2006 - The Polish
baby shine, your day is coming up on the far horizon ...
over the latest script analysis with some finely-tuned eyeballs
and an even more sharpened mind. Intriguing. I guess
if I was in school and being graded, it would probably be a B or
an A-. Not bad, but certainly not good enough. For
there to be any chance of this written work giving birth to a
memorable piece of fine cinema it has to be a solid A or A .
At the very least. Cause once we break it down, prep it for
production, put it into production and finally post it, a lot can
happen from point A to point Z. Meaning it has to be the
very best it can be to have any chance to turn out memorable on
the other end. And that means, back to that keyboard,
monitor, computer to make those words shine even brighter.
Anyway, forget that grading stuff, and let's get back to current
first dreamed up this story idea it was just going to be a nice
little family drama with some subtle mystical elements.
After several incarnations it's morphed into much more. Now
it's a mystery, adventure and drama all wrapped into one, where I
not only take on the personal ghosts most of us have to deal with
at some level, but now the grand forces of the universe. A
Pandora's box has opened and there's no way to close it. Why
would I anyway? ...
is where the script stands right now. I have a secondary
plotline grounded in the back story that I need to clarify.
A few details are too vague. Not a problem. I have a
tertiary plotline that's too underdeveloped and I need to beef up.
Again, shouldn't be a problem. The characters are
well-developed but there are about three or four scenes with
touching/emotional moments that need some work. Mostly more
focus and some dialogue work. These won't be easy, as it
will require me delving into the characters' psyche more, and
solidifying a couple relationships going on. One old, one
new. Need to make it as real as possible. As much as
we (writers & audience) have to suspend our disbelief about
unbelievable plots in films, we (writers) have to at least make
the characters real people. And that is how we (audience)
buy into some really out-there stories. Next, about the
middle of the second act we fall into the doldrums a bit. A
common problem, but I have to address it. As it stands now,
I'm trying to give all the characters a bit of a breather.
But nowadays with our MTV reality attention spans seem to have
Wait a minute. Should I buy into that? Hhhmmm.
On second thought I'll reconsider this. However, it does
appear at this script juncture I may need to pull the
audience a little deeper into the mystery of the story. Just
a little, mind you. Don't need to hit you over the head with
it. And finally a couple plot points need cleaning up, as
well as some reconstruction of the resolution. Ha, some R of
R work. Anyway, I don't usually do this, but I've relied on
some narration at the end to clean up some loose ends. For
the most part that's not the right way to go. My inclination
is too dump it because narration is usually a crutch.
Although I have seen it work at times. Hhhmm, well we could
always add it in post to see how it plays. If it doesn't
work we'll trash it. But then, if I need some of the dumped
info I'll have to have it in scenes somewhere earlier and I may
not have shot it. Ah, an unsolved problem here. Time
to get back to work. Where's that damn shoe shine kit? ...
Tidbits: A couple interesting items to check out; a
Wired article on
Meganiches, and a blog post from your favorite billionaire on
Long Tail Ghetto. Double hhhmmm ...
Check out the Indieclub Fall 2006 Newsletter -- 11/8
Indieclub Member Lands Distribution Deal with Warner Brothers
Interview with Edmond Allmond - Composer, Sound Designer
High-End Post-Production Company in Miami Caters to Indie
Filmmakers - Cineworks
Kim Fishman, former Dallas Group Director, Takes On Los Angeles
Puzzles & Mystery - Games to promote a movie?
2006 - Killer Camera Rigs
yourself rigging ...
If any of
you are planning a shoot any time soon and want to do dolly,
crane, jib, or other rigging camera work, but can't afford to rent
(or certainly buy), you really need to check this book out:
Killer Camera Rigs You Can
Build. I just got it and have been devouring it.
Not greatly mechanical myself, but I'd bet I could build most of
these pieces of equipment (11 in all). And best of all, they
all cost less than $100 to build ...
In fact I
just got an email from the Dan, the author, who volunteered to
give me some new custom plans he has for shooting in the wild.
(I had told him where I was shooting.) Anyway, he's got this
dolly rig that is suspended and you hang it upside down over rough
terrain. Intriguing. More later ...
subject, I've cranking on the script polish and it's really tightening
up (that's good). Dialogue's growing more solid, drama's peaking, plots
are moving, subtext is brimming full, suspense and mystery is dripping, and
hell, I'm only a third of the way through this pass. This may turn out
grander than my craziest dreams. More of this later, too ...
Tidbits: Another reality show, this time indie
filmmakers being the theme (or target or victim, depending on your
point of view), called
THE LOT, starting next spring. I don't know, seems the
effort and time one could put into this would be better spent
getting your own project off the ground. But then I guess
some filmmakers are probably hoping for this type of lotto
Hollywood break ...
IndieTalk's Script to Screen Challenge -- 11/9
Call For Entries! It's FREE to enter!
PLUS - Chance to win a Glidecam 2000 Pro, Final Draft
Screenwriting Software, Production/Scheduling Software (Gorilla,
CompanyMove, SunFrog), and More!!
Phase One - A Screenwriting Competition. Phase Two - A Filmmaking
Competition. Enter one, or enter both!
The first phase of the challenge is the screenwriting competition.
You can write a screenplay solely for this challenge, or, you can
submit an existing screenplay. It has to be no more than 10 pages.
Three screenplays will be chosen for the filmmaking phase, and
winners will receive an award and prizes.
The second phase of the challenge is the filmmaking competition.
Filmmakers will be able to read the winning screenplays online,
and choose one for their production. Then, you must produce the
film within a six-week period. Yes, if you are one of the winning
screenwriters, you can produce your own script.
Call For Entries for Screenplays (10 pages or less, any genre)
ends Dec. 9th!
All of the info is here:
Calling Submissions for Declaration of Independence Film
Festival -- 11/14
Announcing the first film festival in Europe
dedicated to American and Canadian independent films. The
Declaration Filmfest will take place in London, 12th - 21st April
Submissions are now being accepted in all categories. The closing
date for entries is 29th January 2007. Please visit
www.declarationfilmfest.org to submit your film and for
2006 - Pertinent Events
little music, a few visuals ...
weekend I went to an Armonica concert. A what, you say?
No, not harmonica.
A musical instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin, which is
practically extinct today. I first saw one last May at the
Boston Fine Arts Museum and was intrigued by it. So I've
been researching it online and listening to a few MP3 excerpts.
Very unique sound, actually quite mystical in quality.
Anyway, I got to thinking about its possible use for the
soundtrack of my film. Mainly for the unique sound
requirements which will be required to tell the story the way I
want. I found someone who actually travels around giving
concerts with this instrument, seemingly the only one in the world
who does so. So I wound up in a castle on a hill in an
intimate setting with a small devoted crowd, and listening to some
very sweet, finely-pitched sounds. Turns out he not only
plays but composes. Looks like we'll be getting together
some time in the future to see if there's a fit for the soundtrack
I went to the first public screening in LA (already previewed in
Amsterdam and New York) of footage from the new
Red camera, supposedly creating
digital images with film-like quality, way more Hi-Def than
Hi-Def. There's been a lot of hype surrounding this camera
for about a year. Now we've got some images from their
prototypes, but the camera has yet to be released. I guess
the big deal isn't just that it's supposed to have the highest
digital resolution of any camera (4K), but that at a very
affordable price (under $20K). Course that's just for the
body, as lenses and accessories are extra. The images were
great, but this was just a glorified sales presentation, as no Q &
A followed. Hhhmm ...
off to the
DV Expo this week,
as well as a
Scheduling Workshop this weekend ...
Love Your Blog -- 11/18
Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I
really enjoy your blog. You have some really great insights about
the process. I am a writer to and I sometimes have serious
writer's block. To get inspired, I watch short film. The
narrative in some of these shorts inspires me to look at my own
longer works in a different light. A great site that I love is
http://pawky.com. They have a great library and the site is
Much luck with your work & I will definitely keep reading!
2006 - A New Development
actual work experience ...
I'm going to be working on a feature film starting next week.
A friend of mine, writer/director Mark Kelley, starts shooting his
film UNDER THE KNIFE on 11/27. I will be assisting the
camera crew, as well as shooting behind-the-scenes footage for the
DVD extras and doing the still photography. Plus, when they
need a second cameraman, I'll be it, as I'll be using my HD camera
(HVX200). That ought to keep me hopping ...
several reasons I decided to do this, other than of course helping
him out. First, he's using the same HD camera setup I will
probably be using and thus I can learn more about actual
production workflow in the field. Second, his budget, crew
and cast is very similar to mine. Third, his schedule is
exactly the same number of days I plan mine to be ...
there are differences. He has one main location for about
all the action, and I have several locations. His is a
suspense thriller, mine obviously is not. He's doing it
under the SAG Ultra-Low Budget Agreement, and me...well, I still
haven't decided which direction I'm going there ...
anyway, the main reason for doing this is obvious. It will
be quite a learning experience, which will whet my appetite, fire
me up and get me ready for my little production extravaganza.
More later on how this goes ...
Tam Tam Digifestival -- 11/24
Tam Tam Digifestival sponsors IPSE DIGIT, a
competition reserved to digital audio-video productions. If you
have realized only by digital a videoclip, an Internet
documentary, a mobile movie or a newsreel reportage, please send
your work to: Coop. Tam Tam, Via Ugo Niutta 33, 80128 Napoli /
Naples - Italy. It can last from one minute to one hour.
The competition is from October 1st to December 31st 2006. It will
award 5 between the best works in each section (Digi Music,
Fahrenheit Planet, Mobile Tales, By-Web-Movies). Winners will be
notified by February 15th, 2007. If you have not been contacted by
this date, you may assume that your entry is not a finalist.
Winners entries will show during the second part of Festival
(February 21st -25th 2007).
Works will not returned.
Festival Director: Giulio Gargia, Festival Organizer: Pietro
Deadline: December 31, 2006
2006 - First Day
of ups and downs ...
quick note. First day of production on UNDER THE KNIFE was
quite hectic and unorganized and only shot about half of what was
planned. But probably just first day jitters. Things
should straighten themselves out soon, once everyone gets used to
working together and knows what they're doing ...
shot stills and helped offload the P2 cards from the cameras, as
well as various other tasks.
is in the film and seems to have taken a liking to me, as she
quite often wants me to take her picture (course that may be why).
Sometimes though it's been for hair and makeup continuity.
She's a nice lady though and has great stories about some of the
films she's worked on, as well as the directors and actors she's
worked with. Today the lead
shows up. Got to go. More later ...