Sunday, April 30, 2006

Snobs, lovers and other strangers.

BANG BANG...You're freaking dead! You are so dead in the water, your body will eventually sink down and possibly re-emerge, bloated and with a sublime blue hue.

How the hell do you write that? Just as it is, de facto or do you make it a bit more beautiful to read. Put a bit of feeling into the writing...But I try to remember it is a screenplay I am writing now, not a short story. There are no real feeling I can write and tell my readers. They must see it plain and simple. A corpse is a corpse. Nothing poetic about it other than how he/she possibly died. That is again, if one could write about the beauty and grace the character died with.

How the hell do you write then? What the hell is this style, that voice, everyone seems to want me to sing with?

I got a style in short stories, I know it, I feel it and I certainly hear and read about it so what gives? I've been working and reworking, seeing and visualizing my script. Scene after scene and then some. I want it to flow perfect. I want the readers to turn that page and wonder what will happen next. There's no illustrations other than the ones popping into the reader's mind. Got to make sure he can see enough without guiding him/her to long descriptions. It's not a novel. It's not a short story and God knows, it ain't some poetry. Right?


WRONG. I've been writing for so long, my way of writing pulls over again. The long descriptions have gone much shorter and I do hope to push some of my presence, my written voice in there. How do I simmer my style into a script? I think I got my own ideas and hope it does make some sense. I can't push it either, I need to take my time and without typing/flying through pages, I make mental note to stop and back away. I pull from my chair and walk out of the room so I can breathe. I can let the images float into my head. It would work but I am visual. I need to feel my stories and so I write in another format. I write again, in novel form, about those characters and events I am portraying through the script. They feel alive, there, reaching for me to talk to them.

My previous readers were often glad to know I was sending them a short story I've finished. There was some pride in that sense and I've always appreciated the time they took to read and analyze what I've brought to them. I've gone through people hating my stories and loving my style and vice versa to people waiting to read something I could give them. Now, I got to make sure all of them can appreciate where I am going with my writing. Of course, it's after fame and money...I'm no flake. This doesn't make me a flake. I need to live, eat and sleep as anyone else and right now, I got nothing really. So what do I have to lose other than some times I could have written stories that would lead only to more hopes of being read by some directors and/or producers. I can't wait for them to fall into my stories. I got to make it myself and make sure they can feel my passion for storytelling.

Did I lose it?

Well, for some, I might just have. It's a process I have gone through and through...I play with photoshop and I need to places faces onto the characters I write about. Sure, in HW, I have no say in who could be cast for the role of so and so but it does help me. I can talk to my characters. I can let them live for each time I type something that pulls them back into my mind. At that point, I am no longer in my world, I am in theirs. It's a difference for me, I tend to tell myself I am writing about their stories, their lives and struggles. They might cry or laugh and I need to describe what happens. It's a beautiful thing, this writing and I shall continue step by step. As a new scribe, I need to impress not only myself but others because it is business. Not just art.

Heard my process might even be a joke to others but hey, to each his/her own. I don't go gag and joke about what a fellow writer do it. In the end, it's a race to make sure you are still afloat and not sinking. Ah yes, that water thing again...How can anyone write about characters if they don't know and feel them? I couldn't let my characters be just another few lines. Each of the characters brings out something fresh to the script. I must do them justice. It must be done because, in my own little opinion, I will need to sell those characters and these stories out to someone else who must care.

And yes, business in HW...A salesman's pitch to the unknown and to those who could just roll their eyes before closing the door/hanging up the phone. The dread of that moment for so many of us make us choke in fear. At the very beginning, I thought I could just email a few prod-cos and be done with it. They like it? They ask for the script. They don't, then probably I will never hear from them again. Who knows? And yet, I know I am good at selling stuff. After all, we sell everyday to someone. Could be for a place to eat or chosing a movie. It's just a matter of looking with that perspective that you will do fine. I will do fine and yet, I know the first few minutes are the ones that are important. I can roll with most subjects, yet, passing those dreadful first minutes seem to be the hardest thing my mind has to adjust itself to.

"Hey hi, this is Nevada Yim...I'm a screenwriter and would love to talk to Mister or Missus whoever about a great script I have...Hello?"

I fear those moments of silence. They know nothing of me. They hear billions of writers gagging their ways into a conversation without a great story. So AGAIN, I must believe in my story. This is my strong point. I have that passion. I have that feeling for what I do. I will succeed not because I write absolute marvel that even Spielberg or Scott would beg to direct. No, it's more, it has to be more than just the beauty of a script, it has to do with passion and to stand when people left and right might just laugh or slap their way pass me. It's what I wanted to do after all. If I wanted to go on with short stories and novels, I could have continued to do so and hope that Stuart or Goyer pick a read and call me for the copyrights of my manuscript.

I heard that a great concept will topple over an average writing. I don't care for average. I don't care for less than what I can achieve. People keep on smiling to me when they hear I write screenplays now. It's that kind of smile that makes me angry because they might not believe in me. So there I have it, feeling, writing, living into my characters' world. Make sure I can hear their voices and see their smiles and tears.

Hey! A pic? Right now, on "Spirited Hearts", I want to give a couple of my characters a big hug. They've gone through so much, it is impossible for me not to smile when something good happens to them. It's more than just a cool factor. When I finish telling their stories, they must make sure I am still eager enough to sell it out.

I want credits I can read on the big screen and if for nothing more, I want to smile back at those that helped me along the way. See? It's genuine and honest. It's no time for sugar coating but at the very least, I am being diplomatic about things. Snobs, Lovers and all those who have no clue I exist...It's for them I am writing since, really, who would a storyteller be without some audience?

I wanted to share these little fun things I did. Gives me a little bit of a smile when I write and although I'm no pro at PS7, I do hope you will also like them. These are not for sale and just something I use for my own personal enjoyment.

"Dark Glimmer" is a supernatural actioneer and my first complete screenplay. Deals with the matter of parenthood and redemption with a background pulled from demons and angels. No, not Brown's book either.

"Forgotten Masquerade" is a (again) supernatural actioneer I am playing with right now. Of course, Natalie Portman was my muse for the idea. I'm playing with the ideas of sins and forgiveness along with some matters from the Bible.

Oh yeah, I just freaking hate the sun on my screen. Shitty blinds won't pull down anymore...And the formatting of my blog seems off and can't seem to correct it. My apologies for the off-look.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The art of mimicking

I never rode a motorbike, never even went to Seoul and have not been alive when the last of the three hundred Spartan died in Thermypolae. So how can I write about any of those subjects? Maybe fifty years ago, it would not have mattered to the mass. A movie about Spartan hoplites facing impossible odds at the Hot Gates would still be an interesting movie. Who knew or cared about their clothings and how they fought.

Does it matter now?

Yes, it does. The public is certainly more aware of those little details. We are living in a day and age where information is available at our finger tips. As I said, the premise and the execution of the idea are paramount but eventually, so will the details. It gives that little edge, that little ground so the viewer can say he can/sees this happening.

Then what about those fantasy, sci-fi or horror movies? What about those genres that suspend beliefs during the time a viewer watches the feature?

It is just that. It is the writer's job to make the viewer understand he is sitting in a new world. It is his duty to extend his world and reach to the viewer's own world.Certainly, teleportation, interactive holograms and grim reapers could be seen as complete fiction but they are somewhat explained or at the very least, shown as part of where the movie evolves. I want to be able to answer my readers and viewers how a character could fly in the air and break physics. I want to share a story and make it so that my audience can nod and at least think that whatever happens, can happen in my world. A bit of a new perspective maybe, but it had been there all along.

So how can I make everyone at least suspend their beliefs when they will see one of my features?

I don't try to explain. I try to show how it works. It's no easy feat to bring my world and stamp it into our actual surroundings. I don't write movies about the future. There are no aliens or space travel in my scripts (Maybe one day...Never say never), and most of my stories evolve in our time. I push myself to bring a clean and somewhat precise world. I know what my characters do, how they act, what they feel and think. Yet, I will still somewhat show Julian riding a bike with his feet as opposed to his head. Why not? Because I want my viewers to see my world is grounded into reality. There will be enough time when they will gasp at some horrifying moment or enthrall into a piece of a fast and furious action a la Matrix.

They MUST accept these events and acts happening in the duration of my script. I'm adamant about this and even if some might just throw it in the air. I don't. It's my style and I will stand by it.

How do I do it? How does screenwriters or any writers for that matter do it?

Remember when you were in high school or with friends playing Dungeons and Dragons? Remember when you had your dolls and when you spoke to them during your "tea time"? How did you do that? How did you enter that world?

In some cases, like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), you apply your imagination to a world structured by rules and books. An orc can not jump into space but he can be much stronger than an elf, huh? A dwarf cannot give a roundhouse kick to the head of a standing troll without some artifacts or spell, right? It has to be real. It has to be grounded into what others will understand. When I write a script, I spend a lot of time researching and thinking about what I want to show. I do take more time researching and putting myself into my characters' shoes. So, sue me, I do care about my characters and my stories. I do care because, ultimately, my stories should be accepted and enjoyed by an audience.

Pretty much a different case than just a bunch of friends who know the rules you're playing with hmmm? The audience watches and acknowledges ME by watching the feature. I'm at the base of it all.

It might be my concept, it will be my idea and down the line, I am that inspiration for the director to see my world. I relate my screenwriting and storytelling in the same world as roleplaying. I have to. I must. It's never easy and I take pride in each little steps I make to get where my story is at. I will never say that I know everything about drift racing or walking on the moon but I do say I know, at least, the basic of it. Writers are curious to begin with. I am. I look, read, talk to get information relevant to my stories and then some. It's the world of illusions, in a sense, and I want to be much more than just a standing novice. I want to reach a higher level, much like my ranger in D&D, because it will make me better at my craft. It's not a waste of time but an investment for future references.

Research is my first step after thinking of an idea. It's the first thing after forming a basic logline. Sure, it has nothing to do with structure but I believe it gives drama a certain weight. I found myself to be spending a lot of time in my research, much more than when I was writing short stories. It's maybe my attention to details stepping up a couple of notches. I know though, screenwriting shouldn't be about explaining too much. It's all visual and all show but hence the reason I need to make sure I am not making a fool of myself when I write my character's actions. I can get away, some people told me, with a bit of "white lies" and covering some facts I might not know. I understood them but I still feel the need to make sure I know something about a subject. If it interests me, I will research it some more, take the time to be throughout with the subject.

Writing is not easy. Screenwriting is even worse but I have to take the time to understand where and how I want to lead my characters to. It's my execution and time down the line I am playing with. It is primordial for me to be sure about what I make. Creative execs, agents, producers and managers must see my world and nod in understanding when I share a moment with them to explain my vision and story. They are the DMs in D&D, they are my scrutinizing friends listening to my jokes and ideas, they are the teachers and principals I had seen all my life. My spoken English may not be fluent but they must, like my audience, smile and shiver at the stories I bring to them because I want them to bring them into execution. They have that power and I have the ideas.

Funny, isn't it? I thought I could write a screenplay like my short stories. Sit down, think, write and pick around for a bit of research. Sure, it's the same path but the way to walk it down is much different. I don't rush anything, I want HW people like Christopher Lockheart and Le Femme, peers like Roscoe, DEUM, Sara, JP, Broughcut, ComicBent along with all the aspiring screenwriters along with professional wonders like Jeb Stuart, Shane Black, David S. Goyer to at least nod to me with a smile one day. It's all about recognition and respect. It starts with my screenplay, my spec, my time...I want to invest it well. After all, four to six months on a script is still a lot of time I could have spend dreaming about nothing else but thoughts and hopes.

I make them work for me. I don't push my luck simply because I believe in work and ethics...Heck, I could have wished for a roll of die here but I did grow away from it. Not too far, but enough so to know I am somewhere from that base.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I want to be just like you

That's what I used to say to everyone as a kid.

I wanted to be someone else. I wanted to find someone else who could be the superhero of the day. Nothing wrong with that. It's all healthy. It's all part of childhood and growing up...At least, that's what I told myself.

I know why I hated myself so much then. I remembered all those time I've kept to myself and the reason why I thought the world would be a better place without me. When someone insulted me, I used to back away and just avoid that person. When more than a few people did the same, I started to believe in their words. I did take things very seriously and slowly, after being pushed aside so many times, I let myself drift away. I didn't have a solace in anyone else but myself.

Finding myself alone as I was, I kept my brain busy by reading comics and watching movies. I remembered how much I used to play in the attic with my little plastic soldiers, re-enacting those battle scenes I've read or seen. It was my "me" time that nobody could take away from me. Going to school, coming back home and finishing my homework, I only thought of the books and those soldiers bringing my to my world. A world no one could take away from me. I should have turned into a mental case or at the very least, a little monster like that kid who tortured his toys in TOY STORY.

Hell, I should have been someone wrong.

Instead, I turned to more comic books and more games. I started to draw and paint. I started to go beyond books and spent as much time in the library than I did in my attic. After all, I needed more material to feed my imagination and those little games I would play with my soldiers. The only time anyone would stop me was when I was too beat up and hurt to do anything else but to go in bed. And even then, even in those moments I turned to images of movies and to those courageous guys that could be my imaginary family.

My imagination sparkled even more in tears and sorrow than in happiness.

And one day, we moved away to Canada. I couldn't care less for those fake tears and those goodbyes from people surrounding me. Good riddance, I said, I want something else than where I was. I couldn't see anything in that pathetic little place I've been in, but they did take away my attic and I left all those thousands of little soldiers to keep the place. I cried for them much more than anything else. They were the only loyal "friends" I had. I hated myself for leaving them behind...

O Canada! Land of snow and crap slush...It was a sight to behold. My first day in school, I was greeted like I've never been. The idea would die, I thought to myself, and once more, alone, I would return to my games. Well, it all went downhill in that aspect. Girls gave me more attention than I ever got in the past sixteen years in France. Guys thought I was that cool new Chinese guy with a Parisian accent. All those smiles and cheers, those taps on the shoulders and invitations to come out and play. Heck, I was wondering what was wrong with all of them...And I turned again to myself. I didn't know anything else then but my "me" time and I continued the same things I did back in France. Give them a couple of weeks, the exhuberation would die and I would be left to my own self. Sure, it didn't need to change that drastically. It did.

I started to write little poetry for myself. Dunno why or what pushed me to do so but I did. I remembered the French class where for the very first time, we were given the task to write an essay in class so the teacher would select the best one and read it outloud. Topic was simple enough, it was about animals. That's it. The rest was really up to us...I didn't write about the cute puppy or those sweet little kittens or those singing canaries. No. I wrote about the ghost of a wolf that came back to haunt the family of a driver who killed him that same night. Graphic as I could be, I thought the teacher would give me a failing mark and read someone else.

I couldn't even look up when he read my story. I couldn't even look when my fellow students remained quiet during his read nor did I look up when he told my name to the class. Cheers and applauds made me want to run away. It should have and yet, I didn't, I was proud of myself for the very first time. I shouldn't remember this moment when he told me I should never stop writing. Whatever it is, I should continue to write. I wish I knew where that teacher was now.
I wish I still had all those stories I wrote on paper.

It's been twenty years and I remember still as I am writing pages over pages. I looked up and smiled when I won those little high school or college prizes. I figured I just wrote what I wanted to and as long as I was given a certain freedom, my games would come back to me. Slowly but surely enough, they came back to fill my mind. Of course, my bitterness faded away with time and as I wrote short stories and more poetry, I thought to myself that I should share them with some of my friends. It was never enough, I wanted to feel that pride again. I wanted to see or know those readers would smile and shiver at my words and my images. Friends were but a base before I discovered the internet.

So here I was, posting left and right into forums and game threads to place bits and pieces of stories. Many were interested to read more, others were absolutely revolted by my images. I wanted to convert them all...I read every critic and gulped them down. I read more, wrote even more so that my execution would flow better. I wanted my images to be crystal clear to all of them. Eventually, I reached out enough for all those who thought nothing of me to have, at the very least, some grudging respect for what I could do.

Yet, I felt like this story teller without a real audience...When the members of a forum started to be a bit too familiar with me, I moved to another one and then another one. I craved that feeling of being read and being reassured of what I could do...Until someone told me I was wasting my time. Sure, everyone else told me my stories were very visual. My friends told me I should turned my writing into something else and why not movies? Since I loved them so much. What did I have to lose just to try? So I did and I do so every day now. A page or a scene a day at the minimum. I should push on and reach for that feeling I thought I would never lose.

So I turn now to my past and those images that were engraved into my soul. I look upon them and close my eyes before I write. I push myself so I can learn to turn the little of my abilities as a story teller to be better, to be bigger. The ultimate story telling has always been the same thing that flashed in front of my eyes when I watched whatever movies would allow me to see. It's grandiose. It is and I must be there too. It's self preservation in a way and I stand alone within a crowd that does the same thing I do. Different upbringing and yet, we're all looking toward the same direction. I just love it. I can do my own things and tell my stories without any real restrictions for now.

A bit of self pity? Surely I got that much but I've never asked anyone else to share my tears and my sorrow. I didn't even care to stand straight and act tough because I never cared that much about what they thought of me. Hate me, love me, despise me or avoid me...The only thing I need is people to shiver and smile at the images I poured into words. It's a dark world where my head is at but then again, the little monster I should have been had turned out to be nothing else but an angel in disguise. It's thinking and I can write. It's my life, after all, and I got to make something out of it. Nothing else but moving pictures if someone would dare just take the time to read and feel.

Maybe I would need to play with those soldiers still...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

You haven't sold? Hahaha, you're a wannabe.

Oh that's so sweet of you. Yes, really, I do mean it.

I haven't sold a thing. I don't pretend or lie about it. What would be the point behind posing as an option screenwriter? Don't think others can find the facts real quick? I do. There's plenty of info available about a wannabe or poser online. Believe me, I do look.

I don't have time to bullshit. I don't have time to waste on trivialities or personal flaming. If someone wants to spit at me, try to do so in the right direction huh? Why? Because it makes me laugh when I come back to kick the facts right in my attacker's face.

I don't need to pretend anything. I've never once said to anyone I was better than him/her but I can tell this much: I learn more everyday about the business than I let others think. It's all in the process of learning and getting where I must be. See again? There's no if in my sentences when it comes to my dream. I thank my passion for that much. Others do see this in me while others try to attack it for whatever reason.

I give myself time to learn the ropes. I try to do as much as I can and all of it will bring me to the next level until I can kick back and do what I should have done for a long time. Can't get a grasp at it? Well, ain't it sad. I'm pedalling forward while some just stops to laugh at others. Hey, instead of stopping, give the guy a kick and let him know why that was done.

I'm in no position and location to say I can rush through. I told everyone it might take a decade before I sell something. Will it mean that I will stop writing? I breath this, I live this, I dream it every freaking night. That I write in blog or on my script or even in forums, doesn't make me a poser. But yeah, I might just be a wannabe at this moment.

Wannabe-- I want to write: Check. I want to learn: Check. I want people to read me: Check. I want to sell/option one of my projects: Check. I sold/optioned one of my projects: Not yet. But, fella, I am heading there. It's not a IF, it's a WHEN. I'm no puppy, I'm no youngster with just dreams. I work on them every day. There's not one free moment where I don't think or do something about screenwriting and movies. It's there. It's my passion. Do you have it as well?

Some put themselves on a pedestral, looking down at others who just started in the field. It's a free world, they can do as they want but at the very least, if they are going to shoot down someone else, do it so the writer can learn from it. Shooting down is not the same as criticizing, mind you. It's completely different. I criticize, I am open to receive some constructive criticism because I do want to learn. It's the part of the way I can get to the next level and I am thankful to get so many people reading and pointing errors or thoughts on my writing.

Scare tactics is for kids. Bullies always get the back hand one day or the other. The business is tough enough to break into for peers to blast each other down. Solidarity, I've said many times, is something we should all have toward one another. It doesn't cost anything to help someone else. I'm no angel and yet, if I can help, I would never refuse to help someone else in need. I have at least that much self respect to tell him/her that I can't.

It's all so dark, is it? It shouldn't be. It shouldn't be this way. I don't have do deal with pricks all the damn time. Something got to give. Honestly, I'm starting to get bored at preaching the same thing over and over. Not all of us have the chance to have contacts, backgrounds and even the education to be where some are. It's no time to bitch though. It's time to fight back. To push until we reach the status we want to achieve. It takes its toll, it's never easy but this is where my passion will boost me. Everytime I pull my hair, I back away and think it over. I don't quit. I just pause. I have time, sure, but not that much time I have to waste it on fronting to others.

I know I will get blasted through and through when I will start pitching or querying. I fall down and I stand up again. I'm not and will never say I'm great. I don't have that much ego and as some will tell me, I often seek some pad in the back and some reassurance. Nothing wrong with that either, it's all I have. I don't have access to screenwriters' meeting. I am not there yet but I bid my time carefully. I write everything and everywhere. From this blog, to forums on my spare moments. Don't mistake these as lack of focus. I just balance my time between play and my projects. It allows me to take a good perspective on things.

Last thing that makes me scratch my head: online etiquette. Are so many so disrespectful they can't even say thank you when someone gives them an opinion/idea/thought? And I'm being pointed to be a wannabe? Hahaha...Ironic. I'm a wannabe because I put myself there and I move on forth. I agree, but don't ever think I need to pose as someone else. It insults my intelligence and my self-respect.

And coming from someone that has not broken in the business yet, it makes me smirk. Actually, it makes me really laugh. One word to the wise, fellas, and quote:

I'd like to get kissed before I get fucked... It's all about preliminaries and you're humping on the wrong leg.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Captain's personal log

"Why are you pointing to those established writers?"

Really? I didn't think I was. All I am doing is reflecting my opinion as a viewer. I watch and pay for these movies. I am no hack, I am no pirate and it is my right as both a viewer and an aspirant screenwriter to see/read/criticize what I thought could be amazing but turn out to be nothing I personally expected. Jealousy? Oh hell no. I am actually happy for those guys and girls out there that can have credits given to them for a motion picture. They got optioned and sold their movies...And as we know, sometimes, the script is turned upside down from the first idea or draft into something else. It was David Goyer who said you can never really know what to expect when you write and/or direct a movie. Sometimes, it turns out amazing in the script and then into shit when it is shot. Sometimes it is vice-versa...I whole-heartily agree with David's opinion. I mean look at XXX, the script is great and yet the movie...Well I could not finish it. Others might tell me it's probably the director's fault. Maybe it's the cast's fault. I might be tempted to say maybe it's just the way it turned out to be. Everyone tried to do their best (my hopes) and hey, better luck next time, right?

I've always loved movies. My circle of friends and family could tell you how bad it came to be sometimes. I remembered being caught during my high school's year skipping class so I could go catch a film alone. I remembered doing homeworks for others so I could have some money to pay for a movie ticket. My whole pays, later on, would go into buying VHS movies, movie magazines and more tickets. They were my world. No, they were not my imaginary world...They were real to me. They were the only comfort I had when everything else went to Hell. When I got beaten down by my Father...I thought of how courageous one character was and I strayed away from crying. Movies are really personal to me. In my mind, Hollywood was the only family I had. Even today, I still feel that way. This is maybe the reason why I can let myself go when I watch a movie. I don't care for what buddy two rows from me say.

I criticize because I do care. It pisses me off when a movie is poorly made. Few would say it was a waste of time and money to go to the theaters. I'd say it was a waste of time and money to have the movie made THAT way. I'm taking David Goyer's example. He and I had almost the same kind of background. Fatherly figure was never really truly there (at least for me). WE have a love for comics. Some of his movies relate and develop a world I have come to love. Just see Dark City or Blade for the matter. Everyone starts somewhere... And with time, most of them get better. David is someone I came to respect for his dedication to his craft and I know he had come a long way in his career. One day, I'll be the same. I'll join his level. Not a "if", it's a "when". I promise this to myself. Anyhow, my point being is I do not laugh and joke about the writers of any movies.

Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder. Goddamn right it is, if we ALL start loving the same things, wouldn't the world be one boring peachy place?

Could I do better? No. I am no director (maybe in time) and now, I am trying to break into HW. Funny isn't it? I've always thought HW to be my home, my family away and I am trying to pull up a cardboard that says "Pick me". Why should they care? There are millions out there like me. Millions who dream of hitting big into the dreamy world I see as my life. Well...I know it's not a dream world. I work for it. I breath it. I told you, fellas, this is my sanity as well. I cannot live without writing and movies. In my view, these two are undeniably part of each other. Right now, I feel like this little fourth cousin no one knows about...But hey, at the very least, I am part of that world. All screen writers are, no matter if they are aspiring or not. Each of us struggle to get there and as long as they keep going at it, that it is not just a fling of a moment, they are as much part of my family than I am of theirs.

Few of my acquaintances had told me, writing would be better than the job they have. Hell, they don't understand. At least not completely. It's not just that, my weekdays work doesn't suck. I take pride in doing a great job. I wish to succeed because it would then allow me to write full time. To just do what I've always meant to do. Write. Yes, it might be in poetry or in forum posts, could even be in my blog. But let me reassure you, this takes me but half an hour of the daily 4 to 5 hours I do on my script or research. I always look around. Doesn't mean my feng shui is off. It's on. It's just been dormant for too long.

So yes, I'm a captain of my own ship. It is not made of steel and may look a tad off but it has HW written all over it. I'm not heading there...Since I'm already in the water. I just need to make sure I know how to make everything on this boat work.

Thanks for the manual.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I fear horror movies

Yes, the horror movies of today are scary. Okay?

You fell for it? Did you? Alright, fine...Let me elaborate and say they are scary in a scrappy way. From the classic "Nosferatu", "Rosemary Baby" and "The Exorcist", I've come to appreciate the horror that was the supernatural mixed with a story. I love the struggle between humanity's weaknesses and vices shown on screen rapping against the Devil or those legendary creatures of the night. It was great, I shivered in delight...And then.

Then, we got the likes of horror slasher's like Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers...The idea, in their first apparitions, were interestingly fun. Not something I would quiver and look away. I know what would be coming to those horny teenagers. In some cases, I wish it happened faster simply because I wanted to see those killers onscreen a bit more. These guys, those antagonists were turning to be my protagonists. I was pulled by their presence and wanted to know how they would deal with Bimbo# 26 or airhead#53. Slash, axe, stab!!!! Yeah, baby! Blood galore, ketchup sweetness!

And then the Hollywood's machine squeezed the lemon. Again and again and AGAIN. Sure, they were turning to be franchises almost but heck, they did such a good job at them that I felt I needed to lean back against my seat. See? I wasn't even on the edge anymore with those slashers. I became extremely bored. The only interest pulled from those movies were the different death scenes...And even they bored the shit out of me. I backed away from that genre within my favorite genre. No more slashing movies for me.

Thankfully, there was movies like Ridley Scott's Alien. If you are going to state the movie is just sci-fi and not horror because of it happening in space, ooooh buddy, you need to open your eyes. Alien was fun, Aliens was superb and then well...You know what happened. I ate fries with ketchup at Alien Vs Predator. Great huh?

Slowly, I was pulled away from the pledora of slap-me-I-paid-for-this-crap horror movies. I had enough, I gave enough chances and for many years I just watched something else until Fantasia (A Montreal horror/Asian movie Summer festival) and fell in love again. Yes! I could get back home and open the light at night. I shivered when I heard sounds in the dark when I was alone. Thank you Hideo Nakata! Sadako rules! She still does! I remembered having thought of buying the tape. No, not the unmarked one. Just a copy of the movie with her eye on the cover. My girlfriend at the time thought it was stupid to possess that movie in the house. Of course, she went to see the movies with me and was as scared as I was. Exciting moments, let me tell you that! I had long hair then and for kicks, I pulled from the shower and put a long t-shirt on...I then dedicated a bit of my time to adjust the way I walked and got slapped for it! Amazing! Just that look in her eyes...I wanted to see it again.

And so, I started watching as much Japanese or Chinese horror movies as possible. Miike's Audition was one I absolutely enjoyed. I mean what the BLEEP happened? Could you have thought of the ending just by watching the movie? Sure, the girl was weird but that? Yikes!! That'll teach the guy to trick those pretty little girls huh? Well, Asian cinema gave me a good smile and rekindled the hopes I had for the genre.

I watched and caught up with some movies. I cried of happiness after "Jacob's Ladder" but I remained nonetheless cautious of anything ending with a number. So yeah, I saw Scream..I know what you did last Summer...All those teenager slashers I gave another chance. The idea was basically the same as the slasher pioneers like Krugger. Man, Englund would be proud. Of course, I stopped watching right when they released another with a number.

Along the way, I was invited or given an opportunity to watch more horror movies from around the world. I still do now. I am waiting for the fire to burn me again and it was with some pessimism I walked into SAW. I found that smile again and the idea's execution was done in such a fresh manner I had to go and see SAW 2. I mean honestly, did you think they wouldn't pull a second one? The killer was still at large and Jigsaw was perfect. Smart, freaky, visual...Twisted. Yes, exactly the kind of buddy I would not want to share a beer with. The idea was so great, they had to release something similar with Hostel. I mean after Cabin Fever, I wasn't sure I wanted to give him another look...But I did, I'm such a softie at heart, I got to give a director another chance. So yeah Eli, I caught the movie and I winced at the graphic...It was a bit much. It shocked me to see that horror has come back to some humanity.

Jigsaw or those antagonists in Hostel, they are human...Men or women just like you and I. It's been done before of course, the action movies don't pitch Joe Vs Satan every time but in these movies, I remembered why I truly loved horror. The humanity of it. The idea and the premise. The possibilities were endless. Of course, people are not seeing a movie only because they want to see a character development. They want to see how the gore was exposed. They want to feel the adrenaline pumping into their veins when the killer would be a few steps away from that innocent broken protagonist we don't really care about.

So yes, I do like horror for the sense of how twisted humanity can be in the face of either another man/woman or supernatural entity. I want to bring that out again. I want my reader to feel the humanity, its struggle and my characters conflicting externally about the demons within. I want an atmosphere along with my action or kill scenes. My readers should feel what's happening and genuinely care for the possible ordeal afflicting my protagonists. I take and favor relationship as a base to my stories. When you read me, you know the main protagonist is never really alone. You feel he/she is alive through my words. Some would say people want to see gore. They want to see people's blood! Give them "bread and games". I do. I'm guilty of that much but never would I want to be pointed as someone who forgot what makes those characters tick and could be reflected to the viewer/reader's personal experience.

It will be vampires. It will be ghosts, demons and angels. They will all have humanity pouring from their aura. What would be the point of not making them be that way? I never spoke to a real angel and wondered at its wings. There is some readiness I strive for but it's still very much grounded in every day's life. It's just me though... I know the climb would be long and arduous.

Ah yeah, they've redone some of those old classics again...Where's my ketchup?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I write because?

I believe we all have some goals to accomplish. I'm not heading toward some philosophical debate. No, no and no.

But I truly do feel we all have certain skills and talents that make us different from the rest of the world. Certainly, everyone has something special about them. Maybe it is painting, drawing, listening...Whatever it is, it is there for us to develop...And even though some might deny it, we all have that special thing we discover (or have to) within ourselves. A strength or a weakness. A blessing or a curse. It all comes down to it, doesn't it? For me, like some of you my beloved compadres, it is writing. I've been doing so for as long as I can remember or maybe it is as long as I don't want to remember.

Why do you write? What makes you strive along one of the toughest business to break into?
Fact is, there are millions of people out there that can write. Millions of people who have a wild imagination and share their take to their own circles of friends and beyond. What makes you, dear friend, different from the rest? Have you sitten down to think of this while you stare blankly at words you just poured into your screen? Back away and think of it. What do you seek?
Recognition, fame...Money? Whatever your strive or muse might be, I'm just asking you to think of it again.


Because I feel it does bring things into perspectives again. That same fresh feel you had when you sat down the very first time to type your first words. Doesn't feel good? No? Well, it did it for me. Just remembering the first time you felt something so endearing you had to share it with the world. Maybe was it just for yourself to read again later down the road?

I'm going to say what some may think as total and utter bullshit. I like to write. I love to tell stories and I've done so in poetry, song lyrics and short stories. I am doing the same storytelling in a different path: Screenwriting. It's a vision really, it's something I HAVE to do. I could have drawn something instead right? But no, much to some of my readers' delight and my personal head banging, I have to write. Oh come on, man...This isn't like a curse or something. Of course it's not a CURSE. I love it when I sit down and start typing. I absolutely adore the images that crawl into my eyes and can't seem to go away until I push them out in words. This is me. I don't mean it to be the same for other writers.

I see DEAD PEO...oops...No I don't but I do see a lot of images and it comes to be my task to filter them and organize them into something readers can visualize. It's quite a process, ask all the screenwriters. It does take time, lots of it.

Writing keeps me live and sane. I'm no schizo but I do accept the darker side of me. I do accept the violence in my words and my images. Would I act upon them? You watch way too many movies. No, I don't. I write them down and put as much of the two parts of my own being into play. Light and Dark. Humanity and monstrosity. There's a balance. Writing is me tapping my yang energy. Well sort of. I write down as much images of my anger, hate and sadness into my words but I try to balance them with my own compassion, patience and hope.

This is what "Spirited Hearts" is about. It's my own personal piece on love that shouldn't be. A love I have felt that nearly destroyed me. I feel it everytime I add a piece. Maybe I feel too much but I've always been that way. I cry, I laugh, I smirk watching movies. Could be a hassle for me but hey, I love those moments. This is the art and I'm scrapping into getting into the business. Much like most of you.

I don't have anymore kleenex. Spare one old buddy?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Writers know it all.



We don't know everything but we can research. We can also get the opinions and suggestions of other people who take the time to actually help in whatever way they can. What really pisses me off is the fact that some actually blow their heads so big they would brush away a possible nod or direction pointed to them. I've never done that. I take the time to go into that direction just for kicks. Just so that I can learn something new...And sure, sometimes, I do know the facts or concepts already. I'm appreciative of the effort though. I'm one who would salute the chance to link myself to other writers within and without the industry. Doing this without having to blow others aside simply because I can though.

That's what pisses me off. No, I'm no angel, I'm not perfect and certainly not optioned yet. But does that make any of us less important? Aren't we eligible to some opinions? Please?

Most of us are trying to get there. To get to a point where we could have some recognition. Someone tells me something. I listen. I'm smart enough to consider/see if it's worthy to check and pursue. And where are we, if not in a small community online? Where's the solidarity? Sometimes, I do swear, that it does feel like those accredited with a sale are actually more sympathetic to talk to than some non-optioned or n00bie writers. Again, I am one too, fellas. I'm learning the ropes as much as I can try to help others.

That's what I do, that's who I am. Can't deal with that? Boy, aren't you in the wrong field.

There's an ocean of knowledge out there and it is impossible for all of us to know every little thing. I love reading Deus, Broughtcut, Purple and CL because of the insight they give. I respect that but I respect even more all those guys and girls who take the time to help me get a bit more knowledge. Of course, I do take a lot with a grain of salt but hey, at the very least, I do know they are trying to be helpful. I respect them for that. Should I blow them away for posting/calling/emailing/PMing me? Nope. I always try to be curteous but blunt. You got to love contrast right?

Yes I feel bipolar sometimes but I do mean what I write. I try to avoid any misunderstanding and I do re-read myself quite enough when I post opinions. There's no excuse about online not allowing me to convey my emotions. If you can feel them on this blog, why don't you do the same? You're a freaking writer or you're not.

So blabla... I don't need to bother with your note...Coz you know
what hommie? I got the brains and the skills.

We might have read or heard of something but to have a complete knowledge of a subject? Show me anyone who can tell me every little details and that can, confidently, say that he knows every miniscule fact about it...I'd point you a freaking liar.

Venting...Hell yeah.

Now, some of you would know me in real life and smirk at my words. I'm not difficult to hang out with and yes, I can pass sometimes to be an irrate a-hole. Are you different when something or someone nudges you in the wrong way? What? You can? Well, guru, I bow to your exquisite peaceful patience. Who I am is this guy there, at the corner, talking and arguing with all of you if need be but I will learn and I can concede a nod when I do learn something new. I'm not that stuck up to brush away whatever someone can offer to me.

We learn. We listen...And our writing and knowledge get better.

Online persona, guys and girls, is not so different than in real life. Just beware not to mix-up a blunt constructive critic with an asshole.

btw.. Don't expect me to post every day. Hi Christopher ;-)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Recess, is it?

The thought of being able to participate in 2A's logline lottery had been preoccupying more of my mind than it should. Sure, it gives me the opportunity to compete and get a reward from CL's office at ICM but as my luck goes, I didn't win it this time. I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed.

Sure, one of my new online buddy (Roscoe P...mark that name, he's coming up sooner than later) have been chosen. Should be making this an interesting round while I try to give some little insight on what or what not should be part of a logline. I've read and commented on all the chosen #s. It's going to be the first I'm participating into and there are quite a few good premises and concepts out there.

But ideas are available to everyone while the success comes into the execution of it.
I wish all my 2A's mates the best of luck. I do hope one of them make it to something bigger. I'm honestly not sure how many have been able to do anything out of that contest. Were they able to option or sell those scripts? Hmmm...Mystery that will need to be answered.

Brainwave before I lead myself to bed. I've read Roscoe's script called "Shotgun Wedding" and lightly commented on his work. Good imagination, very good ideas and excellent character developments on most of the main ones. Roscoe is, and should be, a comedy writer. Can't seem to see him in any other genres but who knows? Writers like us have the possibility to surf and board any kind if enough time and research are made.

Tried my hand at one (my 2nd script...Obviously still unfinished) but I can't say I had a love for the genre. My second script turned out to be more drama than anything else. I wonder if it really means I'm as stiff as some of the geeks I've seen at the book store today. Nothing wrong with being a geek really...Honestly. Stop staring at me like that.

Ah yes, I am again sliding away from the topic I had in mind. It's the beauty of a blog now: To be able to brain puke as much as I want to. Bear with me friends.

I sent out my 3rd script "Dark Glimmer" to a couple of good pals to see what they think of it. I mean really, it's my 1st FINISHED script. Hope they will be able to see some improvements and evolution in my writing. Hell, they might even hear/read my voice in it. I certainly hope so. I will keep you posted (Am I talking to myself? Good God)

So I've reworked on the outline of my 4th script and in the process of rewriting my 4th script "Spirited Hearts" a blend of supernatural actioneer and romance...And funny enough, I'm finding myself to love that outline even more. So after a few bangs on the wall, I sat down and started to rearrange everything YET again. Some of you would wonder why it takes so long to write a spec? That's my pointer. Sadly. Thankfully. It now stands at a whooping 94 pages and I think I see it at a dozen pages more. Length is of the essence? It's costing me more hardship and headaches but like I've said. I like the idea on how it will look now.

I've asked a buddy of mine if I should post straight (read serious) and more informative posts in my blog. You know, down to dirt sort of posts I see in a lot of different blogs. Told me I should post as I feel like doing. After all, I'm not looking to get paid for puking my non-sense here.
So right, puking on the blog posting and serious smack on the script. Got it? I am trying to.
Haven't been on DDP much recently. A few posts here and there but nothing like I used to. Maybe I got script slapped (oh yes) and focused on more research and writing...And if I'm not writing my script, I'm writing in this blog (hopefully) or in the 2 forums you see on the right links section.
I'm going to try to continue doing so. Staying free and babble off here while I take my serious beret and post in a more serious tone everywhere else.
Sometimes, it's good to be home, fellas.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Intro the the lower stratos...


It seems to be the hardest thing to do.

Story telling is no more about just sitting in front of a fire and telling your pals some scary story you thought of. It's no more a time where I could have picked an harp and sang my way in courts...It's so much more than anything people would believe it to be.

It's life...

So why tell my stories as screenplays?

It could have been different and maybe there would be other paths to get my writing done...Even read?

Alas for me, I've always been visual, always been smitten by the moving images.

So flashes of lights, smiles and tears...The sound of a plane to the melodious sadness of a flute. It all comes down to the senses.
My senses reflected into your eyes.

I fumbled my way down to read some scripts and joined a couple of forums (Done Deal Pro and 2Adverbs) to ease myself into the process of writing spec scripts. Because you know, all writers have to feel a bit special knowing there should be some support from peers? Right.

No denial, there are some amazing people out there I've been lucky enough to call friends (as weird as it sounds online...Welcome to the virtual world I guess.) and others with unfathomly incredible power (Yes Christopher...Deny it all you want).
I've learned a few things and got myself in the frame of mind of what I should be doing over the next decade. Yes, much like Ted Elliott, I've decided I must sell a script within the next 10 years. So work as much as I can...Harder everyday. Why a blog then?
What do you think friend? A writer, after all, must write. This is but another medium.

And from the short stories to poetry BACK to short stories and then throw in some lyrics, I think I pretty much covered it all since my youth. That was never enough. I wanted to bite harder, bigger.

Here came the novel story...Here came a project I'd worked on for the past couple of years. Hell, I've made over 350 pages until a couple of friends told me how descriptive my writing was.

"Hey man, what about making this into a movie?"

Well of course, I was taken by surprise. Not because I never thought of movie making, my writing was really a secret hope for someone to pick-up and eventually turn it into a feature film.
So why not wait? Why not finish what I was doing?

Honest to God, I felt like I've been lying to myself. I felt the need to breathe what I've always hope to do...And start over where I should have been doing for the past couple of years.

Too late? Never!!!

I'm not going to flaunt my own skills...I didn't have any when I was born. I learn, I strive, I fall and get back again.
In the end, I do get better. I always did, and since it is the desire I've always had since childhood...I won't be put down.

And this passion is burning me to a crisp.

Don't you dare point that fire extinguisher.