Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taking the next step!?

After reading another riveting installment/blog from the eponymous StinkBrown it got me thinking.

It skirted around the importance of knowing your limitations and then pounced on the importance of how to bend those limitations to your will.

Now I certainly know my limitations and I'm well aware there are some whoppers!!! By day I am a mild mannered (depending on the class!!) teacher who goes home to his beautiful wife and amazing son. So truthfully life couldn't really get much better than that. Sure we could all use more cash but even the rich dudes need more and then pi$$ it up at the casino Kerry Packer style.

However I do have some ambitions and as is well versed writing of the film script variety is one of them!! I don't want to harp on about it but I was fortunate enough to have an idea of my made in an award winner short film The Pessimist. This was a boost to the confidence of a poorly teacher but it has just spurred me on to succeed at a higher level. Where am I going this well hang on and you will see.....

I have completed a fully drafted feature length script that I stand behind and say "I would go to the cinemas to see that!!" The only question is? What next? I have it at a point where I need an outside eye to appraise it and tell me where the deficiencies are and I'll try to craft it a little more.

Earlier this year my brother and I wrote a short script titled "Soap". We bounced it back and forth a few times and hit a road where we needed an outside eye to guide us. We were lucky enough to have two producers look at it for a few weeks but other jobs came up and we were happy to have any help. Then a month later we teamed up with a director/producer partnership working under the Thunderstorm Productions blanket. After selling the rights to them we back and forth ed several times with Matt Pearson and in my humble opinion crafted a well metered story about a man who suffers from OCD. I personally found this collaboration invigorating and appreciated having a talented eye work with my words.

So.... back on track I am wondering what step is needed next for my feature. I am at a point where I NEED a talented eye to guide me in the right direction and ultimately towards production. Unfortunately the Aussie film industry is nigh on impossible to move onto that next step. So I'll keep toiling away but I'm well aware that this might just be a pipe dream and leave the real writing to Stinko!!

Until then hail to my limitations!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top Ten - The Twos

It's been a long time!! So long I've had to rearrange a whole section.

Here are MY top TWOS!

Top Ten - The Twos


The Empire Strikes Back
I know!

I was a huge Star Wars fan as a kid. I have fond memories of shopping with my Nan and her buying me a star wars figurine every week. I had a relatively impressive collection and around the time of the digital remasters circa 1994ish I wondered where my old star wars figures were and my now ex-step-father arrogantly let me know he chucked them out a year or so before as I wasn’t using them. That is a story for later use in the yet undeveloped ‘Hedwig’ site.

Back in the golden age of VHS we had about a rotation of 20 and the original trilogy were a mainstay on 2-3 cassettes. I still remember being a shocked wide eyed kid looking at my older brother and asking if Vader was tricking or was he really Luke’s father (spoiler alert!!) The for the ‘father’ to then cut off his sons hand is hardcore. There were themes running through this the 5th episode that went over my head then and have resonated for the older a little less wide eyed James now. Han Solo being the epitome of cool was not one of them. With all the cool characters who possessed knowledge and power of the force my favourite was the scoundrel space-pirate who made vests and walking hairball companions cool.

The Set pieces are another draw card. (I’ll try to put these in order of preference rather than chronological) The Dagobah system. Yoda’s crib is important to the progression of the story but it’s more like Bangladesh (during their wet season obviously) than a cool planet. Bespin (Cloud City)- There’s a lot to like about Bespin, it’s the place Han is frozen in carbonite and utters the iconic “I know” in response to Leia’s declaration. It’s also where Vader’s equally important declaration to Luke. I pretty cool light saber duel and a severed off hand. Asteroid field – The Millennium Falcon shows of her (female pronoun for ships and planes?) wares and lands inside a space worm.

I’ve left the best till last. Planet Hoth – This opening set piece really held my imagination. Firstly the tauntauns. They weren’t that awesome but Han slicing ones guts open and sticking Luke in truly tickled my fancy. There are a few different types stormtroopers and the snow ones are my favourites. I enjoyed them on the screen and I really liked them as figurines in my bed under a white doona reenacting. Then hold it there’s more!!!! AT-AT’s These huge walking behemoths tearing the place up. And just to add a spice to it, it has Han being followed around my Leia who I knew didn’t want him to leave.

Finally, I also dug and still dig the fact it ended on a downer. Even as a kid I knew that was different and a part of me enjoys the fact that it didn’t end up all rosy tied up in a fancy ribbon.


Scar Tissue
Anthony Kiedis

I like me a good autobiography and it’s usually movie stars/directors or sporting dudes. But I found this biography of the auto kind to be the most insightful and entertaining. Anthony opens up his life warts and all and doesn’t gloss over the not so bright parts. In fact he tends to dwell on the rough patches and wears these patches with pride of where he has come from and why he is there. It doesn’t hurt that Kiedis is my all-time favourite Band (Seen them live twice) and a lot of the book looks at the escapades of the quartet (including Hillel and the drummers before Chad Smith. If you like yourself an autobiography get this a go, even if the RHCP aren’t your thing!


Miss Misery
Elliott Smith

I liked this song from the first time I heard it. During the credits of ‘Good Will Hunting’ as Matt Damon ‘badly’ drives down a road to his Skylar. It’s no secret I loved the movie and this version of this song was a killer way to cap it off. I have since become more of an aficionado in Elliott’s music and currently have 84 of his songs in my iTunes bank. I love the tone of the song, the lyrics of the song and the over mood of the song.

I'll fake it through the day
with some help from Johnny Walker red
Send the poisoned rain down the drain
to put bad thoughts in my head
Two tickets torn in half
and a lot of nothing to do
Do you miss me--
Miss Misery--
like you say you do?
A man in the park
read the lines in my hand
told me I'm strong,
hardly ever wrong
I said man you mean
You had plans for both of us
that involved a trip out of town
to a place I've seen in a magazine
that you left lying around
I don't have you with me
but I keep a good attitude
Do you miss me--
Miss Misery--
like you say you do?
I know you'd rather see me gone
than to see me the way that I am
but I am in your life, anyway
Next door TVs flashing
blueframes on the wall
It's a comedy of errors,
you see; it's about taking a fall
to vanish into oblivion
it's easy to do
and I try to be
but you know me
I come back when you want me to
Do you miss me--
Miss Misery--
like you say you do?

T.V Series

Weeds / Arrested Development

The problem with taking so long to lock down a top ten is you find new gems or old ones lose their luster. I would like to make an adjustment with acknowledgement that it will probably change by the end of the year.

I would officially like to move Two guys a girl and pizza place into joint tenth place with the Twilight Zone ( I’m aware it’s a cop out bad luck it’s my top ten!) Ned and Stacey into 9th, My name is Earl into 8th, My wife and kids into 7th, Scrubs into 6th, Weeds into 5th, Entourage stays at 4th, The Office (US version) stays in 3rd and Arrested Development leap frogs into 2nd and 1st place is??? You’ll have to wait!

Okay for the reasons. The Scrubs move is basically because it has lost a little of its luster. Sorry but on a Sunday when I’m choosing a series to have on while I plan/mark slack off Scrubs has taken a real back seat. I originally had it in 2nd before I had ‘found’ Weeds, Entourage and Arrested Dev. 2 guys shares 10th with Twilight because I didn’t want to bump off either. Weeds is one that might lose it’s luster but I found it 4 days before Benjamin was born and really dug the writing and acting. Very different from the homogenized TV. shows I’ve been watching. Arrested Development leap frogs based on my 2nd viewing of the entire series. It is so bloody clever it deserves 2nd and will be a hard one to knock off!!!

Hope that clears things up!

Until then hail to the force!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The first thing people ask when you have a baby is who does he look like?

Who's eyes/nose/smile does he have. I have just been emailed a picture of me to be used on graduation night for my students and I thought that there were some features that may resemble me.

I know this doesn't mean he is going to grow up looking like me (for his sake I hope not!!) and personally I care either way. Sure I hope Ben inherits some of my better qualities but Annaliese has many more and I guess he would be better off getting those. I apparently looked a lot like my father when I was teenager but not really at all. Whereas my younger brother now looks a hell of lot like him now so I'm aware we change over time and I'm really looking forward to witness what changes occur in Benjamin.

Well the first pic is Benjamin and I'm obviously the second pic. So let me know what feature/s you think Ben and I shared at a young age!!

Until then hail to the chromosome!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Finish this sentence!

Again this is lifted from Stinkbrown!

1) My mother once: drove by herself from the Gold Coast to Townsville in 16 hours.
2) Never in my life: have I visited a prostitute. Sure I’m ugly and bad with women but I’ve never been that hard up.
3) When I was five: I was living in Sydney with my older brother and younger brother growing in my mother’s uterus.
4) High school was a: horrible time for me. I was very awkward around girls, hated most people and had to spend 5 out every 7 nights breaking –up, listening to or participating in drunken fights because my step-father at the time had his own issues to work through. I had one special friend who was a groomsman at my wedding and we still keep in touch although not as much as I like.
5) I will never forget: sitting next to my wife while two surgeons pulled and tugged my little Benjamin out of her. It’s meant to be a magical experience with tears of joy except I sat there trying to calm my wife while filling my pants with a stinkbrown of my own.
6) I once met: a girl at uni and although I was a third year had never come across before. We struck up a conversation that became daily conversation and now 7 years later we are the proud parents of a baby boy.
7) There’s this person I know who: would do anything for his family. Sometimes he even takes it too far and forgets to look after himself. I am self aware enough to know I will never as good a father/husband /friend as him but he is definitely someone I try to become more alike while almost always falling short.
Once, at a bar: I drank so much so quickly I was lost from my friends and was found at the end of the night lying in a ditch next to the taxi rank covered in mud. I eventually made it home by taxi with zero memory of the night.
9) By noon I’m usually: counting down the minutes to 3 o’clock so I can finish my day job as a teacher and go home and find out what my baby boy is up to.
10) Last night I: spent an hour pacing around my house with Ben in my arms crying. He was fed, clean and healthy but babies will be babies! By 11:15pm I pass Ben on so I could get some sleep so my day in the classroom the next day would be bearable. Which is sort of was.
11) If only I had: more money. They say money doesn’t buy you happiness but it can sure make life easier if you are retarded and still value the little things. I wouldn’t go out and buy a yacht or waste my money. I would pay off a house, pay off a nice car (not a $100k one but a sensible family one) and depending on how much I had I’d finance a short/feature movie. I have a script but I’m also smart enough to know it needs serious script editing and I wouldn’t put a cent to it until it was ready. I would also put a large portion away for Benjamin for when he is 25 (I had a little money inherited to me at 18 and I wasted it on a trip to America and going out) because having to wait until he is 25 will make him spend some time in the work force and appreciate how hard it is come by money and to use wisely. Having money would alleviate the stresses of impending bills and unexpected expenses so that life can be enjoyed.
12) Next time I go to church/temple: will probably be for the christening of my son just before Christmas.
13) Terri Schiavo: sounds like a mafia lady with a moustache
14) I like: it when things go to plan. Even the simple things. I appreciate it when I buy anything electric and take it home and it works first time. I don’t expect anything for free but when things don’t work/turn out like they should it really makes my blood boil.
15) When I turn my head left, I see: my teaching partner’s desk and the students desks in disarray.
16) When I turn my head right, I see: a whiteboard and computer speakers.
17) You know I’m lying when: I can’t make eye contact. I’ve never been told what my tell is, I’ll have to ask my wife.
18) In junior school: (does this mean primary school?) I had the best time until year 6 and then things changed for the worse. From 1988 til 2002 I was a very different person until met my future and since that day I have been slowly morphing back into the chipper cocky person I once was. Who knows maybe one day I slick my hair into an Elvis coiffe grab an ornament and rock out.
19) If I was a character written by Shakespeare: I’d be Prince Hamlet (the son not the father) because I feel empathy for the character and often feel like my life would be a drama. I’m also not that well versed in Shakespeare so am limited in choice!
20) By this time next year I: would love to have another short film produced. My brother and I have sold the rights for one we wrote together and the lads at Thunderstorm Productions have the intention of making it so fingers crossed. If not I have another couple ideas so lets see. Or even better one of my two feature length scripts optioned would be amazing, don’t care about the money!!!!
21) A better name for me would be: cynical or sarcastic. It’s reflected in my writing, my moods and my outlook on life.
22) I have a hard time understanding: why people have children when they have no intention in the raising of the child. The baby bonus is not that much!!!!
23) If I ever go back to school, I’ll: be studying film/script writing. I have no intention of doing this as I believe that I’ll either get better at doing it as hobby or go nowhere with it and just enjoy it for what it is!
24) You know I like you if: I ask you lots of questions. If I don’t like you I’ll listen to you but I probably won’t ask a question to perpetuate the conversation. I’ll also seek you out for a chat if I like you! If you’re reading this I’ve probably invited you to look so I like you. I doubt any random person off the street will bother reading this rant.
25) If I won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: my family. And that includes lots a people (I know it’s a cop out) from my brothers and mother, my wife and son and my in-laws. Overall I’d probably thank my wife for being responsible for me being who I am at the moment. The Pessimist has a won a few awards including Best Independent film but the producers win that award.
26) I hope that: I am able to successfully raise a son who is a good person.
27) Take my advice: when it comes to the AFL
28) My ideal breakfast is: Irish. Very much like an English breakfast with Bacon, sausage, hash browns, baked beans, toast, tomatoes and eggs but you are offered a Guinness with it.
29) A song I love but do not have is: Richard Cheeseman’s version of Get down with the sickness. Not if the title is exactly that or the artist but couldn’t be bothered googling it! Just a cool cruisey song from an awesome movie.
30) If you visit my home town, I suggest: you wear a bullet proof vest. It was rough when I grew up there but has apparently gotten worse.
31) Why won’t anyone: finance my scripts? It’s only money (;-) see 11)
32) If you spend the night at my house: it’s because I live in Charters Towers and you had to travel. At least we have a nice sofa bed!
33) I’d stop my wedding: too late as I’m into the 7th year.
34) The world could do without: kindness
35) I’d rather lick the belly of a roach than: than its ass.
36) My favourite thing is: spending quality time with my family.
37) Paper clips are more useful than: debt (stupid question stupid answer)
38) And by the way: is a catchy track on the eponymous album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
39) The last time I was (really) drunk: I was overly friendly with a friend’s dad when home and threw up!!
40) My grandmother always: lived near us when I was growing up! I have happy memories or spending the day with her and she’d feed me up good and buy me star wars figures. One day I called her ‘The Ivster’ (her name is Ivy) and it stuck.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The joys of fatherhood!

Annaliese and I have spent the 1st complete weekend, just us and Benjamin. At first it was a little daunting but when it comes down to it, all Ben needs to survive is mother's milk (from Annaliese not the awesome Chili Peppers album) and sleep. And maybe cuddles from dad!?!?

Friday afternoon is a little shaky with lots of crying and no sign of a solution. The feed came up and after that he slept like a baby (is that a simile?? sic) and mother and father were able to sleep peacefully through a DVD. He fed and slept throughout the night and was the perfect little champion Saturday morning spending 90 minutes in the pram without so much a murmur. He has his restless period during the afternoon (happy with that!) and slept from 7pm til midnight and woke up only once more during the night.

Sunday morning was spent dancing with daddy (he especially like Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley and Seven Spanish Angels, Willie Nelson) and taking in the world. The attached photo was taken during one of our tours of the kitchen to visit mummy!

It is fair to say life is about as good as it gets and although it's constant it is definitely worth it!!


I've also decided I need to really make an attempt at finishing my children's script!!!

Until then hail to the weekends!!!