Archive for July, 2009

Looking for low-budget? Got any deals? Gimme a discount? Step right up and kiss my*

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2009 by runningfornow

Seems like everywhere you look online these days, people want a deal. And screenplays are no exception. Producers and prodcos are on the hunt for the next best thing that takes place in THREE locations and has a cast of LESS THAN FIVE and has NO FX and NO EXPLOSIONS and NOTHING THAT WILL COST A LOT OF MONEY. Essentially, they are looking for a play.

I’m not that interested in writing plays. If I were, I’d be peddling my work on Broadway or Off Broadway (proabably Off Off Broadway). However, I am interested in writing a (damn good) SCREENplay. And if that involves EXPLOSIONS and FX and FIGHT SCENES and demands a BIG BUDGET — so be it.

My aim is to tell stories; compelling, evocative, daring, heartfelt, inventive stories. I already wrote and produced a LOW-BUDGET character piece. Been there. Done that. Bought the DVD. The end. Moving on…

If it just so happens that a low-budget concept GRABS ME and HOLDS ON and DIGS IN and WON’T LET GO, then I will write that script (and, if necessary, make the movie, too.) If I am in love with the story, Onward! If I’m hemming and hawing and feeling so-so about it, Pppbbbtttt!

With On the Fringe, I wrote what I could produce on a limited budget. With The Sleeping Deep, I took my foot off the brakes, put the pedal to the floor and let my imagination steer the wheel into uncharted territories… and beyond.

If there is money on the table, fine. I will fulfill a client’s/producer’s needs, provide a service and take the check. But when it comes to writing specs, I’m just not interested in following the trends and predicting what Hollywood will be looking for in the future.

Screenwriter-to-Screenwriter sums it up nicely with her recent post here. [excerpt below]

Not everything we write is going to have great commercial potential. Some things we must write simply because we love them. It might not be the small character drama that breaks your career and gets you work. Maybe not off that one script. But the creative process can’t always be controlled. Sometimes we just have to write that script that’s burning a hole, scratching to the surface, kicking its way out. We will write it and feel better. And once it’s written, we have it in our arsenal of work. It’s ours. Our little nugget of gold.

Bromantic comedies are all the rage, Jeff. You should write one!

Kiss my little star*.

PitchQ

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2009 by runningfornow

Thought I’d give PitchQ a chance, see what happens. Never know.

Check out the website here.

~ Jeff

No Nicholl-a-Go-Go

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2009 by runningfornow

As was expected, I got the “Regrettably” email from the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Contest today.

It was no surprise, really. Out of 6,380 screenplay submissions only 321 made it to the coveted Quarterfinalist round. Yeah. That means 6,059 entrants got “passed” on. So big whoopty-doo congrats to the 321… and carry on, my fellow 6,058.

Eye of the tiger, baby. Eye of the tiger…

The funny/good thing about being a winner OR a loser is that each party has the right to drink.  Celebrate victory? Have a pint! Drown your sorrows? Another round, please. This is why bars almost NEVER go out of business. They do great business in good times and bad, through thick and thin. So the question is…

What the hell am I doing in this filmmaking fantasy when I’d make more money owning a pub?

Bottoms up!

OK. Time to push that ball up the hill.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2009 by runningfornow

And a ONE. And a TWO… annnnd HEAVE! Ho!!

It’s high time T.S.D. (that’s Team Sleeping Deep) get busy and back on track with biznizz, boyeee. We have deadlines to make. And with deadlines come goals, and with goals expectations and then results are right around the corner. Yeah! That’s the spirit. Goals. Deadlines. Results. Love it.

Kidding aside, our collective sights remain steadfast on getting at least one promotional clip locked and loaded for H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2009. Last year The Sleeping Deep took top prize for best screenplay and, one year later, there will be proof that I didn’t rest on my laurels. Well at least not the entire year. ;)

John Emurai has been chipping away at the creature FX, Shawn Russell is crafting new music, and Papa John Tulin is helping on the post-produciton side of things. I have no doubt our efforts will yield a bounty of goodness. Come October, we’ll roll out some eye candy for the Fantasy Fanboys and Fanatics. Give ’em what they want! But just enough so they want more. More, I say! More!! Bwahahahaha!!! [wringing hands, eyes wide, drool rolls over exposed teeth pooling onto the floor]

Yeah. Uh. It’ll be cool. Right?

Jeffrey Combs + Edgar Allan Poe = Awesome

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2009 by runningfornow

Went to see Jeffrey Combs star as Edgar Allan Poe in “Nevermore” (directed by Stuart Gordon, written by David Paoli) at the Steve Allen Theater last night on Hollywood. Wow. Amazing. I knew Jeffrey Combs would deliver the goods, but had no idea… Let’s just say that if you are in the Los Angeles area, can spare $10 (yes, only a ten-spot — oh heck, go even if you can’t afford it) and want to experience an incredibly special and satisfying evening of entertainment that isn’t playing at your local cineplex, you simply must attend Nevermore. It will not disappoint.

Reviews are not my strength, so I will defer to some links here where you can read up on what to expect — or just use da Google.

GoldStar member reviews

Interview with Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum

If you’re familiar with Jeffrey Combs from his roles in Re-Animator, Love and a .45, or The Frighteners… you’re in for a treat the likes of which will have you wanting Nevermore!

On a personal note, I was able to meet Stuart Gordon on our way into the theater and introduced myself as a fan. He was gracious, approachable and thanked us for coming. I wanted to scream “Overdose!!!” (a memorable line from his cult film The Re-Animator) but refrained.

Before the play began they announced that the run has been extended through the end of August due to sold out shows and a growing interest from the community. So now you don’t have any excuses, right?

Saturday shout-outs.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2009 by runningfornow

Looks like the judges at Landlocked Film Festival found the top three scripts and, sadly, The Sleeping Deep was not among them. That’s okay. I had a hunch it wasn’t going to pan out. My congrats to the finalists. It was nice to make the semis and there are a handful of announcements coming up next week – one of which I’m in the running along with this guy. He’s a formidable foe, an avalanche of an adversary and oh, yeah… a helluva writer! ;)

I kid. Chip “crankydog” Street is a good friend and kindred spirit – “one of the good ones” for certain. Check out the latest piece he whipped up for the Scene Challenge at John August’s blog. It’s a snappy superhero action sequence with some killer bits and pieces that all add up and make for an exciting submission. Nice word work, Mr. Street! In addition to writing, Chip’s also an accomplished artist. Here’s a cool piece from his web portfolio. You should click around and see more of his art here.

chip
“TV God – detail” – acrylic on paper – 22×30. Private collection.

On the media front, I just posted an acting reel for another film friend (one that I nearly killed during production!) and you can watch the results here. It came together pretty well and we’re thinking of cutting together a comedy reel in addition to this one which is more dramatic. In fact, you can see a clip of Matthew flexing his funny bones here if you’re looking for a laugh.

Have a great weekend, folks!

~ Jeff

The Day Nothing Happened

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2009 by runningfornow

Yep. It’s been one of those days. Nary a text or a phone call. I haven’t checked outside for smoke signals, but will do shortly.

Actually, this isn’t entirely true. I did get one solicitous phone call from a robot. Yes. A robot with a human voice called me today. Am I the only lucky one?

And okay… I also got a few emails in my inbox. So maybe it really isn’t The Day Nothing Happened. It’s more like, The Day Almost Nothing Happened.

They’re probably the same thing? Almost.

Blah.