How hard is it to achieve effective communication?
Apparently it’s equivalent to understanding advanced Calculus because GROWN MEN can’t even seem to grasp the concept of responding the emails in a timely manner.
The first email I sent you about this job was April 7th! It is now April 29th. It took a week for you to respond to that initial email, and you only responded after I forwarded you the original message and gently reminded you that I was still hanging here.
I don’t hear from you again for about a week and a half to two weeks.
Then you email me and tell me let you know what a good time is for me to come in and train. I tell you Thursday. LAST Thursday. And you never email me back! You can’t even email me back to say “Thursday won’t work, how about sometime next week?” Just NOTHING! Who do you think are? I know, I know. You’re “busy.” But you’re only as busy as you WANT to be. And I’m not asking you to perform manual labor here—
JUST OPEN YOUR LAPTOP AND TYPE A QUICK RESPONSE TO MY EMAIL. It’s common courtesy, especially considering we’re in a recession and I’m just kind of hanging out here with no job. I’m happy you’re getting a paycheck but I can’t just wait around.
So I email you today… once again forwarding you what I said before since you have such an issue responding and then politely asking when YOU’RE available since you’re Mr. Hollywood here. And I get a curt email back once again trying to make it sound like you’re just too busy to deal with the little people.
I have no idea how I’m not going to strangle you IF/when I meet you in person. I also know that after all this shit you put me through you’d better offer a job.
I’m going to try and keep my writing posts separate from my “rant about getting in shape” posts just because I’m OCD like that. I’m the person who hates when his separate foods touch on his plate so… two polar opposite subjects in one tumblr entry?! The horror. I’ve done it before, but just on quick overview posts; the in-depth ones I’m keeping apart like rival siblings.
I’ve been running a mile every day since yesterday (lol) and it feels good. After I finish. During the run I really just want to kill someone. I ran 4 laps around the soccer field at Friendship Park yesterday, so today I ran 5. I really wanted to stop at 3 but I refuse to take steps backwards. 5 almost killed me—and I took long breaks between each one… so out of shape.
In addition I’m doing 300 crunches a day and 150 push ups. I do sets throughout the day (morning, afternoon, night). Not all at once or I’d be in ICU. I’ve cut bread and most sugar out of my diet. I try not to eat at night, but I’m up all night (because college completely fucked my sleep schedule) so I get hungry. In that event I just eat something healthier or use PORTION CONTROL—something that was a foreign concept to me for so long.
If I can firm up my chest, have my face slim down just a little bit, and go down a waist size I will be in heaven. I really do feel better and more energized when I work out, so I’m hoping I can make it a regular part of my day just like writing. On the superficial front, there IS this foam party coming up where I’m supposed to meet the hottest thing I’ve ever seen in person and I want to present the best version of myself I can.
I think I’m going to make this summer my time to get fit so that come September I’m as confident and healthy as I want to be. I’ll definitely need to use this as an outlet though because exercising and eating right is such… a… struggle for me.
My allergies have been calling off the hounds lately, thank God. I can actually breathe through my nose again. I got 7 more pages of my slasher done tonight. Truthfully, they’re pretty awful but I’m not worried about tweaking the scenes until the rewriting period. Once I finish this I may just let it sit until June, then edit it with a pair of fresh eyes.
I’m at 68 pages and there are only four people (?) left who need to die, so I’ve set up how to get them all into one place. Then the final 30 pages will just consist of them getting dispatched and the protagonist unmasking the killer and revealing the motive (which, I think, is a pretty good fkn motive). And I’ve had so much fun writing it that I already have the inkling of a sequel in mind (just like any good slasher film should :) Again, I have no idea if they’d sell and don’t really care… they’re good pet projects and still finished screenplays I can add to my portfolio when people want to see my work.
My enthusiasm for Victims has been completely swallowed by my obsession with this slasher project, but I’m going to turn my full attention to it again once I finish. Then I’ll start my contained thriller as well. After those are finished I really want to try dabbling in a different genre—something high concept. Maybe action/comedy? I dunno. I’ll start kicking around some ideas.
After experimenting with so many different writing techniques I think I’m starting to realize what works best for me.
-Write the first draft with no regard for page count, rigid structure, or quality. I just write what comes to my mind and already I know there are scenes that drag way too long, scenes that need to be added, scenes that need to be cut… and I’m okay with that.
-Use the revision process to really make it into a “screenplay” (condense what you can, eliminate unnecessary sentences/actions, tighten up dialogue).
I used to want it to be “almost there” after a first draft and then just have to tweak it later. That’s why I hardly finished anything. So I’m finding the process of just writing, not worrying about anything else but getting words on the page, extremely liberating.
I need to go back and do some hardcore rewriting on Night Shift now that my excitement for that has come back (kind of). I also have this werewolf horror/comedy that is like 2 steps away from being done that I just need to finish so I can start rewrites. It’s a COMPLETE DISASTER in its current state, but it has too many gems in it to let me throw it away completely. It just needs a complete overhaul.
So maybe I’ll start rewriting those when I finish all my current projects. This will be the Summer of Revisions.
Allergies acting up (my sinuses are not playing around), but I still managed to get about 7 pages and a new death scene (strangulation by extension cord) finished on my Untitled Slasher Project tonight. Go me!
I didn’t think I was gonna get any writing done today because I just felt really lethargic and a little discouraged (not really about writing, just things in general), but I got over it. I also applied for more jobs today but I’m so tired of the Careerbuilder/Jobing.com/Monster search. I wish this guy my family friend hooked me up with would freakin’ email me back already!
I think I officially decided today that I’m moving to L.A. next year. I have a cousin who I could stay with temporarily. She also did some acting and has connections for assistant/P.A. positions. I just need to save up some money first. I’m going to plan out how much I wanna save/a move date/budget within the coming weeks. I just know it needs to happen.
I’m starting my exercise regimen tomorrow (ugh). Running one mile a day and then doing crunches and push-ups. I hate the latter. However, I really wanna be in shape for this foam party at the end of May. And even if I don’t have the build of a porn star by then, exercising always makes me feel more confident/energetic. So it has its benefits. Might as well take advantage of all the time on my hands and be proactive with both my writing and my body.
Interesting story about the struggle of becoming a screenwriter from Irwin Handleman (writer of In The Mix). Really goes to show that only the strong survive and you really do have to persevere to make it even baby steps in Hollywood. It’s a continuing story at 7 chapters now, but his blog is pretty entertaining too:
Busy weekend. I had a really good Easter. I went to church with my family, then completely ignored the guidelines of my diet and ate a lot of really good food. I didn’t end up going to Tucson, so I actually got some writing on my Untitled Slasher Project done. I got one scene done today but then got swept up in talking with Erika via Facebook Chat; but that’s one scene I didn’t have yesterday :)
I think I’m finally overcoming the biggest limitation I’ve always had as a writer. I’ve always wanted everything I write to be perfect the first time I wrote it, even when I knew that wasn’t possible. I’ve let so many projects fall to the wayside because every word I wrote wasn’t gold, the structure was too shaky, or the dialogue was stilted. I thought if it wasn’t perfect the first time I spit it out then it never would be so why bother?
Gradually I’ve learned to get past that and just write. I write no matter how bad I think it is as I type it. And then eventually I get into a flow and it gets better. My outlook is so much clearer now. I already know this current project is going to need A LOT of work in the rewriting stage, but I don’t care because at least I’ll have something to rewrite.
Moral of the story: write even when you don’t feel like it. I used to be so lackadaisical about when I would write: “Oh, I don’t feel like it tonight…” “I’m tired….” “Oh, marathon of Jersey Shore!” “Look who wrote me on Facebook…” but I’m going to force myself to write at LEAST a scene every day. Usually I won’t even end with that scene. That scene will kickstart another one and before I know it I’m 5 pages ahead. So glad I finally got over that “everything I write sucks and it’s never going to be good” mentality. Of course it’s not the first go around—that’s where rewriting comes in.
Helpful tip: If you feel like everything you’re writing is terrible, watch a really bad movie. Like the worst, most convoluted, contrived movie you can think of. Or read a bad script. It always helps me when I go back to my writing because I can think, “Wow this is bad… but not THAT bad. And this isn’t even the final draft!” Yes, I get motivation at the expense of others but it works for me :)
In other news: I have to call FedEx tomorrow. My contract got held up in Marrietta because I think I—with all my stunning intelligence—addressed the envelope wrong (I know what number I messed up too! Damn!). So basically I paid for two day shipping and it’s getting there Monday anyway. This is my college education at work, folks.
Thanks for the follow! I noticed that you're a fellow aspiring screenwriter - any tips, words of advice you want to share now that you're out there in the real world, haha! Also, where did you study?
No problem! Thanks for following back. As far as tips go… just the generic keep writing one that everyone says haha keep a positive attitude. I love being done with school but the real world is not playing around lol and I studied at Arizona State University.
This weekend is probably going to be the most unproductive weekend on my life on the writing front. I’ve already come to terms with that, so I’m okay with it. It’s Easter, Jon is leaving on Monday, we have house guests, I may be going to Tucson… the list goes on. I may do some writing tonight, but otherwise I’m not going to be back in Celtx until Monday afternoon.
However, I’ve decided to add more structure to my routine. I have three works in progress currently. I want to set a daily goal of getting at least 5-10 pages done on each (more on one if I’m really feeling it). The goal is to make some kind of progress on every single one Monday-Friday. I’m also going to start applying for three jobs every day. It’s at the point where I’m just going to flood cyberspace with my resume and hope someone calls. I. Hate. Job. Hunting.
They’re casting extras for the nightclub scenes in Exposure now! I get so happy every time I see a Twitter update about my child. If you have a Twitter then you should definitely follow ExploreStudio. I think that would make you totally awesome.
I’m so bored right now. I feel like a 3-year-old with ADD. I want to listen to music, but I can’t just listen to music. I need to be doing something while I listen to it. Like surfing the net. But Facebook is being lame and boring lately. No one on my TL updates their Twitter past 1. And I don’t think I’m following enough people on here because my TL here gets like 3 new entries every other hour lol.
Ugh. I emailed that guy who my family friend told me to talk to about a job. For the second time. He was supposed to meet with me last week (I think I ranted about this in a previous post), but of course he never set up a time. So I politely reminded him that I still exist and hopefully he gets back to me tomorrow. I literally have like NO money left. I mean, I’m getting money from Exposure but I kind of wanted to just put that away and save it.
I really want a dog. Like a puppy that can grow up with me and put me in a good mood. Every dog my family has had we had to get rid of because my dad is like this animal-hating tyrant. He refuses to let animals in the house, which… fine, but why get a dog then?! Because it’s fkn hot here and we can’t go outside every time we want to interact with our dog because we pretty much live on the surface of the sun. But then I feel bad like we’re neglecting our dog because he’s always out. So yeah, when I move out, if I can afford it I want to get a dog. Preferably a German Shepherd or a Lab.
Hmm… what else is on my mind right now? I’m 26 pages into my Untitled Slasher Project and loving it. Not sure if it would ever sell, but it’s fun as hell to write and I can still use it a writing sample. Plus, if I ever make a huge name for myself and make tons of money I can try to finance it myself. The world needs a good slasher film right now. Too many vampires, zombies, and ghost stories. Since Scream 4 mildly disappointed, we need someone else to step to the plate and bring the quality slasher film back! Anyway, I’m glad I have this and Victims that I’m working on simultaneously because when I’m tired of one I’m usually inspired to do the other one.
I want to have both scripts done before I go to New York (May 11). So that gives me about 3 weeks. They’re both outlined, so I think I can do it. I’ll just pretend May 11 is a studio deadline or something and if I don’t have a draft to turn in I’ll lose an advance. So creative.
I hate exercise. I wish pizza was a healthy food that aided in losing weight and excessive exercise made you fat. That would be a perfect world because I could just sit around and eat pizza for every meal, call it dieting, and lose weight. I’m not even asking for much. I just want to build up my chest before I develop man-tits and go down a waist size. But I don’t know where to start. I’ll start dieting, but then I don’t work out or vice versa. So my brother is just going to tell me what workouts to do and guide me through the process so that I can get my sexy on in time for summer.
Dude, catch me up. What happened? Your script is getting made?
Yeah! I sold it to this small production company in Atlanta. It’s going to be a low-budget feature, but it’s a produced credit! Plus the director knows people like Tom Savini, so I’m hoping I can get some more exposure with this and maybe catch an agent. I talked to another writer who had his movie made through this studio (it’s being released this fall) and he said he’s gotten more inquiries about his writing because of it. So basically I’m working on expanding my whole portfolio right now (revising old, finished scripts and starting new ones) so that I have stuff to show. They officially started casting for it this week!
They’re officially casting my script! I can’t wait to see who they use. If you have a Twitter then do me a favor and follow Explore Studios (ExploreStudiosATL). They’re new and just starting up, plus you can get updates about Exposure that way, though I’ll still be writing about its progress here too. I feel like this is a good start for me and I’m excited to see where it’s gonna go.
Alright. I’m in a slightly better mood today. Or, at least I’m just not focusing as much on the negative. Yeah, that sounds more accurate.
I started Victims on Sunday night and I’m officially 21 pages into it. That arduous outlining process really came in handy. I always hate it when I’m doing it, but then when I realize how much faster and more enjoyable it makes writing the first draft I realize how necessary it is. I think I wanna be finished with Act II by the weekend. Act III is going to be a little bit trickier because even though I outlined it I still have a feeling the story is going to take on a life of its own in Act II and III is going to be completely changed (yay run-on sentences!).
In other news, I’m still waiting to hear from this guy about this job. He was supposed to contact me 2 weeks ago. I emailed his last week to make sure he hadn’t forgotten about me and he claims that he hadn’t. Oh, well. I’ll just email him again tomorrow. Honestly though, how hard is it to schedule a meeting time with someone? Some employed people just have no consideration. I’m happy you’re getting a paycheck and can take your time responding to people but I’m not and I owe $200 in taxes so… let’s go.
Okay, let me get off that before I piss myself off again. Um… I can’t think of anything else I want to say really but I want to end this entry on a positive note.
Why does everything get to go the way everyone else plans, but when I want something everything has to get fucked up? And why can’t I ever just be satisfied? I’m starting to think I’m a masochist who’s never going to be completely happy because once I’m completely happy I’ll have nothing to strive for… and I find more fun in the actual chase than the catch.
But on the other side, I get so fucking annoyed with the chase at the same time. I should be writing to take my mind off this frustration but I can’t even concentrate.
I e-mailed the script supervisor of Exposure to let her know when I’d have the contract back to her, and to ask about speaking with the director. Here’s part of the response:
"Matt, the director, will actually be out scouting locations for the next three days. He said he’d be happy to speak with you Thursday or Friday. I’ll give him your information so he can contact you."
I just got so excited! Scouting locations. For my script. I feel so inspired right now lol I wrote 8 more pages on Victims. I’m looking forward to hearing what the director’s vision for the script is and what kind of direction he wants to take it.
So I definitely didn’t get to write much this weekend between the release of Scream 4 (my thoughts/review on that coming soon), hanging out with friends, hangovers… etc. But I didn’t get 8 pages of Victims done. That outlining process is finally done and so far the writing has been going smoothly.
I’m also revisiting an old idea that I outlined 2 years ago, but set aside. It’s turning out a lot better than I anticipated. It’s kind of a campy slasher movie though, so the writing comes easy.
And hanging out with Jon tonight and listening to his apartment-hunting dilemmas, I got a new idea for a thriller haha so I may have to start outlining that for a rainy day when I have writer’s block and need to keep my skills sharp.
I have my temp interview in 11 hours. I’m less excited about this now than I was when I first got it only because the fact of how far this job would be from my house really just smacked me in the face. The commute alone would wear me out—traffic is a bitch. I’m still gonna give it my all though. I’m not stressing over it too much… if I don’t get it, I still have another connect I’m waiting to hear from and it just means I have more time to write. Can’t go wrong with that.
I have a job interview Monday at 1p! $15/hr and a business casual environment. Not my favorite environment, but the $15/hr makes up for it. Plus I’d more prefer to say I work for a medical sales company than a concession stand.
If I get this I can go back to focusing on my writing more. I feel like I’ve been taking advantage of all my free time, stressing about having no income, and my writing has suffered. I always appreciate my writing more when I have to take what time I can get for it. Sounds stupid, but I just can’t concentrate when I’m dead broke.
Anyway, I’ll be celebrating by seeing Scream 4 and then drinking my nerves away tomorrow night. Can’t wait!
“Speaking of piercing hearts, Craven made sure he continued to keep the franchise R-rated. Scream 4 just might be the bloodiest of them all. There are rooms covered in blood, intestines spilled out onto beds, knives being driven into people’s foreheads (this is so crazy amazing I can’t even begin to tell you), and much, much more. The film earns its stripes and the moniker of a “slasher” film.”—Bloody Disgusting Scream 4 Review
Just had the BEST idea ever to completely take Victims in a new direction. Completely unexpected ending and definitely one that will come without feeling like it flew in from left field (if I execute it right).
Lately I’ve been having a lot of trouble focusing when I sit down to write. It could be because I have an almost unhealthy, obsessive crush on someone at this point in my life so my mind refuses to think about anything but that… or just sheer laziness?
I feel like I’m always hearing people talk about how they just don’t have the time to write. Or how hard it is to clear an hour in their hectic schedule to get some writing done. At this point, I’m not having that problem. I’m broke, but I have so much time on my hands and I should be utilizing it, because when I do get a job I’m going to whine about how I have no time to write anymore… even though the time I have now I spend cruising Facebook and watching syndicated Maury episodes.
Anyway, after my Celebrity Apprentice fix tonight (guilty pleasure, don’t judge me), I sat down and wrote two pages on my outline for Victims. I’m loving the way it’s turning out, and Act II is almost finished! If I keep going like this I should be able to start the actual script within a week. It honestly takes me SO much time to outline and then I fly through the script like it’s nothing. I have two new ideas for kick-ass slasher movies too. They’re vague right now… simply concepts playing in my subconscious but I’ll flesh them out once I’m done outlining Victims.
I’m loving outlining this (now) because things are starting to take on a life of their own and I’m not even sure I want to stick to my beat sheet now. I know how I want to it to end, but there are SO many possibilities on how to get there that it’s exciting to explore how each one would work out. This is why I love writing so much, so it’s successful nights outlining like tonight that remind me of that.
This entry is just a reminder to myself that I’m not always going to be an unemployed college graduate with no money and hours of time on his hands, so I need to get my act together and take advantage while I can. When I’m not sending resumes and writing cover letters I should be outlining new ideas and revising old ones.
This past weekend I volunteered at Phoenix’s Filmstock Short Film Festival. It’s an opportunity for independent filmmakers, both local and out of state, to showcase their work. It’s a quarterly event, and this was the spring festival.
I’ve been a part of filmmaking groups on Meetup for a while now (great resource for networking and finding local individuals who share your interests). The group’s founder sent out an email looking for volunteers to help out so I decided to try it. If an opportunity to mingle with local filmmakers presents itself, I figure I should probably take advantage.
I didn’t really have much to do, but it was cool to work behind the scenes and see all the work that goes into these film festivals, even smaller ones like Filmstock. I got to run the security line for the VIP, which made me feel tougher than I really am and help sort the votes out for the audience choice award.
Overall, it was a good experience. I will more than likely participate again in July’s event. Everyone was really friendly (some a bit strange, but these are filmmakers…) and easy to get along with. There were a lot of local actors/directors/in-your-face, outgoing type people which is the complete opposite of my personality but I think I adapted well. I worked hand-in-hand with the founder and he knows EVERYONE there is to know in the Phoenix filmmaking circle so he said he would help me find someone to shoot a short I write or something… which is totally awesome because I do need to get to know some people familiar with the technical side of filmmaking.
I also met a camera guy who was really nice and willing to work with me for free. That’s what I really liked about this group in general… they all genuinely love film and they do these things because of their passion. If they make it big, great, but that’s not their sole motivation, which was refreshing. I mean, sure, everyone wants to strike gold in this profession but you always hear about how cutthroat the industry is and these people weren’t like that. They sincerely want to help out independent filmmakers and see them succeed which is something I wholeheartedly support.
Before this turns into a food journal, I want to write up a quick update on my current projects.
Except… there’s not much to write. I got really sick last week, so it really threw me off. This week I’ve been borderline starving, so my mind was too focused on that and getting my diet together (though I still managed to write a BIT). Basically, I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things.
I did an entire treatment for my comedy script, then sat down to write it and just… wasn’t feeling it anymore. I still think it’s a good idea but I’m just not comfortable writing a comedy yet. Currently, I’m sticking with what I know and love: horror/thriller. I’m in the process of writing a really in-depth treatment for a really cool idea I had. It employs flashbacks and I know, I know… avoid them, but in this case they really work and make sense. I know every newbie writer who uses flashbacks thinks that, and that they use them in the most clever and insightful way but you’ll just have to believe me when I say that they flow well. At least on the treatment.
I’ve hit a bump in the road with my contained thriller outline. I know where it’s supposed to go and generally how we’re going to get there but I feel like the second act just needs to… come organically? I feel like I need to just write it using the beat sheet so that it’s natural because it’s hard to outline and I have a feeling this one is going to take on a life of its own anyway and half the things I’ve outlined won’t even be relevant once I start writing.
I think I just miss Celtx. The outlining and beat sheets were starting to grow on me, but I once again find them tedious. Necessary, but tedious. Sitting down to write the actual script is so easy and FUN. But it’s easy and fun because I’ve spent nights excessively outlining it. I need to hammer that back into my brain and get on the ball. Hopefully Exposure gets me some attention and I’m gonna want to have more to show when that happens.
On the Exposure front, the studio just has to send me the contract. Then they’ll start the whole production stuff, which I’m excited for (low budget or not). I believe I’ll be talking to the director in the near future as well. I need to figure out what exactly I want to ask him/talk to him about? I don’t want to just sit on the phone like… duhhhh.
And on a completely unrelated note, I have a new job opportunity coming up! Keep your fingers crossed because this would be so much better for me than my current situation (unemployed).