…you are a goddamned genius. We need to clone you. Right now.
- An adam’s apple in a wool football uniform.
- a veteran Squadron Commander of the Second Raid on Schweinfurt
- Badass in an apron.
- a little hoarse, but not licked!
- subconsciously selling me Campbells soup for the rest of my natural life.
- a yeti-smuggling Cryptozoologist.
- gonna punch you out into the middle of Lake Superior.
And then it will be out of my system- GOODWIN from LOST = Archie Goodwin goddammit! I haven’t gone to the FUSELAGE since 5-11-2007 and when I posted to try and get this out of Gregg Nations and the bastard held out on me.
But I know. Bastards.
Also Ben fucking with Locke + $ = love!
So busy. This, accompanying pages and pages was the weekend before last:
Mmmm, Paul Newman. Ocean’s 13 is hiding under that Lupin III disk, excellent pairing fyi. The Doctor Who disk is season 24 & 25, which I like to have running around 4AM when I abandon the french press for
Coke liquid candy. The Ashes to Ashes has now become a compulsion. Last night I watched it again while reading the script. Matthew Graham is just butter. Delicious, awesome, steal-worthy, hate-inducing butter. Why yes, Gene Hunt + angst does addle my brain, phaseolus limensis. (Angst more so in the first script than the episode itself, but my mouth waters for new episodes). Untouchables after Fear & Loathing was hysterical deluxe awesome. Nominations for this weekend are now open if you’d like to leave a comment…
Week was dedicated to pages, realizations, more pages.
Past weekend was lost to people, booze and party-like activities. I’m having trouble remembering exactly what went down, except that Bart will never construct a functional computer and Cory brought some season 2 LOST and I got to watch some proto-Locke, Swan Hatch action. Cowboy Bebop was in there. Also there’s a hole in my floor now, bastards. So much for knuckling down…
Here, we see Baby Fritz does not suffer fools:
Pushing onward though.
I should qualify that I want to tell a damn story well. I left the ‘well’ out in last post, but it’s important to acknowledge that it’s an on-going process that must include an audience.
Some declarations before I continue: The increased amount of scripts, screenwriters and films was a natural consequence of Modernization. One major offense of modernization was that the demand for quantity overtook the confidence in and the desire for quality. These are self perpetuating problems and we cannot rely on the Machinery of films (studios, distributors, agencies, etc) or audiences to do anything to correct.
When I think about these things, it seems pretty overwhelming. If I begin loathing my audience it’s going to come through in the writing and will only damage the story. Who the fuck needs that static? All I can really do is to turn it around and let it drive the desire to improve my own writing. But maybe I can channel it to improve all fellow screenwriters. Improve every damn script. Improve the machinery. Improve the audience. Otherwise my stories may eventually have nowhere to go.
That’s why I’m hung up on this idea of the Revolution– because I feel so small against all of it. I don’t even know if I am improving myself, how can I possibly do anything else? Got no agent. Don’t live in LA. I have no names to drop or major studio pitch horror stories. I can’t get past the first round of Nicholl. I feel completely without means sometimes. But I’m not alone. I’ve got the blogs, the Scribosphere. I’m lucky to have an online workshop with some incredibly smart and brilliant writers. And I’ve got the great writing that does make it to theaters and into my head and makes my skull just explode. Those things are a big enough part of me that I can’t just cut them loose. So nevertheless, I’m in it. I fight.
Little fish that I am, I can’t get the image of a Guerrilla war out of my head. Small groups of revolutionaries fighting a larger, less mobile, formal establishment. (Maybe I’ve just been reading too much Strike coverage.) The establishment here being the dumbing down, the decay, the quantity over quality. But the Internet, my single greatest resource, is pooled intelligence, communication and comradery. What other resources does a guerrilla need?
Web-savy writers are already starting to use this stuff. Anybody who wants to be a writer *needs* to be using it. There are a ton of forums. Communities like Zoetrope and Triggerstreet give fledgling scribes somewhere to start looking for feedback. The Scribomatic is aggregating all kinds of insightful blogs now. Who knows how many little private workshop groups are online? It’s the perfect staging ground and the knowledge and information is getting out there.
So what’s missing? From my own experience I feel like there’s a shitload of stuff available with which to educate yourself. You don’t have to drop ungodly hordes of money for school or coverage or script services. The dumbing down is more than an absence of information, it’s also a lack of work ethic- the lack of craftsmanship. There is a thought that revolutions demand bloodshed and I think that’s what writing demands- blood on the page. Effort is going back and drafting the spec again and again and again. You sweat. Killing your babies, cutting a great line of dialogue or whole characters, making it perfect– That’s blood. And it’s the only way to get the story to the next level. And you gotta do this over and over and over again.
Writing well is difficult and the word ‘work’ doesn’t cut it. Everyone who sits down to write a story *thinks* they’re putting work into it. You gotta call it blood. My scripts need blood. Maybe I need to put a little more blood in my blog.
The flavor of the blog has always been a little more personal and irrelevant than a lot of what I read and feed from. Don’t ever call it objective as I take pride in the finely honed bias I’ve managed to cultivate. I should probably kill the mess, but I like having it around as a tool for having conversations that I otherwise don’t get in the normal day to day, a place to void the opinion overflow. You know, without having to huddle in a corner and talk to myself between Thorazine doses. When aimlessness creeps up on me the posting drops to nil. But I’m recovering.
Finished a draft today.
Saw my new most brilliant awesome flick of all time THERE WILL BE BLOOD, (For the fourth time. There may be a future obsesso-post).
And as is common, Mystery Man and Unk, have kinda helped drag me out of the lesser funk with some stimulating posts. Such smart guys. The discourse on the subject of blogs and the learning/improvement process particularly agitates the realization that when I do talk, I am not compelled to report, teach or edify. I’m just struggling to make connections myself and hoping occasionally someone or something will come along and nudge me in the right direction. I’m not an altruist. I just want to tell a damn story.
One of the big things in the back and forth that caught my attention was Unk hitting on this Period-of-film concept and the dumbness:
We’re ripping movies off left and right. The 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s spawned some great films. Movies were special. Somewhere along the line, we lost our way. Certainly we have had a smattering of films that managed to become iconic in their own right since the 80s but we’ve also dumbed everything down.
And I agree that movies were special and I miss that. But as I’m reading the rest of the post this idea starts to form in my head that the trend that Unk’s lamenting is in no small part due to the business end of the Industry and the
miserable inevitable growth of Society. (Shall I go so far as to say, the condition of Postmodernity?) Now, part of me feels like this is a cop out, wading into cultural and economic geography to sort of shotgun some blame away from writers. Can you, should you really ignore that film was a younger technology, that cost was prohibitive whether you we’re making movies in 19XX or spending your meager pay to see them in 19XX? How could early studios better guarantee returns other than to create a quality product, something people would to pay to see? Not that everything was brilliant, but then who the hell knows brilliant? Brilliant is subjective and that’s where it really starts to fall apart, a strategy that you can still see: Smash stage hits and novels = adaptations. Remakes. Sequels. Ideas that have been vetted.
So the world gets bigger, people have a lot of sex and babies. Industries boom. Economies take off. Business no long demand quality over quantity because they gotta make bank. Then all those people gotta work more jobs and pay more bills. Who wants to watch movies that make you think, that make you realize what a cog you’ve become? People are kinda happy with the familiar and that’s good enough. Dumbing down is a survival instinct and has long since become a marketing strategy for popular entertainment. Where does the blame fall? It is really just a question of ownership/authorship/copyright and how exactly are we defining that these days?
More people making more movies, cheaper for more audiences who have more money to spend and who want it faster rather than better so long as they can cram that popcorn down their fucking throats! Why the fuck should I even bother? In fact why shouldn’t I shave my head bald, find some gimmick ((IGNORE ME!!!)) and begin planning to eradicate the rest of the human race?
I just want to tell a damn story. That’s all I want to do. An audience is unfortunately somewhat intrinsic to that. Unk is a fucking altruist. Mystery Man too. John August and anyone actively trying to improve the dirty masses that want to call themselves screenwriters. MM dubbed it the Screenwriting Revolution. And goddamn people, more power to you, maybe you’ll save the goddamned world. Because that’s what I’m beginning to think it is, war. A war against the dumbing down.
Does popular entertainment reflect Society? Do amateur, blog-reading screenwriters speak for popular entertainment? Is the Screenwriting Revolution enough? Am I smoking too much or not enough? There exists a need to facilitate open discussion of the craft, to freely put the knowledge out there for those who seek it. But even then with everything that’s in place now, business, the Industry, the very audiences we write for can seem diametrically opposed to craftsmanship. So down with the establishment! Maybe even some guerrilla tactics are necessary. More later.
Been across the country and back since the last post, had a birthday and then sports, people, serious. As a rule NHL Hockey and Major League Baseball are the only two sports I make an effort to stay current on, but in December it’s hard not to catch a slight Football Fever or occasional Basketball Cold Sore. By January I am usually into the NFL playoffs (although my loyalty is a random, logic-less whore) and this year it’s no different. This past weekend particularly was full of some sexy athletic action. Action I would like to share with you here and now, on my pointless little blog:
For this reason alone, I will be pulling for the NY Giants. Sorry about the loss, Pooks, but it’s all about the Carl-man.
Julius Fritz Sessoms
born Dec 7th, 2007
6 lbs 11 oz</p>
Congrats and felicitations to Mary and Cory.