Monday, October 30, 2006

Flags Of Our Fathers

Not one I was interested in or planning to see, but after some good word of mouth, we went to the afternoon matinee.

The four o'clock showing was almost full. The audience was adults.

When the film was over, I witnessed something I'd never seen at the movies.

The credits roll on the right side of the screen. On the left, pictures of the actual participants and battle photographs.

Not one person moved or made a sound until the credit sequence finished and the lights came on.

Not a breath or a rustle. Shift of weight or a stretch. No one shrugged into their coat or picked up their purse. The power of the movies.
The impact of an image.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Prestige

Don't read the reviews.

Don't talk about it with your friends first.

Don't even watch the trailer.

Go see it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Act Your Age

Not your IQ. Isn’t that the schoolyard taunt? I don’t know which applies in this instance.

I have always said, when I sell a script, I’m going to buy an egregious sports car no sensible middle-aged woman would be caught dead in. In a similar vein, when the boys in my family decided to take up ATV touring, I thought, well, why not? I’m not dead, yet. And like a lot of things we start doing with boys, it turned out to be really, really fun.

Before I could say, which way did he go, Doc, I possessed a shiny 4 wheel recreational vehicle capable of powering up hill and over dale, guaranteed to destroy the domestic tranquility of every living creature within earshot and, like I said, really, really fun.

The government has divided the forest into places with trails where motorized traffic is allowed during certain times of the year, and trails that allow only foot traffic and usually these are separated by wide margins.

Around here, the motorized traffic acceptable trails are either old logging roads in terrible condition winding through steep canyons over sheer cliffs or narrow ATV specific trails that loop precipitous ridges and declivitous* ledges. Sensing a pattern?

On our first ride, over a trail I’m sure the Forest Service calls HELL and GONE, I learned the 4-wheel drive feature was for sections of trail that went like this.

And later for sections of trail that went like that.

All the while I’m trying not to go …

About the time I’m almost used to balancing, one wheel at a time, over multiple terrain, I see this** in the woods.
And then this***.

When we finally make it to the trailhead that exits on a real road, thank Civilization, I see this roadside attraction.
Yep. One minute, I’m enjoying the spectacle that is nature,
and the next minute, I’m in the Blair Witch Project.
Which illustrates the following:

There is no end to the trouble for which boys are responsible.

We may harken back to the days when sensible middle-aged women made pies, crafted curtains and kept quietly to home. But what fun would that be?


*Isn’t that a cool word? Means “steep downward slope,” from the Latin, declivitas. Sounds dirty too.
**deer, probably.
***likewise, I’m sure.

From Whence They Came

Like most bloggers, I’m linked to a site that records how many viewings my blog receives. I quickly grew tired of checking this when, in 30 hits, one would be my daughter and the other 29 were me checking to see if anyone had been there. So, I quit checking. I knew I was reading it.

While cruising the Net last night, I checked the counter and found someone in Russia had viewed my blog.

Could it be? Are there frustrated wannabe screenwriters in Mother Russia seeking the solace of similar frustrating experience?


Another feature of the blog counter is to see the referring page, if any. My Russians arrived via hits from a google search on underground and keds. Apparently, if you want red Keds in Russia, you must go underground to get them.

Speaking of Russia, once upon a time, I wanted to add some Russian to a script and went googling for Russian translations and the first Russian-looking page I clicked on was for Russian Transvestites.

Since I am the last person on earth still on dial-up, I had a while to look at the slow-loading picture, and a little while longer to ponder what is wrong with this fellow? Oh my. Oops.

Which isn’t as bad as when my Dearest went looking for a present for our kiddo from a Nik cartoon show, but when he typed Angry Beavers in the Google Search Bar he got multiple pop-up windows that wouldn’t close and couldn’t be ignored. Who knew there were so many and they were that angry?

By the way, Angry Beavers was a cartoon about two beaver brothers, Norbert and Daggett who got into all kinds of trouble and spouted lines we still quote from time to time, even though the show is long gone.

Innocence of the law is no excuse, they say. Unsuspecting naivete is no protection, as I have learned.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I was tagged for The Book Meme by Candace.

1) One book that changed your life:

Alas Babylon.

2) One book that you’ve read more than once:

Gone With The Wind

3) One book you’d want on a deserted island:

Building Classic Small Craft: Complete Plans and Instructions for 47 Boats

4) One book that made you laugh:

To Kill A Mockingbird

5) One book that made you cry:

The Horse Whisperer

6) One book you wish you’d written:


7) One book you wish had never been written:

The Good Mother. I pitched that damn thing across the room when I finished, and haven’t read any more from her.

Another book I tossed, when I got to the end, was Cold Mountain. Literary novelists can drive a person to the brink. The movie was better. So there!

And while I’m on it, Story by Robert McKee. It’s complicated the lives of screenwriters near and far.

8) One book you're currently reading:

I just finished Creepers by David Morrell. Oh my, that book got scarier and scarier. Just when Poor Reader thought the worst had happened, something completely new and much worse occurred. I’m going to read all his books now.

Search Angel by Mark Nykanen and The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood by Joe Esterhas.

Yes, hard to believe. Sensitive woman that I be, reading Esterhas.

Well, for one thing, as I have ascertained by page 119, he hates McKee. I read an interview in Newsweek in which the interviewer mocked Nasty Old Joe and his work. I saw a great quote once along the lines of – - Critics are like those small snappy dogs that impede the progress of those doing the real work -- so I decided to read Devil’s Guide because the Newsweek interviewer was a snot.

9) One book you've been meaning to read:

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.

10) Tag five people:

Dare I be so bold?


I don’t think I know five people online. But, if you’re reading this and want to respond, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Virgin Effort

Over at Everybody I Shot Is Dead, in the comments, is a discussion about the One Page Challenge suggesting someone should post the first page of their first screenplay.


And all I have to say is, oh my.


One more thing, the answer to that last question, lest I leave you twitching with curiosity is, "Sudden onset of ground."

Anyone else?