Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Final Decision!!!

I'm still not easy calling myself a writer!!! I have one, not very impressive credit on IMDB and a couple of scripts floating around like that famous plastic bag on American Beauty but I haven't seen that bag in any other movies lately have you?!!
I'm not a confident person about me, but throughout the writing process it is imperative that other people read your words. The only catch is getting someone to read that fills 2 important boxes.

1. They know what they're talking about!!!

2. The are willing to be brutal and honest!!!
I have my esteemed brother from Stinkbrown and he's a Gonzo Journalist for The Weekly Crisis to bounce ideas off and so far I have received invaluable feedback and he definitely knows what he is talking about! Being close brothers we have similar ideas and in my humble opinion we work well together. We have collaborated on one short script and managed to sell it to a producer who will hopefully start pre-production in the next few months. However he is a very busy writer with his finger in a lot of pies (He is a newly wed!!!! (.Y.)) I am trying not to draw that well dry so I need feedback and so forth from other avenues.

I met a young lady at my younger brother's wedding (he keeps paying out!) late last year who is an accomplished writer/producer/director and was lucky enough to have a bit of a chat and have since exchanged emails and ideas on each others work.

So I did the pushy writer thing and sent all my unsolicited scripts for feedback!!! No expectations but man did she pay off!!!!

The funny thing is I happened to be checking my emails yesterday and noticed there were 9 emails in my spam account so I entered with the intention of clicking on the helpful "Delete All" key but noticed one of the subject headings was 'Short and Feature Scripts'. This email bounty was sitting in my SPAM for exactly 1 month!!!

So after reading and rereading I sent Claire a thank you email and went to work on changing or not, parts of different scripts based on honest/knowledgeable comments/suggestions/opinions made by Claire.

Last night this made me think how helpful some people in the industry can be!! And more to the point how to surround yourself with these people!!

Another issue I faced during the process of reading the ideas was; what do I do if I disagree with an opinion/comment? Well that's easy. If you believe the character/dialogue/scene whatever deserves to be there keep it. But also think about how the story would change without it. If it's a cool scene/character that doesn't further the story then bin it!

NOW I have 2 short scripts that I am happy with, what is the next step? I've been told to shmooze with industry people at Film Fests etc but in Charters Towers it's all booze and no shmooze!!! So I guess I'll go back to what has worked the last 2 times. Cold Call, keep emailing producers and hope that if I get one to actually read the script we can work from there!!!

Anyone interested in reading unsolicited scripts (short and feature) can email me at

Speaking of Film Festivals, The Pessimist is screening at Byron Bay Film Festival on the 12th of March but still not sure what it is nominated for apart from Best Short. So fingers crossed!!

It's also my fathers 64th birthday today, so happy birthday DAD!!!! So here's a pic of your 3rd grandson Benjamin!!!

Until then hail to my decision!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top Ten - The Ones

Well here it is, the top ones of my top tens. Let’s get straight into it!!

Top Ten – The Ones


The Big LebowskiWe cut of your Johnson Lebowski

After many sleepless nights, soul searching and some common sense ‘Lebowski” was my obvious choice for favourite movie of all-time!!! Firstly it isn’t a new movie that has struck my fancy, it is older than my year 6 students and still continues to tickle my funny bones.

It is also apt that a “Coen Brother’s” movie is my #1. They are by far and away my favourite movie makers and I have never been disappointed.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, add this blog to your fav’s, go buy it (don’t rent as this will be a waste of money when you’ll be buying it anyway!!) then return!! This is NOT a movie review but merely a proclamation of my favourite movie of all-time.

Jeff Bridges is one of the all-time great actors of any generation and this is one of best roles. On face value he is a stoner who likes bowling and white Russians (the drink NOT the mail order kind!). But he is so much more and is surrounded by some of celluloid’s greatest characters/character actors. John Goodman is sublime as the damaged returned war vet (see Deerhunter) Walter and Steve Buscemi as his milquetoast whipping boy Donny “Shut the fu$% up”. Sprinkle in a Chili Pepper, some crazy dream/drunk sequences and a witty as hell script and you got yourself a number 1. I have recommend this to several of the uninitiated and ALL have this movie firmly in their top ten if not their number 1. Even after repeat (dozens) viewings I still find hidden gems in the dialogue, mannerisms or plot. This is NOT just a comedy but a very clever script.


Stephen King

I knew a Stephen King book was going to be #1 but picking out the stand out has been harder than I imagined. I originally choose The Shining then The Stand and eventually stuck with It. I remember reading this in my formative (teenage) years and being impressed by the epic scale and ability to really create such diverse relatable characters. People hear Stephen King and automatically think horror. But I have been defending him and his writing for a long time and the obvious comments like Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and Misery come to mind (mainly because they were so well adapted for the screen). But even with his obvious horror novels, character is always key and something many writers could do well remembering.

The book is so much better than the telemovie and is a must read for any bookworm.


Under The BridgeRed Hot Chili Peppers

Anyone who knows me could have guessed the Peppers would make the number 1 slot but picking one out of such an impressive catalogue of hits and great songs wasn’t so obvious. Well or so it seemed!!! Some of the front runners were, in no particular order; Wet Sand, Give it away, Californication, Can’t Stop, Dani California, Venice Queen, Suck My Kiss, The Greeting Song, Hard to Concentrate, Don’t Forget Me, Snow and Breaking the Girl. Yes there are many other popular and fantastic songs which is why this was so hard.

But I kept coming back to the song that started it all back in early high school. Sometimes I have a bad habit of not liking something as much as I should because it’s too popular but "Under the Bridge" is so popular because it is so good!!! And every great song has a great story and the fact that Under the Bridge was a tack on, throw it in track makes me like it even more. It had to work to be even included on the now famous “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” album. Kiedis wrote the remarkable, haunting lyrics but couldn't find the melody (earlier it was much quicker). So Frusciante (another genius of his kind) asked if he could play a slower riff and the rest is history.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner

Sometimes I feel like my only friend

Is the city I live in, the city of angels

Lonely as I am, together we cry

I drive on her streets 'cause she's my companion

I walk through her hills cause she knows who I am

She sees my good deeds and she kisses the winded

I never worried, now that is a lie

I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day

Take me to the place I love, take me all the way
I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day

Take me to the place I love, take me all the way

It's hard to believe that there's nobody out there

It's hard to believe that I'm all alone

At least I have her love, the city she loves me

Lonely as I am, together we cry

I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love, take me all the way

I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day

Take me to the place I love, take me all the way

Under the bridge downtown

Is where I drew some blood

Under the bridge downtown

I could not get enough

Under the bridge downtown

Forgot about my love

Under the bridge downtown

I gave my life away

T.V Series

Seinfeld"What do you think Junior? You think these hands - they've been soaking in Ivory Liquid?"

This was always going to be #1 and after spending the summer watching re-runs it will always be number 1. Proof would be in how hard it is to pick one quote to showcase.

To be able to stay at the top of their game for 9 seasons and how no dud episodes is a testimony to the brilliance of the show. My favourite character in high school was Kramer but it is by and far George Lewis Costanza. Not only have I been likened to him but he gets the best lines and delivers angst to show up a red headed emo kid.

I love this show and if I had to spend eternity on an island, I would be content with 9 of the best!!!!

I hope this has been a didactic and entertaining blog and if only one person can experience one of the above mentioned #1's then my job is done!

Until then hail to the Dude!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's been awhile!!!!

I promise the next installment will be the Number 1's!!!

Well what have I been up to?

I spent the summer (Australian) in Brisbane hangin with wifey and Ben!!!!! I pretty good 6 weeks off I must admit!!

6 weeks??? Yes being a teacher has its perks!!! (Rich not being one of them!)

I did manage to read 2 books and a large chunk of another.

Book 1: Clan of the Alphane Moon by Philip Kindred Dick

I really appreciated the humour of this book!!!! Reminded me of Catch 22

Book 2: Amsterdam - Ian McEwan

Some pretty very insightful stuff although a little didactic at times!!!

Book 3 (chunk): Under the Dome by Stephen King

Currently about 620 pages in with 250 to go!!!

I am really enjoying the unpredictable but a little worried it is going to be some weird alien ending that doesn't match the humanised story.

Back at school teaching year 6 and having one of the better years teaching I can remember.

Most importantly having the absolute best home life with a wonderful wife and the most amazing little dude/son I could ever have hoped for!!

I also managed to write 2 short scripts and start a feature. I'll more indepth about them later!
Until then hail to the summer!