Monday, April 25, 2011

My Grade on Orchid...

The end of the semester is in three days.  Things are finally starting to wind down.  Two papers and a final edit of my final video project are all that stand between me and extra hours at work (and the gym...I promised myself I'd get back into the swing of things and quit feeling so damn lethargic).

Normally I'm scheduled to work Mondays until 3.  Today I was scheduled till 2.  Not like I am complaining.

So I went straight to school.  Changed in the parking garage.  I learned this past semester that I am incredibly adept at changing pants in the front seat of an Oldsmobile Ninety Eight.

As I finished a final draft for my Short Script class, the suspense started hitting me full force.  Not quite diarrhea-inducing suspense, but close.

I tried anything and everything to pass the time.  I had three hours to kill and no money to eat a full meal.  Just enough for a Diet Dew...then later a Dew Throwback (and a bottle of water, in case all the caffeine I consumed today started turning me into Cornholio).

Finally class came.  And since there weren't cops waiting for me at the door wanting to arrest me for my gory death scenes, I knew I'd be all right.

My instructor came in with a big honking' stack of scripts in his arms.  Probably 30 pounds of paper.

And he handed them out, with his critique tucked into it neatly (and my classmate's, since he emailed his).




I wanted to jump up and dance.  But I knew that never ends pretty.

I did lose points for typos/format problems (he wrote a paper on how we are not supposed to use "is/are" phrases...and I used them).  But whatever...I still got an A.

Lemme pull out his critique and plaster some quotes like review excerpts.

"Your homage to Giallo is really working.  And as a mystery it works pretty well."

"You open with the murder of...(spoiler deleted)...and did a real good suspense thing by delaying it a bit."

"The surprise ending worked and I liked the double surprise, which is also kind of expected in a giallo.  Good job there."

"This is definitely an A project...I hope you'll continue working on it and enter it in contests."

I am feeling good right now.  Like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I've spent all semester (heck, all year) working on Orchid.  Sure, the majority of the actual script was written in four days.  But I've spent all this time incubating this little kernel of an idea and nurturing it into a full-fledged script...and the first screenplay I've completed in 11 years.

Couldn't have done it without your support.

Thank you.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the season finale of RuPaul's Drag Race is about to come on.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Running on fumes...and caffeine...and other stuff...

What is it about the end of the semester?  I end up tired, irritable, gaining weight...

It's finally starting to wind down, however.

I have two papers to write for Acting.  I could probably churn both out tomorrow.  One of them revolves around a play I have to watch tonight (2nd Thursday in a row I had to buy a ticket and watch a show).  And I have a monologue.  Somehow I figured a way to play a Moliere character like a country bumpkin.

Revision for Short Script.  Due Tuesday.  Will work on it on Sunday.

Final edit of my Video Project.  Doing a series of still shots leading to the image of someone who has committed suicide.  Figured out how to play music backwards on Final Cut, so I reversed Moonlight Sonata to score it.  I wanna record some voice overs, but didn't get to do that for the rough cut.

And I have to evaluate a classmate's screenplay.  More worried about him evaluating mine.  He wrote what looks like a courtroom drama.  And here I am writing death scenes that even Fulci hasn't attempted.  Feeling a bit cheated because he wrote 79 pages, but I was told to aim for 100 on mine...

My professor has already read Orchid.  Hasn't given me much feedback yet.  Probably waiting to finish reading all of them, first.  Dammit, why did I have to be the first one to turn it in?  Now that I know he'd read it, I wanna know what he thinks.  I'm all OCD that way.  I'm the person who checks my grades every five minutes the morning after taking my final.

Can't wait to get this semester over with.  Love my classes, but I'll also be glad to see Summer Break.  More hours at work, more time to work out, and more time to do that comedy voodoo I do so well.

BTW, the more I listen to Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Kiss in the Dreamhouse," the more I love it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to relax a bit before class at 3.  I think we're gonna watch rough cuts.  Hope mine doesn't get ripped to shreds.


Friday, April 15, 2011

My PSA for Video Project class...

Check it out.  Here's the finished PSA I did for my Video Project class.

And the movement I used is called "Uranus, the Magician."  True story.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

That End-Of-The-Semester Brain Fry...

Ah, yes.

Ever see Hannibal?

Remember the dinner scene?

I feel like Ray Liotta.

Feeling a strange post-partem depression, having turned Orchid in on Tuesday.  I'll meet my professor in about two weeks regarding it.  And since we get to evaluate each other's work, another student will read it, too.  Now THAT one will be interesting...Really interesting...

For the most part I really only have two classes to majorly worry about: Acting and Video Project.

In Acting, I have, like, three papers due in the same two week period.  One about the character I wanna play in a monologue (I can only choose from the works of Moliere).  One about a play I have to watch (gonna try to catch it tonight).  One about how I've grown in class.

Video Project shouldn't be too bad.  I have one big project left.  Have to make a short that "plays with conventional storytelling structure."  Checking the camera out tomorrow.  And I learned recently that I am incredibly adept at editing under time constraints.  The rough edit of my last project was finished in one hour and got good reviews.  Just need to figure out how to do voice over.

In Short Script, I just need to write another draft of an adaptation piece.  Same instructor as Video Project.  He said I'm a good student and I'm getting the hang of it.  So I must be doing something right.

Registered for classes today.  Got all the classes I wanted (needed), but my work schedule is gonna suffer.  I'm sure I'll figure something out.  But I'm taking Intro to Production Technology, Television Production, Lighting for Stage and Film, and American Film History.

It dawned on me after turning Orchid in...this is the first screenplay I've finished in 11 years.  Granted, it's a first draft, but still.  That's an accomplishment.  Darn it.

Gotta stop buying movies.  I also picked up Spider Labyrinth.  And my DVR is full of stuff.  And I think I'm gonna rent Hobo with a Shotgun.

Okay.  I'm rambling, now.

Heading to class.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Orchid is FINISHED!

I finished about twenty minutes ago.

I didn't necessarily make it to the golden 100 mark, but the story is done.  Completely done.

I am going to give it a once over tomorrow before I turn it in.  Because I wanna look at it again with fresh eyes before clicking SEND.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I want to relax a bit.  Performance tomorrow.  And a meeting.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Orchid Watch 2011

Hey, y'all.

Ready for another round of post-writing bloggage?

I've finished writing for the day.  My most productive day yet.

I managed to write 16 pages.  16.  Lemme say it one more time.  16!

And that's with a nap halfway through.

So now I am officially at 85 pages.  Only 15 to go.

And, boy, if this ever becomes a film, it'll be bloody.  I won't get into specifics, because I don't wanna spoil anything.  One scene is the realization of something I have always wanted to see in a horror movie since fourth grade.  I don't even think Fulci did this.  Argento came close, but not like this.

Surprisingly, the hardest parts to write have been the death scenes.  They require loads of description and don't allow for any dialogue to break things up.  You have to write every detail, which makes me feel dirty.  What flashes by in mere seconds on film comes from paragraphs.

I've run out of synonyms for "cut" and "slice."

Probably won't be able to reach page 100 tomorrow.  I am off from both work and Screenwriting class, but I have to try to meet my advisor again, and I'm gonna meet some people from Acting class to work on performances for Tuesday...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I deserve a bit of rest.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Marathon Writer

Oh my goodness gracious I am DRAINED.

I am on page 69.

Huh huh...69...huh huh...

Anyhow, I managed to write another death scene (one that even disturbed me in its brutality) and a love scene.  I'm gonna try to write one more death scene before hitting the pillow.

The giallo fatigue is starting to go away.  I'm not exactly clamoring to watch more at the moment, but I'm not wanting to pack them all up and put them away, either.

I am, however, looking for a copy of Spider Labyrinth.  Does Video Search of Miami have it?

Okay.  Enough internet ADD.  Back to work.


P.S.-listened to this song on repeat while writing the love scene.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Before I go to bed.

Just wanted to say I hit page 55.

I am now officially more than halfway done.

If I keep at this pace, I could be done by Wednesday.

I have my Blu Ray of Taxi Driver sitting on my headboard.  Refusing to let myself watch it until I turn the script in to my professor.  And that's really hard, because I've never seen the film and I have always wanted to.

Actually cutting myself off from all movies until this is done.  DVR-ing Dead Ringer with Bette Davis, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Galaxy of Terror, and Coquette.  If I do indeed finish on Wednesday, Friday is gonna be one heck of a marathon day.

Okay.  Gonna relax a bit.  It's almost midnight.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fresh Eyes, Set Pieces, and Deadlines


I'm only on page 38.

This is due in ten days.


Luckily I have the next week and a half off from work.  When I'm not in school, I'll be writing.  Only taking breaks for eating, sleeping, and internet porn.

Went through a period of agonizing over the setting of the script.  My professor's words about changing it to a strip club made me paranoid.  Then again, everything makes me paranoid.  Especially pooping in the restroom at work...But that stems from many poop-at-work traumas I experienced working for Sears (two peeping toms, one stalker co-worker, and many dirty doors).

But I decided I'm keeping the setting the same.  My first professor LOVED the setting.  And I do, too.

Had a buddy read my treatment the other day to get a pair of fresh eyes.  He had some good notes.  Especially regarding disguising the killer's identity.  I will admit, though, I put extra blatant clues in the treatment to please the first professor after he read the synopsis and said it was a cheap surprise.

Also said the murders were a bit too varied.  I get that.

I did manage to finish another spectacular gory set piece last night.  One so spectacular that in the treatment, my first professor went so far as to leave notes on it saying it was "grisly and good."  This coming from a devout Mormon who was obviously uncomfortable whenever I tried to mention anything horror related in his class (He was my advisor last semester, too.  I'm halfway convinced he switched me to somebody else after I asked if Friday the 13th and similar slasher movies were exceptions to Robert McKee's Story structure.  He liked me, don't get me wrong, but I think I annoyed him a bit)...

Okay.  Less bloggy, more screenwritey...after class...


P.S.-NEW TIMBER TIMBRE!!!  Can't wait for this to hit my doorstep!