Friday, October 31, 2008

Who am I?

Here I am, preparty, in costume as Sarah Connor.

Judging from all the people I've shown this picture to so far, I bear a striking resemblance to Lara Croft. Also in this picture my double jointed elbow looks creepy and my pants aren't tied.

Also why is Paul F Tompkins hosting Best Week Ever now? I like him, but I think I liked him a lot more when he was one of many. Now they're just acting like a bad Soup clone. Why did you change, Best Week Ever?

Anyway, Happy Halloween you guys.

Halloween meme

Hugo memed me. And when I get memed I must comply.

List your top 10 selections and reasons for the selections.

10) Halloween
I like all the dramatic irony.

9) Poltergeist
This movies scares the holy fucking hell out of me

8) Fido
Funny zombies

7) Army of Darkness
Bruce Campbell

5) Dawn of the Dead - original
Shopping mall zombies. And bikers.

5) White Zombie
The original zombies who don't eat brains, they just wander around helpless under the control of an evil asshat. This film surprised me in how damn good it was.

4) Dawn of the Dead - the remake
I was so sad when that gun store dude got it, although I could have done without the chain sawing in the bus.

3) 28 Days Later
Fast zombies

2) Nightmare Before Christmas
They call him Sandy Claws.

1) Shaun of the Dead
Awesome zombies

I tag Mr. Peel because Mr. Peel will have interesting answers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Halloween costume

I love Halloween. How could you not? You get to dress up and be somebody else for a whole night. It's the only night in the year when you can get away with dressing like a complete whore and not sustain any weird looks. Guys can feel good wearing dresses.

For me, I always try to go as a fictional character I admire. Well, in the past I did. I've been Buffy three times and a Jedi twice. I was Trinity once too.

Two years ago I was trying to be the Heroes cheerleader but I waited too late and at the last minute I couldn't find the right costume so I ended up buying an outfit from Frederick's and going as a Poodle Skirt Girl. It was lame. It also broke my Halloween Costume Rules - make it comfortable, make sure it has pockets, and make sure it's something you'll disassemble and wear again in a practical setting.

Last year I went as a boxer. That was pretty cool. A lot of drunk guys in WeHo tried to fight me. I think I really hit one of them pretty hard by accident. Throughout the night I sort of developed this smiley pose and tapped people who tried to box with me. It went with my rules because it was super comfortable and I had pockets. And I didn't have to buy anything new, although I did use it as an excuse to buy a new sports bra. It's blue.

This year I was supposed to go as a prison guard and Beefcake was to be my prisoner. But he got all rulesy on me about buying an inmate costume that he'd never wear again.

So the other night I was sitting there looking at his muscular ass, trying to figure out what he could be. Gladiator? No, he refuses to wear a skirt. Hulk? He ain't painting his skin green. Conan? I forget why Conan was unacceptable.

Then I said - hey how about the Terminator?

And then I was all OMG! I can be Sarah Connor!

Costume perfection.

So we're going to be T2 tomorrow night. I bought some BDUs at California Surplus Mart, where the clerk told me he thinks they bought Sarah Connor's costume there for the movie. He also said they buy stuff for the Night Rider show there. I can see why. If you're looking for costume stuff for a military film that place has everything.

Anyway, I bought my uber comfortable pants and tomorrow night I will be Sarah Connor. Movie Sarah Connor, not TV Sarah Connor.

I love being a badass fictional woman. There's just something fun about putting on a persona for the night and working it while you consume many beers. I think Sarah's a hard drinker. And if anybody tries to get out of line the Terminator and I can bust out some moves. I learned a new throw a few weeks ago and I'm dying to try it.

What are you for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Learning to walk again

Since I started working out at the gym I've been getting more and more nagging injuries. First my foot started hurting so much I was on a cane for two weeks. Then an old wrist injury started acting up all the time. I strained some muscles in my chest so much I couldn't sleep for two days and this week my knees feel arthritic when I walk down stairs.

So today when Trainer made me do squats and I couldn't finish them because my knees hurt too much, he taught me how to walk.

Apparently I've been standing wrong, walking wrong, climbing stairs wrong, sitting wrong. When I walk up stairs I never put my heel down. When I walk down stairs I land on my joints, not my muscles. When I stand I lean and slouch on one foot, and when that foot gets tired I rest my upper body on my wrist.

All my weight is supported completely wrong and always has been, and only when I started getting stronger and more athletic did it start to cause me problems. That, and I got older.

So now when I stand and when I walk up and down stairs I have to concentrate like a little kid learning to move.

And it got me thinking - how often do we learn the wrong way by instinct? How often do we think we know something so well, and it turns out we've been doing it wrong all along?

We tend to be so used to the way we do things that we refuse to change when something's not working and it ends up crippling us.

I think this applies to writing too. I think whatever way we first learn to write - that's how we think we have to write forever.

I can't tell you how many essays I've read that began with a question, or how many stories I've read that began with an unattributed quote. Someone, somewhere taught my students that you should open with a question or a quote so they just keep on using that method until the end of time.

You could say the same thing about the Syd Field method, I think. Some people learn the three-act structure and that's what they stick with until the end of time. Some people start with McKee. Some people adore Blake Snyder. And all of these men are perfectly intelligent men with well developed theories that work for beginners, but I feel sometimes like there are writers who don't know how to move beyond the way they learned in the beginning.

I'm not sure if this applies to me or not, but I haven't changed my process too much so I'm going to think about giving it a shot and see what happens.

That's just sort of one of the things I started thinking about after I got annoyed from having to focus on climbing stairs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The slow demise of a writer's group

Tonight the writer's group is coming over to my house because I was supposed to have a draft ready for Fear of Clowns.

Actually, I didn't get the script ready. I wrote a first draft but don't feel like it's ready to show anybody. And actually the meeting was supposed to be last week but I didn't know that so on Monday when everybody was all like "So how do we get to your house?" I was all like "Whaaaa?"

So we rescheduled to tonight. Except that only two people can make it. Last month we didn't even have a meeting.

But I got snacks anyway and I read tonight's script because even if the group is slowly disintegrating I'm still glad to have people to bounce ideas off of. I can get plenty of people to read my script and advise me, but having a steady group of people who know you and will listen to your stories when they're still in the idea stage is a very good thing.

Plus this has reminded me to get off my ass and finish my next draft of the script so I can show it somebody.

Right after I clean my apartment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Enter favorite cuss word here

This is a rant mostly unrelated to screenwriting and totally about my job.

Today is the first day back after eight weeks of vacation. Yay vacation! The kids are terrific and the school has just instituted a new tardy policy that appears to have reduced our truancy problem to a negligible amount. Yay again.

Now for the first time we have a newspaper adviser. She's in what is normally my room. I spent two years finding computers and installing software in that room so that my kids could do yearbook and now it's her room. I am in a room with one computer. One.

I knew this was going to happen so I began to work on the problem last April. I typed up a journalism program curriculum and Newspaper Adviser lady signed it. That's all she did. I submitted it to lots of people and nothing happened. So I came in during vacation one morning and she and I met with the principal where I stressed my need for computers and the principal talked mostly about the newspaper.

As we left the meeting a colleague said we should submit the proposal the following Monday at a committee meeting where the committee is trying to figure out how to spend a bazillion gazillion dollars they evidently have lying around. So I said Yay and then I said oh wait because I was to be in Puerto Rico at that time. So I asked Newspaper Adviser if she would go to the meeting and give them our proposal and explain that we need computers desperately. And she was all "Oh sure! No problem!"

I got into my new classroom Friday where there is still one functioning computer. One.

I went next door to Newspaper Adviser and asked her how it went with the committee and was I getting my computers.

"Oh I could't go," she said. "I have class that night."

And of the computers I obtained and installed software on in her room - the ones I begged borrowed and stole - one of them doesn't work because one of her students stole the mouse. That means she has been letting them use the computers with no supervision.

I don't really know what I'll do in yearbook class today because I have no computers and I don't know how long it will be until we have them. Maybe my students and I can all sit around and stare at each other and discuss what it's like to watch deadlines zoom by.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

If you didn't see last night's episode of Supernatural then you didn't see the post-episode air guitar awesomeness of Jensen Ackles.

This is why I'm kind of in love with this man. The Beefcake understands.

Thanks to Maggie for the headsup.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eight weeks in the dark

I've mentioned before that this semester I have to teach The Maltese Falcon. I'm kind of excited about this project and since school starts back on Monday I'm putting together my lessons for the next eight weeks. I'm going to immerse the class in noir.

I'm thinking maybe one day a week, or two if necessary, I can show a noir film and have the kids write a paper on it after a discussion while the rest of the week we study the book.

So this week I get to excuse as work related a marathon of noir films and semi-noir films. I think aside from showing films in class I will also assign the kids to watch one noir film on their own from a list I will create.

So once again I solicit opinions from the gallery. Right now I'm watching Hitchcock's Rope, although I'm thinking Vertigo would be more appropriate as a noir film for class. I'll probably put Rope on the list.

For the moment I plan to show A Touch of Evil, Memento, Vertigo, and Chinatown. The district is also taking them to see The Maltese Falcon on the big screen at some point.

I don't want to make them annoyed at the genre by showing them film after film of similar plot lines, so I'm trying to stay away from conventional noir and show a few unusual takes on the genre - hence Memento. I'm also thinking about Blade Runner.

And to make sure I know what I'm talking about I'm researching the genre pretty thoroughly and reading a book on noir called Dark City. So basically I'm using my job to teach myself film studies.

Some of you guys made some terrific suggestions in the past and I loved some of the stuff you had to say about the Maltese Falcon so I'd love more advice here. What films would you show to encourage discussion and interest in noir?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on the film: W.

Today I watched W at the Grove. It was inconsistent.

I'm not sure all the actors were in the same movie. James Cromwell played a character - George H. W. Bush - and played it well. Thandie Newton seemed to think she was doing an impersonation of Condoleeza Rice in an SNL sketch.

Sometimes the movie was a comedy, sometimes it was a drama. Sometimes W was a buffoon, sometimes he was just a misunderstood son in over his head. Sometimes this movie was about the war in Iraq, sometimes it was about the campaign. I never knew when it would end because I never knew what the throughline was.

There are parts I loved.


When a badly burned American soldier in his hospital bed told the President he wished he could stand up properly in front of his commander in chief and the President offered him a T-Shirt for his sacrifice, I almost cried. When Laura Bush (Elizabeth Banks) planted that creepy smile on her face and never really let it go, I felt so sad for her acceptance of her place as his devoted servant. The juxtaposition of father Bush with the son was brilliant, and you really do get the idea that W stole out of jealousy the path that was set for Jeb.

But then there's all this odd comedy that seems out of place. And there's a speech Colin Powell (Jeffery Wright) makes that seems so unbearably preachy, and is only more annoying because there's this really obvious emotionally swelling music in the background.

And there's a point of view violation. In the entire film George W Bush is in every single scene except two, and those are told from his father's perspective. It jolted me out of the picture, as did all those tonal shifts.

On top of that, the film is told in flashbacks only up through the first half, then suddenly the flashbacks are gone for the last hour. It's like Stone was a bit wishy washy on his intent, which is very unlike him.

So that's why I feel like this film is inconsistent. I like much of it but I was a little confused by the rest. However there's no denying that Josh Brolin does a spot on W.

Oh and it didn't help that there was this dude next to us who kept going Ughmchrghhhhhhh ungghghhghg periodically until he fell asleep and snored and then woke up and made more old man noises. Also he smelled like used boxing gloves.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thoughts about expo

Expo's coming up again in a couple of weeks. I plan to go, although I'm not sure in what capacity yet. This year for the first time I can actually afford to pay for it but since I've actually enjoyed volunteering the past three years I don't really want to pay. Anybody need an assistant? I got spoiled last year. I liked being an assistant. But if nobody needs me I'll probably just join the volunteer group depending on what the circumstances are this year.

I like Expo. I like how easy it is to start conversations with other writers and how positive the atmosphere generally tends to be, except when you go to the pitch room. There are usually some unhappy faces in there.

Last year I met Red Right Hand there and now he's a good friend. A couple of years ago I met Maggie there and now she's a good friend. Who will I meet this year? If you see me feel free to come up and say hi. I like making new friends.

Some of the seminars are good and it's always interesting to listen to the guest speakers, although you have to do a little research because the majority of seminars are aimed at new writers and have little to offer the rest of us. This year with the guest speakers they're focusing pretty heavily on TV, which is no longer my primary area, but there's a lot you can learn about film from studying television. And of course William Goldman is always there. I love William Goldman. When he talks I feel like a kid at storytime.

Last year for the first time I did the Open. I didn't do so well, but I learned something I plan to take into this year's Open so I can at least advance to the second round. I really liked doing that, even though it hurt my hand because I don't hold a pencil properly.

I teach not too far from where the Expo is taking place this year so I think in a few days I'll list a few good places to eat and stuff in the area.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Introducing Vampire Thingee

One night in Puerto Rico Best Friend and I watched Paris, Je T'aime. I had rented it from Blockbuster once and then never watched it, and one night I got a letter congratulating me on accidentally purchasing it. I'd still never watched it months later so I brought it to watch on the plane. I watched Predator on the way out, but it turned out we had a DVD player in the room.

So anyway, it was awesome and if I hadn't already bought it I probably would have gone out and grabbed it up at Best Buy. If you haven't seen it, it's a series of short films about Paris and love.

One of the shorts, which stars Elijah Wood, is about vampires. Somehow that short and the circumstances of my vacation bled together (Lookit! A pun!) to make me a really cool dream that night.

I had this interesting vampire dream that was so moving I actually woke up crying. I told Best Friend the story of my dream and she said "Aw, that's so sad!"

I knew I had to write it. The dream was a perfect story - perfectly me and perfectly bittersweet. So even though everybody and their mom has a vampire story I'm going to write it. It will go well with my zombie story. Why would I want to be different from everybody and their mom?

The thing is I'm not entirely sure what it's going to be. There's too much of a comedic element to be a serious drama and it's definitely not a horror. It's not an action story either. If anything it's more of a comedy but I don't want to cheapen the story by making it one of those silly monster comedies.

On top of that I'm not sure there's enough story here for a feature, but there's almost too much story for a short. In the end it's probably going to be a dark comedy short (as if I wrote any other kind of short) that will come to about 20 minutes or more.

Yeah there's not much of a market for that in our world.

I don't care. This story was the most adorable and sweet thing I've ever thought up and I have to write it. For me and my subconscious.

For now I'm just calling it "Vampire Thingee" and I'm enjoying myself. And it's giving me a buffer of time between drafts of my current feature project so that when I get back to my gang kid story I'll have abandoned it long enough to get some good perspective.

So now I've gone from zombies to vampires. I'm so versatile.

Friday, October 17, 2008

How I got fat and lazy

I watch a lot of TV. I was gone ten days and in that time my DVR almost filled up. Now granted, I had like eight movies saved on there already - some for a year or longer - that in theory I wanted to see. In reality I usually felt more like watching Independence Day for the twentieth time instead of seeing what all the fuss was about Boys Don't Cry.

Anyway I've got a lot of shows to watch and at the moment the SAT company has run out of essays to grade so I have a crapload of time to sit on my couch, cherrypicking the shows I wanted to watch. For most shows I have two episodes so I can do a mini marathon of each.

Strangely enough I went straight to the reality shows because you don't have to concentrate on those. So I'm all caught up on Project Runway and America's Next Top Model and The Ultimate Fighter.

Isn't that glorious? Being able to say I watch Top Model and Ultimate Fighter and enjoy them both equally? They're both about body obsessed drama queens who drink too much and talk shit about each other. For the record, somebody needs to humiliate Junie in the ring. Junie is a fighter, not a model.

But the reality shows went first because they take very little concentration. Chances are good that if you walk away to figure out what that crash was in the bedroom you'll be able to come back and not have missed anything except a good bitch slap. The shows with actual developed plots take more focus.

I guess I like to save the best for last. Since I generally liked the pilot to Life on Mars but I haven't developed a true love for it yet I watched that next. Then Stargate Atlantis because, quite honestly I don't feel like that show has ever lived up to its potential but I still like it. Then the Law and Orders because they're usually pretty easy to follow. Ice T watched some dude get crushed to death by a garbage truck because he was unable to get the attention of the guy listening to headphones while he was operating the compactor. I kept trying to call Ice T's attention to the gun he was holding that he could have used to shoot the ground next to the trash guy and get his attention so he could save that one dude's life. You probably have no idea what I'm talking about unless you watched it, but I'm still glad to get that off my chest.

So anyway I guess I like to get the unimportant stuff out of the way first. My favorites - Supernatural, Pushing Daisies, Life, Heroes - those I save for night time when I can completely focus on the story. This process has taught me a lot about which shows I love the most. I'm pretty sure Supernatural will go dead last.

Except Man vs Wild and The Shield.

I like to save Man vs Wild episodes to watch while I'm cooking or cleaning or doing something around the house because I can mostly listen to that show and not have to watch it carefully. I've learned a lot about how to cook and eat a big larva.

I haven't watched a single episode of The Shield this season but I've saved them all. When the season ends I will go back and have a marathon. I did the same thing with the last season of The Riches. I think FX shows are just so intense that you need to be in a certain mood to watch them, and once you get started you want to go all the way through. So I don't watch one unless I can watch them all.

But in the meantime, House is up next.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're kind of in some money

Less than a year ago I ate different forms of spaghetti for four days in a row. One night I was concerned that I hadn't had a vegetable for a while so I found a can of peas and dropped them in the marinara. Then I ran out of marinara and ate my last set of noodles with dried Parmesan and old butter. I might have starved to death if the delightful Maggie had not invited me over for leftover Thanksgiving food, complete with purple mashed potatoes.

Yesterday I started looking at homes for sale in the area.

I have a government job with excellent benefits and a steady paycheck. People say teachers don't get paid enough, and that's mostly true, but when the rest of the country is in a panic it's a damn good time to be in such a secure field. And since the Beefcake is similarly employed we really have nothing at all to worry about. We both have stock but neither of us needs it to survive.

It's weird. A year ago I couldn't afford to buy groceries and today I'm going shoe shopping after a return from a week at a Caribbean resort where I left two pairs of shoes when they died. (A traditional Emily move - bring shoes and pants that are dying so you can throw them out before you leave and make room in your suitcase for presents. I'm an incredibly efficient packer.)

Anyway, now I'm paying off my debts and planning to get Lasik within the year.

Not that I'm rich - hell no. I still have credit card debt and I still won't be buying any golden umbrella stands for my one-bedroom apartment. But I have finally learned to manage my money and live within my means, and now my pay goes up each year more than my living expenses. And I just got a second job grading SAT essays so I'm going to start pulling in a little extra income each month without having to sub. I hate subbing.

In the back of my mind though, I'm thinking about the future. Obviously screenwriting is not so secure a field. If I were a screenwriter now instead of a teacher, would I be losing my mortgage? Would I have to cancel my cable and start to buy Ramen? I really hate Ramen.

And yeah, I'd rather do what I love and be poor than spend the rest of my life at a job I mostly like and be rich - not that I'll ever be rich, but I'll be okay. Still, there's something about being able to pay all your bills that is deeply enticing.

Not that I'm changing my mind or anything. I was just thinking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Ahh, Los Angeles. I was gone for ten days and now I'm back and I have like eighty thousand hours of television to catch up on so don't anybody tell me what happened on anything.

I was so jetlagged I fell asleep at 7pm and woke up at 4 am. I didn't even shower or anything, and I don't ever go without a shower.

I don't think that before today there had ever been a day in my life where I'd cleaned things before the sun was up. But since I left my window open ten days worth of LA soot had landed on my sheets and I was appalled at the amount of dirty dishes I had left myself to clean.

I only have just over a week left before I have to go back to work. I gotta say, spending a week in paradise is a fine way to get up the energy for a new semester. And this time I get to teach the Maltese Falcon and the accompanying unit on film noir.

In the meantime, here is another video from the Moments Before series.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I'm back in the states and back to the Internet. I just spent the last week falling asleep to the sound of the ocean and waking up to the sunrise over clear blue Atlantic waters beyond the palm trees. I am less pale and my clothes smell like coconut because my bottle of Bacardi smashed in my suitcase. So thanks for that, Us Air. I smell like I bathed in Banana Boat.

But I had lots of fun in San Juan and would love to go back sometime. I even had a dream one night that I plan to turn into a short film script. I'm pretty sure it was inspired by the combination of spending the week at the ocean with my best friend and having watched Paris, Je T'aime the night before. That was a damn fine movie.

I'm in NC for now because flying a detour to visit my parents is a lot cheaper than making a separate trip. And Mom will wash the rum out of my clothes without even asking for quarters.

And I ate at Bojangles. I love LA, but they don't have Bojangles.

Two more weeks and I go back to work. I'm almost ready.

Friday, October 03, 2008


As you read this I am either on a plane or sunning myself in Puerto Rico. Suck it.

Best Friend's parents have a time share so we can stay for a week for free in a luxury resort near San Juan, a place I have never before been. I bought a new shirt for the occasion.

As soon as I leave Puerto Rico I'm flying to Raleigh to visit the folks for a few days. It was only an extra $60 to make the detour, which is way cheaper than taking a whole new trip for Christmas. However that does mean that for the first time I'll be familyless on Christmas, and since the Beefcake has to work until 10 pm I'll be dancing around my 3 foot tree with the cat, singing "Oh Holy Night" at the top of my lungs all day as I play Trivial Pursuit with myself and eat pigs in blankets.

But I digress.

I can post from my mom's house, but I'm not sure what kind of access I'll have to the Internet in my luxury condo, nor do I think I'll want to bother with the rest of the world while I'm relaxing in the hot tub, ignoring the hot Puerto Rican dudes as they walk by because my boyfriend can deadlift over 500 lbs and that is not jealousy you want to awaken.

My point is, I'll be gone for a while but I'll be back on the 12th. Don't go too crazy.

Tension in I Am Legend

Mystery Man has asked us all to talk about tension on film. I want to fit in with the cool kids so I'm going to comply.

I thought about a lot of different elements of tension - the effect of dramatic irony and music and angles and light and all this technical stuff - but in the end I couldn't stop thinking about the one movie I've seen in the last year that had more tension-filled moments than any other - I Am Legend.

Now whether you like the movie or not - I mostly liked it although the ending was much more satisfying before they fiddled with it - it was chock full of tension.


It begins with the idea of isolation. It's just Robert and his dog, so no matter what happens, nobody is going to come save him. He's utterly alone. So when his dog wanders into enemy territory you know that one wrong move could be his last.

And even though it's too early in the film for Robert to die, that doesn't mean he can't get hurt. That doesn't mean the dog isn't in some serious peril. We haven't seen the full force of what these creatures can do yet but we know it's bad, and Robert is about to step right into their lair.

Most importantly, we totally get why. It's sort of the Tom Hanks / Wilson thing. Nobody wants to be alone and that dog is Robert's only companion, so any one of us might risk our lives to go after him too.

So Robert walks into the dark where his enemy is strongest. He has to be quiet so they don't hear him. So when he's quiet, we're quiet too because we know any sound could bring death. And at every noise he makes we cringe.

Then he comes around a corner and shines a light on the creatures, all crowded, breathing heavily, sleeping. Oh shit. The light might wake them. A noise might wake them. They're right fucking there. One wrong move and they might turn on him. And where the hell is the dog?

They don't turn on him. But we see blood. Oh my god, is that the dog? We follow the blood trail, still in silence, still in the dark, hoping it's not the blood of his only companion in the world.

Relief. It's not.

But can Robert get out of here without being attacked? And will he find his dog alive?

Seriously this entire sequence had me holding my breath and afraid to move in my seat. I was so worried about him and I was so worried about that dog. If he had walked into a room and immediately got attacked there would have been no tension in that scene. But it was the knowledge that the creatures could kill him at any moment if he made too much noise or shined too much light, and all the time he needs to call the dog to make it come to him - well that is one hell of a situation and we can all relate to every second of that.

There are a lot of moments like that in the film. Can he crawl away from the zombie dogs before the sun goes down? Is the dog going to make it when he injects him with the vaccine? How the hell is he going to get out of the car?

It's that isolation, the quiet, the dark, the loneliness, all that works in conjunction. And these scenarios are well set up. Francis Lawrence, the director, clearly took his time with these shots. It's not all about getting the loudest, fastest bang. It's about showing us the danger so we have time to think about it before he steps in it. We feel what Robert feels and we are really worried because if he's the last man on Earth then his death is the death of us all.

Now I know a lot of people didn't like this movie and they especially didn't like the multitude of changes made with the adaptation, but tension is one thing I Am Legend did very, very well.

I'm nervous for the prequel. I don't see how it can have so much tension since you'll be removing the isolation and the quiet and the dog, but we'll see.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm too tired to be star struck

It's about 8,000 degrees in my bedroom so last night I decided to sleep on the couch next to the air conditioning unit, which meant I couldn't roll around and the cat kept waking me up by staring at my face and rubbing against my nose hoping I'd feed him.

Then this morning I had to go sub for a coworker, and while the kids were working I trained to become an SAT essay grader. Yep. That was about five hours of reading paper after paper about the same topic and trying to figure out what grade I'm supposed to give it so I can pass the test and start making some money affecting high school kids I don't even know.

Anyway, I got about three hours of sleep and spent the day staring at really dull information on a computer screen, is my point. And I did most of the testing in the school library which was hotter than my bedroom since today LA has teleported to the middle of the sun and the library is without air conditioning. The books were trying to grow feet and run out the door before they melted.

Yesterday I was all excited because tonight I was gonna go see Synecdoche, NY at a Creative Screenwriting screening on Sunset. And Charlie Kaufman is supposed to be there for the Q&A.

Yesterday I was all hyped up about it. Best Friend was going to come up to Hollywood early and we were gonna go stand in line for the inevitable three hours to make sure we got a seat.

That sounded really swell until I was sweating to death in the library staring at the thirty thousandth essay written by a kid with early onset of Parkinson's and struggling to keep my head off the table.

That's when I realized the main reason I wanted to go was to see the JD Salinger of the screenwriting world in person. I can see the movie later, and I can listen to the Q&A in podcast form, so the main reason to go is for the privilege of seeing the movie early - a movie I want to see but am not chomping at the bit to get to - and to see the man in person.

And I decided - fuck that. I like his work, I admire his creativity, but to be honest the only film of his I truly LOVE is Eternal Sunshine. Why am I so interested in seeing him in person? Because he's a recluse who never comes out of his hole.

I am too tired, too cranky and too sweaty to stand in line for three hours just to see a man who hates people talk to a room full of people. I'll just listen to him talk to them later. Right now I'm going to take a nap.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Testing, testing....

This is a test. I finally got around to adding HTML for scrippets so let's see if this works.

This is a scene from Guthrie, the short film I will be shooting in a couple of weeks.


Guthrie, wrapped in his comforter, sits over a fondue pot filled with oil. Next to him sits an open can of sardines.

He has the sardines pushed up on the fondue fork and he's cooking them in the pot.

He pulls out his fork and blows on the sardine on the end.

He puts it in his mouth and struggles to swallow it, his tongue wrestling with the hot, oily sardine as it burns.


He runs to a pot of snow on the counter and shoves some in his mouth.


Guthrie stares at himself in the mirror.

Aliens. Could be aliens.

He stares at his reflection.

I was sleeping. Maybe they didn't know I was here.

He stares.

But why didn't I hear them? Was I sleeping that hard?

He looks at the wine bottles by the trash can.

He looks back at himself.

Huh. That's possible.

He slaps himself.


He looks around and grabs a big knife out of his kitchen.

He slides the blade over his arm but doesn't even break his skin before he jerks his arm away and drops the knife.

Okay. Not in a coma.