Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deadgirl


I briefly mentioned this film a few years back. Finally got a chance to see it...

Two high school buddies/losers stumble across a restrained female zombie and -- wait. Let's try something different. Do they....

a) use her as a sex slave.
b) run like cowards, forever scarred by the encounter.
c) free her and unwittingly unleash her zombie minions.
d) clean her up and take her to the prom.
e) none of the above

The correct answer is "a." Seriously. A premise like that would never have occurred to me in a million years, but it obviously caught the eye of a producer. I watched a featurette with the screenwriter and even he didn't expect to find any takers when he wrote it. We choose our stories for all sorts of reasons. Commercial appeal be damned! But from what I understand, Deadgirl has somewhat of a cult following and there are rumors of a sequel. Go figure...

Although it strives to make a statement about the objectification of women, I'm not sure if Deadgirl ever rises above gratuitous zombie torture/necrophilia porn flick. The lesson to be learned here is that it pays to think outside the box. Don't be afraid to go to that deep dark place within and start writing — well, maybe not *that* dark.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Know When To Fold Em


I've slowly come to a realization: I suck at writing sitcoms! The majority of my ideas sounded like something ripped straight from the program listings of an 80s-90s copy of TV Guide. I really don't think the world needs another "Small Wonder" or "Harry and the Hendersons." Most sitcoms aren't high concept. They're usually about families, couples, single people, etc. dealing with everyday situations in comedic fashion.

Trying to come up with a compelling low-concept idea was driving me nuts. Whenever I attempted to add a genre element into the mix, it came off as pure cheese. I just couldn't find the right balance. For whatever reason, I seem to be better at mixing genre stuff with dramas. Time to cut my losses. I'm done with sitcoms, but not television. At some point this year, I'll probably take a stab at a sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural drama script.

My wacky misadventures in sitcom writing weren't a total loss. One of my characters gets to live on in my still unfinished supernatural thriller spec. Still trying to beat that May 2 deadline for Nicholl...

Monday, April 04, 2011

MIA

Yeah, it's been a while since my last blog entry. I've been up to my eyeballs with unfinished projects. Although I got carried away with some tweaking/rewriting, I was still able to submit one of my screenplays before Nicholl's early deadline. It finally dawned on me that minor revisions aren't likely to significantly alter my chances in the contest. Bottom line: the story either works or doesn't.

Meanwhile, I'm still hammering away at the Fox sitcom contest. The script is a little bit — okay, a lot — of eleventh hour inspiration. Frankly, I don't like my odds of finishing before the submission period closes, but concept is a keeper. At the same time, I'm trying to prep another script before Nicholl's regular deadline. I see many sleepless nights ahead of me...

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