Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back to Basics

Stagnation, it happens, sometimes I put to much on my plate and then I have to take a few steps back and look at the whole scene, as if I were watching a film. I ask myself, "Where did I go wrong?" or "What do I need to change?" For a few weeks I've been writing about how I need to get more focused and back into my writing, unfortunately I'm still lagging on that front, but I'm ready for a change. If I want to progress I have to change.

Since August, I've been talking about writing the feature length script of After the Headlines, which won't get written until I write the treatment and then an outline. After some failed attempts, I realize I have to do the first two in order to make it through a first draft. I'm not one of those blessed writers who can take it off the top of their head and crank out a script in a few weeks. I tend to self-edit as I write and that typically halts me in between the second and third act. The outline comes in handy at this point, because when I'm about to go off-track, I have my outline to remind of my original intentions.

I've gotten as far as pulling out the articles and carrying them around. No that isn't helping me write, but it reminds me that I have a project to start. Tonight I'm finally going to take some initiative and reread the articles that will be the basis of my story. I will also look over some articles related to mental-health needs. I try to forget that this work is important, but then I read some articles from screenwriters making a living at their passion, I am reminded not to skip over the basics if I want to lay down the right foundation. Since a screenplay is the blueprint for directors and actors, it's in my best interest to take the time to flesh out my story (beginning, middle, and end). I only cheat myself when I don't do the work.

So for the next few weeks, I will not think about contests or queries. From where I'm sitting, I have a lot to do before I hit that stage. It's time for me to step up to the plate and write, it's all about getting back to the basics.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Contest Frenzy and Other Things

I wish I could report that I've gotten some screenwriting done, unfornately that is not the case, but I'm back to writing my morning journal entries and I've been finally tackling the mess that is my office. Over the weekend, I finally organized my receipts. I had a pile on the floor that went back to the month of January. It was made up of gas, grocery stores, retail, dry cleaning, AAA, and a bunch of other places. I still have to finish organizing my receipts from the production of After the Headlines. At least I have them all in one place, the production binder. It's a start.

One of the reasons I have haven't written down a word is because I've been busy looking for screenwriting contests for Finding Patience (I've done a mini revision) and film festivals for After the Headlines. Every couple of days I get an email blast from the folks at Withoutabox, a website that lists film festivals across the globe, http://www.withoutabox.com/ about potential festivals I should enter. A lot of times I pass, but lately I've been getting film festivals geared toward short films and even a couple geared toward female filmmakers. I believe that to be my niche and trying to work that angle.

The business of writing and trying to get discovered is just as much work as the writing itself, maybe even more. When I think about it, I have three jobs, there's my public relations gig (the bread and butter), the screenwriting gig (my part-time passion), and now the publicist gig(promoting myself and one of the reasons I write this blog). I wear a few other hats like actor, consultant, and mentor. It all depends on the time of day, day of the week, and the project I'm interested in.

In closing, I do have some good news to report, After the Headlines will be screened at the Silk City Flick Festival http://www.silkcityflickfest.com/, coming to Manchester, Connecticut, October 8 to 11, 2009. It's my first festival and hopefully not my last with all the entries I've mailed out this last month. If you live in Connecticut, please check out some of the films and support local filmmakers like myself. We really would appreciate it.

I have lots to do, some where in there I will find time to write, but right now I'm focused on the promotional stuff. The writing will come, it always does.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Anticipation for the Second Season of SOA


I'm going to take a break from writing about me, truth be told, this has been a weekend of more procrastination than progress. I shouldn't make excuses, but it is so hard to stay inside and write when the weather is so nice. There weren't be many more of these days in Connecticut. Truth be told, I have probably spent as much time watching TV late at night as I've spent enjoying the weather.

Watching television is very easy for me to do, it becomes that much easier when I anticipate the return of one of my favorite shows. Earlier in the summer it was the second season of True Blood, but now with that getting ready to wrap up on September 13, 2009, I have switched gears. The labor day weekend may mark the end of summer, but for me, it also marks the beginning of season two of Sons of Anarchy (SOA). FX's promos and trailers have been my fix, keeping my level of anticipation up for most of the summer. Now, the moment I've been waiting for is almost here. Tomorrow night at 1o p.m. I'm going to be glued to my television ready to see where Kurt Sutter will take us in the second season.

I really like Sons of Anarchy (SOA), so much so, that I decided to write a spec script as my MFA thesis project. I have watched season one about 5 times, analyzing the characters and story lines. I wasn't an instant fan of the show. I didn't get into it until about half-way through season one, but then I was hooked. It probably had something to do with the sexy lead, Charlie Hunnam (Jax Teller). SOA's cast also includes, Ron Pearlman, Kim Coates, and Katey Sagal.

I also want to shout out my fellow fans at the Sons of Anarchy forum, http://www.sonsofanarchyforums.net/. These die hard fans have kept and continue to build interest in the show, while also providing some entertaining conversations. It's nice to have a place to go when I just want to talk SOA. The next 13 weeks will keep us busy, but for now I continue my countdown to the premiere of the second of season of SOA.

To find out what you've been missing visit, www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/soa.

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Letting Go, Moving Forward

I'm not ready for summer to be over. I know we still have til' September 21, but with evenings in the 40s I have to accept the fact that the summer season is slowly slipping away. My body sure let me know this weekend. All the rain on Saturday, sent my allergies on attack and my body is currently battling a sinus affection. The fact that I'm also fasting makes it a little tougher, but I'm hanging in there.

As we approach the fall, I'm reminded that there is a little over four months left to this year. I start to think about all the good and bad things that have taken place within the year. I'm in that reflective phase. So far I feel like I've made some good strides in 09, especially as a screenwriter. I finished After the Headline (still working on packaging the film for cast & crew), achieved my first film festival win at the 2009 Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival, attended a Script Writer's Review Sponsored by Nickelodeon, graduated Western Connecticut State University (West Conn)with my MFA in Professional Writing, and am engaged. Not, bad, but then again I try to be an over achiever.

On a sadder note, I did lose some people in my life this year. My grandmother passed and although we weren't close, it's sad to lose the last living matriarch between both my parents. That generation is gone and I only have photos and stories to refer to. I also lost a close friend this year. I won't get into the details, because that can take a blog in itself. It's hard for me to accept that I'm no longer a part of this person's life, considering we were friends since high school .

Letting go of things, people, and places, has always been hard for me. The fact that I'm an emotional junkie makes it that much harder, however, if I'm going to continue to make progress in my personal and personal goals, some people fade out of the picture that is my life. It's never an easy transition, but a must if I'm going to continue to move forward.

My work continues, I'm looking forward to forging a new relationship with a female student in West Conn's MFA program as I mentor her in the Reading in the Primary Genre course this semester. I see the work as an opportunity for both of us to grow as screenwriters. In helping others, I help myself. I also have a few scripts that I need to start cranking out, and maybe if the stars are aligned, I'll get into one of the festivals I submitted to.

Letting go, to move forward is easier said than done, but at the end of the day, it is the move I need to make.