Friday, March 26, 2010

Paranormal trend

Okay, big surprise, when a movie hits it big, everyone wants to do their own version of it. Case in point, in the space of about an hour yesterday, I was asked to work on two different "Paranormal Activity" type screenplays by two different producers and this is in addition to the one I already worked on back in January. Whatever works.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just say "yes"?

Moments ago, I got a Facebook comment from a nearby filmmaker who has a Sundance-backed feature brewing. He says he could use my help with something --- presumably this feature with the pretty decent budget. How can I say "no"? I need to get something out there that has my name on it. I need to make some money. Simple, right?

I am currently doctoring a US/Bollywood screenplay, writing a family film and a short sci-fi political allegory. On top of all that, I recently dusted off a pet project, the treatment for a screenplay that I'd started last year and now think could be a viable project for me to produce --- much like "Aftermath", the script that was optioned to an L.A. producer last year, it is a grungy, low-budget real time piece.

The question is: How do I do it all?

There is one school of thought that says beginning screenwriters should not work for free or deferred pay because it sends the wrong message to producers who think they can walk all over us -- which, to some degree, is true. On the other hand, I have to start somewhere, get my name out there so that, maybe, someone will hire me.

So, I guess that's why I do it, say "yes" to everything, even if it kills me.

I have the Indian script due on 3/31 but it's going well. The family film is due 4/15 and it's going well. Will I ever get to the point where I can write one or two screenplays a year and be happy? If I do get to that point will I be happy or will I miss the days when I had to run around, chasing down gigs that might or might not pay, might or might not get made?

Or will I just get a real job?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blahg! What am I doing? Where am I going?

In my defense, I read scripts all day and when I am not reading them for students or friends, I am writing them, so if it seems that I barely blog it is because I barely blog.

What am I doing? Well, in January, February and the beginning of March, I wrote a book on the history of photography. Okay, I didn't write a book, but I contributed 45 250 word articles on the subject to a general book on photography. Fun!

At the same time, I was doctoring a screenplay, a creepy psychological thriller set primarily in an old apartment. Since, I love Polanski's creepy apartment films "Repulsion" and "The Tenant" and, sure, why not, "Rosemary's Baby", I used this opportunity to attempt something like one of those. Of course, I was working from an existing story, had little time and even less hope of actually getting paid for this thing so I did what I could with what I was given to work with. I hear that it is supposed to be shooting now but, what do I know, I am only the writer/co-writer/doctor.

Now -- it should be now, I should be writing right now -- I am working on a family film. More fun! Next up, a re-write of an Indian film.

I better get back to work.