17 May 2008

mid-May 2008: the week that was

1) had a pass from [a cool and recognized prodco] on an exclusive sneak read on my monster-com. They praised the writing and the setpieces and the character interplay, but said "conceptually, the monster is just not what we are looking for right now" which of course set me to grumbling under my breath and to cat-kicking and then to shouting retorts to the empty world around me (conceptually).


2) no response yet from the quickly-doctored semi-custom draft of my Nicholl thingie which was slipped to a specific actress now aged to the far side of 30. I *like* this actress just fine... just not for teh character she'd be reading for in this script, so I have mixed feelings about this. I'm almost more afraid that she WILL love teh script, as then if she starts asking for MORE changes to even better accomodate her "rapidly approaching maturity," my little movie would end up something like "Billy The Kid as played by Ian McKellan," or 'The Olga Korbut Story, starring that actress who played Roz on What's Happnin'?" I mean, talent is great, but so is an acceptable fit for the character.


3) Read THE HAPPENING from M Night Shamalammahossenpfeffer. I've never been a huge fan of his particular brand of Stephen King-esque quietly weird creepy fantasy, and this one absolutely affirms that for me. There are some really cool visual moments which no doubt will look great and creepy weird spooky in the film and (especially) in the trailer, but overall the story just sorta left me uncharged. The ending is one of those that leaves me asking a lot of major questions about "how the hell is that even SUPPOSED to work, either as narrative for the audience or as logical resolution for the characters?", and the "science" (ahem) of the "the happening" might work fine for a 15 year old making a C- in biology but a B+ in English but it left me wanting to punch someone in the neck.

What I found most curious (and this is an odd thing to be curious about) was the fact that the PDF of the screenplay was set in TIMES rather than COURIER, which (as any armchair typesetter or designer knows) means that the "true" page count of this this is likely far higher than the 106 indicated. Also, the use of non-standard typeface was surprisingly unnoticeable after that first page-- it looked and read just fine, even though there were probably 20% more characters per line as a result. I just wondered how (and why) this change was made.

Also, I noted the many very specific instances where M (we're old pals) gives camera calls and directorial notes-- they were NOT intrusive or distracting, and in fact ADDED to my enjoyment and understanding of the piece as it made the "mental movie" play very clearly in my head. In fact, I was left wondering what might happen if M Night the director was ever forced to helm someone else's BETTER screenplay, as he clearly has a cool Hitchcockian eye for the creepy cool shot. I just wish he'd shoot something with better bones.


4) Am winding down the Spring From Hell's insane schedule of obligations and responsibilities. We've had baseball (Minor 10s, Rookie 7s, Teeball 5s) pretty much every night for the past 3 months, and then we've also managed to somehow cover simultaneous demands from Dance (x2), Recital (x2), Drama, Cub Scouts (x2), Boy Scouts, PTA, LL Board, and the early organizational fun of Summer Baseball. Give all this extraneous stuff, time for focusing on screenplay writing has been rare and precious. I still managed to make some solid headway on the [College Comedy Thing], and tweaked some more notes for the [Holiday Feelgood Comedy Thing] as well as the [Sprawling Historical Action Adventure Thing], and also did some early brainstorming with a possible partner on a very strange wild comedy idea we both snigger at childishly whenever any mention is made. Hopefully things will continue to calm down and writing will now start to flow like water from a well-plumbed well.

Yeah, and then Jennie McCarthy will come offer to give me bikini-clad footrubs (clarifying: my feet--her bikini) as we skip off to Monaco on her rocket pontoon boat. Uh huh. Suuuurrre...


5) Am almost practically ready to just about maybe to commit to accepting the idea of possibly visiting to Hollywood in early July.


And so it goes.

1 comment:

Wes said...

I'm always pleased to find someone at Zoetrope who is a real person, too. I just got back from Texas. You can go to my blog and tell me what I should see the next time.


P.S. I also went there last year to see ZZ Top in concert. You can find my posts about that trip under my archives for March, 2007.

Keep on writing!