Hollywood

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Where Were You…

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I’m a child of 80s pop culture. Those were my defining years. And I’m a story teller and filmmaker, so the films from that era shaped me.

FerrisAnd the iconic films of the 80s were mostly made by one man, John Hughes. He died suddenly today, and in the outpouring of news articles and facebook updates I find myself once again reflecting on how much I hate our response to those who have died.

Here’s a man who shaped a decade of comedy filmmaking. And he shaped a generation of filmgoers. Yet in recent years his work has been discounted as out of date, while gross-out work like Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell has been heralded as the way comedy should be done. Click to continue »

No man left behind…

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I’m suddenly awash in blog topics, but this felt like something I should write the minute I felt inspired. No, inspired is wrong. Challenged is a better word.

I attend a gathering of Christians in the entertainment industry – an odd group who are way too liberal for “Christians” as most people think of them, and way too grounded / conservative / stupid (depending upon the person judging) for the rest of Hollywood.

I generally get something out of it, but tonight the speaker touched on something profound. Or, more specifically, profoundly sad: Click to continue »

Carried Away…

Friday, May 29th, 2009

picture-3My wife and I went and saw “UP” on opening day. In 3-D no less. And I won’t fill this entry with all the reasons why Pixar is in a class by themselves, or why they are able to avoid the story stupidity and low-brow mimicry of typical studios. Suffice to say… they know how to tell a good story.

When it was over I found myself not just thinking about “Up” or Pixar, but my personal connection to movies. More specifically… why films can make me cry. Click to continue »

How Long is Too Long…

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

When I moved to Los Angeles I had my share of nay-sayers. Some folks in influential or mentor-type roles really questioned my thinking. I was 23 years old and “following a dream”. One in particular asked me “How long do you intend to do this?”

Wanting terms and conditions. A quantifiable plan. Milestones.

I responded “How long is a dream worth chasing?” That shut them up. They had no answer for that, and I don’t think they’d ever even thought of the question.

Now, thirteen years later I don’t have an answer for it either. How long is a dream worth chasing? I find that to be the lingering query of my existence. If forced to answer I would quickly say “as long as I have breath…”

But reality does dawn… even on us dreamers. Click to continue »

Write off the Map…

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

When I went Freelance I had all these grand visions of huge writing output.  All the scripts I’d crank out and the novel I’d finish and the short story compilation I’d finally get around to wrapping up and…

Yeah.

With editing, and Everyday Driver, I quickly found myself writing less than I did when I had a full time studio job!  Over time I realized that editing actually uses many of the same skills and part of my brain as my writing, so I was getting that need fed.

But I also realized I’d become as soured to that part of the business as everything else.  I just didn’t want to write and do the little “writer with a new script dance”.  It felt like going through the motions.

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Giant Pause Button (FoF#2)

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

So I’m making a movie. At least, that’s what they tell me.

You know, “they”… the folks that run everything, especially Hollywood.

In the case of “Fight or Flight”, “they” are the folks getting the money together (my producers) and the folks actually writing the checks for said money (Magical elves, I believe). I dunno, actually… I just work here.

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The Logic Vacuum…

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

When I left New Line Cinema in June of ’07, and I was seriously considering writing a book about the idiocy I saw everyday in the way the studio was run.

A year later, June ’08, New Line was officially closed and folded into Warner Bros, leaving nearly 600 people without a job.  Suddenly my book idea seemed like sour grapes.

I did learn a lot at New Line.  And I lived and breathed feature post production for a long time.  So now that I’m working Freelance I’ve come across a consistently strange misunderstanding.

There’s a term in Post Production called “Picture Lock”.  And as a writer I’m a guy that thinks words mean something…. Picture (the film, the edit choices, the way things go together)…. Lock (Final, decided, no longer up for debate or open for changes).

Elementary?  I thought so – but the logic vacuum which seemed a plague of the studio system is sucking it’s way through indie films as well… Just in different ways.

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