Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mission accomplished

Got my spy logline script pages in just at deadline this evening.  It was fun and even if nothing comes of it, it was still a great exercise in taking on a writing assignment and of thinking outside the box and beyond the obvious.

Writing competitions are starting to get more creative and I'm loving that.  Presented by the Writers Store, the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest provides a logline from screenwriter Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and you submit up to the first fifteen pages of the script.  The top ten finalists enter a 12-week mentoring program with the goal of completing a feature spec based on the logline.  When finished, a winner will be chosen from that group.  The contest is judged by Kinberg and production company Benderspink (The Butterfly Effect, The Hangover, Red Eye, A History of Violence).

The logline:
A spy who has spent life wining and dining young women suddenly gets a major surprise when his daughter knocks on his door.
Initially, I was going to blow this off because spy thriller really isn't a genre I have any interest or expertise in, at least as far as writing.  But when I got the second email reminder, I had a burst of inspiration and realized the logline wasn't anywhere near as restrictive as I'd first thought.  Because there were so many things it didn't specify:
  • Genre.  It doesn't have to be a spy thriller, or even a drama.  It could be a comedy or even something supernatural.  Vampires are huge these days, you know.
  • The logline doesn't specify that he's a master spy, or really any good at it at all, just that he likes his women young.  The wining and dining sort of indicates he's smooth and charming, but that could be in his mind - the beautiful young things could be putting up with him because they want or need things from him, like, oh say classified state secrets.  It also doesn't really indicate if he's a current or retired spy.
  • Although it's inferred, nowhere does it say that the daughter is unknown to the spy, just that it's a big surprise when she shows up.  It doesn't say why he's surprised to see her.
  • In fact, there's really not a lot about the daughter provided, other than she's his daughter and her arrival is a unexpected.  She could be anything from a precocious orphan to an accomplished adult.  Or a dysfunctional, non-accomplished adult.  As a writer, I'm pretty much being given carte blanche with the character of the daughter.  I took it, too.
One of the benefits (*procrastination excuse alert!*) of waiting until the last minute to submit is in addition to apparently working best under pressure of deadline (yeah, that's it) I was able to finally find a catalyst for the daughter's arrival and also the threat/conflict in the story: this week's latest Wikileaks scandal!  Thanks Julian Assange, you rat bastard!  And no, you don't get to be in the movie.  I changed your name.  I changed the name of your stupid website too, although it's pretty obvious who I'm talking about.

Hey, not to change the subject, but speaking of Assange and Wikileaks, don't we have Black Ops or something like that to deal with people who endanger our national security?

Gary Don't forget the signal when they come for you, Julian!  (If you don't get this, go here.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Woohoo, I can see my card in here!

Angel Acres Horse Rescue Christmas Fundraiser:

Tree2010f

Come on people, it's for the horses and it's only a dollar!  Even I can afford that!  Believe!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And here I thought Sophie was pretty harmless

Not according to The Oatmeal:

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OMG I want to see this so bad

Tickets are on sale for South Park duo's The Book of Mormon.  (If you click on this link, be sure to scroll over the doorbell.)

I take consolation in the knowledge that if it's successful (which I'm counting on) eventually it will play in L.A.

Also, whoever designed the poster deserves some sort of award.  Seriously, check this out:

Bookofmormon
So very, very awesome.

You can follow The Book of Mormon on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All they do is win, win, win

I've been sick for over a week now, so the past week or so has been completely unproductive.  Feels like such a waste of time.  I've missed a job interview and an Academy screening of 100 year old silents.  Seriously bummed.

On the upside, also sick (in the good way) are the Kings.  They are fifteen games into the new season and have only lost three games so far.  Jonathan Quick has a 10-1 record.  Last night's victory over a hapless NY Islanders team (their 10th straight loss) gave the Kings their best start ever.  They are not only undefeated at home, but have also yet to give up a power play goal at home.  I expected them to be improved this season but this is just crazy.  Everyone involved is enjoying life as a King and Kings fan.


All we do is win, win, win!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another year end writing competition: The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest

Courtesy of the Writers Store, it's The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest.  This one is a bit different in that they give you a logline and you submit the first fifteen pages of the script.  If you're one of the lucky Top Ten, this is part of the prize package:
The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest goes much further than your average competition, by providing the top 10 finalists with mentors to guide them through the entire script creation process, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay to be judged by a panel of Hollywood power players.
The logline for this competition was provided by Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes): 
A spy who has spent life wining and dining young women suddenly gets a major surprise when his daughter knocks on the door.
The entry deadline is November 30.  This one actually opened October 1, but I had blown it off because of the logline.  International espionage isn't a genre I've ever considered trying to write, but as I looked it over and considered some options, I realized that the logline isn't nearly as restrictive as it initially seemed.  You could go any number of directions with it.  I've started jotting down notes and if I can get fifteen (decent) pages down, I'll give this a shot.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not so Golden State

As much as I love my state, the description of California (and its current, disastrous financial condition) in this article is spot-on:
You're the Lindsay Lohan of states: a prima donna who once showed some talent but is now too wasted to do anything with it.
I wish I'd written that.  It's perfect.  Also perfect - this:

California-state-flag_dead Most excellent (and avatar-worthy) updated California state flag snicked from Ace of Spades HQ.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Via L.A. Observed, here's a shot from KCBS Sports Anchor Jim Hill's report on the Kings 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay last night, which gave L.A. a league-leading 18 points.  Not just best in the west, best in the entire league.  Also, notice anything odd?

Jimhill-sactokings Sacramento Kings shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Incredible accomplishment for an NBA team.

Seriously, no one at Channel 2 caught this?  Not one person noticed that not only is it not the L.A. Kings logo, but didn't recognize the Sacramento Kings logo either, or noticed that it says Sacramento and not Los Angeles?  Really?  Even if they don't give a crap about hockey, you'd think they'd at least twig to an NBA logo.

They also chopped off the top of the Lightning's logo.  Apparently the Sacramento Kings actually defeated the lampa Bay Lightning.  So with the technology they've got, they still couldn't size it correctly?

I wonder if Hill mentioned that last night's game marked the return of Drew Doughty from a concussion.  Doubt it.  I would be surprised if he knows who Doughty (or anyone else on the Kings) is.

Amateurs.  Yet another example of why I get my news from the internet and not local media.

Image snicked from L.A. Observed article linked above.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall/Winter Cyberspace Open announced

Creative Screenwriting Magazine just announced that registration is open for the next Cyberspace Open competition.  The late deadline is January 3, 2011.  The premise for Round 1 will be available on the evening of Friday, January 7, 2011.  Complete rules and regulations can be found here.

The Bro and I did this earlier this year and were really stoked about our entry.  I felt like we really nailed the premise.  Although we didn't score nearly as well as I'd hoped, it gave us an idea of what they're looking for (major action sequence).  The scene we submitted was pretty talky and the big criticism was that it read more like a play than a feature.  I can live with that.

I wish they'd do a TV version of this.  I'd get a huge kick out of that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Toilet humor

Via Puck Daddy, more Staples Center men's room hijinks:

ToilethumorFollowing in the grand tradition that's seen numerous Anaheim Ducks cards...uh, "go with the flow" in Staples Center men's rooms, Los Angeles Kings fans honored the visiting New Jersey Devils with these urinal reminders of Ilya Kovalchuk's free-agent decision this summer, as well as the Devils' last-place start to the season.

Must be a guy thing. I've never seen anything like this in the women's restroom in years of attending Kings games.  Not that there's anything wrong with it - if there's two qualities I like in a guy, it's A) Being a Kings fan and B) A sense of humor.

Image snicked from Puck Daddy article linked above.