Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Malkovich's Mail

You've probably seen this already, but in case you haven't, it's a glimpse of what happens to our query letters (and unsolicited screenplays) when they end up at a small production company -- Mr. Mudd, which was created by John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon & Russell Smith. Those poor, poor people. Constantly deluged with tons and tons of scripts. The filmmakers also trace back to some of the people behind these scripts.

Watching the doc, I got the impression that some of the writers just wanted to feel like they mattered more than anything. The guy with Pterodactyl Man was the most passionate by far -- for obvious reasons. And yet I could easily picture his script as an animated short for kids... now I gotta find out what happened to these people.

Another thing, it was shot way back in 2003, so I guess a lot of folks were still using snail mail, but I can only imagine what their in-boxes look like today. Picture some Creative Executive sitting at his or her computer with a thousand yard stare. Although it can be disheartening, we still have to plug on.

I'm not gonna spoil, but I can say that I really liked the ending. Malkovich is a pretty cool dude.

You can check out Parts 2-5 here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Caller (2011)

Two thoughts immediately spring to mind:

1) Haven't heard of this before and it comes out on Friday.
2) Wish I'd thought of it! Kinda like a horror version of Frequency.

But what's up with the limited release? Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) and Stephen Moyer (True Blood) can't get you more than 10 theaters!?! Guess I'll be waiting for the DVD.


(This post has absolutely nothing to do with that Usher song...)

It's been almost 270 days since I last queried. I ended that unfortunate streak last week. It felt really good to get back in the saddle again. I spent a significant amount of time writing and trying to come up with creative ways to make my query stand out. For the record, this wasn't me. Creative, not crazy. At the end of the day, it comes down to a compelling logline.

As I stated in previous posts, I only entered Nicholl this year. Despite some moderate success, contests didn't give my script the boost that I was hoping for -- got some nice t-shirts and magazine subscriptions though. Instead, I used the extra cash for a few months on imdbpro. I'm still querying production companies, but once my supernatural thriller is finished, I'll expand to managers and agents. Although I could query them now, I'd feel more comfortable with another script that's ready to go.

I haven't said much about my current spec because I've come to conclusion that I hate writing about something before it's completely finished...

'Looks like I'm done!!
Oops. Not yet.
Maybe next week.
Next month?
OMG! Just discovered a huge plot hole!
How could I have been so blind!?'

Enough of that. I might put up some progress bars or tweet about my weekly output, but that's about it. When I'm really done, I'll let you know.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Underworld Awakening

I never imagined Underworld would have spawned two sequels, a prequel and comic books -- wasn't there a video game too? And let's not forget the recent talk about an animated series. Think about some of the sure thing films from 2003:

Bulletproof Monk
Dark Blue
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The Order
The Rundown

Remember Gigli? Ha! Anyway, here comes this genre mash-up about vampires vs. werewolves with a $21M budget, the British chick from Pearl Harbor, and a music video director at the helm. Nine years later and Underworld: Awakening is almost upon us. Kinda impressive. Original ideas can still be profitable, Hollywood.

I still have a hard copy of the 2003 script that I got off eBay. Great example of how to write action.

The trailer is interesting because it suggests a story that differs from the early synopsis. But it wouldn't be the first time that a film had a misleading trailer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Woman In Black

Creepy kids? Check!
Creepy mansion? Check!
Creepy ghost? Check!

Nothing we haven't seen before. Still, it's just a teaser. They're probably saving the good stuff for the official trailer.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Netflix & Me

Netflix's algorithm for suggestions continues to mystify me. I gave high ratings to Tales from the Script, Project Greenlight and Dreams on Spec. Heck, I even have a few Joseph Campbell DVDs in my queue. So why I do have to hear about The Dialogue series from Scriptwrecked!? Thanks for the heads up, BTW.

Meanwhile, I'm on a steady diet of mostly thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural horror and foreign (thriller/supernatural) films. But for some reason, Netflix thinks that a Scandinavian drama, After the Wedding, is right up my alley! WTF!?

Anyway, here's a youtube snippet from The Dialogue Series with David Goyer. Can't wait to check out the full interview.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Faces In The Crowd Trailer

This sounded like such an intriguing concept when I first heard about it, face blindness, but the final product seems a bit lacking. No complaints with Milla Jovovich and Julian McMahon as the headliners and yet.... I can't put my finger on it. High cheese factor? Clich├ęd dialogue? Maybe it's just a weak trailer. We'll have to wait and see.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Tales From The Script

Another excellent screenwriting documentary. This one gives us a glimpse into the life of a working Hollywood screenwriter. Pretty diverse group of writers interviewed. I was surprised by the number of genre folks included. If you think getting past the gatekeepers is the toughest part of the battle, well, you're in for a rude awakening...


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