Hey, Oscars got announced today and, maybe for the first time ever, we’re being timely. How so? Funny-cause-it’s-true nominee posters ripped from FastCo, who stole them from College Humor. Don’t blame us, Huffington Post started it.
So last month this guy from Connecticut was at a seafood restaurant and when it came time to choose who to eat, he spotted an enormous 17-pound lobster in the live tank. Instead of dining on Lucky Larry, as he’s now known, he set him free (in the ocean, not just in the restaurant parking lot). Continue reading
I was a sucky teenager. I pretty much did what my parents and teachers told me, and only broke the rules if I was on my way to the Planetarium to see the Pink Floyd laser show. That lack of a rebel spirit had its upsides – I got into university and passed my driving test the first time. But it also almost meant a career that would have added a heaping serving of mockery to the virginity buffet that was my teenage years.
Douchebag owned, douchebag operated
It all started when I got a job as a barista at a crappy little coffee shop owned by a guy named Doug. Physically, he was not well maintained. Even his goatee had dandruff. His personality was worse – an unpleasant mix of racist jokes and questionable management directives like “mustard never goes bad, so it’s okay to still use the tub I bought four years ago”, and “I can save $20 a month if we turn off the refrigerator in the pastry case.” And there was the whole problem — whatever he asked me to do, I did, even if it meant picking fruit flies out of the custard tarts.
Meet Francis McTavish. He’s a likeable everyman with a beer belly and a bald spot. But what he lacks in abs, he makes up for with a cool job – he’s a geologist surveying for minerals in the rainy rainforests of Peru.
So he’s down in South America one day, when his helicopter crash-lands deep in the jungle. The pilot dies, and Francis has a nasty gash on the back of his shiny head. He uses some leaves from a strange looking plant to sop up the blood, then gets rescued.
A week later, and Francis is back at home in America. He looks in the mirror and holy shit his hair is growing back! Yup, there’s manly stubble wherever those magical leaves touched his head.
…or does the new Game of Thrones ad on IMDB.com reference not one, but two of the internet’s most memorable and notorious memes?
…again? Can’t say that I’ve ever done it. I *have* seen a version of the movie/musical…performed by actors in velociraptor costumes making a point about the sustainability of cycling or something (yes, this was on the West Coast). I just think they wanted to advocate the trans-sexual dinosaur lifestyle, then again, who doesn’t? However, what’s truly mind/gender-bending, is looking at a blog you
jammed on took a hiatus from in 2009. A few highlights from the last 3 or so years: Continue reading
As geeks so often love to remind us, movies and TV shows have accurately predicted a lot of our current technology. Yes, a Star Trek communicator pre-dates a Motorola Razr by 40 years, and the non-holographic version of Minority Report’s touch screens are now on your iPhone. But really, who gives a f**k? All that proves is that the nerdy industrial designers of today used to all be sci-fi loving ‘indoor kids’ who had their first wet dream after watching Barbarella on late-night Cinemax. As a screenwriter, I’m less interested in guessing the next neato gadget, than predicting, or even shaping, the very culture we live in. As a result, I’ve compiled a list of films that did just that, albeit in really annoying ways.
You’re a caveman (I don’t need to say caveperson since political correctness has only been around for 0.000000000000001% of human existence). Your ability to effectively categorize sh*t is everything. Is that shadow moving in the woods tasty prey or a nasty predator? Is that berry fire engine red (granted you don’t know what a fire engine is since the whole flame thing is pretty new) because it’s delicious or deadly? Despite the body hair, protruding forehead and inability to really get your jokes, will that female humanoid bear you healthy Australopithi-babies or leave you for that asshole Uggghh and take you for your cave and wheel? Fast forward to now. The world is essentially stable (unless you’re living in the majority of it that isn’t). You don’t really need to filter your world into boxes, but you do cause it’s hard wired. Knowing this can help you to write screenplays, but if you’re like me, it probably won’t get your ass laid.
I’ll admit it, maybe I was tripping balls a bit inebriated. Actually, I’m admitting nothing, NOTHING. But, despite the fact that the first movie was superior in every regard, Silent P and I were blown away by The Matrix Reloaded. We couldn’t stop talking about the Zion Burning Man Rave scene, the dead heat of Bellucci as Persephone, that sick car chase (come on, you know it), even the stupid babbling architect. What did it mean, how would the series end, what were the philosophical ramifications? It was too much. Then, as we slid down the twinkling streets and I gazed into pulsating clouds, it hit me – we had been tricked. Not by Keanu’s “acting” but by what could be most important secret to making movies…whoa.
It’s a high school movie (not High School Musical, cause that’s bullsh*t). The unsung hero likes the abnormally pretty girl with character who is generally saddled with the handsome, mean-spirited Alpha…you know, captain of the football team, leader of the pack, etc. of the etc. The protagonist has a beautiful soul, some extraordinary talent and is actually kinda cute himself come-to-think-of-it. It’s just that the object of desire can’t see the hero because of the shadows cast by her radiance. But we know better and root for him. Why? Because he is us. More accurately, he is our perspective since we all experience life as the hero. Too bad in any story there can really only be one (f**king) protagonist and, let’s face facts, it most likely ain’t you.
I was somewhere and I was about to leave (you will understand my vagueness momentarily). But I heard someone on a call that sounded so deliberately on the up-and-up it had to be on the down-n-dirty. So I lingered. For a second I thought it was a bad idea. I wasn’t going to buy anything, what if he thought I was a narc? Then I remembered I was too stone-cold badass to be pegged as a cop (except maybe for the sex police). Before I had a chance to get all paranoid he arrived, didn’t give a shit that I was there and quickly produced a metal briefcase. Before he even cracked it open we all knew – it was on.
Back in Vancouver I used to DJ. Then, through a few twists of fate, I started doing live laptop performances (kinda on a Girl Talk tip). It was mad fun and my gigs were generally at interesting venues with appreciative crowds (as opposed to the opiate masses at some of the parties I would spin at). I was playing an ‘Electric Campfire’ at an avant garde artspace and a diminutive blond approached me after my set. She had seen all of my shows (which would make her the only one) and within 5 minutes she wanted to make out with me. At the time this shouldn’t have been a problem, but there was a definite aura of whack-ness about her so I declined. Which, just made her more determined. She ended up following me around the rest of the night, the insanity in her eyes glowing brighter with every spurned advance. I realized then that crazed female fans weren’t my ish – BUT fast-forward to now and I’m curious – do successful screenwriters have groupies?
I’d make a sh*tty father. Okay, make that my creative partner and I would make horrible parents. Not with kids or anything, we’d be great at that. Of course, I’ve never even considered the idea, I mean, he’s a dude. Well, I guess there was that one time – we’d been working all night, he went out and got me a hot chocolate (how sweet is that?) and I thought for a second if only the laws were different…Pretend you didn’t read that, okay?
Halloween in NY is full on. A year or two ago, I went to no less than six parties in one week, the highlight was being a zombie tourist on a Gravehound bus blaring skull-splitting techno in the massive Greenwich Village Parade. So by the weekend I was running a bit thin on costumes and party number four was in a few hours. That’s when inspiration silently struck. I dressed up as a mime (as best I could) and made a cartoony cardboard clock that showed the time moving back from 2AM to 1AM. I even taped “fall” and “back” on my knuckles. I was (perhaps) the world’s first DAYLIGHT SAVINGS MIME. What I failed to realize is that the costume I thought was so clever would come to be a metaphor for one of my creative failings.
I’ve been digging the Olympics. Not so much rooting for the underdog (other than my celebrity doppelganger who just unseated I – bet – he’s – actually – gay Federer), but watching ruthless domination. Michael Phelps IS an aquatic killing machine. He’s simply sick. As of this post he has six golds (all world records), so I’m beating the rush with a matching number of can’t miss feature ideas.
My mind gets f*cked up changes when I fly. I can feel it. Probably a bit more optimistic, definitely reflective. Kinda spacey, expanding. Synapses fire with a distinct (bluish) spark. So, of course, I try to…write. Which is a bit hard when they have on-demand movies (right now I’m half-watching Charlie Wilson’s War). But I soldier on. And since I can’t quite focus on our next screenplay, my altitudinally shifted mind is somewhat fascinated by its own (sorry) state. So the question of the moment is, is it beneficial to write high?
Wow! Brother did it. Maybe this nation will be pulled back from the brink by the power of ChangeTM after all? I’m pretty confident Obama can manhandle McCain. Getting by the GOP’s Satan-powered voter fraud machine – an entirely different matter. Nonetheless, I’ll leave that in Barack’s capable (fingers crossed) big black hands, cause I have scripts to pitch. After all, when was the last time we had a charismatic, smart Democrat with a colorful backstory in the Oval Office…who didn’t defile his portly intern with a Cohiba.
Silent P and I wrote and directed an indie feature a looooong time ago. It had to do with a ragtag group of comedic rebels in a world where humor was forbidden. If you want to see it, simply dig up the tapes, edit the film and post it somewhere so I can watch it too. Other than the raw sh*t questionable production value, making a comedy proved to be harder than we imagined. Okay, it reamed our asses silly. So now that we seem to find ourselves working on (supposedly) comedic scripts, I have to wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into…