sold a twitter story to "tweet the meat"

Twitter is giving rise to all kinds of creative applications, including a few ‘zines. Along with PicFic and escarp, there’s the horror focused ‘zine Tweet The Meat, which states: “No serials. No unfinished stories. You must scare us in 140 characters or less. Are you up to the challenge?”

Each week the theme is different… you’ll have to follow them on Twitter at: @tweetthemeat to get the weekly theme.

I submitted to this week’s theme: “HOT”. I sent three submissions. Only one was accepted. Tweet The Meat gets first online rights. After that I’ll be able to post it here for you non-tweets to see.

But here are the two that weren’t accepted:

He awoke to stifling heat. Couldn’t turn. Tried to sit but found the ceiling in front of his face. The furnace’s roar drowned his screams.

The grille sizzled under her wicked palms as she wept at the red crib sheet, but her hands still screamed mercilessly for baby back ribs.

I like the second of those better. 140 characters ain’t much room, but it forces your creativity. They definitely chose the best of the three though. Start following @tweetthemeat on Twitter right now to see it within the next week. Or check back here later.

Tweet The Meat is a paying ‘zine — one dollar per accepted submission. So technically, this is a sale for me. But a buck, sent to me through PayPal, after PayPal takes their cut, ain’t much. I asked Tweet The Meat to donate my dollar to a cancer, environmental or animal rights organization.

Cuz that’s just the kind of guy I am.

how do you get an agent?

This is a great read, particularly as I’m just undertaking this next step myself (trying to find an agent or manager).

Part of the question I’m struggling with is whether it’s better at this point in my (nascent) career to go for agency or management… I haven’t quite decided on that yet.

But nevertheless, good essays on either process are always helpful.

This one, by Daniel Petrie, Jr. (BEVERLY HILLS COP, THE BIG EASY, SHOOT TO KILL, TURNER & HOOCH, TOY SOLDIERS, and IN THE ARMY NOW) includes not only his insights but those of a panel of agents from CAA, ICM, UTA and others. And in general, the consensus is that the old “query letter and SASE” path just isn’t what works anymore.

Let me assert that in twenty years of paid, professional experience in the motion picture industry (true, I include my summer as a movie theater usher to reach that figure) I have never heard the terms ‘query letter’ or ‘SASE’ used by another paid professional.

I’m not saying letters like that never work. Just that they almost never work. But wait — even if the odds are a million to one against, am I saying you shouldn’t even try? Yes. I am saying that. There is a better way. It’s more difficult, but better.

Check it out. It should both empower and intimidate you. But then, challenge is the father of all perseverance, yes?

on strong women characters

strong_womanGiven the positive response to the female characters in Faeries, I’ve been giving some thought to the issue of writing strong women characters. As a man, I’m often told that it’s not possible for me to do so.

It is true that Lacey, the young girl in Rocket Summer, is probably the least complex character in the script (and that has been pointed out by some readers). But it’s also true that she is the glue for that group of dysfunctional friends… a caretaker, a realist, and a “person of interest” for a pair of boys with very fucked up home lives, one of whom lost his mother at a young age.

Unfortunately, to some, that makes her “stereotypical”… a character whose only job it is to fulfill the traditional “female” roles of mother, lover, nurturer. Me, I take exception to the word “only”. It’s important stuff. And she’s conflicted about it in the process, and seems to be setting aside some of her own desires to take on that role. For me, that’s a strong, flawed, and thus interesting female character.

Some people are never satisfied. Continue reading on strong women characters

pocahauntus

A few years ago I ended up talking with Veronica Craven about her upcoming slate of horror films. We chatted about me writing a zombie flick for her but that project didn’t come together (at least not with me).

pocahauntus-facepocahauntus-wardrobefullShe did, however, have a project going into production called “Pocahauntus” — a cheezy B horror flick shot on a dime. It aimed for fun straight-to-DVD fare and as far as I know it hit it. And come on, “Pocahauntus“? Somebody had to make a film called “Pocahauntus“.

I ended up doing a few character dev sketches for the film. Never saw it. But it’s on NetFlix. And here’s a few clips from YouTube.

grampa: prodco request

grampa was a superhero movie posterYup, it’s true.

We’ve already got one script being considered by a reputable production company. Now we”ve got two irons in the fire.

Grampa Was A Superhero is being looked at by a production company in the Midwest… East… Southeast… Hell, I don’t know. Where’s Tennessee?

Anyway, the producer has a string of recognizable titles with a string of recognizable talents and a string of partnerships with a bushel of recognizable networks and… well, you get the idea.

Interestingly, this inquiry came to us mere hours after tweaking the logline and synopsis ever so slightly on InkTip. Correlation is not causation, but it makes one wonder. Hmmm. (That’s me, wondering.)

All the same caveats apply here as they do for the Faeries connection. No chicken counting prior to hatching. Likely as not nothing comes of it. But it’s the momentum that counts… nothing makes you more confident than knowing someone thought enough of your logline or synopsis to say “Sure, I’ll read that.”

Well, maybe a check.

But other than that, nothing.

I’m highly confident that one day soon we’ll look back at our naive excitement here and think “Ah, yes, those were the days, when a mere considerate nod from a mid-size prodco would make us swoon!”

But until then, I’ll take my jollies where I can, and savor the slightest attention.

Everyone who cares at all about us, cross your fingers. And tell a friend.

And join us on Facebook! Faeries page, Grampa page, Rocket Summer page.

enigma – low budget indie sci fi

EnigmaPoster

FOLLOW UP: I’ve seen the movie. Here’s my review.

Stumbled across this series of clips today from the low budget sci-fi actioner “Enigma” from The Shumway Brothers* and Frontier Studios. Continue reading enigma – low budget indie sci fi

ucla film video interview series on youtube

Very cool series of vids on YouTube from UCLA’s film school. Interviews with producers, directors, agents on how to pitch, what you get out of film school, and more… all good stuff, and always great to get it form the horse’s mouth.

Here’s their YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

yard sale – short film, one shot

I was directed to this film by somebody on IndieClub. I believe it’s the result of one of those 24 or 48 hour film challenges.

Now it’s not long on story (it’s essentially dependent on a twisty), but it is long on good performance, production value and creativity. NOTE that the whole film is one continuous shot. Given how shitty so most indie films are, how shitty most shorts are, and how shitty most “film challenge” films are, I thought this was well worth sharing.

Color me impressed.

Here’s a better rez version on 48.tv.

robo geisha

Just thought this was awesome(ly hilarious).

Tarantino, eat yer heart out. This is what you wanted Kill Bill to be!

  • Not quite certain why the buildings bleed.
  • Does the machine girl have a dildo on her nose?
  • Interesting to see that the word “transform” hasn’t been trademarked by Michael Bay.
  • Also interesting that boob guns haven’t been trademarked by Mike Myers.
  • Chainsaw face and machine girl reveal by the folks who brought you Total Recall.

Oh! And here’s the website! Not much there though…

Faeries: prodco request

faeries-posterA minor new development in the ongoing story of our feature horror script “Faeries“.

Thanks to a lead from InkTip, the logline and synopsis were submitted to a Canadian production company with some solid success in the creature feature genre. They’ve asked to read the script, which in our book is a success. Obviously no decision has been made (we’ll post when we have a reply) but here’s why it’s already a success:

Previously on InkTip, we had posted our other feature script “Grampa Was A Superhero“. The script has been available through the site for nearly a year, and the logline has been reviewed over a hundred times. More than 10 percent of those viewers have clicked on through to the synopsis (a conversion rate we sense is good, but plan on talking with InkTip to learn more). Of those, one prodco (Ice Cube’s “Cube Vision Productions” of Are We There Yet fame) has viewed the entire script but apparently chosen to pass. So it’s still available, if you’re looking for a fun family comedy road movie (Home Alone meets Wild Hogs).

Similarly, Rocket Summer has had some success, being optioned for a total of two years (it’s now available again if anybody needs a great coming-of-age story in the vein of Stand By Me, October Sky and Breaking Away). But its conversion rate on InkTip was poor.

We see the request for Faeries as a success not because we expect a sale or option to come out of it (that would be great though – written in 125 hours, optioned within a month of completion… great ROI) but because it shows that this logline and synopsis are working for us better than those for the other scripts. Sure, it could mean a lot of other things too, like Faeries is simply a more commercial, genre specific project (true) with a simpler hook and more straightforward storyline (also true). But we’re definitely motivated to refine the synopses and loglines for the other scripts in short order, as we’re learning more and more every day.