Up and Down; Script, Web Series, Inktip; Allergies

So the webseries thing keeps ping ponging back and forth between happening and not happening.  If it does happen, I’m probably going to lose my Thanksgiving.  Theoretically also my Christmas, except I’m not willing to give up my Christmas and my Thanksgiving.  So.

There’s another short that I’ve been contacted about.  I just got the script, it’s cute, but quite long for a ‘short’.  I find that to be a common problem.  Short shorts get shown more!

And!  Excitingly!  A producer/director team contacted me to read my script.  This was from an ad on Mandy (see the link on the sidebar) and they contacted me very quickly.  So far Inktip has been a complete disappointment.  The script has come up on maybe 6 people’s searches, and no one’s read the synopsis.  It could be a problem of the logline, but, seeing the company names, it just seems like it’s not being found by people who are interested in comedy.

I took a benadryl and a claritin this morning, meaning I had two antihistamines in my system when I went to get my allergy skin test done. My reaction was so terrible that they called everyone who works there in to see.

Dr: Are you trying to win a prize?
Me: No allergies would be a good one, you got that?
Dr: Oh. Um, well.

And, for people like me who can’t get enough of other people’s medical melodrama, you can click here for the picture.

Always Something

Last night I had a long production meeting about a webseries that I’ve been tapped to be the Post Supervisor/Lead Editor on.  Which is exciting, but we’re not sure when the production is actually going to get produced.  So, right now, there are 3 different web series that I’m theoretically on board for but that aren’t quite getting produced just yet.  I’m still hoping that something comes through in the next couple weeks, but we’ll see.

The production was in the house of someone with cats.  I am very allergic to cats, I don’t understand why people have cats.  It’s like rubbing peanuts all over your house.  Sure, not everyone is allergic, but a lot of people are, and the ones that are have a real bad reaction.

Anyway, I was already woozy and weird and now one of my eyes is swollen shut.  So I called in sick to work, because I didn’t want to drive with one eye only kind of working and then have to sit in front of a computer in an allergic haze.  Yeah.

I’m trying to get in to this medical research thing about allergies.  I’m going to get a skin prick test today.  Seriously, anything for money out here.  I was disappointed when the ad for an adult film editor was taken off craigslist.  Hey, it’s work!

K.  I’m going to crawl back in bed for a while.  I’m hoping my eye returns to a normal size before I’m supposed to go to the doctor.

On Editing vs Writing

It’s sort of strange to be out here actively pursuing two different careers — writing and editing.  Writing is in some ways a much more natural outlet of mine, I don’t know that I could stop writing if someone told me I had to.  But, editing is a craft that I’ve been well trained in and is easy to market as a skill.  And I think the two seemingly different focuses are actually very similar.

You write the script, the director paints the film, and then the editor does a final polish.  In the editing room, I’ve created stories whole, rewritten things that didn’t work, and done things as simple as putting the shots in the order they’re supposed to go.  I can see how some people would find editing tedious, but massaging cuts is very rewarding to some OCD part of my brain.  Making comedic timing perfect or letting someone linger just long enough on a difficult moment.  The things you can do to cheat a shot are never ending.  Warp the time to fit words in someone’s mouth, speed things up when a take is too long, splice two shots together.  Cheating is fun.

I’m going to most likely be cutting a reel for an actress in the next couple weeks.  I find this exciting for lots of reasons. I love seeing actors ranges.  I worked as Casting Director for the Thesis Films and held casting in Tallahassee, NY and LA.  I loved seeing actors audition and give different renditions of the same words.  I also got thousands and thousands (not exaggerating) of submissions, many of whom sent in reels.  I watched a couple reels and almost inevitably the reels made me not nearly as enthusiastic as the headshot.  But occasionally, just occasionally, something in a reel really spoke to me.  I’m hoping to have the chance to do that for someone.

Of course, the difference between writing and editing is, when you edit, no matter how much you cheat, you can’t change what’s in the footage.

Otters 2

Weekly dose of otters.  This week, baby otters are even cuter than the adults.

Weekend Wasted, but lovely just the same

I didn’t get any writing done this weekend.  I’m still feeling poorly.  I’m not sure what it is.  I have a history of unreliable health, but I’ve got a doctor appointment Wednesday.  Hopefully that’ll clear up whatever this is.  I’m just dizzy and woozy.  Which makes writing sort of hard, in that it makes thought difficult.

I mean, and I’m lazy, so there’s that.  I did talk a bit with F who has some thoughts for Bible Con.  We made up a stupid joke about Christians being like gay people — the only groups you just have to claim membership and you’re in.  You love Jesus?  You’re in.  You love other men?  You’re out.  Ah, it was funny at the time anyway — helped that we were at In-and-out.  Still working on that setup.

Other than that I pretty much played board games, slept, and went grocery shopping.  Oh, and expended way too much mental energy on this webseries gig that may or may not happen.  I’m hoping that it does, but if so, it may eat up any and all of my free time.  So that whole writing thing might be put on hold for a while.

I keep trying really hard not to get my hopes up for Nicholl.  I just don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.  It just would be so nice to be able to write.  And to have a little more money to live off of.  I am hemorrhaging my savings.

Pandemic

Pandemic

We didn’t actually play Pandemic (best game ever) this weekend.  I bought a new game called Space Alert! It has a goofy voice that tells you what to do.  It’s crazy and awesome and reminds me of Galaxy Quest.  I’m excited that it’s my first official board game purchase.  I’m a big fan of cooperative games.

False Controversy, Darwin

I’m a big fan of Pharyngula and PZ Meyers, and I think he’s seen right through some bullshit in this post, or at least, he’s mostly seen through the bullshit.

Basically, there’s a film about Darwin that has gotten foreign distribution but hasn’t gotten a distributor in the US.  And the producer is claiming that this is because it’s too controversial to pick up.  Really, Religulous got picked up, but you’re too controversial?  With your story of a man who never admitted to not believing in God because he didn’t want to offend his wife?  Huh.

I’m pretty sure that controversy has nothing to do with the film not getting picked up. Distributors are driven solely by their bottom line and American film audiences are very different from foreign ones. We don’t go to the theatres for small movies, that’s why we have TVs. The American market picks up less films because it’s much more competitive. Hundreds and hundreds of films get made thanks to Foreign Distribution money and we just never see them here because America has got ‘better’ films to spend their money on.

Don’t forget, most foreign countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK have tons of government money to support filmmaking that’s considered artistic or educational or otherwise important. The US does not.

I’m 100% sure that, if the film is any good, it will get distribution. Probably on television or DVD, maybe with a small theatrical run, but maybe not. There are hundreds of great, small movies that are distributed in foreign markets and not here. I think that the evolution content has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Yeah.  In other news, I’ve got to get on some writing this weekend.  It seems possible that this webseries thing is going to kick into high gear and I’m going to lose my free time.  I absolutely need to have a new draft by the end of October.  And I really want to have a first act for a second script and a treatment for a third.

Excuse my sentimentality

When I was young, my mother was really in to needlepoint, but she wasn’t very good.  Or rather, she wasn’t professional, she took on projects that were of her size.  But, I was obsessed with this needlepoint design that was, in her opinion, well out of her strength.  It was almost but not entirely unlike this:

CaringWings_MED

It took her two years.  Two years working on this little 12″ x 12″ piece of fabric.  And in the end, I had a little pink angel pillow that I loved third best, after Bear Blankie and Big Bear, of course.

For her birthday (Aug 31) I decided, back in the late winter/early spring, to make her a pillow too.  Now, I have no interest in needlepoint or cross stitch but my boyfriend-at-the-time’s mother was really into quilting.  I have an interest in sewing, so I thought, I’ll do like a little quilt-like pillow.  That shouldn’t take to long.  It’ll be done in time for 4th of July and I’ll give it to her when I go home then.

Ha!

Tonight, I have completed the epic quest of sewing.  All by hand, an imperfect little 18″x18″ pillow.  Inside of which is another pillow, or the remains of it, the last thing I bought in Tallahassee before driving to LA, a hideous orange Florida pillow for my little brother to sleep on while I drove.

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom

Some days in LA

I don’t hate LA.  I mean, I mostly hate the town of LA, and I most assuredly hate the utter lack of organization and the awful public transportation and traffic and parking. But I like the people.  There are parts that are seedy and gross and feed off of the slimy outgrowths of crushed dreams, but there are all those dreams the slimy outgrowths feed off of in the first place.  There are people here who are talented, smart and funny.  They may not be the majority but there are more here than anywhere else I’ve lived.

One of the toughest things about being new here is your inability to help others.  Like, if I meet someone smart or talented who should be making something of themselves, it’s not within my power to simply hand them to an agent and say “Really, this guy is amazing, you have to build a career for him.  He won’t disappoint.”  There are so many people I know that I would do that for, without even asking something in return.  Because they’re good and deserve a shot and real support.

Instead it’s like, yeah, you and me buddy.  We’ll wait on the sidelines and hope someone tags us in and we get a chance to get the ball.  And if we get the ball, hope to hell we score, because we may never get tagged in again.

8 things not to do in rejection letters

It frequently happens that you get rejected in this business.  9 times out of 10 the rejection comes in the form of no response.  Occasionally, it comes in really patronizing, mean, or embarrassing e-mails.  So, if you ever have to write a rejection letter, here are 8 pieces of advice.

1. Do get the name of the person right.  For example, if their name is “Ashley” and it says “Ashley” 3 times in their e-mail, don’t begin your rejection with “Hi Arlyn”

2. Don’t insult their current line of work.  For example, if they work as a logger but have sent you a long list of credits in other fields don’t say, “I see you are a logger and therefore not qualified.”  That’s like saying Einstein wasn’t qualified to talk about physics because he worked as a patent clerk — refer to the relevant experience.  Which leads me to the next one.

3. Don’t insult their experience, if they aren’t what you’re looking for, just say so.

4. Don’t offer them a pity internship.  They applied because they wanted money.  If you need an intern, post for one.

5. Do have a website and an e-mail that doesn’t end in hotmail or yahoo.

6. If you want to be treated like a professional, act professionally  Every person you insult is going to be a person who says bad things about you and refuses to work with you in the future.  Yes, you went to Film School and worked on the latest direct to DVD film of a fallen, embarrassing starlet, but you’re still trying to make good contacts.  Don’t burn bridges.  You never know.

7. Craigslist is where you find affordable up and comers, not experienced industry professionals.  Experienced professionals don’t work for 1/6th the going rate.

8. Don’t admit your name is a synonym to “doofus”.  That’s just going to make them giggle.  Initials exist for a reason.

douche

In which I meet famous (ish) people

My work involves watching a lot of footage. I mean, a lot, a lot, of footage. There are several kinds of reality shows, but the kind I work on, the docu-soap, involves just following people around for months and months and months. And someone (me) has to watch all of the footage that they shoot. So, if there are 7 or 8 main characters whose lives aren’t always intersecting, and you film every day, every week from May through September… well, that’s a lot of footage.

So, I get to meet someone in a show I’ve been logging since May. Which is completely exciting and a little weird. I mean, I know way, way too much about this guy. Not like, I watched a show with him in it, but like I’ve watched hundreds of hours of his life. So, he’s going to be at a major deficit in knowing about me. It’s kind of like I’m an unwilling stalker meeting my willing victim.

Also, Max Adams totally commented on my post, which is like being famous. And I’m friends with Dave White. So I have a little contact with famous (ish) people.

I once exchanged e-mails with Anne Rice. I’ve met and hugged Ben Stein. This was before he made Expelled, I’m not sure I’d be so thrilled if I met him again. But at the time, I was a huge Win Bin Stein’s Money fan. I almost stepped on Kristin Chenoweth when I worked at Warner Bros. She’s really short. Mary Louise Parker almost barreled into me on the same lot.

I got to meet Jon Stewart and Mr. I’m a PC himself, John Hodgman. The sweetest most adorable man alive.  I really wish to meet Mr. Stevie Colbert because he’s from Charleston, but that might not happen.

JH: Are you another one of Josh L’s family?
AFM: No, I’m a friend of Josh’s family.
JH: I call him Mr. L.

<3

<3

I'm a mac, he's a PC

I'm a mac, he's a PC

My mother met Princess PuffySleeves Christian Siriano.

Christian Siriano and Mom