Sunday, January 13, 2008

free flow of ideas

After the football games, and the self-medication, and the whole thing, I would like to take a moment and reflect on my accident. Basically...I hurt...alot. I can't lift my head up without help. I can't take my brace off except for a couple of seconds. I slept with it on last night and it sucked a lot. The way my computer is set up, I need to look down to write, which is an incredible challenge.

I did however, finish act 1 of Red Bicycle. I think it's pretty good, but I have very little idea what to do with act 2. I always find act 2 is the hardest to do. I always have a good sense of how I want to begin and how I want to end. It's all that in between garbage that's a problem. But, it'll get through it.

I don't really have much more to say. I hope my boss doesn't fire me for this, though.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

car accident

so here's how it went down. I was driving to pick up web to get some food and watch the wizards game. I actually left work a little early and was hesitant to go, but i decided to suck it up. Karen wanted me to go to baltimore with her, instead of going to happy hour.

So, there were already things working against me. But, I decided to go, and possibly meet up with karen later in b-more.

I got home about 4:30pm, after leaving work, going back to work, and working for another hour. My boss made me feel like a jerk for wanting to leave, and i was iffy if I had gotten in at 7:30 or 8:00am, so I went back in. It was really odd, actually. Web texted me at 5:05 to ask if I would scoop him. That was about when karen got home. Me and karen hung out for about 10 minutes, and then I was off.

I went out of my house and began driving. Web texted me to ask if I was on my way
, which I was. I turned onto 198, and drove a few miles. 198 is an awful road. At one point it goes down to 2 lanes with no shoulder. You pass a gas station and a 7-11 on your left. Right about there, you can't see what is coming from the perpendicular roads. However, when an emergency vehicle comes, you can see the flashing lights. And that's what happened. A fire truck came up on the intersection, and people were passing it. Well, I stopped like you're supposed to. 1,2,3,4,5 seconds went by. Then BAM! A truck hits me in the back. My entire trunk is like an accordian. It's pretty awesome.

And that's how it happened. I went to the urgent care, I got a neck brace, and my fingers are killing me. I feel awful.

now I have to get my car fixed, and all sorts of other things.

Coming up...awful feeling awesomeness.


i did it again. I would like to say its because I got in a car accident, which I did, but that had nothing to do with it. I'm just a lazy bum. Just like this script. I keep putting it off. I know I do. I know if i sat down for a day or two I could bang out the entire script, but instead I watch scrubs for the 100th time, or play spider solitaire. So, that's that. I can only make up for it and try better. And by the way, I'm counting this as one, even though it's a huge cop-out.

Coming up...accident awesomeness.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


so, for the past 18 months, I've been having problems with my dishwasher. We have been trying to get it replaced, but to no avail. In the meantime, we have had 2 stoves, three washing machines, two dryers, and a new sink. However, the dishwasher still stands there. And it got me to thinking. About what, I don't know, but I really want that new dishwasher. It's been like a quest. Everytime we call maintenance, we hope and pray this will be the time for the new dishwasher, but never does it happen. I was going to go into something prophetic about the film industry from this, but I actually have no idea how I could tie it in.

So, I'll just start on a film related topic. Today is a pretty big day in the life of BNS media. Our champion at the studio we want to produce a feature through is meeting with investors today in the hopes that they will like the script, and want it produced. Even more hopefully, I would like for me to direct. We have already conceded that Tom will not DP, Christoph will not star, and most likely Skyler will not be as involved as we would like him. However, we are steadfast in the hopes that I will be able to direct this movie. And I think it's not without merit. I know what I'm doing. I've directed a feature and a couple tv shows. I've worked as a dp and camera operator. And I'm a full-time producer. I would like to think I am qualified, but at the end of the day, its all about what the producer wants. If the hand a big check and say, sorry we're going with this director, what are you gonna do? Not much, that's what I tells ya. So, we sit and pray and hope that it all works out. Just like with this damn dishwasher. See, I did it afterall, I'm even greater than I thought I was.

In the next installment, Tightness meets greatness.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another one Today

So, it's a little bit of a cheat, but I'm just gonna continue to talk about me wedding. I may be the only guy alive who wants, in fact is looking forward to, writing his own vows. I think it's gonna be tight. Since I'm a bit of a writer, I think it'll be fun, rewarding, and super tight. I haven't decided, but i think I might end with "Karen Tiefenworth is totally boss".

It's hard to sum up how I feel about her though. We didn't have a normal courtship. We met at a bar while I was trying to get her friend drunk so she would sleep with my friend. Karen ended up passed out in the bathroom. I felt so bad I got her number and brought her out to dinner. It was the most boring date in the world, and I spent most of the time practicing lighter chicks. See, karen is the slowest eater ever. She's notorious for it. and she needs all of her food separated on a plate. It's actually pretty funny.

But anyway, we didn't meet in the normal way. And we stayed together out of convenience. Her's was we could hook up and she didn't have to meet someone else, mine was that she was incredibly convenient to the bar so I didn't have to drive home. And from that, a great love grew and we'll be getting married in March. And I have to figure out a way to convey all that in vows, without making either of us sound cheap. Woohoo.

Tightness personified.


I couldn't even make it a week blogging every day. But I had a good excuse, even if excuses are like assholes. I had to go to eat cake. See, I'm getting married in a couple of months, and god love it, I have to do things like meet gay priests, djs, and eating cake. I was set on white chocolate raspberry truffle. I know right, sounds amazing. But we ended up going with a dark chocolate raspberry instead because it tasted more raspberry. I know, this can't be interesting, but I don't care, because I'm committed to doing one a day, or at least the equivelent of one a day, so there. They can't all be gems.

Re: Awesomeness

Monday, January 7, 2008

Already Bored

It's not even a week into this thing and I'm already bored. Of course, that's not the point. The point is that I want to write more, get the free flow of ideas out, and hopefully think more clearly.

In film news today, I figured out how to make one of my characters in the new script I'm writing, Red Bicycle, more interesting. Unfortunately, I feel awful and the BCS game is on tonight so I'm going to take a nap, head over to Jon's, my buddy, and watch. There's nothing better than two undeserving teams playing each other to rekindle a love of football for an entire week.

I'm not really sure how long these things are supposed to be, but I feel like this isn't done near long enough. So, with that in mind, I'm just going to start free-writing in hopes of finding a good topic.

I feel like I want to talk about red bicycle, and my writing process. I call it the "Groove On It" Process. This, unlike most writers, means I'm not gonna do a lot of pre-writing. What I do is I just think about it in my spare time, until I have some sort of interesting framework in my head. Then, I start writing. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare, or even Killer Nerd, at this point. All it needs to do is have the characters and relative action right. If those things are wrong, then I go back, scrap that scene, and try again. When it feels right, then I move on. It's kind of weird and not what we are taught, but I find the more rules I know, the more I am able to successfully break them. And that is the lesson for the day. It's important, critically important, to know the rules, to study the need for certain things, to not think that you're idea is better than every idea to come before you, to not think that you can reinvent the wheel. The truth is, the wheel will never be re-invented, the most innovative people are the ones that take the wheel, and add radials to it, or make them bigger, better, stronger, faster.

These are the people that know the rules they are breaking, and bend them to their advantage. And that's a little bit of advice to everyone out there.

More coming on my tightness.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


As i mentioned, not everything in my blog is going to be film related. My goal is simply to create a blog a day about something in my life. If I can hone in on film 9 days out of ten I'll be happy, but if it's one day out of ten, I'll still reach my goal.

So, the Steelers, my Homeboys, played the Jaguars last night. And I was home, at my mother's house in VA. Right by her house there is a great sports bar with has about 30 70 inch hd tvs, and the steelers game was playing on ALL of them. I called up a few of my friends and we all met right after the Redskins game. Now, the skins lost, but that didn't stop the skin's faithful from chanting "hail to the redskins" about 30 times.

BAck to the game, it's a game the steelers were destined to lose. Home play-off game, Rothlisberger playing piss-poor, against the only team to beat them at home in the regular season. And, apparently the defense got that memo b/c the jags ran rough-shot over the steelers through the entire game, except inexplicably during the fourth quarter when the passed while up by 18. But, three picks in the first half by Big Ben was just too much to get up from, despite coming back and actually being up 29-28 after rallying from an 18 pt. deficit.

The major problem, however, was that for the league's best defense, the Jags had a 96 yd. td run, average an ungodly yac on the ground, and got a huge gain from a designed qb draw on 4th and 2 that won the game for Jacksonville.

It shows that the stats lie often, and as I predicted weeks ago, the Steelers D would crumble in the playoffs, much like the almost crumbles to not win their division. Any team that loses to Baltimore, 2nd string or not, does not deserve to win a playoff game.

In other news, the Skins lost. After 4 wins in a row including a 21-pt win in dallas, many were saying Sean Taylor (#21) was with the team. After their loss yesterday, my friend texted me this message:

"Redskins lose by 21. Must be a sign...That they actually suck"

Eat it 'skins.

To bring it around the film. Both stories had interesting story archs. In both games, the Seahawks/Jaguars got out to big leads. In both games, the Steelers/Redskins rallied to lead by 1 point. But, unlike a hollywood story, in the waning seconds, the rallies were not enough, stamped out by 2 pick 6's for Washington and a waning seconds field goal by Jacksonville/fumble by Big Ben.

If this were The Replacements or Varsity Blues, or a movie, in the final seconds, down by a score, a miraculous play or hook and ladder would have saved the day. But this ain't a movie, and you ain't Keanu Reeves. Hell, apparently you ain't even Boise State.

Coming up...More of me being tight.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Okay, so I know it's passe to talk about Juno and "Real film people" have to jump off the bandwagon because it's opening in wide release. But since I just started my blog a day project yesterday, I have to catch up with my favorite movies of last year.

For about 6 months of the year, my favorite movie was Waitress, I even wrote a blog about it on my production musings blog and reposted it here. I thought it had everything and renewed my faith in movies for another year.

However, in the last part of this year, we have hit several snags with the projects I am working on, and I could use another boost to my film tank. In comes Juno. Yes, another movie about pregnancy. This is the year of the PREGGOS. From starlets to the screen, everyone's getting Knocked Up. However, I have to applaud the movie, specifically Jason Reitman, who is becoming one of my favorite directors with Juno and previously with Thank you for Smoking.

This is exactly my kind of movie. I really only like a very small subset of movies, with few exceptions. QUIRKY, FUNNY, CHARACTER-DRIVEN, INDEPENDENT, COMEDIC, DIALOG HEAVY, films. There are exceptions like Kill Bill, Dawn of the Dead, and many others. But I have found a subset that I like, and basically any movie that comes along in that category I like.

However, I must say, I LOVED Juno. It had everything a movie should have, and takes a storyline we've already seen throughout the year, and just does it better than everyone else. The dialog was simple, understated, and hilarious. The art direction was classy, but not overpowering. The cinematagraphy didn't try to be more than it is. I would think Michael Bay would loath this movie because it's puts substance over style. It doesn't have 50 different angles of a scene. In most scenes they follow an incredibly simple formula: wide, 2 shot, singles. Then they sprinkle in some dolly moves, steadicams, and coverage shots.

It was really nice to see a movie succeed for the right reasons. It came from nothing, expected little, and changed the year. And to to the filmmakers out there trying to break in, it uses a tried and true formula.

If you are producing a script for little or no budget, all you have that can compete with studio projects is FINAL DRAFT. Everything else will be out of your control. Even a movie like Juno was produced for several million dollars. However, every movie begins with a script. Every script is written with a script writing program. And script writing programs cost $150-$200. Or you can download a free one like CELTX.

However you think about it, this movie could be shot on a handicam or DVX100, with the same dialog, same shot list, and still gotten into Sundance. However, your horror movies or action films won't go anywhere, except possibly direct to video.

Regardless of the genre, the most important thing in any movie is the script. Action film, horror movie, character-driven indie, all need you to write good dialog, know how to move a plot along, and know how to create a story.

I wrote a script a couple of months ago called, Johnny's Black Flag, based on a draft a client of mine had, showed it to a studio, and they are looking to develop it. However, the script is completely against character for me. I'm an indie-writer and it was a horror script. But since I knew how to get things done, I was able to write it well.

For more information about JBF, check out the BNS media blog.

Pee Sout.

Friday, January 4, 2008

RePost: Perspective Changing Movies

This is a post from my short story musings blog from my last film.

With the movie on hiatus until august/when we find a useable deck, I decided to convert this into a sort of behind the scenes of my mind for the month. It will be back up to a production blog with other tidbits soon, don't worry.

But, I wanted to talk about independent film for a moment. A little background on me first. Surprisingly, I don't go to the movies much. Everyone will say the same thing to me when I tell them...don't you love movies? You make them. To them I say, yes I do love movies. I deeply, passionately, and unabashedly love movies. I love them enough to know when NOT to go to the movies. I know enough to know when NOT to get my heart broken.

In all the time I've studied film, I can usually tell a good movie from a bad one, in any genre. And, to be honest, there may be 4-5 movies a year that really spark my interest. I'm not one who only likes independent films or will only go watch blockbusters. Instead, I have to feel it. The soul of the film has to speak to me. If I really connect with a film, then I'll go. But, that so rarely happens.

Usually, I will find one film a year that I can really get behind. A film that "restores my faith in filmmaking". I'm always felt that while studio flicks are going for commercial appeal, independents are trying to be obtuse, gritty, and "nichey". But, there's usually one film a year that can break through all of that, and just be honest. A movie that doesn't need hollywood money or indy "cred" to tell a story. They just take an amazing concept and tell it better than anyone could at that moment in history.

Last year, that movie was "Little Miss Sunshine" for me. I was down pretty low after directing two short films I wasn't happy with. I was broke, broken, and depressed. My fiance couldn't pull me out of it, friends couldn't pull me out. I was simply miserable. I was seriously considering ditching film and going into something safe, like finance. But, "Little Miss Sunshine" turned me around and gave me the second wind.

This year, I just finished my first feature project. I've been rejected from two festivals from my short. I have yet to see one second of digitized footage, and I'm not quite sure what my next step is. Once again, I was in limbo. Then, I saw "Waitress" and it all turned around again.

I know its cliche to talk about "Waitress". Everyone loves it, raves about it, and talks about the tragedy. In will admit, I went into the movie with all of this information. I did not think it could possible meet the expectations others held for it. But, every since I heard about it the first time, I wanted to see it. I didn't even have to see a preview. I didn't even have to hear about Adrienne Shelley. I don't know what compelled me to see it. But, the moment I heard about it the first time, I knew I had to see it.

That visceral feeling is what I remember drew me to film in the first place. The feeling of not just wanting to see a movie, but needing to see it. It sort of tugs at your gut strings until you can't let up and you cave. It almost never happens to me. Sure, I would like to see a lot of movies that come out, but I don't usually have that gut reaction. In fact, I often go through the movie listing, hoping for one to tug at me, but hardly anything does.

What I loved most about it was the simplicity of the film. there were very few camera angles, but each was so meticulously crafted it looked amazing. The acting was subtle, understated, but still powerful. Even though each pie she made was innovative, the humble thought of the pie is so simple, and pure. The story was so relatable, even though I've never been through anything similar. It really grounded me.


Yes, I got sucked into the most expensive internet show ever produced. I set up a profile, I posted my comments, I uploaded pictures, and I was incredibly excited to see it was coming to tv. It meant that everyone has a chance of their little show getting onto tv...provided you have experience with network shows, have an experienced show runner, and have half a million dollars to kick around.

However, it seems like since it got the news, quarterlife has quit trying to pump up excellent content, and is content with mediocre and downright bad content. Their latest offering is just Awful, with the whole debra situation (watch the show, I won't give it away).

It seems like they planned for about 10 episodes, and when they got past ten they didn't know what to do. Well, it should be known, that you should plan for your season. Have a story arch which is compelling and takes people on a journey.

I don't care that Jed is an artist, give the client what they want and don't be a whiny puss. Your commercial stunk anyway. I don't care that Dylan was at one point a lesbian (by the way the dialog on the scene between lisa and Dylan at the bar seems like it was written by a drunk monkey. And if it was not, but one on staff, it would be hilarious). I don't know why it's such a big deal the chick from the dealership is banging her boss, or why Danny is so horrified about it. And most importantly, I don't know what's so great about Debra. She's not interested, she's not attractive, she's not a great motivator of me. She's not profound in any way. She seems like the most stale person in the entire world. However, Danny, Jed, and Dylan (it seems) are all in love with her. this boring, bland, vanilla, self-centered, dullard.

Another thing, when the show came out it was like 15 minutes long, not it's barely 5. It goes right into my conclusion that they have no idea where the story is going or how to create compelling dialog to get it there. The best thing this show can do is hope Debra dies and that story arch makes the show compelling and believable.

and before you label me a hater, please know I want this show to succeed as much as or more than anyone reading this blog. I want to believe a great show, regardless of the format, can rise above its status and be raised to network television. I want to believe great shows like Prom Queen, Sam has Seven Friends, Life From the Inside, Buddy Jackson, and the rest can get above their station and find an audience. However, I don't think Quarterlife is a good representation of that and it's rise to network level could detrimentally hurt the movement, because people unfamiliar with what the internet has available will watch this show and say: "that's it. F those internet shows."

But I would implore those people not to give in. There are amazing shows:

They actually deserve a bigger, better audience. They deserve people to enjoy themselves and not question what the writer was drinking. They deserve a show to serve as a beacon to the rest of the television watching world that the internet does have incredible show. Quarterlife should be that beacon, but unfortunately, it is not.