Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. A few folks have been asking where I’d disappeared to, so I figured I’d catch everyone up.
In September of 2009 I took the first full-time job I’ve had since 2002. Well, that’s not entirely true… it’s the first full-time job working for someone else. See, back in 2002 I was working in the dot-com web development space, doing project and account management. Then everything went to hell (remember when web developers wore black turtlenecks and had cappuccino machines at their desks? Remember that? Yeah… good times… ) and I was unemployed. Prior to that I’d spent 17 years in the office products industry… ever seen “The Office”? I was Jim. I couldn’t bring myself to go back to that, so I sat on my couch for 7 months ruining a perfectly good credit score. Then, since no one would hire me, I decided to start my own web-development company – groupofpeople.com – with two other unemployed guys from my old job.
That worked out pretty well… we did a bunch of really good work for about 2 years, employed 12-16 contractors at any given time, and had a cool little office (no cappuccino machine though). I did all the business management, plus project management, usability audits and information architecture. Then my partners realized they didn’t want to be owners, they wanted to be employees – regular paychecks and no headaches, who could blame them – so they took off. I closed up the office and ran the company out of my house for a couple years, then closed it up completely to pay attention to my real passions… writing and art.
Where The Wild Things Are – a disappointing imbalance of dramatic and thematic intent.
I knew going in. I’d heard the reports, seen the reviews, and I knew.
“It’s awfully dark,” they’d say. “It’s not a kid’s movie.”
“But it’s a kid’s book,” I’d say. “It’s about a boy who imagines a land with friendly monsters. How can that not be for kids?”
But in my mind I thought maybe at least it would be an interesting adult take on a kid’s story. And it was a tossup between WTWTA and Jim Carrey’s new 3D Scrooge extravaganza from the people who brought you the robotic and unengaging Polar Express. So I opted for WTWTA.
Ah, but they were right. And I was wrong. And here’s why.
Although our screenplay “Faeries” didn’t win at Shriekfest, we still got to see the judge’s notes… those kind folks who put so much time into reading all those screenplays. We’re feeling pretty good about what they had to say… A…
Let’s get the news out of the way right off the bat: Faeries did not bring home an award in the screenplay competition. But the good news is, the grapevine tells us that we were a very close runner up, and an unofficial judge ‘s favorite for commercial appeal and shootability. Moreover, we walked away with two producers interested in reading the script, and one well-respected studio reader itching to rep it to a few prodcos. So we’re still chuggin’ along.
But we did make it to Hollywood for the Shriekfest Festival, and win or lose, what a gas! Founder and fest director Denise Gossett, her most excellent husband and a bevy of dedicated volunteers put on a really fun, intimate, quality fest on the grounds of Raleigh Studios. Denise is a certified Scream Queen in her own right whose next project, the horror comedy Crustacean, is already in post-production.
There are lots of sites and services that charge writers or filmmakers for the opportunity to “pitch” their projects. And there are just as many filmmakers and writers who decry the practice as an outright scam focused on simply taking…
Sure, superheroes are all over the silver screen. And that’s great for the comics publishers (who get to license the rights to their IP) and great for producers and studios (cuz it’s easier to sell a movie that’s based on an existing brand). But it sucks for the spec screenwriter who doesn’t have said rights (and thus would be wasting his/her time writing an adaptation of, say, The Tick) and still wants to write a superhero movie.
So what’s a spec screenwriter who wants to put their stamp on the superhero genre to do?
Is there room for a nonbranded, unknown superhero at the box office? Well sure. There’s a legacy of unknown heroes, from Cannell’s Greatest American Hero TV series to Wayans’ Blankman, from the borderline brilliant Unbreakable through the very cute Sky High, from the wonderful The Incredibles to the watchable but forgettable My Super Ex-Girlfriend and lastly the simply unwatchable Zoom (somebody needs to apologize for this movie). And need we even mention TV’s Heroes?
A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson seems kinda pissed.
Apparently he gets asked to read a lot of scripts.
Apparently most of them are crap.
And apparently nobody really wants his honest feedback.
So he wrote a scathing essay over at The Village Voice, outlining just how much this all sucks.
Well, I told you just days ago that our horror screenplay Faeries had made it to the semi-finals of the 2009 Shriekfest screenplay competition. The news just got better. Faeries has now advanced to the finals, baby! Looks like we’ll…
I had a hell of a birthday last month… it’s been nearly three weeks, and now I’m finally getting around to writing about it. Marvin Acuna of The Business of Show Institute (BOSI) invited myself and 9 other screenwriters down…
Our horror script “Faeries” has made the semi-finals in the Shriekfest Horror and Sci Fi Film Festival screenplay competition. Chip and Sean, Your screenplay has been selected as a semi-finalist in the 2009 Shriekfest Screenplay competition. Congratulations on making it this far. …