (expletive) products to use to diminish your ugliness, or smelliness or the unpleasantness", he said Thursday. "I say (expletive) them all, let us be whatever we are, let us be free in our ugliness, fatiness, stretch markings, whatever the (expletive) we are. Monsters can be that, monsters can represent something else".

One monster that's definitely something else: del Toro's movie version of the comic-book character Hellboy, a red demon that protects humans and shaves his horns down to nubs to better fit in.

"I attacked this movie the same way I attacked 'Pan's Labyrinth': from a design point of view, from a enjoyment point of view", the director said in front of a full theater at the Los Angeles Film Festival. "I think we created very unique monsters."

Del Toro said his grungy ideal extends to himself. Dressed in a black suit with a polo shirt tucked out, he said he's so uncool that he dresses poorly and drives a 2000 Chrysler.

"If I wouldn't have been a director, I would've been a bank robber. I hate banks", he said. "Give me 'Ocean's Eleven' or any movie where banks are robbed, and I'm happy".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Quarter to Noon = 90%

The short film, Quarter to Noon which we shot last October is close. Very close. We have an almost perfect sound mix, an almost perfect score, and an almost perfect special effects. We need to add titles and probably get a little overall color correction done.

I was over at Brian's office watching it all put together this afternoon. A tear or two falling down my cheek and a big smile on my face. I'm really proud. I'm really proud of being able to find pretty amazing people to work with. Sure I came up with the idea. I wrote the script and then some wonderfully talented people brought it to life, added their touch and made it their own.

We'll submit an almost finished film to our first festival this week. And then hold off for a few more deadlines at the end of summer/early fall. We have just a few more tweaks, nips and tucks and then it'll be done. And then I'll be ready to start the next one.

Photo Shoots

I don't like them. I was sort of dodging one all week, hoping it would go away. But it didn't. It caught up with me this afternoon.

So Jaime Ibarra and I drove around Austin today finding cool locations to shoot against ... some house on 2222, I Luv Video on Airport and against a green wall near my office. It was fun in the end. Not that painful. I think an interview and the photos come out in Rare Magazine in September.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Noah William Volk

Welcome to the world, little man!
A big congratulations to Kurt and MV!

My Empire

I had to put together a list of goals for my agent. 1 Year, 5 Year and 10 Year Goals. In my 10 Year list, I had Have an Empire. It's true. No joke. I'd like to have an empire. That means be able to make movies whenever I want, on my own terms. Have a television show that I created and am executive producer on. Be able to executive produce my friends films under my company name and give them all the same freedoms. What I love was that at the end of the conversation and going over each goal, she stopped and then said, I think this is doable. I hope she's right.

Bad Movies, Love 'Em


Don't ask me why we rented True Crime. It's got Johnny Drama in it? I love the Johnny Drama. But yeah, this movie pretty much sucks in every which way. You can learn a lot from a bad movie just like you can learn a lot from a good one. I learned a whole lot from True Crime.

Last night we watched Domestic Disturbance. Again, my choice. I have to say the film had some high points and then took a major spill in the end. He had a nice set up and an interesting angle, but then blah. And even though normally I detest Mr. Travolta, I really liked him in this. I thought he did a really natural job.

We also rented American Psycho 2 but got through the first 30 minutes and gave up. That happened last weekend with Bratz: The Movie. So maybe you're asking yourself, Kat have you lost your mind? Why are you renting such crappy movies? Cause maybe somehow, for some weirdo reason it makes me feel better about myself. Is that crazy? I like to watch bad movies so I can say, I can do better than that. If it doesn't make sense, I think you've got to let me have it anyway.

The Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing

I just play it over and over and over again in my car.

Friday, June 27, 2008

#1 Rule of Filmmaking

The number one rule of filmmaking (and life) is to be nice. I had to mention this a few times today with my girls. We were in a rather toasty room and the heat and the close quarters were wearing them a little thin. One said something that hurt the other's feelings and it spiraled downhill from there. These girls are rock stars and it's so hard to make them believe it. They doubt themselves way more than I expected. And I know it's just the age, but it really bums me out. I just wish they could see themselves in ten years. See themselves a little more comfortable in their skins, a little more confident with their talents and a little more aware that not everyone's opinions really matter but their own.

But I digress. Back to the number one rule. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. Many, many names appear at the end of a movie and all of those names, from craft services to executive producer, have made their mark on that screen. The best filmmaking experiences are those you share with people who feel like family, or rather become your family ... on set, in the editing room, when you book theaters in far away places. It's a shared experience and definitely for me, one of the coolest.

So people, take it to heart. The world would be so much more awesome if everyone was nice. Sigh.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Teen Film Boys vs Teen Film Girls

Tonight started the new semester of my Teen Class at the Austin School of Film. I went from a full day/week with my four eighth grade girls at Film Camp who only wanted to talk about Jordan Shipley and check their MySpace pages ... to five teen boys in my ASF class who only wanted to talk about superheroes and compare horror films. It's a fun contrast. These boys (bless their hearts) are the kind of boys that girls think are "weird" or "scary". They wear mostly black, doodle monsters in their spiral bound notebooks and are beside themselves with excitement for The Dark Knight. Someday the girls won't think they're so "weird" because they'll be writing the great American novels and making music videos that rival Spike Jonze and Mark Romanek.

Jordan Shipley is Dreamy

According to my girl's at girl camp, Jordan Shipley is way dreamy. Being the football illiterate girl that I am, I was totally clueless. Jordan who?

We were at the UT football stadium on Tuesday shooting a scene for their film when who comes walking toward us? Jordan Shipley!!!!!! OMG!!!!! All of a sudden the squeals nearly made the ground shake. They got photos and shook his hand. I had no idea how big a deal this was, but let me just say ... to them it was a BIG DEAL. Ever since Tuesday it's all they talk about. Jordan this, Jordan that. Jordan touched my wrist here (insert squeal). OMG I was wearing this shirt when Jordan shook my hand (insert another squeal).

The first thing my father in law wanted to know (cause he's well aware of who Jordan is) was if he was nice. Yes, he was very nice and sweet to the girls. And yes, for the jock football player type of guy, he is kind of dreamy.

The girls are so cute about it, I can't stand it.

New Blog Address

I'm not savvy with the "internet" or "computers" so I'm hoping this works. I'm switching my blog address. So if you check this frequently, infrequently or are just stopping in ... my new address is at ... http://katcandler.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Girl's Camp - Day #2

I'm ready to laugh with the girl's. They're making me so so so proud. I can't say it enough. I came into their group with certain expectations and they've already taken those expectations and raced past them.

This week and next might be the craziest of the summer. Camp during the day, two classes at night and prepping for new adventures to come. I'm finding a lot of solace in the mornings while Mark's been gone. I can sit and read a little before camp and remember that the quiet moments by myself are the most needed right now.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Bachelorette - You Know You Love It!

Had dinner with the Osborn ladies tonight (my mother in law and two sister in laws). Girl's night out! We'd talked about dinner and a movie. We ended up doing dinner, cupcakes and The Bachelorette.

So Mark and I got sucked in to the first episode when I randomly caught the first hour at the gym one night. I immediately raced home to catch the second hour. Instantly, hooked. And then lo and behold, I discovered that Jim and Rebecca got sucked in too. So there we were ... having a Bachelorette double date for the second episode. This led to conversations at the water cooler about who got a rose and who didn't. Late night confessions of secretly pulling for Jason cause he had a kid or thinking, Jesse, for real?

More and more people I know are coming out of the closet as Bachelorette fans. Dude, it's ok. It's not uncool anymore to watch terrible, god awful reality TV. We know it's bad for us. We know it rots our teeth out, but we watch it anyways. I gave up on wondering what people might think at about episode 2. Screw it. I admit it. I watch The Bachelorette. I do. And I don't give a damn if you think less of me for it. It's drama, man. Pure, saccharine covered, with a total cheesy score ... drama. Don't tell me you didn't shed a tear or two tonight when Jason and his son locked eyes from across the park and in slow motion ran towards each other and hugged tightly. You loved it.

Girl's Camp - Day #1


Why do I love Girl's Film Camp so much? Mostly cause I get to laugh a lot. And mostly about really stupid stuff. The silliness factor is out the roof. The giggling is non-stop. I get to feel totally dumb and not give a flip about it.

I get to watch these girls grow. See their faces light up when they get a kick ass idea or see what cool things they can do. I get to see them make something they feel proud of. And most of all, I get to make good friends with some seriously cool girls.

Inspiration



Sunday, June 22, 2008

Southland Tales (2007)

Whoa. Ugh. Hmm ... It's funny because I've been itching to see this for a long time. Despite the ripping reviews, despite the friends telling me Don't do it! But I had to see it for myself.

So yeah. It looks cool. It's got a cool soundtrack, cool score, cool cinematography, some cool special effects, some cool kind of weirdo cameos and casting ... the script is whack.

I can understand M. Night Shyamalan's recent suffering from the George Lucas Syndrome, but Richard Kelly ... dude, you're so young. You only had one film under your belt. I hope you got it out of your system. I hope you're feeling better. I hope next time you listen to some of the people around you. I was a Donnie Darko fan just like everybody else so I'm excited to see what you do next.

On a side note ... I sure do like the Sean William Scott. After recently seeing him in The Promotion I think this guy's awesome. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts getting cast in huge leading man roles.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Trouble with Obsession

When I get super excited about something, I get obsessed. Truly obsessed. That obsession can be productive and relatively healthy or it can give me panic attacks and freak other people out. If you haven't seen me manic before, it can be a scary thing. I think only Stacy and Mark have gotten a real taste of it.

I'm working with a good obsession these days. I was up until 4am last night writing. 2am the night before. I couldn't stop. I had all these changes and notes to work from. Plus I've enjoyed living in that story. That scandalous, cheesy teen, world. It's been fun.

Burn After Reading (2008)


Oh joy. Brad Pitt is back in rare form. I love it. It's about time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Austin, I'm Stickin' With You Man

So I applied for this fellowship at ABC/Disney a month ago. The application was two months late and probably not as well prepared as others, but there was a 1% chance of getting it. Then I looked at past participants a few days ago and thought, huh, yeah, I'm not getting this one. And lo and behold, I didn't. It's funny because it was more of a relief than a let down. I think Mark is way more bummed than me. It's kind of sweet actually. But this is what the fall holds for me ...

1) A Lecturer Position at UT. The class I'll be teaching is Advanced Narrative Filmmaking. It'll be a change of pace for sure. I'm told that I'll have a room full of boys with maybe one, maybe two girls. If there are mostly Tarantino loving, gun slinging scripts, I might take issue and be like, c'mon dudes!

2) I'm super psyched about the script I'm working on. The read through was kick ass tonight and I came away with a great direction to take it and a lot of super helpful notes. I feel like I'm stepping up my game in the writing department. I've been reading a lot of other scripts and dissecting movies. I wrote a sex(y) scene for goodness sake. I blushed like mad when it was read out loud tonight. Luckily there weren't any giggles from the room.

3) I'll have an agent in Los Angeles which allows me to stay here while she does the dirty work out there.

Am I sad? Yeah, maybe a little. But honestly it's like all of these things have hinged on whether we'd be moving to Los Angeles or not. Now that we know I can move forward in a lot of different directions. So it's totally cool. Totally cool, man!

This Ain't No Pity Party Fools

I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. Seriously. I'm cool. It's a new day. I was just telling a friend I have these momentary lapses of life sucks, blah, blah, blah. When in fact I know that life doesn't suck. It's fucking awesome and I have a shit load to be thankful for. And no one should pity me or think ah, poor Kat. Screw that. I've accomplished big and small, stupid and important. Dude, I'm cool. For real.

Before I went to bed last night I busted open the new script to cheer me up. It put me in a such a kick ass mood. I was thinking ... Hey, this ain't too shabby. I'd go see this in a theater. I'd eat up every ounce of teen cheesiness about it.

And tonight ... I have my script read through. It'll be the first time anyone reads it besides Intern Adam who gave me great notes to clean it up before the read through. I can't wait. I love notes. I love rewrites. I love making things better.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

American Movie (1999)

When I first watched American Movie in the theater, I remember laughing my butt off. Oh that crazy Mark Borchardt trying to make a movie, pouring his heart and soul into a film that maybe a few people will see, maybe just his family and friends. I loved it. What a crazy, crazy guy.

After watching it again tonight about eight years later, two features films later, several short films later, a stack of feature screenplays later, it's a different story. I felt knots in my stomach and wanted to cry. It's that crazy guy trying to make a movie, pouring his heart and soul into a film that maybe a few people will see, maybe just his family and friends. Shit. And what broke my heart the most was when Chris Smith asked Mark's mom, Do you think he'll ever make a big budget film? And she sat and hesitated and finally said ... No, no I don't.

I love my mom to death and her and my dad have been the biggest supporters of everything I've ever done in my life. But recently she asked me, Have you ever thought about doing something else?

I had big dreams when I first watched American Movie in 2000. I was going to be a movie director. People would give me money to make my second feature film. I'd soon be making studio pictures, it'd be rad. Flashforward eight years ... hey it's that crazy Kat Candler trying to make another movie, pouring her heart and soul into a film that maybe a few people will see, maybe just her family and friends.

I think I'm just having a depressed day. But whatever, it's cool. Tomorrow's a new one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can I Be Any More Junior High?

I'm not allowed to work on my high school script for two days. It's torture. I want to pull it up and tweak and fix and tuck it in a little on the sides, but no. I won't open the file or the folder or even think about it. I'll just sit here twiddling my little fingers until the read through on Thursday. And then and only then will I dive back in and get lost in the high school melodrama. All the while, I'm neglecting other things that I should be doing, like prepping a camp, working on my syllabus for the UT class, updating my film finances, cleaning my bathroom and so much more.

So as a distraction, I pulled up a script I started a while back. Seven whole pages long. But, hey, seven decent pages. And then to get inspired to write more on that one, I dug out my junior high diary. My Oma gave me this teal green, Chinese looking diary in 5th grade. But not until 7th grade did I really crack it open. And when I started penning my days, oh man. Let me just say, embarrassing. That little diary took me all the way up until my senior year. You can flip through the pages and see things like ...

Unicorns Live!
I love Rick Hill so much!
I Heart River Phoenix!
I think I love John S Now!
(yes, Kelly, your John S)
LYLAS Kat!
I still love Rick!
I'm so damn confused!
B.S.!

Oh junior high, why do I obsess over you?

Murder By Numbers

I watched Murder By Numbers before bed last night. I've seen this film like 20 times. Main reason I've seen this film like 20 times, Michael Pitt. I have a thing for Michael Pitt. My husband knows it, I know it. He's been my River Phoenix since River Phoenix passed away. In short, I was obsessed with River Phoenix since I saw Stand By Me as a kid. Then he passed away in 1993 and I was crushed. When I saw Michael Pitt on Dawson's Creek he became my new River Phoenix. I have a total actor obsession. I can't help it.

What I love about Murder By Numbers ... everything that doesn't involve Sandra Bullock's subplot with her ex-husband. For me it'd be a perfect film if:

a) Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin weren't in it. No offense to either of them. I'm a big Sandra Bullock fan from what she does best ... Miss Congeniality. But this ain't it for her. And Ben Chaplin, well, I feel like he's just sort of there. There's no spark, no fire, nada. There was some major miscasting on the adult side of things.

b) The story should solely have focused on the boys. Yes Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt burn up the screen. Yes, I could watch them for hours. Those boys make this film. They make all the young girls' hearts sing with their oozing sex appeal, pretty boy charm and major acting chops. Sandra and Ben should've taken a lesson from these two on chemistry. Holy moly!

c) They hadn't shot so much of the ocean side scenes with green screen. It's really obvious.

So yeah, this is my major guilty pleasure. I just simply press fast forward through half of it. Just get to the good parts. I already know who murdered who and how it all went down. I just want to see Ryan and Michael do what they do best.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blogger Spotting

Tonight I was chaperoning my students for their auditions. I was outside holding open a locked door while the triple digit temperatures was making me a little whoozy. Out of the blue one of the actors came up after his audition and totally made my night.

Ms. Candler. I feel like I'm standing next to a star. I read your blog.


Really? For real? I felt giddy stupid about it. Seriously? It's hard to imagine who reads this thing. I know my friends, my mom, my mother in law and sister in laws, maybe a few old classmates ... It's amazing who I get a note from every once in a while. Blogs are such strange things. Just today David Lowery emailed me about a bunch of old entries that I'd posted when were in post production on JOB. How it was useful to read through. Huh. Cool.

My blog is just a hodge podge of random rumblings, rants, nostalgia, Tim Conway youtube clips, me being stupid, upset, mad, crazed, excited, trying to sound smart when I know I sound dumb. Making a record of my days like it means something. But I tell you what, that encounter tonight was so sweet. He mentioned my blog entry about my husband on his birthday and how I'd married for all the right reasons. How he'd been married for 36 years and what it meant to him.

I couldn't wipe that silly grin off my face for a good long while.

We Passed!

This is a day for much celebration. Something that might seem simple and stupid to most people is a day of big rejoicing for me. The cicadas digibeta passed the WNET evaluation process and we'll screen all across New York state next month on PBS! Holy mother of god, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Seriously, we tried three rounds of digibeta and I was ready to tear my hair out after failing the evaluation twice in a row. This was my last go at it. Thank you whatever higher powers there are. Technology, I just kicked your butt!

Resolved on HBO Tonight, 9/8c

A friend's documentary, RESOLVED airs tonight on HBO at 9/8c. It you're lucky enough to have HBO, check it out. You can find out more about the film and watch the trailer here.

Deadlines

Deadlines are really good said Intern Adam. Yes, I know.

I have to set dates for myself. I'll be done with this draft by this date. I'll have a read through on this date. I'll start shooting on this day. If I don't set dates I'll keep going and going and going and lose track of things.

I have a read through date for the new script on Thursday. Nothing fancy, nothing rehearsed. Just some friends and a script and getting some feedback. That's all I need. To hear it out loud and get some notes to work from.

It's coming together. And I'm pretty happy with how it's shaping up. It's not exactly the next Sundance film festival winner, but it's a fun popcorn movie. That's what I set out to write this go around.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Happening - What Happened?

I'm a big fan of M. Night Shyamalan. But that's not to say I'm a big fan of all of his films. I've seen everything he's done. From the exciting Unbreakable to the embarrassing The Village and even his thesis film. I was one of the very few who loved and I mean, truly loved, The Lady in the Water. I like something about all of his movies. I'm intrigued by all of his films, always expecting greatness, but then being let down in some way or another. The Happening was the biggest mess, the saddest display of directing and true waste of acting talent on screen. I was cringing, embarrassed for the actors and mostly for Shyamalan. I know this is harsh to say, but I truly think he's lost his mind. I can't imagine what else went wrong besides the fact that he's slipped and fallen overboard. I know he has an ego that's probably exploded and sent him into George Lucas land. Regardless, I'll continue with unwavering enthusiasm to see every thing he does. I can't help it.

On the flip side, I really loved the Hulk. I haven't seen Iron Man. But I'm psyched about the new round of super hero movies these days. Thank God for Marvel Studios.

And lastly, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I cried when I saw the X-Files trailer. Ask Mark, I was wiping away the tears and bouncing up and down in my seat.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Movies?

Today was a much needed break from movie watching. I spent the entire weekend (since Thursday night) watching movies. We took breaks for meals, of course. One after another after another after another. No lie. Back to back all weekend long. By Sunday morning, color me burnt out.

Teaching Mrs. Tingle
Delirious

The Incredible Hulk

Drive Me Crazy

Baghead

The Promotion

Goldfinger (Master Pancake Theater)
The Happening
Grace is Gone

My Boss' Daughter (Only half of it. I couldn't finish it).

Whoo. I'm beat.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Mark

Mark turns 33 today. We're the same age for all of about six months. We met long, long, long ago. Maybe in 2000? He was a friend of some friends. He was that sweet, shy boy that asked a lot of questions every time you sat on the couch with him at a party. Random questions like ... Do you prefer ketchup or mustard on your fries? Would your rather the Red Sox of the Yankees win the World Series? Would you ever bungee jump off a cliff?

He was that charming, weirdo who wore one jean pant leg slightly rolled up. Something about hip hop and rappers. He still does it to this day. He has a collection of sweater vests in the closet. It's his signature look. Even for our wedding.

I love the boy like mad. I couldn't have found a better partner in crime to spend the rest of my days with. Just yesterday afternoon we cracked ourselves up for about an hour making fun of our evil (and I mean EVIL) landlord. I can be my stupidest, my silliest, my sadest, my happiest and my self around him more than anyone else. The boy is home to me. I got really lucky. Happy Birthday Angel Face.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Late 90s / Early 2000 Teen Flicks

I've been in major teen movie world. Shortly after I moved to Austin in 1997 there was a series of great teen flicks. I'm always a big one to go to the movies by myself. And usually these were the movies I couldn't convince my then boyfriend to go see. Regardless, I was happy relishing in the teen drama and teen horror solo. It began with Can't Hardly Wait, moved on to The Faculty, Disturbing Behavior, Halloween H2O, Cruel Intentions, the Scream Sequels and on and on. So I've been revisiting a lot of these lately.
In the last 24 hours I've watched The Faculty, Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Disturbing Behavior. It's been a blast from the past. Some hold up, some don't, some really didn't in the first place. The Faculty. I love this movie so much. Everything about it. Well, everything but the special FX. They were crappy then and they're really crappy now. It's got a stellar cast and they carry that film, big time. What's next on the list of old school fun? I'm curious to go back to some of the comedies soon.

Just FYI, I've been obsessed with the Disturbia script. Seriously, I've been dissecting it, bit by bit. It's so friggin' good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kevin Williamson, I Miss You

I was a big Kevin Williamson fan back in the day. I thought he was the shit. Even though a lot of his films were total duds, I loved them just the same. I mean, c'mon, he wrote Scream for goodness sake. He wrote The Faculty. He gave us Dawson's Creek.

I recently read the script for The Faculty. I totally ate it up. Sure, teens don't talk like that. Sure, they don't really act like that either. But who cares? It's a fun, silly, cheesy, world and I'm perfectly happy to live in it for a while. Mr. Williamson, I miss you. I need a good teen horror fix. Old school style, please.

Getting Out of High School

I've wrapped up a second draft of the my high school script. Made a few tweaks here and there. Planning a super informal, small read through next week to get some big notes from some younger types. The audience I hope would go see it. Teens are pretty great when it comes to feedback. No holds barred with them. It's scary and good.

In the mean time, during Intern Adam and Kat's writing session today I went back to an old, old script that I wrote right after my first feature cicadas. It's a super duper dramatic piece. Reading through it I'm cringing here and there at lines and formatting, but overall it's not terrible or anything. So I'm gussying it up a bit to see if I want to stick with it, update it or maybe even turn it inside out. We shall see. I needed to get away from the high school world and get some perspective. Just stay away. Work on something else.

Meanwhile, I'm battling overmodulated sound from a DVCam of cicadas in preparation for a broadcast on NY PBS. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE dealing with all things technical. I've wanted to throw up all week over it.

Music in My Head Tag


Bryan tagged me:

[RULES: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.]

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1. "Hallucinations" - The Raveonettes
Mark pointed out that this would be a great song for the new film. Yep. It's perfect. So it's been on repeat. I like track #4 off this record a whole lot too.

2. "Mystery Achievement" - The Pretenders
I've loved this song since I saw the film Whatever long ago and it played during the opening credits. I've been singing it around the house over and over again.

3. "Alright Alright" - Sahara Hotnights
I just love this record. This might sound really weird, but it makes me want to punch a wall or stomp on the ground really hard and let out a bunch of frustrations. I have a lot of those todays.

4. "Spin the Bottle" - The Juliana Hatfield Three
I've been listening to this song a lot because I want to make a short film around the idea of it. It's in my head, now I just need to get it to paper.

5. "Pork and Beans" - Weezer
I was at the gym the other day walking and running, walking and running. When this came up on VH1 I just wanted to run and run and run. And people were probably looking at me strange cause I was laughing the whole time.

6. "4 Minutes" - Madonna
Just makes me want to pump and grind it.

7. Score for Quarter to Noon
Been watching the first day of score from Brian and I love it so much. I get to go listen to Day 2 and hopefully Day 3 today.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spielberg Goes Independent

Steven Spielberg has $1 billion dream
10 Jun 2008 3:44am EDT - By Carl DiOrio
Steven Spielberg aims to raise more than $1 billion in third-party financing to reinvent DreamWorks as a separate company that once again owns the movies it makes.

As for distribution, Spielberg wants to bolt his roost at Paramount for Universal, which wants to land Spielberg and DreamWorks after losing out to Paramount in that quest a couple years ago. But on recommendation from his advisers, Spielberg has allowed a bidding war to begin among studios for the rights to distribute future DreamWorks movies.

The chief suitors other than Paramount: Universal, Disney and Fox.

Warner Bros. has sat out the competition so far despite previous expectations that the studio would seek a relationship with DreamWorks if Spielberg and company were to leave Paramount. Industry betting runs heavily against Spielberg's staying put at Paramount, with the related question of where he and the DreamWorks film label land considered a simple matter of who will offer sufficiently attractive terms to attract Spielberg, chief Stacey Snider and their brand.

"Stacey is the next generation, and Steven is very committed to her," said one participant in DreamWorks strategy meetings. Visit HollywoodReporter.com for more ...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Movie Writing Marathon

I've successfully ended my movie writing marathon weekend. I promised myself to finish the second draft of the new script by Monday morning. I have no official title yet for this new script. Just a working title of High School although the only thing that title represents is that it takes place in high school and that's about it.

But I've worked from sun up to sun down both yesterday and today, hitting up different writing spots around town. I took two breaks, both to watch movies with Mark. The Butterfly Effect (which is almost as cheesy and wonderful as I Know Who Killed Me) and Don't Mess with the Zohan, which might be on my top ten list of this year. Seriously.

So I'm at the office printing out Draft #2 so I can take it to the gym in the morning and make notes like ... ugh, what was I thinking in this scene and hello, major plot hole here. But regardless, it's a fun, cheesy, teen thriller that I can't seem to get my head out of. I even subjected Mark to me reading several scenes out loud including a saucy love scene. For real, I wrote a sex scene. Never thought I'd be writing sex scenes. But there you have it.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Writing Music




When writing a script or making a movie there are several albums or maybe even just one that I'll listen to for inspiration. The script I'm writing right now has the following play list:

The Pretenders - Self Titled Album
Sahara Hotnights - Jennie Bomb

Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are


I'll probably be adding a few more. After a decent writing session today, I'll probably be adding an Explosion in the Sky record. Which if you know me and you know my films, Explosions are a constant source of inspiration, both in their music and as human beings and artists.

The Honda Civic Curse


Mark and I bought a brand new, beautiful, Honda Civic about a year ago. It was so exciting. We read the consumer reports, checked out all of our options, found the car we wanted, haggled with dealerships online, made a deal with the nice folks in Killeen and then drove it off the lot and back to Austin. We did really good.

Within a week we were in a movie at the Gateway Theater. We came out laughing and chatting about the film to find a note on our car and a nice scratch on our bumper. A teenage girl who'd JUST gotten her driver's license failed to look behind her when backing out of her space and rear ended us.

Then about six months ago, I was pulling out of my office parking lot (slowly I might add). From out of nowhere a burly, tattooed dude on a BMX comes flying (literally) toward me and plowed into the side of my car. I was at a dead stop when he hit me. A bicycle hit me. A bicycle. Major scratch #2.

A few weeks ago we witnessed a major act of God. The most insane hail storm I've ever seen in my life tore through our neighborhood ripping roofs off houses, pushing trees onto cars. I'm talkin' hail the size of golf balls came down in sheets. When we woke up the next morning, my car looked like it had super bad acne. Dimples everywhere. An estimated $6,000 worth of damage.

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail for a recall to the 2007 Honda Civic. Some thingamajig pertaining to some doohickey needs to be replaced otherwise it's very, very dangerous.

This morning after running lots of errands, my car stereo was cranked, singing out loud to some Pretenders song, less than a mile from my office when all of a sudden I watched the woman in the other lane plow into a truck in front of her. She slid into my lane as I slammed on my brakes. The slick streets sent me into her passenger side bumper. No one was hurt, thank god, but just another dent to add to the growing list.

So yeah, this morning, I'm at my breaking point. I'm throwing my arms up in the air and yelling, "I give up. I give up."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Writing with Intern Adam

Intern Adam rules. It's fun having his company running errands with me and writing across the table from me. My mission is to pull a first draft of his first screenplay out of him by the end of summer. Today and yesterday I dragged him to Zen and made him write for two hours straight. He'd occasionally ask a question, talk through his plots and characters, but for the most part he sat there and type, typed away. Today he finished his outline/treatment and his first 5 scenes are due on Tuesday. I'm not sure how most other internships work, but I have him writing a screenplay, running an occasional errand, researching Lex Luthor and Supergirl and other random fun stuff. I can't wait to see what comes out of his head and hits the page.

Helium and Being a Rock Star



In college, Helium was one of my all time favorite bands. I even wrote a paper on Mary Timony's lyrics on The Dirt of Luck album for a Women in Literature class. It beat writing a paper on To the Lighthouse. So when I heard Helium on the Muzak in Zen today, I wanted to bust out my old albums and pretend to be a rock star in my living room like I did when I was 20.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

High School Boys

Are funny creatures. I'm sitting at Flight Path staring at four high school boys. Seniors? Juniors? They're chatting about AP classes while puffing through an entire pack of cigarettes. They smoke like the weight of the world rests on their broad shoulders. Their long shaggy brown hair hangs in their pimpled faces. Band T-shirts, dirty jeans and skater shoes, no socks.

One texts on a fancy, red phone which looks more like a tiny computer and doesn't say a word, while the other three laugh about how they sometimes spit in sandwiches. Nice. Then the conversation moves on to boogers.

BOY #1: How much do you think someone would eat a booger for?

Silence. Boy #2 shrugs. Boy #1 picks his nose and shoves it in Boy #2's face.

BOY #1: Here, eat it.
BOY #2: No way man. Get it away from me.
BOY #3: I'll eat if for five bucks.
BOY #1: For real?
BOY #3: For five bucks, yeah.

Boy #1 digs through his wallet.

BOY #1: I only have six bucks.
BOY #3: I'll do it for four.
BOY #1: No man, I can't afford that. Will you do it for free?
BOY #3: No.
BOY #1: Oh well.

My favorite quote so far ... She alone is proof that there is a god.

Where Do You Get the Best Writing Done?

I used to have this problem at Quacks long ago when I "officed" there. I would spend more time visiting with all of the friends popping in for a quick coffee rather than actually writing and working. I love that coffee shop, but I can't work there.

This morning was a constant string of friends and film acquaintances as I sat up front in Flight Path. It's nice to see everyone and catch up, but when I'm in hard core writing mode, it gets to be too much.

I can't write at home unless it's late and I'm tucked in bed with Pork Chop at my feet. I get good stuff done late at night. But during the day, there's a stack of movies to be watched and I'm easily distracted but Dude, Where's My Car? or High Plains Drifter.

I can't write at the office so well anymore. Only super early in the morning. I don't know what happened, but when I'm there, I feel like I need to be working on financials or class stuff.

For some reason, I'm most inspired at Zen. Which leaves me in a quandary. I only go there when I know I'm going to eat lunch. If I'm not eating lunch I don't feel it's very cool to grab a drink and sit for hours in the back. Then I just feel weird and lame. But I certainly do give them a lot of money. $8.43 or $7.04 every day depending if the manager gives me a discount. Frequent shopper discount that is.

So I guess the lesson of the day is ... sit in the back section of Flight Path when I don't have lunch at Zen. Not the front.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Fall (2008)

Two films this year have completely captured my heart. Son of Rambo and The Fall. For anyone in love with stories and movies, you really must see these films.

Writing = Time Consuming


  • 2 Hours on the Treadmill = Notes on the first draft of a new feature script.
  • 3 1/2 Hours in Zen = Begin rewrite on first draft. Get through the first 12 pages. Whew. I'm calling it a day.

Sex and the City - Big Numbers

It's of no surprise to probably the millions of women who are fans of the television show that Sex and the City did so well at the box office this weekend. But apparently studio folks are flummoxed over it. Really? So now I'm sure there will a mad scrambling in the board rooms this morning to find the next big film to target the older ladies. Note to studios ... older ladies like to see movies too. And they like to see movies with older ladies in them. Shocking.

Eclipse - Over, Done, Bummer

I finished Eclipse and now wait through the grueling months of June and July for the next installment in the Bella Swan story. And I hear rumors and rumblings that there might be a sneak preview screening of Twilight in Austin in October or November. I made it known that it was of utter importance that I be one of the first to know about this possible screening.

So on a friend's recommendation, I've moved on to this one. And also checked out that on the IMDB the movie for Prep was optioned by BenderSpink and due in theaters in 2010.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Anatomy of a Script

I continue to watch movies like mad. Dissecting and analyzing. The last few days have been a process of watching a movie then writing my movie, watching then writing. One problem I realize I have ... I have a really really hard time killing people in my scripts. I take that back. I have a hard time maliciously killing people in my scripts. I also have a hard time with characters that are mean to other characters. I'm working on a thriller type script where one of the characters does bad things, but I can't get him to do really bad things. Right now they're just kind of bad. I need to get to really bad, but I'm having a terrible time with it. It's my own stupid conscience.