Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Class Acts, Autmn Leaves, and Film Perils

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

This has been a very difficult week. We’re working on the script in every spare moment. The pressure on us for more progress is growing, but we can’t leave the day jobs until we know that our support is secure. The news this week on the financial front does not make us feel secure in the least. My notion of stuffing the film’s entire budget in various mattresses doesn’t look so silly right now. In this instance, I would have preferred not being right. The stress is taking its toll. Even cooking therapy hasn’t helped. Though I did make a very nice pizza dough (that didn’t try to eat my fridge) and a very yummy Tuscan White Bean Soup. Jon finally dragged me off for a full massage on Saturday. He may have figured out that I was having trouble turning my head. The poor masseuse was exhausted when she finished. I felt a lot better though. More on the re-write and such later.

Much More than a Pretty Face

My love for movies and my extensive experience with them began with my mother. She liked all of them from the earliest to the newest opener. I spent a lot of time with her watching older films on Channel 48. Click on the link and you’ll find out how Jon and I got exposed to so much anime as kids. Channel 48 was also the first station to run Star Trek in syndication. Yep, spent a lot of time glue to that station. Click here for more of its history. It was through that experience watching films with my Mother that I fell in love with the big stars like Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn, Betty Davis and many others. Paul Newman was a big favorite. He is responsible for the very high bar I set for beautiful actors. Aside from the amazing color of his eyes, there was a lot going on in them. And those eyes had something different going on with each new character. He could be sexy or naughty or sardonic, or self-effacing or dangerous without ever opening his mouth. Paul Newman was always more than a very pretty face on screen and off. His passing is a hard thing to think about. Hopefully, there will be a tribute marathon on TV somewhere. I highly recommend The Long, Hot Summer for it’s very steamy sensuality, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the razor sharp dialogue, or The Sting, my favorite caper film. It’s also the film that caused me to closely watch plots unfold. Few films since that one can pull a twist ending with me. The Sting actually began my scriptwriting career. So be enthralled and even inspired by enjoying a film from Paul Newman’s brilliant career.

Autumn Leaves, Winter Snow and the Perils of Film Making

Since we have no idea when principal photography begins, we have no clue what the streets in New Jersey will look like. We’re hoping for a stark fall days through the shoot. Jon would like to try to get leaves saved from the neighborhood for the option of having leaves blowing on the ground. That should be interesting. I don’t even know how we’ll go about that. The bigger problem would be snow. That part of the country seldom sees snow before January, but there have been big exceptions. We’d have to really clear it out of everywhere we’re shooting. It can be done and has been done fairly often. It’s just a bit pricey (though sometimes the production insurance will cover it), and there is the worry that what has been cleared will get snowed over. And then there is the specter of working through both Thanksgiving and very close to Christmas. The over time, holiday pay and the cost of flights at that time of year all gives me agita. But it’s what we may have to do.

I finished the first pass on the schedule last Sunday. Schedules are as fluid as scripts are in film. Depending on the weather and actor availability, it will change many times over the length of the project. Fortunately, this is the only one I will be generating. The most important part of the schedule for me to finish was the actors’ day out of days (how many days each actor is working out of the entire length of the shoot). That data heavily influences negotiations for salaries and perks. I am so glad to have that out of my hands. We’ve also resolved the problems with all of the character arcs last week as well. Thus, Jon is finally starting on the new draft. He’s a fairly quick writer once all of the character issues are resolved in his mind.

Meanwhile, we did the pitch to the cable network. I have some work to do on tailoring the material that has gotten the most interest to the mission of the network. I’m hoping to get some of the concepts online this week to get feedback. No guarantees though. The aftermath of the massage has left me better relaxed but exhausted. And I’m still working on the current film budget with out partners today. Really, how do I know how many store patrons we’ll need in the furniture store? I haven’t seen any of the potential locations yet. Stay tuned.

The Fall Premiers
Possible Spoilers for CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds

First off Horatio Caine lives. He was back before the first commercial break on CSI: Miami, I believe. The ‘faked’ assassination was exposed in short order. And despite his cryptic statements about going underground until he could unmask those trying to kill him, Horatio kept turning up in places where anyone could see him – like his office. I could see if he were being Ninja-like and appearing from thin air or dropping from the ceiling behind his staff. But he was just lurking around the building. It was a little creepy. Most of the plot made no sense, but there were more sci-fi type whizzes and bangs in the lab, and everyone looked pretty. In other words, it was a typical episode. Kind of a let down from the cliffhanger, but not surprising. The next episode seems to involve spontaneous human combustion. I’m not sure. In the promo, there are people bursting into flames. Whatever. Criminal Minds was really taught drama and fast paced action that played well during the episode. But after thinking about it, I must agree with Jon that it was a slicker, better performed Wo Fat episode from Hawaii 5-0. – convoluted and completely implausible. Overall, I’m left a bit disappointed.

I had some other fun stuff for this blog, but it’s late and I have so much work to do. I’ll save that for next week.

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