Monday, November 29, 2010


My treatment for The Orchid with the Petals of Velvet is finished!  Done!  Completed!  Some other word that means!

Savage yet stylish, Sexy yet sensual.  I love how the story turned out for the most part.

Now I can't wait to turn this baby in.

Wish me luck.


Due tomorrow...

And I'm only on page 6.

Of 10.

I can do it.  This is gonna rock.

Listening to Siouxsie and the Banshees as I write.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Starting on my treatment.  It's due next Tuesday.  Wish me smarts, brilliance, and sanity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So I had class tonight...

Last class, we turned in our synopses and the professor started reading them aloud.  He'd then give us constructive criticism and invite everyone in the class to do so.

Mine was next in line for evaluation...then we ran out of time.

Darn it!

I was looking forward to hearing feedback.

The professor said if our synopsis hadn't been read, we could revise it and turn it in again.  I debated about it, but I was afraid of over-thinking everything.

Yes, believe it or not, the guy who begged on this blog to help come up with an alternate title was afraid of over-thinking everything.

I decided to leave things as is.

My synopsis was read first.  So, here's what I took from it:

Nobody said anything about the title.  I shit bricks for nothing.  The Orchid With the Petals of Velvet it is.

Going by the synopsis, the film is missing a protagonist.  Yes, the film lingers mostly on one person, but their actions are too passive.  I need to figure out how to give this person a more active role in the plot.

I need to change the name of the female lead.  I call her Gia, but the professor kept pronouncing it with the G in "gust" instead of the G in "genius."  Relatively easy fix.

The professor said my setting was fresh.  He really liked the potential of setting the story in and around a brothel.  The possibility of colorful characters excited him.

There aren't enough red herrings.  Agreed.  There's one main red herring in the synopsis, but to add others would have made the synopsis too long (we were only allowed 2 pages).  I can easily rectify this in the treatment.

The revelation of the killer comes off as a cheap surprise.  I knew this one ahead of time.  Not having 100 pages to plant subtle clues makes it look cheap.  I could have made the red herring the killer and it still would have looked cheap.  I know how to make it a genuine surprise.

The opening threw him off.  The beginning revolves around one character who dies fifteen minutes in.  I tried to use Dressed To Kill as an example, where you think Angie Dickinson is gonna be the lead...only to be killed early on.  He didn't recall that film.  Had to use Janet Leigh in Psycho.

Now that I have some outsider perspectives, I can use them for the treatment, which is due in three weeks.  Ten to twelve pages.  Wish me genius and sanity.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some Essential Gialli

Hey, y'all.  I dunno why but I'm anticipating somebody might be interested in gialli after reading my screenplay synopsis in class.  So I'm reposting my intro/description to gialli from my first post and writing a list of some to check out.

What is a giallo, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Back in the day, crime/detective novels were incredibly popular in Italy. Mainly they were penny dreadful cheapies involving murder, sex, femmes fatales, and intrigue. Not too far from noir, but with a style that was clearly its own thing. These novels were published with bright yellow covers. The word for 'yellow' in Italian is 'giallo.' So eventually this genre was known as the giallo.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much, directed by Mario Bava, is regarded as one of the first cinematic rendition of a giallo. It was released in 1963 and owes more to Hitchcock than later gialli.

Later Bava directed the first giallo shot in color: Blood and Black Lace. This film is one of the classics of the genre, and a prime example of how to make a horror film in color (to paraphrase Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas). It's beautiful, haute-couture, candy-colored mayhem.

Gialli didn't really have much of an impact until Dario Argento's directorial debut-The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. The film was such a huge hit that one theater played it in Italy for three years straight. It was even the #1 film in America for a while (Take that, Love Story!).

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage set the standard for gialli: Highly convoluted plots, unconventional camera angles, long drawn out murder set pieces, and beautiful scores (mainly by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai). Many of these films dripped with style and '70's flair.

Gialli were also known for the bevy of beauties who graced them: Erika Blanc, Barbara Bouchet, Nieves Navarro, and especially Edwige Fenech, the queen of the giallo (Google them).

Gialli have had their ups and downs, with sharp rises in the 80's. Luckily DVD has enabled the world to fall in love with them all over again. 

Available on Netflix:

Films by Dario Argento:

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage
Cat O'Nine Tails
Four Flies on Gray Velvet
Door Into Darkness
Deep Red
Phenomena (NOT the John Travolta movie)
The Stendhal Syndrome
The Card Player
Do You Like Hitchcock?

By Lucio Fulci:

Dont Torture A Duckling
The Psychic
Perversion Story
The New York Ripper
Lizard in a Woman's Skin

Other notable gialli on Netflix:

The Case of the Bloody Iris
All the Colors of the Dark
Blood and Black Lace
Hatchet for the Honeymoon (also available via streaming on Netflix)
Twitch of the Death Nerve (AKA Bay of Blood)
The Black Belly of the Tarantula
The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
What Have You Done To Solange?
Who Saw Her Die?
The Bloodstained Shadow
Seven Bloodstained Orchids
A Blade in the Dark

If you have a region-free player, check out:
Plot of Fear
Eyes of Crystal
Iguana with the Tongue of Fire
The Vanity Serum
The Perfume of the Lady in Black
Sleepless (The one on Netflix is Full Screen.  Artisan sucked).

Also, if you have a player that does PAL-NTSC, go to and scope out their selection.  Some of their gems include:
Nothing Underneath
Death Occurred Last Night
Eye in the Labyrinth
The Weapon, The Hour, and The Motive
The Police Grope Around In The Dark
Death Laid An Egg
Eyes Behind The Wall

Just a word of warning.  If you're anything like me, gialli are like Pringles.  Once you pop, you can't stop.

And if you're new to Italian Lemonade, welcome!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Assignment DONE!

Ah...gee I feel better.

Sure, it's not a staggering work of cinematic genius.  Yet.  But it's my first synopsis/character bio.

Here's a super-truncated version for y'all, minus the ending.  See if you can spot my references

The Orchid With The Petals Of Velvet

Famous porn star Ruby Rain is in New York City promoting her upcoming gig at the Melody Ranch in Nevada.  After a radio interview, she is murdered on a subway platform.

Back in Nevada, Detectives Eric Wade and Pauline Campbell are assigned to investigate the Melody Ranch and see if there were anybody who may have known anything about Ruby's death.  There the detectives meet Gia, a popular girl at the Melody.

Other girls at the Ranch start dying brutally at the hands of a murderer, and Gia is becoming the center of the case.  Will she survive the ordeal?

That's all for now.

Okay.  I'll let y'all go while I get ready for work.