Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thought I'd Share

Two fantastically fantastic and serious movies:

Fantastic Mr. Fox

A Serious Man

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Logline #3: The Hangover

The Hangover
by John Lucas & Scott Moore

Three friends retrace their steps to try and find the groom after a massive bender bachelor party in Las Vegas.

This script was pretty funny. Not amazingly funny, I don't remember laughing out loud at too many points. The basic story is well worked out and I am immediately endeared to the characters. The main plot seems to be completely straightforward, but soon unravels at the third act break. Although they do a lot of crazy stuff and get into lots of trouble, there never seems to be much of an emergency about anything. It's just a bunch of crazy guys who did some bad stuff.

I love that baby!

After seeing the film:
I have to hand it to this amazing cast. They did an amazing job. They made this material funny. Of course there were some massive rewrites from the version I read (May 16, 2008 version), the main characters and plot is the same. But what sells this film is the constantly superb delivery of physical comedy and hilarious dialogue. Good for the writers for making a few points clear, but if you don't have the right actors delivering the words with the right amount of expertise, you have lost everything (if there was anything there to begin with).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Heart Mad Men

If you're not already, you need to be watching this show.
Season 3 on Sunday nights at 10am (starting August 16th) on AMC.

Mad Men Yourself

Monday, July 27, 2009

Logline #2: The Book of Eli

So I found my first logline post. Ya, I haven't really kept up with that. But maybe I can change!

The Book of Eli

by Gary Whitta
A lone traveler in the distant future takes a fateful detour and must fight to defend a book that he has sworn to protect at any cost.

This is honestly one of the greatest scripts I have read in a while. I am in awe at how pulled into the story I became. It was like being caught in a really great book and not being able to put it down even though it's 3am and you have a 7am meeting the next morning. That good.

Of course there are a few holes in the story, a few things that with a bit of tweaking would make this script all around perfect. But that did not seem to deter me from enjoying the script completely. I still refer to it when doing my own writing to see how he was able to construct action and uniformly present an interesting story.

Worth a read or check it out when it comes to theaters January 15th.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

iPhone I love you, but...

Why must it always be a constant battle to keep technology working?


Better put: Why must I get so frustrated with technology not working?

I was checking my precious iPhone to see what Twitter status updates had been posted since the last time I had checked it. (It had been two minutes, and there were twelve).

Then the unthinkable... my Gmail account had not been able to update and it persisted that I had an incorrect password. It had the audacity to accuse me of having incorrect information!

After about 20 minutes of getting frustrated and reserving the curse words swimming through my head for a more serious issue that may or may not happen in the future - I decided to take my battles to the big desktop. Which made my life even worse because I couldn't get into my Gmail account from that outlet either!

First thought - oh no, a virus/hacker/bug has changed my password and is doing horrible things to my precious Gmail accounts.

Second thought - is there any way to change my password without logging in?

Luckily there was. And I did. I was able to login immediately and my password had been changed safely.

So now what's up with the iPhone? The answer - it needed to be turned off and given a minute to chill out and think about the trouble it had caused. Once I had given it a good ten minute time-out, it was time to come back and behave properly.

I am glad to say that now the device is working properly and is no longer giving me errors. But it's on naughty watch for the next few days.

This whole incident is probably best illustrated by one of my favorite British television shows The IT Crowd in which it was a running gag for the IT professionals to ask the naive co-workers if they had "turned it off and then back on again?"

Which leads me to my next point:

One of the most fabulous British shows ever created. It unfortunately only ran for two seasons, but lucky enough for you - they're both on Hulu.

Written by and starring - Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson
Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz)

You can watch the show here, and I would suggest you do...or else...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Blog

A project.

A writing project if you will.

Spencer and I have started a blog that will serve as the scratching post for our attempts at practicing the gentle craft of screenwriting.

We have decided to write a one-page script every day for one year (and then maybe more if we enjoy/can stand to do it for longer). The topics and themes for these scripts will hopefully be reader-driven at some juncture, but as for now are being drawn from experiences and exposures of our daily lives.

We want as many suggestions as possible, so crank out those thinking caps. We accept these suggestions in our comments sections of each post or in our personal twitter/facebook accounts and/or our personal emails. They can be from videos, photos, stories, songs, news articles, words, phrases, anything that you can come up with that is interesting enough to write about.

Please visit the first post to get a tasting of how we are going to run this little shindig. Then read on to the first scripts that have been posted for July 25th.

We also appreciate any ideas or suggestions that you may have about the site for improvement. Lavish flattery or strict criticism will also be looked at and sometimes ignored.

I thank and bless you all.

New Post

My friend Spencer has posted every day for the past four days. Not to be outdone, I am going to post something today too. And then hopefully tomorrow as well.

His posts have featured awesome drawings and things. But I am not very good at drawing and I don't have a workable scanner.

So I decided to do the next best thing - pictures!
Besides, they're like drawings of reality right? or reality drawing your eye, or something like that...

Anyways, a few pictures:

Made this for me mom. I like decorating cakes.
I only had chocolate and vanilla frosting.

My wife snuck up on my and took this while I was asleep.

Took this with a crappy camera-phone. It's a crab.

Jellyfish freak me out.
I always have fears of getting stung at the beach.

This is the biggest shaver evar!

I think that about does it for today. No use in running out of material.

(Take that Spencer!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oh Spencer...

My friend Spencer won the John August Script Challenge!
The Devilish Rogue

Congratulations to you sir, despite what others think - your script was brilliant.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Launchman and the Mercury Staff

One of my all-time favorite writers John August is hosting a writing contest on his blog. The deal is to write a blockbuster action scene/sequence that involves superheroes.

All that is told us is that it involves the villain BRICKHOUSE who has stolen a staff from the Museum of Ubiquities. He leaves it to us to come up with the rest.

The following is the sequence that I wrote for the contest and it should be on his site soon:

The Museum of Ubiquities, unusually vacant for a Saturday afternoon. The artful 'OPEN' sign gives no clues to why.

Below the Museum’s massive stone steps gathers a large CROWD nervously watching behind the panicked BLOCKADE of squad cars and caution tape. Several OFFICERS train their pistols toward the entrance of the Museum. It is eerily silent.

From behind a parked squad unit, a dark FIGURE walks calmly to the front of the panic-fest, putting on leather GLOVES.

A yellow 'L' symbol on his chest suggests this is the world-famous LAUNCHMAN, backwoods hansom that has hardened from living in the big city for many years. He adjusts his perfectly formed hair as he approaches the frontline.

A particularly beautiful Museum Docent with JENNIFER on her name tag approaches the costumed hero.

You okay?


Launchman takes Jenny’s arm and gently pulls her aside.

Were you hurt?

I’m fine Linus.

Was it Greaser? Maybe Fulkenhagen again?

This time it was an unknown. He called himself 'BRICKHOUSE.'

Usual DR. DISORDER cretin again?

But big. Really big. He took the doors off the Hall of Transient Properties with one hand.

Launchman’s eyes go wide at this information. He looks up to the Museum’s entrance, heading towards an uncertain doom.

You going to be okay in there?

Guess we’ll find out...

Launchman enters the Museum lobby and quietly closes the door. He looks around at the destruction.

Papers and other DEBRIS litter the once spotless granite floors. Several velvet ropes and their stands have been toppled over. Launchman waves his arm, clearing a path.

With a soft-shoe, Launchman makes his way towards the Hall of Transient Properties. He prepares himself for the worst.

Raiding a large and most likely expensive DISPLAY CASE is the largest dude you’ve ever seen; wearing GIGANTIC army boots, black shorts and a once white wife-beater tank top.

This is the previously announced BRICKHOUSE. He looks as if he’s been on steroids since he was three years-old.

In his left hand, Brickhouse holds the MERCURY STAFF. Launchman notices it - again with that old relic?!


Launchman waggles his fingers, preparing for a desperate move. He raises his arm and extends his fingers outward.

Brickhouse doesn’t seem to notice.

Launchman readjusts his stance. He reaches out once more.


And into Launchman’s open palm.

Brickhouse turns around - not sure what happened.

(thick Australian accent)
‘Ere, is moine!

Brickhouse reaches for the nearest object, which happens to be a thick GARBAGE CAN LID. He FRISBY-TOSSES it towards the unprepared Launchman, who takes it right in the gut.
The staff flies from his hand and to the ground.

Brickhouse BLITZES for the staff, swooping it up. He reaches for Launchman - still dazed from the blow to the gut.

Brickhouse picks him up by the arm and CHUCKS him across the room. Launchman lands with a THUD, sliding into a wall.

Launchman slowly rises, his body stinging with pain.

That’s...just not nice.

Brickhouse picks up a velvet-rope stand and HAMMER THROWS it towards Launchman who reacts quickly and sticks out his hand.


It swings around and FLIES back towards Brickhouse.

Brickhouse gets SMACKED upside the face. He tumbles back.

‘Ay naow.

Brickhouse bends down and picks up one of the FELLED DOORS.

Launchman prepares himself for the door to come flying his way. Instead Brickhouse holds the door as a shield as he turns tail and RUNS AWAY.

Launchman lifts his arms in disappointment.

What the...?

Launchman chases after him.

Through raining BULLETS, Brickhouse exits the Museum. The door is held up as a shield from the ever-increasing blasts.

Some of the bullets pierce his skin, most just get deflected off the door-shield.
Launchman exits the Museum. The firing slows to a stop.

Seeing Launchman at his heels, Brickhouse TURNS to run down the street. He FLINGS the dented door towards the squad cars.

Several policemen DUCK and COVER from the uncontrollable door. The unaware Jenny looks up at the approaching steel-plated doom. She BRACES herself for the worst.


The door never hits the ground.

She looks up. The door HANGS IN THE AIR inches from her head.

The door is FLUNG backward and CLASHES to the ground.

Observing from the Museum stairs, Launchman lowers his hands and turns to the street. In the distance Launchman can see --

Brickhouse has made it a great distance away - he trips on a FIRE HYDRANT. The hydrant EXPLODES H2O all over the street. He goes TUMBLING to the ground and drops the staff.
Brickhouse picks back up the staff and continues fleeing.

Jenny joins Launchman on the steps.

It’s okay, we’ll get it back.

That’s not what concerns me. What concerns me is Dr. Disaster continues to try and steal the damn thing.

Launchman turns to Jenny.

I need to know absolutely everything there is to know about that staff.

Jenny nods enthusiastically.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


A friend of mine is in Japan right now and she happened to visit the Tokyo bay. She mentions on her blog that on the small island of Odaiba lies a GIGANTIC Mobile Suit Gundam.

This intrigued me enough to do some digging to find out information about it. Here's what I found (in case you're interested):

The Gundam was built for two reasons - It is an attempt to promote the bid for the 2016 Olympics in Tokyo, it also promotes the 30th Anniversary since the creation of the Gundam franchise.
- It is a replica of the RX-78-2 Gundam which is an older model, but still cool-looking.
- The statue has lights, shoots out mist and moves its head.
- It is approximately 59' tall (18m) and weighs a whopping 25 tons.
- It is built of fiberglass-reinforced plastic over a steel frame.
- It is an exact 1:1 size replica of the size a mobile suit Gundam should be.
- They only plan to keep it up for two months before it is disassembled.
- The city of Kobe is working on a giant statue of "Gigantor" which will be much bigger and heavier. This is a video of the construction.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox

One of my all time favorite books:

Is being made into a film by one of my all time favorite directors:
Starring one of my all time favorite actors:And it looks absolutely amazing:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Go See

I was really excited to go see this movie. I wasn't disappointed.
Sam Rockwell is my new favorite actor. His depth in this film is astounding. I found it very interesting that he could play the same character with the same exact genes in two completely profound ways. There was subtlety and variances that make the characters seem completely different people.
The director Duncan Jones did a great job. His ability to use a low budget to make a very convincing world makes me envious. He creates a mood and an atmosphere for the character that is completely real and believable. Also, Kevin Spacey is always awesome.

This film was so intensely suspenseful at times that I was uncomfortable in my seat. But it was an unconventional suspense. By that I mean that there were many times when you would expect an explosion or something else terrible to happen and it would just pitter out. Nothing would happen. That guy with the camera and those guys on the ridge didn't do anything when you fully expected them to. And then there were times when you would expect things to be quiet and satisfying, and something truly shocking would happen. I was shocked out of my seat four individual times.
Although I was amazed by this film, it did have some issues, specifically with the personal relationships. But overall I thought the film was quite accurate and poignant. Jeremy Renner is brilliant, as well as the two supporting characters played by Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty. Also, pay attention to the cameos, I was pleasantly surprised!
A very well job done for director Kathryn Bigelow.