Friday, September 30, 2005

Film Friday for September

It's the last day of the month and I'm actually getting the latest round up of film news up on time!! Those who are familiar with this recurring feature need no introduction, but for those of you who have just discovered my little abode in cyberspace, every month I like to recount the deals which have been made to produce films which are either sequels, remakes or TV show adaptations. I don't bother with the books and comics, because hey, who reads, right? This is about Hollywood's insistence on remaking things and producing sequels rather than trying to make new stories. So, let's get started!

  • The Golden Age - Sequel to "Elizabeth" general, I'm in support of this one, but I have to admit curiousity since I don't think "Elizabeth" was a blockbuster.
  • Nancy Drew: The Mystery in Hollywood Hills - this one makes the list because it has previously been a TV show. Does anyone know if Nancy has graced the big screen before?
  • Madagascar 2 - Can't they just spin off the penguins into their own movie? Oh wait, they did a live action of that this year already...
  • Mostly Martha - Because Americans can't be bothered to watch the original one in German. Reminds them of 'Das Boot'.
  • The Star Chamber - Remake of the 1983 film. Because we've suddenly run out of new legal thrillers, we must start remaking them from 22 years ago!
  • 36 - Remake of a French film "36 Quai des Orfevres." We really can't be bothered with French.
  • State of Play - Remake of a British miniseries. Oh come now, it's in our own language! Now we're just lazy...or it must be the accents.
That's it for this month! Just keep plugging away at your spec. I think there were 2 sold this month (and don't forget that high-larious pitch from a New Line exec about the "Boob Job"!) Keep the dream alive!

(As usual, all info courtesy of Done Deals).

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Book Bleg

I'm looking for recommendations of REALLY ESSENTIAL READING. It can be any genre, but give me 3-5 books you recommend I read.

To give examples of my usual reading habits, I have read the entire Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, I'm currently reading 'System of the World' by Neal Stephenson, I've read most Heinlein and in the mystery realm I grew up reading Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. I of course love Douglas Adams, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle. I've never read a Stephen King book. I've read 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and love it. I've also read the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I love Anne of Green Gables and the Tao of Pooh.

There, there's a big chunk of my bookshelves. Suggest away. Anything.

Tuesday has good news for everyone...except UPN

So, everybody gets a piece of the pie on Tuesday nights, and why not? The evening is chock-a-block with choices. Look at the 9PM time period:

ABC: Commander-in-Chief - got good premiere sampling. It will also benefit by House going on hiatus during baseball on Fox the next few weeks, enough time to establish an audience all its own. I already pegged this as a survivor, no matter how good or bad it is...well, if it was too horrible, it'd be a different story, but Rod Lurie's no dummy, even if I differ on his politics.
NBC: My Name is Earl / The Office - Earl lives, expect The Office to be replaced at midseason.
CBS: The Amazing Race (2 hr this week) - On an unrelated note, did you know NCIS is the #1 show at 8PM on Tuesdays?? Maybe I should actually watch this thing which is in its 3RD YEAR!
Fox: House - Had to settle for #2 this week.
WB: Supernatural - Marc and I agree. This is a solid pick up for the rest of the year.
UPN: Sex, Love & Secrets - I agree with Marc Berman, the results were so dismal, this sucker is CANCELLED within 2 weeks.

Poor Boston Legal -- it can't catch a break after Commander-in-Chief. Still, it's ratings aren't bad, so it will be fine. Do not weep for David E. Kelley.

Bones will live past baseball. Berman thinks it will take off after American Idol. If that's true, it might get picked up in spite of itself.

Berman does a great job running down the list of new series, and I have to say, he and I are of the same mind on most of the new shows. Read Marc Berman's Programming Insider here.

I'm guessing this happens more than we'd like to believe

This story details how a New Line exec tells a story about his friend and his friend's wife's 'boob job', suddenly it's the latest hot assignment in Hollywood.

And we wonder why we can't sell specs. With this kind of brilliance, how can we compete?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

What to Spec: Part II

So, we got some good discussion going on what shows are good show to 'spec.' For those new to the lingo, a 'spec' script is one you write without assignment (if you write a screenplay at home with no deal attached, that's a spec too.) In TV Land, if you want to get a staff job on a TV show, you need to have a couple (or three or four..) spec scripts of current TV shows to peddle around. I personally have written spec scripts for 'Lost' and 'House'. I will spec another show in a few months once I decide what to put my energy toward. Even established writers have spec scripts they keep current.

So, after my last post, I was very pleased to receive some feedback from Paul Guyot regarding shows to spec. So, without further ado, I reprint his remarks here:

Lost - good spec.
The Shield - was the hot spec the last few years, its time may be up.
Deadwood - too specific.
Nip/Tuck - good.
The O.C. - good spec if you want to write for that particular genre. VERONICA MARS would be better because it shows you as a teen angst writer as well as crime and comedy.
Medium - not a good spec, except for a very specific genre/tone.
Everwood - not enough of Hollywood watches the show.
Rescue Me - hot spec.
Gray's Anatomy - hot spec.

Cold Case - has replaced CSI as that genre's go-to spec.
Without a Trace - only a single storyline, not a good spec.
Veronica Mars - good.
Boston Legal - becoming hotter. If you can nail that DEK voice, you've scored.
Battlestar Galactica - don't waste your time, unless you want to write ONLY for the Sci-Fi channel.
Law and Order: SVU or CI - not anymore.
The Sopranos - time has come and gone. Was THE spec to read/write prior to THE SHIELD, but I know of several agents and execs who won't read them anymore.

CSI (every flavor) - can still get away with it, but they'll ask you for something else.
Law and Order - nope.

House - this is THE hot spec right now. If you can nail a HOUSE spec, you'll get meetings.
24 - nope.
Desperate Housewives - another hot spec.

As to your question re: DEAD ZONE, the only execs likely to read (and give a meeting off of) a USA network spec are USA and Lifetime execs. I know that WB, TNT, 20th and FX people won't read them, or if they do it will only be as a second or third reading - meaning after they've read something else of yours. My agency (CAA) as well as Gersh and Endeavor won't read any "query specs" from any cable network shows except FX and the premiums. Why is this? It's just one of the many, many unfair Hollywood attitudes - there is a stigma against smaller cable company shows - they're perceived as inferior in quality or else they'd be on another network. THE SHIELD should have broken that attitude but all it did was make the execs think FX is somehow "more special" when it comes to cable networks.

If THE CLOSER remains a hit for TNT, it might be a worthwhile spec, but that's at least a year away.

There ya have it. I plan on updating my list. I suggest you do the same. Thanks Paul. Immensely helpful, as always.

Nielsens, we've got Nielsens...

Marc Berman consistently provides the earliest and best roundup of the previous night's Nielsens and what they mean. Last night, 'Surface' saw 3 million people disappear from its viewership and it fell to 3rd place. It no longer looks as strong as its opening might have led people to believe (which, I will gloat, I totally called last week). 'Out of Practice' on CBS also showed 3rd place in its time period when the rest of the sitcoms are 2nd against football. I'd say that show is a goner.

'Kitchen Confidential' continues to pull low numbers after 'Arrested Development'. I still think Fox will stick with it awhile longer as it seems to have critical buzz, but no viewership, just like its lead in show. 'Prison Break' will be renewed for next year. This is the only thing I am certain of at this point in the (very young) season. I'd still wait to spec it until we know what the heck is happening, and even then I'm not sure it will be a good spec show.

'How I Met My Mother' pulled numbers consistent with its premiere last week, so the news there is good so far.

Tonight, we'll see how well 'My Name is Earl' holds up from its premiere.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Blogroll updated

I've added a few sites to the blogroll. I've been meaning to add Bill Cunningham's DISC/ontent for ages and have finally gotten around to it. You should all be reading his blog without me linking to it anyway, but now the link is there.

Also welcome to Red Right Hand who linked to me long ago and I just realized it. I also added Scott the Reader's informative blog, Alligators in a Helicopter.

If you want your blog on the next month of updates, please drop me a line. I'll review it and so long as you post at fairly regular interval and discuss entertainment/screenwriting in some form, I'll add you to my reading list. There are just so many of you anymore!

And I'm leaving Diana in the blogroll, since she swears she's coming back...I've just moved her to the bottom until her triumphant return.

Oh, and for those of you who moved to the bottom of the list, consider yourselves on probation. Remember the motto around here: 'Post or you're toast'!

What shows should I spec?

I get this question a lot, primarily because I stuck my neck out in the Artful Writer Forum and responded to someone's plea for help in determining which shows to spec. My knowledge is gleaned from screenwriting teachers, peers and others in a position to know (attached to agencies or prodcoms). I've updated my list, so I'm presenting it here.

Note: Where a show falls in whether it should be one to spec does not necessarily reflect on the quality of the show. This is about perception. NCIS maybe one of the best shows on TV (I have no idea), but if no one (re: agents) is watching it, it probably won't get noticed. Conversely, CSI has been 'done to death' in specs, so you should go to these shows as a 'last resort'.

Okay, here's the list, my commentary to follow:

Good shows to spec:

The Shield
The O.C. (not sure about the cred, but it probably has enough viewership to allow for a spec)
Medium (Patricia Arquette's win and the continued ratings seal the deal on this one)
Rescue Me
Gray's Anatomy

Borderline, possible 2nd spec:

Cold Case
Without a Trace
Veronica Mars
Boston Legal
Battlestar Galactica
Law and Order: SVU or CI
The Sopranos

Glut of specs for:

CSI (every flavor)
Law and Order

Very difficult, but boy would you stand out from the crowd:

24 (forget it!!)
Desperate Housewives (and this is considered a 'comedy' but it's an hour-long, so treat it as such for spec purposes)

Not respected enough to spec or getting on in years:

Crossing Jordan
The West Wing
Gilmore Girls
One Tree Hill
Las Vegas

Cable shows in general are not good for specs. Exceptions would be HBO and FX shows which are listed. I have heard 'The Dead Zone' is a good spec, and I know someone thinking of writing a 'The 4400' spec, so take that for what it's worth.

How will the new shows shake out? There are still many weeks to go before we can say with certainty which new shows will make the cut for another year and will therefore be wide-open for spec writing.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My pages are up

They aren't as flashy as everyone else's, but they are functional. Go check out my contribution to the Group Screenwriting Project.

Is CSI making us stupid?

I read this story this morning and I just had to shake my head. Juries as collectives of individuals seem to be stupid enough, since defense attorneys do everything in their power to remove anyone with a brain from a jury. Now, we see that people need to see hard evidence, fingerprints, someone saying they did it on an audiotape, rather than be able to piece together the more likely and common evidence in crimes, which tend to be circumstantial, connect the dots type evidence.

This jury actually told the prosecutor that they needed to see a fingerprint on a file or a confession on an audiotape in order to convict. We're in real trouble if people feel that CSI is the standard for judging evidence in real life criminal cases.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Paging 'A Writer, I Be' Scott

Where's your blog?? I can't get to it today! Please report in as your screenwriting brethren are concerned that you are MIA...

Serenity now!

I just got confirmed for a blogger press credential of a screening of Serenity on Monday. I'll be posting a review after I see the film, per my obligation as a member of the blogging press.


I'm next!!

Warren's Screenwriting Group Project has been intriguing, but I'm already up next! I expect to have my pages to him by tomorrow, but I am experiencing some anxiety about whether my stuff will live up to the already exciting and interesting pages I'm seeing. I'll direct you over there when they are posted.

We have a winner!

Head Cases is cancelled.

I dare say this was expected. So, any guesses as to who goes next? My money is on "Just Legal".

A question of notes and rests

Day 5 of the everlasting illness. The cough is the worst at this point, but I do think the antibiotics are starting to have an effect.

So, as I've been mostly lying in bed reading other people's drafts, I've been pondering...what's the best way to give notes?

I've received good notes and bad notes. Good notes are the ones you like, bad notes are the ones you hate. I joke.

Actually, good notes are ones which are specific, helpful and relevant. Bad notes are generally the opposite. How do I make sure I'm giving good notes?

Sometimes I don't always know what the note is. I'll be circling a couple of pages, knowing there's a problem, but I just can't put my finger on it. The bad note would be to tell the writer, 'There's something wrong on page 33, but I just can't figure out what it is' Yeah, that's helpful. No, as a reader, I have a duty to figure it out to the best of my ability. Chances are the problem isn't on page 33, it's earlier in the story and I'm just recognizing the faulty stoplight on that particular page.

Plot and structure notes: I think the key here is to ask yourself if you understand all of the events in the story. Do they lead into each other as a progression or does there seem to be leaps of logic and time just to make the story work.

Character notes: If a character isn't behaving the way you expect, try to determine if it is because you lack a full understanding of the character or if the writer has just gone off the 'character map' that has been laid out for that person. If you establish that a character is afraid of his own shadow, unless there is a significant event or motive for him to go headfirst into a dark creepy cave, it would not be consistent with his character. Motive drives action for most characters. If you don't know the motive, then make it a result of circumstance. Anyone else have a thought on this?

So, when I'm listing notes, I tend to avoid dialogue notes unless there is something really wrong, like it doesn't 'sound' like the character. Also, if I know it is a first draft I'll avoid notes on typos, misspellings, grammar or punctuation knowing that person has more drafts ahead of them. I try to be as specific as possible. A note that the characters need more 'fleshing out' isn't really a great note to me. What's missing from the characters? What do I need? More background on them? Better definition of their motives? If their dialogue is flat or 'on the nose', I'll mention it could be richer, but I tend to think everyone does some of that 'on the nose' writing in first draft just to get the sucker written. It seems unfair for me to play 'spot the obvious'.

Anyone else have comments on how they give notes or feedback?

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I just got home from the doctor's office. Yes, I'm on day 4 of this -- thing. Even she was surprised I wasn't better, prescribed me antibiotics and told me not to go to work until Monday (I even got a note!)

Good news, getting all of my TV watching in, here are my very very short reviews of new shows:

Bones: Writing isn't great, interesting characters but the holographics are a killer in my book. Could be cancelled by mid-season.

Head Cases: Horrible. Canceled. NEXT.

Kitchen Confidential: Some funny moments, love the cast, numbers were worrisome. I expect Fox to stick with it though because of the positive reviews.

How I Met Your Mother: Could have been better, but considering my lowered expectations for sitcoms, I expect this to live, unless the numbers take a nosedive, which I doubt they will.

Surface: Very disappointing (not that I had high hopes for it to begin with). Numbers were surprisingly high, I expect them to drop next week. Cancelled by mid-season.

Threshold: I loved it, so it will probably be cancelled. I can always hope not, but it's on Friday on CBS. Who is watching CBS (or any TV) on Friday??

Supernatural: Actually some spooky moments. Some bad dialogue, but the 2 episdoes so far have been intriguing and I do think it will keep its Gilmore Girls audience. It lives, at least until mid-season, if not longer.

Just Legal: I can't believe I tried to watch this. If it isn't cancelled in 6 weeks, put me out of my misery.

Prison Break: Week four and I'm still tuning in. Always a good sign, especially since I want to see them break out of the prison. After that, I expect the show is going to have to really step it up to keep people watching. After all, that's WHY we're watching this show.

Shows I haven't watched yet:

Invasion: I DVR'd it last night, so I'll check it out today.

Everybody Hates Chris: I've had the pilot DVD sitting on my coffee table for two weeks, but I haven't gotten around to watching it. The reviews are good, so I doubt it will matter what I think...the show has legs before even airing tonight.

My Name is Earl: This was in the worst time slot for me, as I was watching House and recording Supernatural. I'll have to check it out next week...somehow. Clearly the ratings for the premiere were good, so NBC has some hope.

The Apprentice/ Martha Stewart: I totally forgot this was on last night. I was too caught up in my desire to see Lost to pay it any mind. I'll be interested to see how the numbers are next week against normal ABC programming. If it improves, it lives. If not, Martha may not 'fit in' at NBC for more than one season.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Yes, I am up at an insane hour. I think I'm getting better, but I still have a slight fever (in case you are my mother and want to know) and I still have a nagging cough. Not sure if I should go to work in 3 hours, but I probably should.

That said, the reason I'm cursed is...well, did ya happen to watch House? That opening of Act I with House battling a cold, yeah, that's my teaser opening in my spec! I now have to do some hefty rewriting to exorcise all of the scenes/lines pertaining to House having a cold. The trouble is, I'm not sure what I'm going to put in its place!

So, where yesterday at 8:59 PM I was feeling pretty alright with the world (except for this blasted whatever-I-have), by 9:10 PM I was watching my hard work become irrelevant.

I got work to do, that's for sure.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Sore throat, congested...I feel yucky.

I'll probably take the opportunity (while feeling miserable and lying in bed) to get caught up on my script reading -- I have a lot of things people have asked me to read which I need to get notes back to them on. I'll also get caught up on my TV watching. I'd rather watch all of the premieres I have on the DVR than watch 'Oprah'. So, that's what I'll be doing today, coughing, wheezing and reading.


Sunday, September 18, 2005


I have no clue who will win an Emmy. I have been completely, utterly wrong up to this point.

Although, yay, 'Lost' won.

John Rogers is a god

Read this. Read it now! (It's about TV series, the changing dynamics in TV and it's really really good. What other reasons do you need, click the link!)

Emmy predictions

Ellen Degeneres will be mostly funny and the show won't feel 8 hours long...

Oh, let's go with winner predictions, always more fun. (My predicted winner in bold)

  • Drama Series
      The West Wing
      Six Feet Under
  • Comedy Series
      Arrested Development
      Desperate Housewives
      Everybody Loves Raymond
      Will & Grace
  • Lead Actor in a Drama Series
      James Spader (Boston Legal)
      Ian McShane (Deadwood)
      Hugh Laurie (House)
      Hank Azaria (Huff)
      Kiefer Sutherland (24)
  • Lead Actress in a Drama Series
      Jennifer Garner (Alias)
      Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
      Patricia Arquette (Medium)
      Glenn Close (The Shield)
      Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under)
  • Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
      Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
      Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond)
      Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
      Zack Braff (Scrubs)
      Eric McCormack (Will & Grace)
  • Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
      Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives)
      Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
      Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives)
      Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond)
      Jane Kaczmarek (Malcom in the Middle)
  • Supporting Actor in Drama Series
      William Shatner (Boston Legal)
      Oliver Platt (Huff)
      Naveen Andrews (Lost)
      Terry O'Quinn (Lost)
      Alan Alda (The West Wing)
  • Supporting Actress in Drama Series
      Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy)
      Blythe Danner (Huff)
      Tyne Daly (Judging Amy)
      CCH Pounder (The Shield)
      Stockard Channing (The West Wing)
  • Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
      Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development)
      Jeremy Piven (Entourage)
      Peter Boyle (Everybody Loves Raymond)
      Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond)
      Sean Hayes (Will & Grace)
  • Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
      Jessica Walter (Arrested Development)
      Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond)
      Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
      Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
      Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
All of these categories are important, but what about the ones that matter to us, the writers?? And for this list, I'm going to credit the writers -- all of them!

  • Writing for a Comedy Series
      Arrested Development • Sad Sack •
      Barbie Adler, Writer

      Arrested Development • Sword Of Destiny •
      Brad Copeland, Writer

      Arrested Development • The Righteous Brothers •
      Mitchell Hurwitz, Written by
      Jim Valley, Written by

      Desperate Housewives • Pilot •
      Marc Cherry, Writer

      Everybody Loves Raymond • Finale •
      Philip Rosenthal, Writer
      Ray Romano, Writer
      Tucker Cawley, Writer
      Lew Schneider, Writer
      Steve Skrovan, Writer
      Jeremy Stevens, Writer
      Mike Royce, Writer
      Aaron Shure, Writer
      Tom Caltabiano, Writer
      Leslie Caveny, Writer
  • Writing for a Drama Series
      House • Three Stories •
      David Shore, Writer

      Lost • Pilot •
      J.J. Abrams, Teleplay by/Story by
      Damon Lindelof, Teleplay by/Story by
      Jeffrey Lieber, Story by

      Lost • Walkabout •
      David Fury, Written by

      Rescue Me • Pilot •
      Peter Tolan, Writer
      Denis Leary, Writer

      The Wire • Middle Ground •
      George Pelecanos, Writer/Story by
      David Simon, Story by
There you have it, my predictions. Make yours before showtime.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My horses in the cancellation derby

Now, this is without seeing most of the new shows, but here is what I predict will not make the cut (and these are not in order...I fully expect UPN or WB to beat Fox to the punch in cancelling a show before 'Head Cases' gets the axe).

Head Cases
Just Legal (no way no how anyone will tune in for Don Johnson. Sorry Don).
Twins (no way no how anyone will tune in for Don Johnsons's ex. Sorry Melanie).
Fathom/Surface (whatever it's called this week)
Reunion (this was just horrible)
The Night Stalker
Ghost Whisperer
Out of Practice (yeah, I hadn't heard of it either)
Killer Instinct (thankfully, people will tire of gross crime stories, and hey, they can get that on CBS all week long!)
The War at Home

Wow, you're thinking. That's a lot of shows headed to the fall season graveyard. What does that leave standing at the end of the season (or at least until mid-season):

Criminal Minds
E-Ring (although, I'm on the fence on this one)
Hot Properties
Close to Home
How I Met Your Mother
My Name is Earl
Kitchen Confidential
Prison Break
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
Three Wishes
Everybody Hates Chris
Love, Inc (yeah, but UPN has so little to work with)
Sex, Love and Secrets (again, I'm cutting UPN a break, just like they do with their shows...unless it places dead last)

See? You thought I was being harsh, but I'm giving more than 60% of the new shows a shot at survival. I think that sitcoms will do particularly well this year (even though there are some duds) and remember, this isn't based on me seeing all the shows or even on the quality of the shows. I base my predictions on strength of schedule, concept of show, ability to grow, stars attached, network involved and pure gut instinct.

I'll track my accuracy as the season progresses. If I'm wrong, I'll call it, but you heard it here folks...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Race is On

Which show will be the first to cancellation? What series will bow out in disgrace after viewers fail to connect?

So far it looks like Fox's Head Cases comes out of the gate ahead of the others in the cancellation pack.

Scratch that one off your 'potential spec' list folks. This one is DOA.

Robert Wise

has died.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Status Report

I started my 'new job' at work (long story) so I've been busy getting acclimated. Also had a cousin in town this week who we (my sis and I) entertained last night. Meanwhile, I'm working on the second draft of my treatment after lots of notes from producer/sister.

I've signed up for the TV spec rewrite/polish class for fall. This will probably be my last class for awhile, but I plan on putting my 'House' spec through this class and then sending it out to agents by November.

I just joined a writers group that meets down the block from me. Good group and I think I will learn a lot from them.

So, that's what I'm doing. Anyone see any good films lately?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Film Friday for August

Yup, it's that time again. End of the month. Let's see what remakes, sequels and TV adaptations Hollywood has in store for us.

  • Matt Helm - Once a spoofy film series with Dean Martin, set to be remade as a more serious film this time around.
  • Rififi - Remake of the French film with (Hoo-hah) Al Pacino.
  • Old School 2 - Because we need more naked Will Ferrell.
  • How to Tell He's Not the One in 10 Days - Apparently this is a sequel to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. They both have long titles, so it must be.
  • Battle of the Network Stars - I think this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.
  • Casino Royale - I've reported on this one before, but they really truly are going to make it (honest!) Paul Haggis is going to rewrite it. So I'd expect it to be less campy. Just a hunch.
I'm impressed, Hollywood! This is a very short list. Of course, I'm sure that there's more creative bankruptcy waiting around the corner. That should help you sleep at night, I'm sure.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Spec Season

Great article from Clark Perry on the free Writer's Nite Out seminar held recently (hey, why didn't I know about that??)

Things to know for attending a premiere

  • Don't wear open-toed shoes, unless you are sitting at a VIP table.
  • Don't sit down at a table with someone else's name on it.
  • Be prepared for photographers to look at you to see if you are famous and then quickly turn away when they realize you are not (and let's face it, not many writers make it to the 'famous' list).
  • Don't dress down too much, but don't dress up too much. The former will make you look homeless and the latter will make you look "purchased".
I'll add more as I think of them. These were just the things I observed at a post-premiere party. I don't think they write books on premiere etiquette, do they?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Film Friday is coming

About a week late, but I'll recap the August remakes, sequels and TV adaptations to the big screen at the end of the week.

Gotta keep up the traditions around here...

Discussion topic - treatments

I have to write a treatment for my TV pilot (don't ask, no I haven't sold or pitched anything yet).

How would you write it -- narrative 2 page summary of the story? Or outline style, split between the Teaser and four acts?


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Lost fanatics!

Yup today was the day -- they released Season 1 on DVD. Because I am the luckiest human alive, I happened to be at the Disney lot when the writers were autographing the DVDs, so I got to meet several of the gods of the show.

I'm still basking in the glow. Hopefully their genius has rubbed off on me.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Writing update

I finished my 'House' spec in time for my last class on Wednesday. So what now? Well, I have a TV pilot to write. I'm collaborating with my sister who will one day be a very powerful producer (hey, I'm ridin' her coattails, I have to keep the faith). I'm looking forward to creating my own characters and 'universe' for a TV show.

I'll rewrite my TV specs in about a month and once I'm happy with them -- I'll hold my breath and send them out into the world.

Somewhere in here I'm going to keep outlining my new feature spec. I have a lot to do before the end of the year.

I may finally adopt the progress bars. I added a place for them in the sidebar, now I just have to get the code in there.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Labor Day weekend. Certainly it is overshadowed by the disaster in the Gulf States. Keep the victims in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blogging for a Cause

I know, it's hard. Everywhere you turn there are pictures, stories and other reminders of what is happening along the Gulf Coast. I've already detailed the charities I am supporting financially today and urge you to give what you can, even if it is a small amount.

I'd love to show that screenbloggers can pull together and help out, really show up the political blogs that are raising most of the money. Can you imagine what it would be like if Los Angeles were hit with the 'Doomsday Quake'? I'd hope that the residents of the Gulf Coast would help us, just as they need us to help them now.

Log your donation

If you make a donation based on reading this blog, you can log your donation here. You can also see how much the blogs involved in this effort have helped raise today.

I am thinking of ways to inspire folks to donate -- maybe I could write stories or something, blog on a particular topic for donations. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Donation update

So far I've made donations to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army today.

I've also donated to another worthy charity, one I've supported in the past (I have also adopted a soldier through them) and is called Soldiers' Angels. They are collecting money for the families of soldiers who have been affected by the floods. These soldiers may have nothing to come home to. Consider donating to this or other military family charities. (I have also donated to Operation AC. Both of these charities are reputable and provide needed services.)

Blogging for Hurricane Katrina Victims

Truth Laid Bear has a registry of blogs participating in the blogger relief.

I've already donated to the American Red Cross, but my charity of choice today is the Salvation Army, to which I have already donated. I've given to this charity often and they seem to be really effective, moreso than the United Way and others that were deluged with cash post 9/11 but didn't know how to handle it.

Avoid unscrupulous charities by checking them out first via Charity Navigator.

Michelle Malkin, who has put aside politics for the most part today, has a great summary of various charities, if you prefer to donate to another charity.

The message today is to DONATE.

More on the Salvation Army's efforts (from their website):

The Salvation Army is currently providing services to storm victims and first responders in Hattiesburg, MS, Mobile, AL and New Orleans, LA

* 500 storm refugees sought safe shelter and food at The Salvation Army’s centers in New Orleans and Mobile.
* Canteens are serving hot meals to storm victims and first responders in Hattiesburg, MS and Mobile, AL.
* Additional canteens are staged in Baton Rouge, LA, Jackson, MS and Mobile, AL to be deployed to affected areas along the Gulf Coast once emergency response authorities determine that it is safe to enter these areas

The Salvation Army is prepared to serve up to 500,000 hot meals per day to residents and first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

* More than 250 volunteers, employees and officers will serve the meals from approximately 100 mobile canteens that are able to provide up to 5,000 hot meals per day.
* In addition, the Army has staged two, 54-foot mobile Base Camp kitchens that can provide 20,000 hot meals per day; one is in Baton Rouge; the other in Mobile, and will be moved once emergency response authorities determine a safe location for them.

A $100 donation will feed a family of four for two days, provide 2 cases of drinking water and one household clean-up kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning supplies.

Glenn Reynolds roundup post.

Also, Technorati tags flood aid and Hurricane Katrina.

More hurricane blogging here throughout the day. Screenblogging will resume in a couple of days.