Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Vacation

At this very moment, Los Angeles is shutting down. People are locking up doors, packing for flights, making last minute phone calls.

I love LA at Christmas. Nobody is here.

I am about to have three weeks to start something. I think I need to write something commercial, something easy to sell to back up against what I already have. I want to come back to this script, but for now I'm going to start working on something new, something that proves I know what I'm doing.

What is that something? No idea.  I'm going through my idea file, looking for things to work on, but so far nothing has popped out. So the first thing I'm going to do this weekend is flesh out some ideas and look for new ones. Then I've got three weeks to work on a treatment and maybe crank out as many pages as I can before the town winds back up and I have to go back to my day job.

I also have 87 papers to grade.

"Vacation." What a lie that word is.


  1. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Take the movie Indiana Jones (first one) study it on the Christmas week. On how to add suspense, action, humor and star power to a script. Hope this helps.

    Your Ex -Done Deal Pro member
    Gone Solo
    Check out my blog, guys!

  2. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Here's a trick that may help you when your idea file is feeling a little thin and stale. Start a list! (actually, 3 columns).

    What are your 4 or 5 absolute favorite story TYPES? Underdog? Cinderella? Man vs. nature? Unrequited love? Rite of passage? The only requirement is that you really tend to respond to these types of stories in a real, emotional way.

    Write these down. Start a new column of plot/genre devices that you also tend to like (these are different from story type). For instance: prison break, haunted house, heist, kidnapping, time travel, zombie, etc....

    Start a third column for WORLDS that interest you: the world of extreme sports, the world of firefighting, the Paris fashion scene, etc...again, the key is this stuff on some level ACTUALLY intrigues you.

    Now, just start randomly matching things from each column and start brainstorming. "A grounded sci-fi story of unrequited love in the world of the Paris fashion scene." OK, roll the dice again: "An underdog heist movie in the world of extreme sports." Lather, rinse, repeat...

    Obviously some of these will be unworkable nonsense, but the key is these are things you already on some level respond to, so if something clicks it will be easy for you to start generating ideas and maybe even find a few good ones along the way. Some of the more incongruous pairings may actually be the most fruitful (zombie prison break? that could be cool...who knows?).

    Anyway, it's just an exercise that for me works better than staring at a blank page and thinking "What's a great idea for a movie?!?!"

    Happy writing!

  3. Hey Anon/Sheldrake,

    Thanks! I think I'm going to try that method for generating ideas and see if I hit on anything.

    I flashed on a zombie Cinderella story set during Paris fashion week, and pictured a shy, young female zombie, shuffling down the catwalk in haute couture and rotting flesh, who becomes the next hot super model. Her name will be Heidi Gloom, or Kate Gross, or Grizzly Turlington.


    This is fun!

  4. Oops! I meant Grisly, not Grizzly. Where's the edit button around here anyway?!

  5. Anonymous8:56 PM

    I don't understand... Why don't you wanna' go on a date with me?


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