Monday, January 31, 2011

I just submitted to the logline contest

Tonight is the deadline.  You have until midnight.

The Great Movie and TV Logline contest, sponsored by Creative Screenwriting Magazine.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And on the seventh day, God created hockey

And it was good.  So sayeth NHLJesus (aka Jesus of Canada, eh) on Twitter.

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 7.30.33 PM

Except it's not so good when the league office is royally botching a bad goal review and Dean Lombardi has to respond, verily (and expensively).

Kings host the Boston Bruins tonight.  Hopefully they're back on track for some winning ways.  God willing, eh?

Okay I'll stop now, before I damn my immortal soul to hell for all eternity.  Or even worse, to the Honda Center.

Some words of wisdom from NHLJesus:

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 7.29.10 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 7.29.32 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 7.29.46 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 7.30.12 PM

GO KINGS!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Screenwriting Expo news

The Expo is coming early this year: September 15-18, 2011 at the Westin LAX.

Can't wait until they start announcing classes and guest speakers.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Um, it's "Bette"

Screen shot 2011-01-14 at 2.31.23 PM

I think the job of updating the Hollywood Reporter's Twitter feed just opened up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Congrats to the Top Ten

The top ten finalists for the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest have been announced.  I'm not on that list, but I had a blast writing my entry.  If nothing else, it was a great writing exercise.

For me, the best part of the announcement is this:
A new edition of the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest, featuring a logline from a soon-to-be announced Hollywood A-lister, will be launched soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

From the Department of Things I Don't Get: Justin Bieber

Every time I see Justin Bieber, two things come to mind: Who is this chick, and why is she so famous?

Although not yet out of its teens, the Biebs has already "written" an autobiography.  Now I'm sure, like me, you don't want to live in a world where stuff like this happens, but take heart - "Canadian icon" Gordon Pinsent has our backs:


Oh the girls...the grilled cheese...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Writing advice from the Writers Store: Seinfeld's "Don't Break the Chain"

Via email from the Writers Store comes this bit of information to help writers stick to it:
Let's say you do write most of the time, but you take one or two days off each week for any number of reasons. That's still a lot of writing. But consider this: at the end of the year, that's roughly 10 weeks, or 2.5 months' worth of days that you didn't write anything.
That's where Jerry Seinfeld's productivity tip "Don't Break the Chain" comes in.
Years ago, when software developer Brad Isaac was performing stand-up at open mic nights, he received his best advice ever from the already-famous comedian.
Seinfeld explained his method for success: each January, he hangs a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall and, for every day he wrote new material, he had the exquisite pleasure that can only come from drawing a big red "X" over that day.
Drawing those Xs got to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he began to create a chain of red Xs.
The idea was to never break that chain.
Not only does this approach program the body and mind to sit down and write daily – it also motivates you to continue that beautiful string of big, red Xs. If you don't write one day, you don't get to draw the X.
It doesn't particularly matter what you write. Blogs, articles, scripts, your memoir. It can be anything, as long as you're actively and routinely pushing yourself.
But let's say you're a screenwriter, and you take it a step further. You might decide that you only get an X for the days you work on your screenplays.
If you made progress on your scripts every single day for an entire year, how many could you finish? Two? Four? More? Now, imagine that you've finally gotten the ear of an agent, producer or director. If you don't break the chain for two or three years, chances are you'll end up with a script to please just about any buyer.
Learning from the pros is imperative in this business, but if you don't put their lessons into practice, it won't take you far. And while professional writers offer a wide range of ideas, they will all agree that discipline and determination must come first.
That means writing all the time. It means not believing in writer's block. It means turning off the television, silencing your phone, and finding some Shangri La that somehow does not yet have wireless internet.
First and foremost, it means making writing a major part of your life. To do that, you have to make writing a habit, just like going to the gym, eating healthy foods, or flossing - but harder.
There are countless excuses, most of them completely acceptable, which hold us back from writing. More often than not, it's our never-ending To-do lists that take precedence over our passion.
With Don't Break the Chain, writing, too, becomes a daily task that we have to cross off that To-do list. This method is a constant reminder that, if we want to succeed as writers, we must acknowledge our craft and respect the process.
The Writers Store was launched to provide writers with the tools necessary to help at any stage and in any medium of writing. That’s why we’re offering a free download of your own yearly calendar to print out.
Now, all you need is a pen – the color is up to you – and the goal to draw a big X over every single day.
Are you willing to see how much you can create over an entire year? Are you curious to find out what happens when you take a professional’s heartfelt advice and put it to good use?
Don’t waste another moment – start building your chain today!
Download your own "Don't Break the Chain" calendar for FREE.
Why not give it a shot?  It's free and couldn't hurt; who knows, it just might solve that pesky procrastination problem.

Don_t-Break-the-Chain-Calendar-365-Year

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kings of Confusion

My belated birthday present came and went with the December 26 match between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks.

Met up with The Brother at Staples and headed over to L.A. Live (which was gorgeously lit and decorated for the holidays) for dinner.  We ended up at Trader Vic's and had a delicious meal.  This is what I had:

Crispyduck
Yes, duck.  No, not a coincidence.

I also had Trader Vic's Grog, a tasty mix of dark rum, pineapple and passion fruit.  I had to restrain myself to only one.  It was really good.  I may have actually ordered it as "Trader Joe's Grog"; obviously I need to get out more.  The Brother had a steak and a margarita and enjoyed his meal as well.

After that we headed over to Staples Center and behold the view from our ridiculously awesome seats:

Section111
 The view from Section 111, Row 6, Seats 14 & 15

When the players were near the glass it felt like I could almost reach out and touch them.  The up close view also gave me a better appreciation of how fast these guys and the game are moving out there on the ice.

The anthem was sung by a young girl who, despite stuttering on a couple lyrics early in the song, recovered to deliver a fantastic performance.  She had an amazing voice and really wowed the crowd.  Jonathan Bernier was in net, which was a bit of a disappointment as The Brother and I are diehard members of Team Quick, but Bernier played well and that's the important thing (Quick went on to shut out the Sharks in San Jose the next night).

All the scoring happened in the second period.  Wayne Simmonds scored just 15 seconds in, but the Ducks scored less than a minute later, which kind of took the wind out of the Staples Center crowd.  Luckily that was all the net Anaheim was going to get that night.  By the end of the second Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams and Dustin Brown had beaten Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who was pulled after Brownie's goal.  Final score: Kings 4, Ducks 1.  The three stars were all Kings: Kopitar, Jack Johnson and Bernier.  Official recap is here.

Thanks again to The Brother for springing for such awesome seats.  We had a blast and fell madly in love with these seats.  If either one of us wins the lottery, they will be ours.  Being behind the penalty boxes was a lot of fun because whenever a Duck was penalized, Bailey (the Kings mascot) would come down right next to the box and give the player all sorts of grief.  Bailey is a fantastic mascot, funny and enthusiastic as hell.  It really added to the experience.

I continue to marvel at how wonderfully L.A. Live has rejuvenated the downtown area.  As a lifelong Southern Californian, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of DTLA as a desirable destination.  AEG has done a fantastic job with the development and the Kings organization has done a great job of making the game more than just a game, but a fun, energetic experience.  Kudos to a truly classy team that the city can be proud of.

Staples Center is a beautiful arena.  The only other arena I've ever been to is Anaheim's Honda Center, which pales next to TSC, but I'm guessing Staples is among the premiere NHL buildings.

Staples The beautiful Staples Center

Unfortunately for the Kings, things have gone seriously south for the team since the December 27 victory at San Jose. As of today, they've lost five straight, not good in a conference as tight as the West, where right now just a few points can take you out of playoff contention. They were so dominating before, but lately it's like they can't do anything right. The Staples crowd even booed them the other night after the loss to Nashville. They play Columbus tonight and are getting a couple of injured players back (Willie Mitchell and Alexei Ponikarovsky) so the fans are hoping this will get them back in the win column.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cyberspace Open has been pushed six weeks

Creative Screenwriting Magazine's Cyberspace Open, which was supposed to happen tonight, has been pushed six weeks, so if you didn't make it you've got an extension:
2010-11 Cyberspace Open Entry Deadline Extended Six Weeks; Refunds Available If You Cannot Participate on the New Schedule

We are very excited about the new 2010-2011 Cyberspace open. However, a combination of circumstances beyond our control has made it necessary to extend the entry deadline and contest start date.

The new contest entry deadline is Midnight February 13, 2011, and the premise will be posted February 18.  These are firm dates and there will be no more extensions.  We deeply regret any inconvenience that this may cause you.

If you conclude that you cannot or do not want to participate in the contest due to this new deadline, you may have a full refund, with our apologies and our appreciation for your interest.  To obtain a refund, please call or email our customer service staff at (888) 556-6274 or (323) 957-1405 or customer_service@creativescreenwriting.com.

Everything else about this great contest remains intact: There are seven cash prizes: $2,500, $500 and $250 for first, second, and third, and four genre prizes of $150 each.

In addition, we will give winners great industry exposure: We will send 300+ producers the names and describe the achievements of the winners.  The written scenes and videos of the three winning scenes will be posted on the Web.

Again, you can see last year's scenes and winners here.  Also, we send feedback by email to entrants who provide email addresses on their title pages.

We pray for your patience and understanding, but again, if you cannot participate with the new dates, please request a refund.
I'm kind of bummed because I was really looking forward to this, but it sounds like it couldn't be helped.  Plus, I do have errands to run this weekend, so I guess it worked out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Here's hoping 2011 is what we all hoped 2010 would be!

Gratuitous Sophie pic for the heck of it:

Sophie avatar