Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Music Obsessed Teens

A friend of mine makes "Look Books" when he pitches a screenplay to a studio. His books are filled with cut out images from magazines, color copied paintings, his own charcoal drawings, hand typed text from ancient typewriters ... It helps the people he's pitching to get further inside his head and his words and see everything he sees.

I love that idea. And maybe when I'm pitching hundred million dollar films to studios I'll do the same thing, but for now, I make mix CDs. Below is a list of songs from the latest mix CD from the latest teen romance project I'm working on. I put the CDs in the mail today to arrive at the same time I email my 18-page treatment on Friday. This project revolves around music obsessed teens and so I only felt it made sense to put in specific music cues. I'm super excited about the story and the treatment. Hopefully they will be too.
  1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date with the Night
  2. Band of Horses - No One's Gonna Love You
  3. Metric - Gimme Sympathy
  4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Contender
  5. Sahara Hotnights - Keep Up the Speed
  6. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Young Adult Friction
  7. The Muffs - Agony
  8. Throwing Muses - Not Too Soon
  9. Band of Horses - Is There A Ghost
  10. Ola Podrida - Monday Morning
  11. Superchunk - 100,000 Fireflies
  12. Trail of Dead - How Near How Far
  13. Metric - Collect Call
  14. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Is This Love
  15. Sigur Ros - Gooan Daginn
  16. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
  17. Clinic - For the Wars
  18. Wolf Parade - I'll Believe in Anything

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Living Inside A Song

Mark and I were listening to Band of Horses the other night and I turned to him and asked ... "You ever love a song so much you just want to curl up and live inside of it?" He didn't hesitate. "Yeah."

I'm kind of feeling that way about this teen romance. I can't rip my head out of it. I'd rather just live in that world for a little while. I want to go to the all ages rock club. Listen to music in an abandoned carnival ride with the boy I have butterflies for. Wander junk yards in the middle of the night. Sneak out my bedroom window and ride my bike at 4am with my friends. Basically all the things I did as a teenager. Well, minus the sneaking out. I never did that. But yeah, you get the point. It's fun to pretend.

I have a week of serious writing ahead of me. I'll turn this final teen romance outline in at the end of the week and cross my fingers that they love it as much as I do. I'll finish my turn with the family comedy, Brother In Law Toddy and I are working on. I will say it's been tough switching gears between the two scripts.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Soundtrack Fiction

Writing this teen romance I've been listening to the same bands over and over again ... getting back into that sixteen year old indie rock girl mindset.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Nick Drake
The Muffs
The Raveonettes
Sahara Hotnights
Eric's Trip

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Back to School" (in Adam Sandler's Voice)

Today marked a return to the real world and my first class after Spring Break. Boo to the real world. Eh, that's ok. After seeing all of the great footage my kids brought to class from their shoots, I'm totally cool with it.

There's also been a tiny dip of depression after coming back from LA. As much as I was ready to come home after eight days of meetings, more meetings and hanging out with friends and students, I did get a little sad. All in all it was the best LA trip yet. It marked me and Toddy coming out as an official writing team. Now people know our voice and sensibility and can hire us for rewrite jobs or to develop ideas and projects. That's the plan anyway. So after coming back and getting great feedback on Never Date a Teen Idol we'll be spending the next two - three months writing like mad on our Brother In Law script. We're aiming to get back to LA by mid to late June with a new project and a new round of meetings. That's right people, we don't "eff" around. We got shit to do!

On top of that I'm doing a third rewrite on the teen romance outline. After a few conference calls with the producers and director, I'm feeling really good about it. It's a ton of work but I'll turn it in next week and then cross my fingers and toes super crazy tight that I get the job. And if I don't, well, I have a pretty intense outline that I can make a few minor tweaks to and call it my own.

But for now, I shall lay my head down on my pillow and call it a day.

Karen (my BFF) and Ralph - On Getting Engaged

Monday, March 22, 2010

Treme Trailer

This might lure me into finally getting HBO.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two More Days

I'm in LA for two more days. I'm loving my time here but am getting antsy to get home to Texas. Between all of the friends and meetings and possibilities, it's been great, don't get me wrong. But I'm ready to not be stressed about parking and traffic every time I get in the car. I'm ready to settle back into some serious writing in the quiet of a town where not everyone's in the industry. It feels more special that way.

I'm wrapping up a new draft of the teen romance outline to hand over for more notes. Another conference call this week. Keeping all fingers and toes crossed.

Oh yeah, and I slept through a 4.4 earthquake last night. I guess I was really tired.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Metric Inspired

So I outlined a teen romance last fall, turned in two versions and then forgot about it. Months later I get the call from the producer that they're ready to hand off notes to me and one other writer that's up for the job. They want a revised outline by the end of the month. Problem is-- I wasn't quite feeling the outline that they picked of the two I turned in. And I'm sure it's for all the same reasons they pointed out in their notes. But after having a talk with the director yesterday and diving back in with a fresh start, I'm getting super excited. It's kind of a complete overhaul. Figuring out what they responded to in the last one, taking those pieces and giving it a new spin.

So I'm listening to Metric in my hotel lobby and fleshing out my leads. The newer version of these teen characters I can relate to and find great affection for. I'm getting giddy thinking about it again.

I've got another conference call with the whole team on Tuesday, I need to come to the table with a pretty solid pitch. But the more I wrap my brain around it and the more defined the character pieces become, the more my heart is finding its way onto the page.

Predators - Sneak Peek

Growing up with a mom who was obsessed with every single Schwarzenegger film that came out (Conan's one of her all time favorite movies ever), I have a great affection for the original Predator. And I have a feeling my mom will be first in line on this one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SXSW - Let Me Live Vicariously

Even though I'm far far from home and far far from SXSW hopefully I can will all of you to go see my friends' films. I'm crazy bummed that I'm missing so many of them. I'll get a chance to catch one or two when I step back in Austin. But I'm missing the glorious festival madness and mayhem. So if you have a badge, film pass or just some cash in your pocket, go see these films ....

Dance with the One
The Happy Poet
Lovers of Hate
Fix My Dick
Better Safe than Sorry
The Grownups
Mnemosyne Rising
Petting Sharks

And so it's begun ...

This two hour time difference is breaking me. I'm wide eyed and ready to go by 6am and crashing hard around midnight. I'm a total wuss when it comes to lack of sleep. To counterbalance the weary mind, I've been secretly sipping Diet Cokes (that I publicly disowned three months ago). Screw it. What happens in LA stays in LA.

So far Toddy and I have had some pretty awesome meetings. The people we've met have been super nice. We've gotten incredible feedback on our little teen comedy. And we're slowly realizing that (without representation) we got hooked up with a bunch of really important meetings. Let's just say, we have two little angels that believe in us and are looking out for us. And I don't use angels lightly.

We have one more packed day of meetings together and then Toddy heads home. And I'm stuck to pitch, wow and charm all by my lonesome. Let the nail biting, fumbling and stammering begin.

After today, I'm anxious to decompress with good food and friends. And wrap my brain around this whirlwind adventure we've had. And then start a less crazed week of meetings again on Monday (all alone).

The one thing we've learned-- next time we'll be back for at least a week or two. There've been too many opportunities for follow up and referred meetings. You live and learn.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Happy Poet - Poster

At SXSW, go see it!

And so it begins ...

If I could run a marathon right now, I would. Maybe I'd shake off a little stress along the way. In fact I had a dream last night that I ran around a track ... lap after lap after lap after lap. That was the whole dream. Just running. What does that mean? That I like to run? Not really because I kinda don't so much anymore. It hurts my knees. But this afternoon I think I realized what's going on in that little jumbled head of mine. Why am I freakin' the freak out? Besides rattling off all of my list of "to dos" up there and dreams of Yogurt Planet ... I am a total ball of nerves.

Just a momentary freak out. I'll be totally fine tomorrow.

The Alligator - SXSW

Go see The Alligator at the AFS SXSW Showcase.
An Arts and Labor collaboration!
March 13th, 12pm
Hideout Theater

Monday, March 08, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

What's Cooking?

I'm prepping for another trip to LA. I'll be swapping places with everyone coming here for SXSW. And of course I'll be absent for all of the amazing local films playing while I'm gone. Poop to that. I'll have to live vicariously through my twitter account.

I have a stack of DVDs I'm pouring through before I leave. Trying to get caught up on all the films produced by the folks we're meeting with.

It'll be the first time Toddy and I go to LA as a writing team. Fun times ahead. Lots of meet and greets. But above all else, I'm just giddy to wander the Disney and Fox studio lots. That's always the best. Wandering the sets and poking my head in to see what's cooking. Makes me feel like I'm ten again.

And more than anything else, I'm looking forward to hanging out with friends. Ooh, and M Cafe. Thanks to Mr. Lowery for introducing me to their equivalent of a Big Mac. Oh Lord, it's so freakin' good. So if you have any food recommendations for my LA trip, please send them on. I'm a sucker for yummy food. Just nothing fried, chicken fried or fake fried. I don't do fried.

Film Camp for Girls - Austin

Femme Film Texas is proud to announce our 2010 Film Camp for Girls at the University of Texas! This is a unique opportunity to educate girls about the digital technology of filmmaking while building friendships and leadership skills. We are eager to help more young women participate in our local film industry, and we are fortunate to be offering this program in Austin. Our summer program is available to girls who will be entering Grades 8 - 12 in Fall 2010. Read here to find out more about our exciting program.

I've taught at this camp the last three years in a row and I can promise that the girls have an absolute blast! It's so much fun.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Shit - Fun Days

A fun pre-production few days with Shit! Last night the ever so awesome Ellen (production designer) and I scoped out the set again (my sister in law's house). Between writing down measurements and taking pictures, my niece and nephew ran around in fairy costumes laughing and jumping over things. So freakin' cute.

Today Nancy (producer) and I canvased the set neighborhood making sure all the neighbors were cool and would promise not to mow their lawns or let their pit bulls run free while we were shooting. One older woman asked, "So, what's the movie about?" -- "Uh, hmmm ...". I stammered a little. But luckily she didn't slam the door in our face when I told her it was about a little girl spewing profanities. So yay for cool neighbors!

And tonight Ms. Deneice (costumer) and I hung out with our little star, Jasmine, figuring out crazy costumes. She's gonna look super crazy cool.

We've locked our jib. Pretty much locked our dolly. And I can breathe a little easier heading to LA next week. I'll still stress out as the days go by, but I'm lucky to have an amazing crew who will basically be badasses in making this itty bitty film come to life at the end of the month. So yay for badasses.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Love Bug - Omaha Film Festival

Love Bug screens at the Omaha Film Festival next week. I don't know anyone who lives in Omaha, so if you do, please tell them to go see our little movie.

Tuesday, March 9th, 6pm
Friday, March 12th, 6pm
Great Escape Theater