New draft; Weblebrities

Not a totally new draft, just a tweaked one.  I have a hard time doing rewrites immediately, I need time for things to gestate.  I think I’m different from most writers in that I’d rather spend a lot of time thinking and write in a mad dash than to write a little each day.  I think a little most days, and then write 10-20 pages a day for a week.  I think this is absolutely not the way they recommend doing it.

I think about 30% of it is a procrastination thing*, it’s hard to write without deadlines, but most of it is about the fact that in the rewrite stage I need to get away from the previous draft enough that changing it doesn’t feel like I’m betraying the truth of the story.  Because when you write something down it becomes sort of solid; while it’s floating around in your head, changes are easy, but once it’s on the page it’s just a little bit harder to change.

*Writing is tough when you’re at work 50hrs/wk and you have other stuff you’ve got to do.  And there’s the internet.

In other, unrelated news, I met Mr. Deity on Friday!  So in one week, I’ve met Michael Shermer, PZ Myers, and Mr. Deity.  Only slightly related, UPS was supposed to have delivered my new business cards on Thursday, but even though I left them the signed thing saying they could just leave it, they didn’t.  So I don’t have them and I am frustrated because I spent hours (maybe like an hour) designing new ones and I could have had those on me at the time.  Oh well.

In other other news, I spent all of Saturday (14 hours) ACing on a spinoff series of Gold.  They’re shooting for four days, but 28 hour weekends is a lot when you’re not getting money or an above the line credit, so I did yesterday and probably will help out a little next weekend.  It was an interesting day, they’ve got different directors working on the project, but two different people were directing different bits, so it was interesting to see how differently it went with the two of them.

And, we were shooting in the garage, and the garage door fell off.  And I thought that was hysterical, which I think is allowed because they fixed it.

So, go watch Mr. Deity or Gold

Advice for 2010 Grads Coming to LA; 15 things

The Bitter Script Reader posted some advice about how to survive to move to LA.  I tried to comment over there and it won’t let me, but this is what I said.

1) Get settled so that you’re as comfortable as possible — living out of boxes makes everything seem transient. Have roommates or whatever, but make sure that you’ve got a space, however small, that is yours. Spend some time driving around the city and getting to know places. Find the studios. (Have a car!)

2) I really love Glendale, it’s safe and cheapish. Frogtown is super cheap. North Hollywood is becoming a lot safer, the parts closer to the 134 are totally fine for a single girl to live in.

2) I would say you probably need at least 7k in the bank before coming out here and at least two finished scripts and some outlines for more. Basically, you need enough money that you can go several months without making much money at all and enough written that if you’re too discombobulated to write, you’ve got something to work with. I applied for internships and jobs for 6 months before I moved out and it still took me 3 months to land a part time paid gig, though I did have an internship lined up.

3) Apply to every job you can find, do things for free, take an internship in the industry if you can afford it and then work at whatever you can in the rest of the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s an industry job, making contacts of all sorts is important, life experience, all that jazz. I’m not super social and I don’t like to drink, but working on other people’s projects is a great way to meet people and learn useful skills.

4) Find something else you can do in the industry besides writing. Can you edit? Can you gaff? Find a way to make yourself useful. Pursue every avenue. Learn to script supe, that’s easy and low impact.  Find something you like to do that isn’t writing.

5) A lot of people would say find a writing group. I personally am not in one, but I have a large group of friends who I can get advice from. Writing groups are pretty useful if you don’t have that.

6) Apply selectively to contests, but do apply. I’ve definitely gotten contacts from agents and managers and earned some street cred by placing in contests people had heard of.

7) Mandy.com, realitystaff.com, and craigslist are your new friends. I personally don’t really like the UTA job list, but it’s out there too.

8) Figure out a way to make your commute worthwhile. A voice recorder is great if you can think outloud for writing purposes. I listen to a lot of audiobooks.

9) Do things that have nothing to do with film because people who only talk about film are boring. Read books, magazines, go do stuff that’s got seriously zero to do with film and then you’ll have something interesting to talk about. The reason Hollywood loves young blood is because they have experience outside of the Hollywood system and they haven’t quite yet been turned into normal LA people who can only talk about themselves and movies.

10) Write genre scripts that can be produced cheaply if you’re really out to make a sell.

11) Don’t ever be a douchebag. Don’t have a temper. If you talk shit online, don’t use names.  (Unless revealing scam artists!)

12) Conversely, if you’re working for free, you have the right to be treated well and to learn something from the experience. Don’t be afraid of anyone. And don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, just don’t be aggressive. Along these lines, know how much you should be getting paid, even if you’re not being paid that. This is useful info.

13) Be on the look out for scams. Not all competitions are worthwhile. Not all agents are legit. If someone asks you for money upfront to be your agent, that guy is a scam artist. (google Eddie Kritzer)

14) If you’re a lady writer with a girly name, I’d recommend using your initials. That sounds terrible, but there’s genuine gender bias out here and I’m super lucky that all the other Ashleys out here are guys. This is especially true if you’re replying to internet ad, because internet people are super creepy.

15) Give yourself deadlines so that you’re not constantly second guessing yourself and make sure they’re reasonable. I, for example, haven’t always been totally sure LA is the place for me, but I’m only allowed to seriously think about moving during the month of August. So I don’t dwell on it in general.

(I never had a problem with the tap water, don’t know what people are talking about)

Bible Con Rewrite

Nicholl 2010: Submitted

ScriptSavvy April: Submitted

Mysterious Director #1: Sent

Mysterious Director #2: Sent

Mysterious Manager: Sent

Family Friend Who Writes on Awesome TV Show: Sent

Mom, friends, internets friends: Sent (If I missed you, holler)

Writing Insanity Cont’d – 2

So, the last 20 pages are all handwritten.  It may come in under page count, but that’s OK.  I think there are some formatting issues and underwritten stuff that a polish pass will probably add some length.  I’m going to type it up tonight and print it out tomorrow to start polishing through it.

I’ll let you know the official three day page count when I’ve got it all typed up, but it should be something like 60 pages in 3 days.  EDIT: 58 pages in 3 days, my therapist thinks I’m manic.

Writing Insanity Cont’d

Only 20 pages to go.

Up to now, the rough structure hasn’t changed too much, but the characters, tension, and absolute ridiculousness have been taken to their logical extreme.  This means that the dominos that have been set up for the farcical ending are totally different.  Hopefully, if the set pieces are good enough, it’ll all just fall into place naturally, but I’m still not sure how this ends now.  I seem to hit the wall at 20 pages a day, hopefully that means I’ll finish it tomorrow.

Maybe I need to listen to Benny Hill music in my sleep to subconsciously get it going.

Writing: Insanity

So, I’m insanely trying to get through a new draft of Bible Con by May 1st.  I decided to do that … um today.  And yes, it’s nuts.  Fortunately I tend to work really fast when I can focus.  So only like… 50 pages to go, so… yeah.  But today I wrote something that made me have a giggle fit, and that’s unusual.  I don’t generally giggle at my own stuff.  I think it’s because it’s really stupid and a little crass.

Anyone have a favorite Christian pickup line?

A comment about Eddie Kritzer I got today

This is a lesson I will never forget (with the scumbag Eddie Kritzer):

This is the letter I jsut sent him today:

“Mr. Kritzer,

I sent you the letter 75 days ago to terminate my agreement with you. I will give you until This Friday (March 26) to return the $700 (or less before your take our your commission – and I want a detailed listing of expenses, please).

I have other things to do besides calling you to check on the status of my money while I am at work.

If I don’t receive the $700 or reasonable portion thereof by Friday, (March 26), I will be writing a letter to the editor to the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times about your treatment of writers. Frankly, I do not care what might happen to your reputation as a result of my truthful letter.

Send the money to:

Justine A. Cowan
juscowan19191@aol.com

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.”

Almost everyone I’ve heard from about him hasn’t actually been hurt financially by being harassed by him, it makes me sad that there clearly are people who have been tricked into giving him money and taken advantage of.  I don’t know how much the LA or NY Times will care about a small time scam artist, but the local news may be interested in pursuing an investigation.  Local news thrives on small time crook stuff.

Crazy Busy

Forgive the pun.

Housing situation up in the air.  Getting packed, finding a place to live.  It’s a lot of chaos, so I haven’t posted here much.

I actually wrote yesterday, which was good.  F and I wrote a parody (rip-off?) of the Greatest Commercial of All Time.

I need to spend more time writing and less time freaking out.  I imagine when there is less to freak me out that will be easier, but I’m not totally sold on that.

Maleficent

It seems that Tim has a hankering for SLEEPING BEAUTY… but not really… You see, he’s going to tell the story from Maleficent’s point of view. In fact, it’ll be called MALEFICENT.  She was always the most interesting character in that story, but we never knew why she hated those three little fairy wenches… or what indignity she suffered at the hands of Aurora’s parents. Yeah, I’m on board… if only it ends with Maleficent with a sword in her heart in dragon form. Cuz that’ll rule. Think about how long this plotline was carried out over. She has quite a tale to tell. – Ain’t it cool

AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!  Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent’s POV as told by Tim Burton.  I would just like to say “DISNEY!!  I have already written this and it is amaaaaaaazing!!!!”  I even have pictures!!!!!!!!!!  //end freak out (but not really)

I would show you pictures but apparently all my shit from Geocities got erased without anyone telling me that that was going to happen.  I think I have a back up somewhere, but DeviantArt isn’t working, so all I can show you is a tiny thumbnail.  ARGH, now I’m angry.

Maleficent

<3

Call to TV Screenwriters/Enthusiasts

Does anyone have a copy of a Glee script?  I promise it’s just for personal use…  Please?