Saturday, October 11, 2008

And we continue

It's coming, 5 days and counting down. Two tasks at hand; 1) Prep and refresh myself with the names and resumes of people expected to be there, and 2) Ensure I make my flight...all of them. On time even.

After missing last year I'm pretty amped to get back, and it's way to cold right now to not justify heading off to Texas. A few extra friends are going this time around, or perhaps I just know a couple more people than before - but it makes for good times.

Of course, it's business and as such must be embraced accordingly without the lure of infinite Absolute and Dos Equs...For me though my goal is a simple evolution from two years ago. To be a little more vocal, a little more confident and most of all just on par. Two years ago I was there with some slight apprehension "what the hell am I doing here"? I'd think at times. Now for some reason I feel like I belong a little more and not because of any real progress in terms of credits or anything like that - but just because I believe enough in my own abilities that I know what I'm there for and what I want.

Until then - I'm hoping to finish my outline on a rewrite, something long overdue. And complete some needed viewing.

And make sure I know when my flight is.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

That Day That Never Comes

I am not one to often triumph the notion of a 'comeback' of an actor, politician, musician, writer, or whatever the label is usually slapped onto. It's like this - someone crafts something that you respect so much, then deviates and does something else so you hate them and think they've 'lost it'. But who are we to say? I'll hold myself accountable for the decisions I make, and let others hold themselves to their own level and standard.

Music is easily the most impressionable force upon my writing, often crafting ideas out of a single lyric, or an entire scripts tone based on the feel and mood a song gives me. I chalk up a little new playlist in my Itunes and get to work. The playlist grows, songs are added that fit the mood and scenes I've crafted. For entire stretches of the writing process that playlist will be on constant repeat until I hit the end.

Unfortunately for me one of my favorite genres in music is Metal. Death Metal, thrash Metal, progressive metal...the list goes on. But it seldom translates into a worth playlist. And while that's not an issue here, because I haven't created a new idea or playlist, it's on my mind because a recent leak of famed Thrash legends Metallica was sent over to me by my friend. A bad that I hold in high regard even though the past, oh...15 years have produced works that they won't be remembered by, at least not fondly. I'm not a defender of the group and their utter pathetic concept on new media distribution (or lack thereof) did nothing but show their age.

The new Album - Death Magnetic - is a surprise in pretty much every way. Gone is the staple melodramtic lyrics that has always dogged them - even from the "kill 'em All' days and it seems they've taken a step back to their recent offerings. To say this album is a carbon attempt at And Justice for All would be lying and it's no Master of Puppets either. But it's all there. It's heavy, hard, thrilling and thoughtful. Back are the epic 8 minute songs, thrashing solo's and brutal force they became known for.

But there's something else. And while people will try to peg this as the dreaded 'comeback' it's not. It's a departure from everything they've been doing - a progression from it. The influence of much maligned albums such as Load, S&M, St. Anger and Reload is all there. And if you listen closely you can here it in the songs. What you get is the perfect amalgamation of past and present. It's a bit of the Black album, a bit of Justice, a little bit of Load and so on - but it's all wonderfully crafted into something any band would be proud of.

For me - it's something to write while listening to. And in a way it has a nice little lesson wrapped up in it. The crux of who this band was, whatever everyone remember them as, is the backbone to whole thing. But it's what this band became for awhile that rounds out the sound. They extended, explored and maybe they hit a few blocks along the way while they're tried but as a result they've come back with something far more mature. Something I think writers, at least successful ones, ultimately do. Using everything in the arsenal and weeding out what doesn't fit to bring something beyond anything they coulda done while starting out.

Yeah - if you're not a metal fan this won't matter much. But I am - and Death Magnetic is awesome in so many ways. Forget comeback - this is a reclaiming.

Monday, June 23, 2008

That's right, SHORTY!

I usually hate these...but I saw it on Brett's Bucket of Love...and couldn't help but wonder...


Created by OnePlusYou

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sometimes we just need a break

My all too-loving girlfriend knows me well, and she'd be the first to tell you that you don't ask me to go on a vacation or a trip. You either set the trip up and hand me a ticket, or inform me you're going and you'll send back pictures. I loathe the idea, the planning of it all and the unbearable dread of actually having to fucking be somewhere not home. It stems, I'm certain, from the years I went with less than solid footing in the residential world - which I like to call the 'back seat of an '82 Corolla'. I can create a long list of excuses, work being the tops, malaria being a close second...fear of flying...ugh!

Anyway,that crutch of "I've got writing to do" was my mantra all of last year and I realized very quickly as the end of 2007 came to a demoralizing halt that I was nothing more than a pathetic lump trying to live vicariously through worlds I told myself I was going to create. Because I didn't, I systematically watched as the days and weeks stretched into months and seasons of white pages and happier friends. My best mates, from the first time I stepped foot into Vancouver, all traveled the world - not before handing me a personal invite, mind you - and I shucked it in fear of missing out on my goals. None of which I met.

At the start of 2008 I decided it was either give up, or shut up and work. To date, 1 finished spec feature (rewrite still withstanding), 2 rewrite outlines/notes formulated to be completed ASAP, and 2 new 'in progress' Features. I've been doing what I said I would last year...and I'm happy about that.

So when it came time for the annual call to arms of my childhood best friends a couple things crossed my mind; I've got so much to do and I'm actually doing it, so that would just fuck up my pace - And, why the hell do they bother even inviting me anymore? It is with heavy heart that I think of my friends though, since the neglect has been solely mine in the past few years. I feel as if I'm just an outside entity now, one who could easily be forgotten and probably with good reason. And though I believe they wouldn't ever really stop at least making the offer to join in, I did kinda feel that maybe this could be the last time...So I decided, if nothing else, one last romp...

I booked my flight and committed, and nervously awaited the departure date. The morning of the trip out to Montreal I tossed around the idea of bringing my gear and working through the trip...Until my wonderful girl bluntly pointed out "For fuck sakes, have some fun for once". The laptop, the scripts and all the rest of it stayed at home --

As much as I'm a negative, cynical prick in my tone - as noted by my mates a few times - I don't think I could have been any happier. Sure, my legs felt like they were going to collapse at every breath, but it was worth it just to trek around all day with the boys and find stopgap measures to sustain one continuous alcoholic buzz until the night could take full effect. God I missed that camaraderie, the continuous razzing and fluid heckling that only true friends can pull off with one another.

We took in the city, the bars, the pretty women and the other bars. And of course there was the Formula 1 Grand Prix which held little interest to me going in but blew my head off once I was in there. Ever busted your ear drums while watching a guys head blur by at 300km an hour? There's not much like it, that's for sure.

And while the 6 days away from work put a crimp in my scripting mojo - it was worth it, every minute. I've got a bounce in my step to hit the sheets and pound out something great...maybe even something that could make my friends proud. It made me realize that if you step away for a few days, there really is more important things waiting for you, little bits of life that I falsely believe I can be created on a page ...they can for sure. But you gotta remember what the hell it's like from a first hand experience...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Probably one of the best online game reviewers around. If he did film - he'd be banned from any and all screenings...

Here's a few of his reviews. Not only are they scathingly funny - I think they're fairly well written...




And a MAILBAG SHOWDOWN for good measure

Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones Thoughts

Like many of the movie going public between the ages of 20 & 40, I have a special place in my nostalgia department for the Indiana Jones Trilogy. It doesn't reach Star Wars levels, or even Back to The Future magnitude, but I've always thought it was one of the best adventure series in memory. Though, it should be said that I probably fall in line with most people who found the second and third installments diminish the strength and name of the first, but still they held up within their own genre world.

So when it comes to Crystal Skull, the fourth feature some 20 years after the fact, it's hard not to enter the movie with some trepidation among the enthousiasm. Steven Speilberg said that the biggest inspiration to do the fourth was "to get the original family back together'. And that's what it feels like, really, it feels like the gangs all there.

And aged.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull never approaches Phantom Menace type of cut down, but it's a shockingly poor effort that seems ill planned and even apathetically executed. There's a couple of good quips from the hero sprung about, but they don't have the same bite and while the chemistry seems to be there with the leads the same notion holds true.

I can't really tell if it's the script that deserves the blame, or if it's the creative higher-ups that should. Jones films have always had a massive gorge of suspended disbelief needed to accept the high production values of essentially b-movie material. But they always delivered within the universe they created. This one doesn't, not even close. I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't really delve into the finale, but it's akin to picking up the ball and running it to the endzone...and continuing until you find a whole new stadium, that houses an ice rink.

There's some asinine decisions made that could have been so easily corrected without even falling into the expository realm of clunky dialog and display. Why not teach the kid to use a whip before he starts swinging with monkeys? That would have bridge the generational gap and reinforced the obvious goal of setting up Shia Lebouf as the successor to the series. And the kid is never the problem either, he equips himself well and does everything that's needed. Harrison as well, plays with his side-kick more than admirably and you can tell they got on just fine. But it's all in the way the story unfolds.

Indy always found himself in circumstances of life and death, discovering ways to court himself out of danger - usually ending with him getting blindsided by an awaiting team of baddies. Well, in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he more or less finds himself in endless predicaments with baddies, but they just let him walk around - do as he pleases before plotting an escape. The environmental danger seems to have been forgotten, and in the past it always presented the best character and film set-pieces. Here, all we get is tediously repetitive scenarios that seem to suck the fun out of the character.

So whose to blame? Not the actors, they delivered what was expected. Spielberg? He seems to have tried to emulate as much of the original as possible, and I'm not sure that was as wise as it might seem. Lucas & co. for the script and story? I think so, I really think they just went to far without holding onto what made the series somewhat believable in films gone by. Especially considering Crystal Skulls are some of the Earths most interesting artifacts, much can be derived of their lore and mythic appeal. Instead, they seemed to say "no, not good enough. It needs to be the biggest one yet!"

Bigger isn't better.

And the next time you want to get the gang together, have a god damned bbq. 20 years we waited, we coulda waited 1 more for you to get it right.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is this thing still on?


What's that statute of limitations on a blog? It's been one past year of complete neglect, and yet here it is.

I'll save words for when they're more appropriate - but I'm going to try and shift a little more writing time to this thing again. Brett said I should, albeit something he mentioned sometime last year. But writing is writing, and though I've been doing it - I've never found the need to discuss much here...but why not start.

If you want to see what I've been doing beyond Screenwriting (I think that's what I've been doing) - you can check it out HERE. They gave me my own corner and everything. That site's still in pre-Beta...but it'll be properly published sometime this year.

Until next time (or year)