Friday, July 31, 2009
So do I know what shooting 3-D entails? Barely. Time to do a quick crash course. I can see how to have a lot of fun with the format. BUT my one hesitation about 3-D, I like it when movies fully embrace it. Up was probably the perfect example. It never felt 3-D, it just was. It never made a gimmick out of it. It just took you into the world and away you went. Other films seem to have those "3-D" scenes or moments that take you out of the film. That would be the last thing I'd want to do.
One mini gripe about the 3-D revolution ... discovering that theaters are charging an extra $3-$4 for anything in 3-D. Say what? I discovered it when balancing my checkbook after Mark and I went to see G-Force last weekend. $24 for two people? Argh! (In my old crochety voice) I remember going to the theater as a kid and paying $2 for a movie. Oh how times have changed.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Wes Anderson fan. Maybe not as huge as my husband, but I go see it all. Rushmore being my absolute fave. Ever since reading about The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I didn't pay much attention. I thought it was an interesting idea ... stop motion, cool. But now after seeing the trailer, it all makes sense and I'm totally sold. Wes Anderson + Kid's Story = Holy gamoly! I'm very VERY excited.
1) Hear it come to life. Dialogue, moments.
2) Hear what jokes hit and which ones fall flat.
3) Get a lot of notes to see what universally works and what doesn't.
I'm basking in the glow of a really fun, fantastic read through of Captain Dynamo and the Boy Rangers. I had a huge amazing ensemble cast of kids and adults to bring this little script to life. And how great was it to hear and watch eight little kids screaming, gasping, ad libbing ... loved it.
I'm sitting in bed, way past my bedtime pouring through everyone's notes and questionnaires. It's fun to see what people loved universally. Veronica's relationship with Conor. I think all 40 or so people said WE LOVE THAT. Cool, I won't touch it. In general, a lot of people didn't understand the Russian Mother. That might be a place that I slice and dice. Those are the moments when you hold your breath and press DELETE. And then don't look back. Combining two of the kids, yeah, I might end up doing that one too. Just need to sit with all of the wonderful notes and start fresh in the morning. SIGH. Good day. Good day.
So a huge thank you to all the cast and their families for participating and bringing this to life.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Director Zhang Yimou’s remake of the Coen Brothers’ 1984 debut feature, “Blood Simple,” is being backed by Sony Pictures Classic. Today the specialty distributor announced its production partnership in addition to rights for the untitled film in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. The film will be produced by Bill Kong.
The project marks the eleventh collaboration between Zhang and the SPC team, dating back to 1991’s “Raise the Red Lantern.” The relationship includes such films as “The Story of Qiu Ju,” “Shanghai Triad,” “House of Flying Daggers and Zhang’s most recent film, the 2006 martial arts epic “Curse of the Golden Flower” starring Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat. Sony Pictures Classics also owns the rights to Zhang’s first film, 1987’s “Red Sorghum.”
Described as a “thriller-comedy remake of “Blood Simple,” the film is set in a Chinese noodle shop in a sand dune-specked desert, rather than a bar in an unnamed Texas town, according to SPC. The owner of the noodle shop’s seemingly simple plan to murder his adulterous wife and her lover quickly spins out of control after the introduction of a gun into the lives of characters more accustomed to knives and swords.
“The idea of a remake of ‘Blood Simple’ as seen through the eyes of Zhang Yimou’s masterful visual elegance and clever narrative twists is genius,” said SPC’s co-presidents and co-founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard in a joint statement. “Our continued partnership over the years with both Zhang Yimou and Bill Kong has always been so fruitful. We are excited to be back in business with them.” “I am very happy working with Sony Pictures Classics again, they have always done a great job and I am looking forward to be with them again,” added Zhang.
Zhang Yimou was chosen to create the elaborate Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics last summer, this project marks his return to filmmaking.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
The first time and only time I've ever outlined anything was recently with Toddy on our teen script. She taught me a lot in that process. And for the script that we were writing, it was crucial. Act one, two and three, mid-point-- all that good stuff. We drew up pretty hefty character sketches which was probably my favorite part. With the outline and the character sketches, we were able to whip out the first draft super fast. It was already on the page, we just had to flesh out moments and dialogue. Having a writing partner, I think outlines are completely necessary.
I'm working on a new outline for a kids/family film to turn in mid-August. It's working title is The Lemon Wars. It's pretty simple, but I'm trying to make it bigger. The problem, I consistently have, and I'm trying so hard to break out of it is ripping off my tiny indie producing hat and going all out on something. Don't worry about cost, Kat. No longer your problem. So yeah, I like that. Go big. BIG!
It might sound totally stupid and silly, but watching that movie, kind of changed my life. Or at least my perspective of what movies could be. I must've watched The Piano at least four or five times in the theater. I became obsessed. I read the script, bought the soundtrack. I'd never seen something so beautiful and so heart breaking in my life. And little did I know at the time, it was made by a woman, something then that was pretty rare and sadly, still is.
Anyhow, I'm beyond excited about Campion's latest, Bright Star. It's weird to think she hasn't made a feature since In the Cut. Crazy, really. She's hit or miss with me, but damnit if I didn't sit in the theater this morning, riveted by the trailer for Bright Star. I'll be the first in line. First screening, first day. I'm there.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
My good intern/all around kick ass John Mace has been awesome in organizing all of my old films and tapes. And helped me get set up for a day of transferring old masters to quicktime files. I'm lucky to have the access at UT that I do and figured, while I'm still here, I should make the most of it.
IMPORTANT FILMMAKING LESSON #456
Back up your old master tapes. Because ten years will pass and you will realize that some of your early works are still on mini DV tapes and DV Cam tapes and even HI-8 tapes. Remember Hi-8? Yeah, probably not for some of you. And then you hope and pray that that little Hi-8 tape that holds the very first film (masterpiece) you ever made about the guy who's fish died and then had to flush it down the toilet could be damaged or scratched or messed up in any way. You gotta keep this stuff around, y'know? And in good shape. Sure for posterity and all that, but more importantly for when I'm famous and rich and sought after by every major studio and adored by fans all around the world who want to see the early filmmaking beginnings of Kat Candler. Sigh.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I think after this month, I need to take a tiny break from writing. And maybe my computer. If only my husband could hear me say that. He'd have a big ole smile on his face. He'd love to toss my precious laptop out the window if he could. But it's so true. I just need to step away.
And on the flip side ... if you're AMAZING, a total joy, hard working, kick ass human being, I'll be the first to recommend you, send kind words or stick my neck out for ya.
My little words of wisdom: Don't be an asshole. In film or in life. Seriously.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I love Robin Williams (mostly-- Fisher King, Mork and Mindy, Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam, Garp). Sometimes I find him completely irritating (One Hour Photo, Aladdin, The Night Listener, Mrs. Doubtfire). But I'm super excited about this film. And psyched that the kid from Spy Kids, looks awesome in it.
Monday, July 20, 2009
But this just reminds me. I've seriously been on a crazy ass writing marathon these last few weeks. Literally starting around 9am and finishing around 6pm, sometimes until 8pm or 9pm if I'm on a roll. My poor husband. God bless him. But I can see the light. I promised myself July would be the month. The month I said "no" to lunches with friends, "no" to calling it an early day and "no" to quitting when the going got tough.
I handed over the first full draft of Never Date a Teen Idol to Toddy this morning. Got it down to a decent 111 pages. It's in good shape. Still needs work. Still needs finessing, but it's really getting there. It's been a great experience working with a writing partner. And quick too. I guess that's what happens when you put two badasses together. At least that's what Toddy says.
And Captain Dynamo just took a whole new third act direction. Let's just say-- now I have aliens, helicopters, guns, cliff falling, and well, the army involved. I'm prepping, frantically, for a read through with actors next Wednesday. Trying to get it as tight as tight can be so ... a) I don't look like an idiot when I hand my script over and ... b) I can get the most out of the read through and the feedback.
Paperwork finally arrived this morning on another project. But I think it has one more round in the lawyers' hands before I can put a signature on the dotted line. I've got my pen ready.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Bob Hudgins talks to Katy Vine about the “Waco” controversy, tax incentives, and how to get your movie made in Texas.Read the full article here.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
From about 8:30am until about 6pm marked a kick ass writing day. Did a fairly decent rewrite of Captain Dynamo. I think/hope I picked up the second act a bit per the feedback from my trusted friends. I got in a groove over at Einstein's Bagels until about noon when my flip flop broke. I had to come home, bare foot and put on a new pair of shoes. So between home and an afternoon lunch spot, I worked on Mr. Dynamo until about 4pm. At which time I found Toddy's new draft of our teen movie in my inbox. So I happily switched gears and read through the 101 pages we have so far. I'm excited, because I whizzed through it and got totally into our two main kid characters. Ugh, teen love. It's so freakin' dramatic. I love it.
So first thing in the morning (after meeting a student) I dig right in and finish up the 20 or so scenes we have left and bust out our first full draft. I have a feeling it'll round out at about 120 - 130 pages. So we'll have some chopping and trimming to do, but the hard core heart of it is on the page. Every last little angst ridden bit.
P.S. This is how lame me and Mark can be. Those photos behind my fist are the photos that came with the frames. We haven't put real photos in yet. It's been a few months now. We should really do that.
Sunday, July 19th, 3pm
Blanton Museum of Art
200 E MLK Blvd
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I was up at Flight Path by 8am sharp, ready to get some crazy shiznistic writing done. Here's what I did instead for three hours.
- Updated my checkbook.
- Updated all of my UT Hand Outs
- Updated my UT Calendar
- Sent a Class Recap to my Script to Screen Class
- Updated my UT Syllabus
- Corresponded with some UT folks about end of semester screenings, sound mixes ...
- Not one single lick of writing. Didn't even open the Final Draft.
So then I came home and figured maybe a chocolate chip cookie would help! Yay, chocolate chip cookies!!!! Did it? Nope. But boy oh boy, did it taste good. Yummy!!!
So then I was trying to figure out how to attach a photo to a tweet reply and started messing around with photobooth. And then Stacy emailed and I got distracted with figuring out the twitter thing. And THEN Adam emailed me about this Herzog thing that I emailed him about earlier in the day and now I'm just procrastinating like nobody's business. Damn you, lame ass writing day!!!!
Monday, July 13, 2009
My dad ... well, he rules. Plain and simple. He's a really cool guy. Super funny, sweet, hard working and still has that child like sense of wonder and imagination that spilled over to me and my brother. He's a jokester. He likes to make funny voices like Daffy Duck (it's a pretty good impression). He loves to tell stories and capture the attention of a whole room acting out every little detail. He loved to put together scavenger hunts for my birthday parties and help me build tree forts. He'd write me letters every day when I was at summer camp and decorate the envelopes with cartoon characters. He drove me up to Boston my freshman year of college and pointed out all of the cool places along the way.
He always pushed me to make an A+ when I came home with an A. And finish everything I started (even those damn lima beans). He taught me to be independent and head strong. He came to every single school play, community theater performance, premiere screening ... And never does a phone conversation go by without him telling me how proud he is of me.
Some of my fondest memories are going to the movies together. Whether it was sniffling through The Secret of Nimh, being completely confused in Dune, or captivated by Labyrinth. He took me and my brother to everything ... The Dark Crystal, Flight of the Navigator, Explorers, Ghostbusters, The Goonies, I even remember him skipping work to take us in the summertime (Iron Eagle 2). God bless, him. Cause what my dad gave me as a kid was a sense of adventure, an imagination and a deep appreciation for movies.
Someday when I make my own Goonies and me and my dad sit in the theater together with a room full of families and kids and I can hear his laughter and watch him smile ... that will be the day when I say, I've made it.
Happy Birthday Dad. I love you so much.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
But in my early and mid 20s, I was FULL of naivete. And honestly, I think it worked in my favor. For the following reasons ...
1) I'm gonna move to Austin, TX and become a filmmaker. Do you know how? Not really. Not yet. Cool. Ok.
2) I wrote this short script. I think I'm the only one who can direct it. But you sure you know how? No. Not really. I can figure it out though, don't you think? Cool. Ok.
3) I think we should make a feature film. Just to see if we can do it! Isn't that expensive? Don't we need a lot of help? I guess. Cool. Ok.
4) I think I'm gonna write another feature film. Maybe two. I need to have some projects ready to go. That's what Linklater said, right? Cool. Ok.
5) I'm gonna go to Sundance, watch some films and try and meet some people. Don't you have to have a film there to go? I don't think so. Cool. Ok.
6) I'm gonna go to New York and try and sell my next feature. Don't you have to have an agent or something? I dunno. Cool. Ok.
My point being, not knowing how to do things should never stop you from doing them. Having that sense of innocence can get you so much further than knowing how the world works. Cause sometimes knowing how it works can be a little stunting.
So when a former youthful student tells me, "I think I'm gonna write a feature script and sell it", I stop myself from going on a long rant about the business and the system and the percentages of those who make it yadda, yadda, yadda because instead I should just say "You should totally do that".
Although just like any other job, I find myself sneaking onto the internet, checking my email, checking twitter, procrastinating. IMing with friends. Bad, bad, bad. Shame on me.
I barely make it into my office these days. My interns are holding down the fort there. While I love being there, it's full of too many fun distractions. So I spend my time at Flight Path. I spend my time at Zen. Those are my writing safe havens.
Speaking of writing. I have two more solid days of working on the teen comedy. It's been fully outlined, lots of dialogue already. So now we're pouring through from the beginning creating our first full draft. Toddy had it last week, I have it this week. I'm on page 66 and I haven't even made it to the half point yet. I'm afraid we might have a Gone with the Wind of teen comedies on our hands.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
We've got another conference call scheduled for next week with the higher ups and hopefully (in my sweetest little voice) ... it's all gonna work out.
"This is no time for our AC to go on the fritz." she said as she shook her fist through the thick, Texas air and Mark dripped sweat into his left over chicken salad.
Ryan Pillippe? What? Please tell me he's not replacing Shia's brilliant take on MacGruber's son.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Wednesday through Saturday - Never Date a Teen Idol
Sunday through Tuesday - Captain Dynamo
Whenever I get notes - Love Me
The plan ... finish them all by the end of August.
Lesson of the day for upcoming screenwriters:
You can never have enough scripts, ideas or pitches ... You literally have to have a buffet of projects and ideas, cause the folks in Hollywood change what they're looking for every other day. What's hot today may not be hot tomorrow. So if you have a wide selection, the greater your chances. Write, write, write and write some more.
Monday, July 06, 2009
I love everything the man does (minus Alien 4). He gave us City of Lost Children, Delicatessen and Amelie. He can do no wrong in my book (minus Alien 4). So I'll be counting the days down for his new film Micmacs a tire-larigot.
You can find the teaser trailer here.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Now that I'm home, I'm feeling completely and utterly anxious. I have script notes to wrap up on Love Me, story ideas to spit up for Nickelodeon, a second draft to get crackin' on for Captain Dynamo and a first draft to plow through on Never Date a Teen Idol. Don't get me wrong. I'm psyched to have a full plate and an empty calendar for July. It's been planned as my writing month since May. So if I start saying "no" to lunches, hanging out and get togethers, it's just cause I've got a lot of shit to do before school starts up again. I've got to put my nose to the grind stone. Right? Isn't that the phrase? Something like that.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
I caught up with several of my Tribeca friends for a long dinner at Dupar's. It was nice to see familiar faces and listen to their stories in the studio system and otherwise. It's crazy how much I've learned about this business and writing and what success means over the last year. It's been good and I'm trying to take the many lessons and apply them toward my career. Hopefully crossing all fingers and toes, things will pop soon. Hopefully I can report on a few minor successes in the upcoming weeks.