Saturday, January 31, 2015

TAINTED - First Draft Postmortem

I said in my Day #14 update that I felt the next day would be a big one. I thought I'd come very close to finishing the draft. I didn't think that I'd ACTUALLY KNOCK IT OFF. Crazy, I went from being behind and wondering if I'd finish it by my self-imposed deadline to wrapping things up a day early. Of course it helped that the script came in shorter than expected: the first draft clocks in at a tight, lean 99 pages. If I was concerned about it being short, there are a couple more scenes I took out that I could add back in, but I don't think they add much to the story and, therefore, are superfluous. In any event, I'm happy with how it came out. I honestly can't remember the last time I placed "FADE OUT." on a feature-length draft of anything; I forgot just how amazing it feels.

The plan is to put the draft aside for a couple weeks before returning to it for rewrites. I need to get some distance from it; regain some perspective. I'll let Shaundra read it, and maybe a couple others who I trust will give me an honest opinion and usable feedback. In the meantime, I'll try to take a couple days off (probably unsuccessfully; I can't see to turn it off right now and feel guilty sitting around doing nothing) before diving into development of my next script - a zombie action/comedy called TEXAS BACKWATER.

TAINTED - Day #15


Friday, January 30, 2015

TAINTED - Day #14

Tacked on 5 1/2 pages today, bringing me to page 84. Nowhere near as stellar as yesterday, yet awesome nonetheless. Why? BECAUSE I SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE MF'N TUNNEL! I got through the last kill scene (came up with a sick capper for it - at least I think it's sick right now) and now it's right into the third act. I could've gotten more done, but I started later than I wanted to and hit a wall where my focus was just plain shot.

It's all good. I still stand a great shot at finishing this thing by Sunday. My schedule, as designed would yield a 112-page script, but I don't think it's going to be that long. We'll see, but for the next project, I think I might go with a 5 page-per-day goal over 22 days - more if I decide to take weekends off. Not sure yet; it's all a work in progress. As long as I keep pushing forward, that's what counts. But for now it's off to bed. Call me crazy, but I feel a big day coming tomorrow...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

TAINTED - Day #13

The empire strikes back! Had a huge day on TAINTED, to the tune of 12 pages! I'm technically still behind schedule (on page 79 when it should be 91), but if I can match this output for the next three days, admittedly a big if, I should be able to hit deadline after all. To make things better, I'm in the middle of my last big kill scene (the climax is pretty much laid out from a previous version; I'll just need to conform it to the current direction), so it should be relatively smooth sailing from here on out. I could really use it.

But still, how awesome would it be to knock out an entire screenplay in the last half of the first month of 2015? Talk about a great start to the new year - and, hopefully, a harbinger of things to come.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TAINTED - Day #12

Progress was made - four pages - but nowhere near where I'd planned for it to be. With the huge snowstorm that hit the Northeast causing my day job's clients to be out of the office, I was looking forward to a "free day" to really crank it up and make up some lost ground (I work from home). But apparently, management had other ideas and cooked up some busy work for me (I REALLY hate busy work; if it's slow, it's slow. Might as well enjoy it, because when it picks up...). 

As a result, I wasn't able to write until this evening, where it obviously didn't go as fast as I would have liked. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, and I'm settling into the distinct likelihood I won't have this draft finished by Feb.1. Doesn't mean I won't still try, though. Besides, typing FADE OUT. is the ultimate victory anyhow - not how quickly you do it. And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. Good night, all.

Monday, January 26, 2015

TAINTED - Day #11

I'm definitely in the "Bad Guys Close In" section of working on TAINTED.

THE BAD NEWS: I only managed to add two pages to my tally. Two. And I had PLENTY of time to work on the script. I did, though, manage to delete at least two pages of extra fluff, so, given that I'm mostly reworking existing material, I actually didn't add anything at all. I'm probably at a minus in terms of net pages.

THE GOOD NEWS: I'm done with that MF'in scene and don't have to see it again until the next pass! This is a slasher script, and this one kill scene was a BEAST to rework. I think I have it, but again, I'll know more when I see it again. Tomorrow's work includes a few lengthy dialogue scenes that are largely pre-written via index cards and notes, so I'm hoping to make up a little ground. Today, I should've wrapped on page 77; I'm stopping on 62. Not horrible, but tomorrow calls for me to reach page 84 to be on schedule. Needless to say I have my work cut out for me. Oh well. Onward and upward...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

TAINTED - Day #10

Another day in the hole; only touched the script long enough to tidy up a line of action and make a note to give me a jump-off point for tomorrow; I'll be starting on page 60, and needing to get through 77 to get back on schedule. Tall order indeed, but I don't have to recoup all my losses at once. If I chip away at it over a few days, I can still complete this draft by my self-imposed deadline of Sunday. Am I worried? Not really. I love a good challenge...

TAINTED - Day #9

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Didn't make my goal on TAINTED today. In fact, I fell off so hard that my two-page lead is gone. My original schedule called for me to be complete through page 63 today; if I had stayed on my current trajectory, I would have wound up with 66 1/8 pages finished. As is stands, I'm conceding the day with 60 pages complete. I'm not even disappointed; I thought about taking the day off completely, so the fact that I got anything done is a win. But yes, I'm officially behind schedule now, and tomorrow's not looking good either (Royal Rumble's going to take up a few hours in the evening). Guess I'll just see how the day goes after getting a good night's sleep, and hope I can pick up the slack in the coming week. Night, all.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

TAINTED - Day #8

Took a helluva lot longer than I wanted it to (and probably should have), but I FINALLY hit my page goal. I knew things would slow down a bit, since I had to work on a couple scenes that called for brand new material (mostly what I've done so far is re-purpose material from an older draft to fit the new direction of the story), but that, combined with the fact that it involved a crucial bit of character development for my lead that I felt I needed to get just right (still not sure if I did or not, but that's what rewrites are for), made for a VERY sluggish last few pages. But I dragged my mental carcass across the finish line, and that's what counts. Time to recharge, then it's on to the next.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

TAINTED - Day #7

Another early update means another GREAT DAY; I've hit my goal for the seventh straight, which is tantamount to an offensive explosion on my end. Seriously, I haven't been this consistently productive since probably 2001 (yes; been writing a while). I'm pretty freakin' stoked. And with me hitting goal this early, best believe I'll be wanting to come back later today to bang out a few more (still need to work on that DVR, though). But hey, even if I don't, I'm still ahead of schedule. Now you know -- and knowing is half the battle. Have a great rest of the day, folks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TAINTED - Day #6

An early update. Must mean something good. And you would be right...

I've already hit my 7 pages for the day! Whoo hoo! With that out of the way, the plan is to hit the gym, take the rest of the night off, and catch up on my WWE (Royal Rumble is this weekend). But who knows? If the feeling jumps on me, I might find myself back in front to keyboard, seeing how far I can extend my lead. On to the next! Have a great evening, friends.

TAINTED - Day #5

Got it in, got it done. Met my daily goal on TAINTED, and I'm still two pages ahead of schedule. Had a MAJOR SCARE right before I was done (Movie Magic crapped out on me and my changes, to a certain point, were lost - thank goodness for automatic backups!), but all is good and I'm going to bed happy, ready to get after it again tomorrow. Good night, all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

TAINTED - Day #4

Started extremely late, but I stayed the course and got it done. Boom - another 7 pages completed. I'm actually ahead of the game; per my schedule, I should be on page 28. I'm sitting at 30. Feels good, and it's nice to see this thing come together. "Keep rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling..."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

TAINTED - Day #3

Hit my writing goal. 3 for 3. Booya!

TAINTED - Days #1 and #2

Hit my writing goal the past couple of days, looking to make it three in a row. Will I make it, with football conference championships being played? You'll have to stay tuned to find out.

My goal is fairly aggressive - 7 pages a day. It's been too long since I finished a project and I really need to light a fire under myself to "git 'er done." At this rate, if I stay on target, I should have a 112-page script in 16 days, or January 31. I've eaten breakfast, done my Facebooking, got my coffee my mug of coffee at my side and Pandora tuned to my "Heavy Metal" channel. In the immortal words of Al Bundy, "Let's rock..."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Just When I Thought I Was Out..."

If you 've read my blog at all, you know I change creative directions like most folks change underwear.

Most recently, amidst mounting frustration, I made the decision to step away from screenwriting/thinking about filmmaking entirely and focus on prose writing - more specifically, novels and comic books. I was feeling quite liberated at not having films on my mind (really, the desire to make films, but not shoulder the burden of trying to put a project together logistically), and was comfortably settling into the concept of being a lone wolf in a room, working on a project that, once I was completed, was done. No crews. No not-being-able-to-find-a-location. No unprepared, undisciplined actors. It was going to be brilliant.

But then it happened.

I received a message through my Facebook account from an acquaintance wanting to see if I had a script in one of three genres. Turns out he has something in the works that could lead to films being made and they're looking for material. I told him that, though I had ideas for scripts in each genre, I didn't have anything ready to show. I went further, saying that I might be open to working on once of these ideas, since I figured his connection would be looking for material on an ongoing basis - to which he agreed.

Great. That's all I needed right now. Something to get me thinking about screenplays again, after I had so neatly - and finally - shut the door on that box for the moment. But it's an opportunity - one I'd feel stupid to let pass without at least taking a whack at. It's not everyday (read: ever) that someone in a producing capacity contacts me from the ether and expresses interest in looking at something I may have. Besides, I was honored to be asked, as I've been in the airspace of this gentleman on only one occasion. I mean, obviously we're connected on social media, but it's not the same thing. If someone shows me consideration in that manner, I'd feel like I was letting the person down if i didn't produce something.

So here I am, trying to talk myself out of working on once project while forcing myself to generate excitement about another. Easier said then done, of course. It's a battle of heart and head, what feels right and what I desire over what's practical. If only I weren't so wracked with self-doubt and fear of failure. If only I weren't so disgusted from my previous attempts with screenwriting and the lack of success that came with it. If only I had more faith in myself. I'm trying as hard as I can, but I was beat down and broken from my previous campaigns; I just can't seem to muster the desire to fight that battle again (writing a script, poring over making it as good as I can, kvetching about every minute detail - only for it to get rejected).

But there's a chance at something on the table. I have to try. Or else, this will get added to the growing list of things I'll likely regret down the line.

I just hope I can get out of my own fucking way.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Back in the Gym (Special Deluxe 2015 Version)

You know how it goes. A new year comes, and you vow to once again lose weight this year. I'm no different. Only thing is, this has been the plan for a while.

I quit going to the gym a few months ago to give myself more time to work on my projects (No, seriously. Why you laughing?). And while I could've been a helluva lot more productive, I'd be lying if I said I didn't make some progress. But even then, I knew once the new year kicked in, I would need to get back at it and make another push to get down to an ideal weight.

I clocked in this morning at a nice, even 250 lbs. Not as big as I have been (that would be around 278), but obviously not small enough, especially considering I had gotten down to around 234 a couple months ago. The plan was to hit the gym yesterday on the 1st, but, well, fuck it, I got lazy and the weather was dreary. But I made it in today and walked on the treadmill at 3.0 MPH for 45 minutes. It was a good start, and it felt great to be back.

The plan is to focus primarily on cardio for at least three months - gradually increasing the speed and incline, or resistance if/when I choose to do the elliptical. I really miss lifting weights, so that's going to get thrown in there at some point. Just enough to get it out of my system. Once I get down to a decent weight (not sure what that is, but I'd like to hit 200 or lower), I'll go more aggressive with the weights to put some muscle on. I really would love to have the hulking, "swole" look, but we'll just see where it goes.

So Day #1 is in the books. I won't be doing daily updates with this, but I'd like to drop in every now and then with a progress report - keep some kind of track of how I'm doing. I'll be working on a workout schedule and diet plan this weekend. And, of course, I need to make sure I get plenty of rest and water. The water part is easy. The rest?

Not so much.