New sci-fi novel released!

Exciting news!

The book I wrote last year has been released as part of a series.

Very proud to be one of the 15 international authors chosen to contribute to this IP.

International children's sci-fi collection

“…after nearly two years of preparation and creation … the authorship team of 15 internationally renowned writers was finally determined.” Continue reading New sci-fi novel released!

Number 1 New Release on Amazon!

My new book, 21 Things You Need To Know About Screenplay Options, is the #1 New Release on Amazon, and a Top 100 title in three categories overall!

This is a refinement and republication of the very popular blog posts I wrote up back in 2010, that have been cited or reprinted by Bluecat Screenplay Competition,  ScriptTips, and SimplyScripts.

I’ve done some rearranging, a little editing, and a general cleanup.

In a handy-dandy portable ebook version just for you.

Very exciting!

GET YOUR COPY

21 Things You Need To Know About Screenplay Options

William Gibson Interview – All Tomorrow’s Parties

William Gibson, Author
Portrait of author William Gibson taken on his 60th birthday; March 17, 2008. Photo: Gonzo Bonzo

A long time ago — in the 1990s (holy crap, 20 years ago!) — I was the co-host (with my very good pal Sean Meehan) of a radio show on KSCO/KOMY called “Brave New World: The Coliseum Of Cultural Evolution.”

We interviewed lots of cool and interesting people, like Peter Bart, editor of Variety, who talked with us about the trends in Hollywood film-making; WWF wrestler Mick Foley who had just released his first book; and William Gibson, who had just released the novel “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”

For all kinds of reasons, very few recordings or text of the show survive… but I’m stoked that we did capture the Gibson interview.

I’m still looking for the audio file, but in the meantime, here’s the transcript… enjoy!

Continue reading William Gibson Interview – All Tomorrow’s Parties

Thunder Road – Jim Cummings

thunder road short film jim cummings

Every now and then you run across a piece of filmmaking that inspires, and stuns, and leaves you saying “holy crap.”

Continue reading Thunder Road – Jim Cummings

R.I.P. Jerry Pournelle – And the infamous Ringworld and Squich Stories

Jerry Pournelle

Image: Roland Dobbins, Flickr

Wow. Jerry Pournelle passed away.

What a character… I’ve got a few Jerry stories from back in the day…

I’ve already shared the Jerry/Ringworld story that his sometime writing partner Larry Niven shared with me about a million years ago, over here Continue reading R.I.P. Jerry Pournelle – And the infamous Ringworld and Squich Stories

No-budget visual tricks for indie filmmakers

budget film shooting - https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/5xf809/location_vs_picture/

Image: Reddit

Indie filmmaker? Limited resources?

Don’t forget that what’s outside the frame doesn’t matter. Particularly with tightly framed shots, and shallow depth of field.

Being an art director for no-budget shoots, I’ve had to get creative with zero money, and with zero time, more times that I like to remember. But there’s nothing like solving a problem, and seeing the result on the screen… knowing just what kind of shoestring magic is happening outside the frame.

This set of images might just inspire you to get a little creative with your framing and your atmosphere… they’re for still photographers, but no reason you can’t steal the ideas for your movie.

See Them All

Movie Loglines: 5 Steps To Plot-driven Storytelling for Screenwriters and Marketers

screenplays

Why Filmmakers and Marketers Both Need To Study Loglines

Continue reading Movie Loglines: 5 Steps To Plot-driven Storytelling for Screenwriters and Marketers

Are Your Characters As Complicated As You Are? The Brilliant Existential Dialog of Rick And Morty

rick and morty

All right, so… much as I was late to the amazing “BoJack Horseman,” I’m a little late to the Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty.”

While it’s a bit more absurdist rimshot theater than Bojack, it’s a smart and interesting show that traffics in some fun scifi tropes with a wink and a nod, while occasionally dipping into some pretty deep and thoughtful dialog, plumbing a variety of philosophical themes, largely existentialism.

First, a recap:

Continue reading Are Your Characters As Complicated As You Are? The Brilliant Existential Dialog of Rick And Morty

Screenplay Polish Goes Wildly Right

screenplay editing and polish

I don’t generally dedicate a whole post to a single testimonial. But this project has been special.

I love rewriting as much (more?) than I love writing… working off someone’s existing story, troubleshooting and refining and improving, that’s just so satisfying for me.

This latest project turned out especially great, and the writer was so kind and generous with his feedback that I just had to share.

Continue reading Screenplay Polish Goes Wildly Right

Kong: Skull Island – How A Professional Translator Brought The Novelization To Japan

Kong Skull Island Japanese Novelization - Translated by Maniwa Arisawa

Translators work hard to protect the cinematic vision of the director, and the Literary vision of the author, when bringing film-based novels to international audiences.

Like anyone who loves giant monkeys and scary dinosaurs peppered with humor and buttloads of action, I’m super excited about the upcoming Kong: Skull Island release tomorrow (March 10 2017.) In fact, I’ve been telling everyone I can that the last trailer released for this film (below) is possibly one of the best edited and sound designed trailers EVAR.

Continue reading Kong: Skull Island – How A Professional Translator Brought The Novelization To Japan