26 April 2008

shadows in the mist... shapes in the gloom

Or, in a happier vein, "some vague hint of progress and improvement."

The two pieces The Agents have are... out there. QUEEN OF THE SKY (aka "Lilya", aka "The Nicholl script") continues to quietly bounce (or perhaps "roll around" is a more accurate description) various prodcos and managers of actresses out there in the Wood of Holly. No, there's been no huge single bit of positive news, but neither have we heard from, say, Scarlett's people "don't do this to us again... ever. Seriously", and in a time where good news seems in such short supply, any non-kick to the face is a triple smiley face Red Letter Day! Dear diary....

Meanwhile and anywhooo... the OTHER spec -- the one with the asskickingly cool title (so asskicking cool, in fact, that you sad loathsome ingrates simply do not rate) is now moving through the dimly lit poorly carpeted hallways of trivial power. The Agents seem somewhat excited by a week of personal contacts lined up this weekend at FANGORIA Magazine's "Weekend of Horror" convention-o-rama thing. This second spec, which is about as far removed from Lilya as can be imagined (and creates an amusing if annoying conundrum for The Agents, as they are not entirely sure if they are better to pitch me as a drama writer who will slum in shlocky smartass campy fun horror, or a shlocky smartass writer who will slum in hoity-toity drama) seems a perfect fit for the smirking sort of that FANGORIA world. The Agents cackled madly when I plopped this spec onto their desk with a wet SPLAT (always a good sign), and they have maintained that it should be "an easy sell" (their words, and I intend to hold them to it under pain of ... well, pain), so "we shall see." And yes, this paragraph was almost as confusing to write as it now is to read. Yeesh.

Lordy -- weren't we just here? It hardly seems a full year ago that I was sighing with self-aware annoyance at the futility of funding some other writer's eventual winnings by entering my own piles of pages in various contests which come on now let's be honest there is NO way I'll do well in. After the weirdness of last year (either you know already, or you don't care, in either case why bother describing?), I'm torn between skipping contest entries entirely, but then that bugs me as a rather pompous and self-adoring thing to do ("OOoooooo... look at MEEEEE.... so fancypantsed that I don't NEEEEEEEEEED to enter contests like the rest of you sad little people....", so then I start thinking about entering if only to make my inner voice shut the hell up (never works), which of course THEN leads to the Other Inner Voice (the sometimes but seldom Reasonable One) pointing out "Uhh... but we don't really HAVE anything new to enter... all of the incomplete stuff is still incomplete, and what is completed didn't win LAST year...."

That Other Voice can be a real pain in the ass, sometimes, so the rest of us drag him out bag and get medieval on his ass with a few sacks of doorknobs. He don't sound so smart blubbering through shattered teeth, now do he? (spit)

But even after the fun of an Olde Schoole Beatdowne, that still leaves us with the matter of "Is We Is Or Is We Ain't A Contest-ing This Year?" I have that itchy feeling (shaddup) that I'll do The Usual and act like I am not going to enter and then cave like a great big caving thing at the last second and run in a panic to get something or things dropped into the mail slot with 8 minutes to go. WHAT that might wind up being... who knows.

Thanks to various Strikes and Labor Disputes and Total Lack Of Interest By The Industry, I've so far not yet made good on my hellish threat to return to Capistrano adjacent to shit all over the faux-marble monuments of the movie biz. IOW, I ain't been back to Cali since the last time. But I will go back, and I want to go back, but I want this next trip to finally be THE Trip: the one where I go out a nobody and come back still a nobody but a nobody with something like money or the imminent promise of such.

I'd been thinking about going back months ago in February, but the WGA-AMPTP love-in (ahem) scuttled that, and then the ensuing post-coital cuddling (ahem) scuttled March, and then my own self made Hell Of A Schedule had the entire month of April doing the Chain Gun Dance, and now May will be tossed into the crapper as I have wall-to-wall schedule obligations written in permanent ink, and then June seems sunk due to TV Staffing Season horking down all the time and energy of the reps, and early July is right out as I have all sorts of crap paid for, so now mid/late July looms as the most likely window of opportunity for D-Day. Lock your neighbors, warn the pets, etc etc etc.

I don't EVEN wanna talk about that. Shit.

Shit shit shit shit.

In an uncharacteristically welcome development, suddenly Progress Is Being Made on some of the new projects. The College Thing is matriculating down the field, with 29 pages in the book and more coming quickly. It's likely a lot of warm air and superfluous nonsense, but hey -- if you've read this far in this blog and don't known that's the way the cookie crumbles, then there's no helping you.

The Historical Epic Thing is still very much wedged in my mind, and despite tons of advice from Very Smart People who insist that this is a fool's errand, a cause most well and truly lost, I will finish this thing, will get it out there, and will see it made, one way or another. I love long sweeping moments of this tale far FAR too much to surrender this dream to the half-knowing paranoia of others.

The Christmas Thing simmers in the back-most reaches of my brain, and I have all sorts of very cool ideas I want to roll into the mix there, but that project is definitely #3 at best in the pecking order of Stuff To Write.

And then there's the Odd Bio-Pic Idea, suggested by The Agents as a great transitional or connecting piece between the serious bio-drama of LILYA and the not at all serious loopiness of the Monster Movie. I have a character who appeared to me in a slap-the-forehead V8 Moment of obviousness ("DUH!"), and he's not had any bio-pics of him, and he's insanely interesting and cinematic and the movie could be as cool as anything I've ever imagined... but first I have to write it, and that means first I have to figure it out, and that means first I have to clear the desk of enough space in which to work.

So I guess I'll go do the dishes and get started.

And so it goes.



Chesher Cat said...

"so now mid/late July looms as the most likely window of opportunity for D-Day."

Nobody does nuthin' in Hollyweird during the summer months. If you can't make it in May there's no point in coming 'til after labor day.

Unless you just wanna go to the beach.

Or take me to dinner.


Pooks said...

Well, you simply have to enter again, because sometimes Good Things Happen, and even if they don't, you get exposed to new people the second time around, and some of the old people don't even remember you (unless the same script is the one getting the attention which in my case it was a different one and I was getting calls from people who had no idea they'd called and requested a script from me the year before, which is always a bit of a quandary--do you point it out to them, or just let it go).

As for the trip, yeah, summer ain't great, but September can be, or October, and if you end up going back in November for Other Things, the fact that you were just there recently is not a bad thing, it just lets people know that even though you live in bumfuck Texas you still get out to Eh-lay regularly.

aggiebrett said...

Summertime, shmummertime. I kinda think this year is one where the traditional calendar means nothing, as the WGA thing and now the SAG thing has pretty well monkey-wrenched the Standard Model, and apprently the agents think something similar, as they're the ones suggesting this timetable (I've been ready willing and able to haul alpaca westward since approximately 13 minutes after the WGA agreement came down).

As for Nicholl... for various reasons I'll likely *not* send LILYA to those rat-bastards for a fourth try, and I'm not yet even sure I'll send ANYTHING, as three of the four other completed specs are all on blocks in the yard like a rusted Trans Am, and the fourth would be like send Hannibal Lechter to a Brownie meeting...

But we shall see.