Friday, July 29

For your listening pleasure

I'm a huge fan of books on CD, especially Harry Potter on CD. The audio renditions of Rowling's books are, frankly, brilliantly executed. Jim Dale narrates/reads and personifies every character with a distinct style through his voice work. I just finished the 6th Potter book today - it kicked my ass, but in a good, slightly emotionally draining way. Sigh.

There is a passage that I love from the book and every time I read it or listen to it, it fills me with some sort of innocent giddiness. A childlike elation of discoverying something new. It's the way it's written, the pattern of the words combined with the moment of the book that's unfolding right before you (All well done) and most likely my own mood and frame of mind.

I am reprinting it here for good measure. It contains spoilers about the series so if you don't want it sullied for you don't ready any further. It's the first and last paragraph. Highlight at will:

"Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.

After several long moments — or it might have been half an hour — or possibly several sunlit days — they broke apart. The room had gone very quiet. Then several people wolf-whistled and there was an outbreak of nervous giggling. Harry looked over the top of Ginny's head to see Dean Thomas holding a shattered glass in his hand, and Romilda Vane looking as though she might throw something. Hermione was beaming, but Harry's eyes sought Ron. At last he found him, still clutching the Cup and wearing an expression appropriate to having been clubbed over the head. For a fraction of a second they looked at each other, then Ron gave a tiny jerk of the head that Harry understood to mean, Well—if you must.

The creature in his chest roaring in triumph, he grinned down at Ginny and gestured wordlessly out of the portrait hole. A long walk in the grounds seemed indicated, during which — if they had time — they might discuss the match."


Wednesday, July 27


Things have been a bit jumbled as of late, with the move to L.A. on the horizon (this Sunday). Life at the old apartment is sparse, seeing as my roommate has already taken up habitation of the new condo (he's got work that requires him to be in L.A.). Wrapping up my life in Orange County has been rather drab and boring to say the least. All that's really left outside of moving is returning a cable box and making sure mail will be forwarded come August.

In writing news, I'm about finished with the third draft of Bow & Arrow. The story is coming along nicely, but I still feel the dialogue and characters lack a needed spark, which I'm hoping to solve in the coming weeks. Re-writing on The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta will most likely begin right after the move; the ball is still in play on that one, moving along slowly but surely. I'll be making a call later today to a writer/editor I met at Comic Con about working on a potential comic book with him (he's signing a deal with APC comics soon, I believe). Hopefully that will go well.

House warming party in a few weeks. Looking for work after I'm settled. All in all, life is good. As my friend Walker would say, "I'm livin' the dream."

Thursday, July 21

Movers and shakers

I really don't like it all that much and considering the next week and a half will consist of mainly just moving things won't be fun and writing won't get done at least not at a normal pace. Two weeks from now I should be flying high and doing quite well in the new place and adjusting "la vida" in Los Angeles.

In writing related news, my co-writer informed today that he spoke to our actress/producer friend who is interested in The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta. She recently landed a big part in a film and will be flying out for six weeks to work on that project. However, before she leaves she wants to get the script into the hands of Gregory Nava which is of course terribly exciting. The next few weeks should prove interesting. I pray that he finds it a story worth developing. Crossing fingers.

Monday, July 18


Back from Comic Con, which was a great and overall exhausting experience. This was my sixth year in a row and every year it gets crazier in terms of the sheer amount of people in attendance and things to see and do. Whew.

I ran into an old friend from undergrad while there and talked shop. We just caught up some and exchanged contact info. Cool guy. I really just used the time to get away for a mini vacation of sorts now that I have to deal with the realities of moving (having a bad back doesn't help - damn you high school football). Did a little netwokring and spoke to my friend who writes The Amazing Joy Buzzards about our collaboration together, which we're looking to get off the ground very soon here. I also met another writer who has a deal with APC comics. He's got a few books in development and is looking for a writer (or two) to work on some of the other books he is developing with various artists... so that seems promising (especially considering a few of his ideas have interest from Sam Raimi).

More to come.

Tuesday, July 12

Dejame Entrar (Let me in)

I've been MIA the last couple of days, mainly taking a few days off and prepping for my move to Los Angeles. My current roommate (and awesome co-writer) found a pretty sweet spot in the Los Feliz (Fe-leez) area of L.A. It's an exciting time to say the least. The actress/producer interested in our Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta script lives nearby, which bodes well for quick meetings with other creative folk she might want to introduce us to. This has put a few things at a reasonable pause. The landlord is giving us what amounts to half a month to move and not have to pay rent until the start of August. Awesome. We're still trying to set up a meeting with another producer/actor who is an important person in the Mexican-American filmmaking community. Plus our actress friend wants to get it to what you'd consider the "it" producer of Mexican-American films. As always, we shall see...

Bow & Arrow is going quite well. The director gave me some really good notes yesterday and I will start my revisions probably as soon as I finish this post. He seems excited about the script and has already sent it off to our first potential investor. He wants a finished revisions by Thursday, which I think is doable.

Comic Books. My buddy Mark Smith, who writes The Amazing Joy Buzzards published by Image Comics wants to discuss a writing opportunity that we've both been rallying around off and on for the last few months. It's a cool little sci-fi/action story with Army of Darkness style characters (i.e. Ash). He wants to meet and discuss it more at the Con this weekend and hopefully we can get this project off the ground. Writing comics = one dream come true.

More to come.

Thursday, July 7

Taking Care of Business

My co-writer met with the actress yesterday and spoke to her about our script (The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta). To sum up she loves it (she had some notes, but who doesn’t) and wants to play the female lead, not to mention she wants to produce the project with us. She’s up and coming, which bodes very well for us. I think she’s nearly perfect for the part; she’s got tons of connections and is hoping to get the script into the hands of some very influential Latino filmmakers.

It’s exciting. I’m excited. This has been very important project for me the last few months – really since November of last year. It’s the second project I’ve work on where I knew I was working with my voice (even if it is shared). At first it was something I wanted to do on my own (writing wise) but when I pitched the idea to my co-writer he flipped. He’s far too talented and intelligent not to work in film. I knew he was the right person to write this project with and he was. Working together is about as easy as it comes. The best part is, is that we really do work well together. Our ideas mesh wonderfully and with a good polish they are seamless.

Now that we have the actress interested and to see someone else, a complete outsider, have the same enthusiasm for something you love is just an overwhelming feeling. She wants to protect it and help us see it through to fruition. Still I know there should always be a certain level of reservation about things like this (just to be safe) but her enthusiasm is genuine. We’ve got another established actor/producer we want to show it to and are in the process of setting up a meeting with him as well.

Now it's a matter of trying to find a few more contacts, interested actors, producers and the like. Here's too good hunting.


Bow & Arrow is going well. I gave the script to the director and he liked it (as far as the first draft is concerned). He gave a few comments so that I could polish it up for an investor meeting next week and the week after. He’s also sending to Cherry Sky films (they co-produced Better Luck Tomorrow), where he has connections.

The Hong Kong director I’ve worked with off and on for the last few years is also in town for the next week and wants to meet up..

And I’m going to Comic Con next week. Awesome.

Wednesday, July 6

Back on Tour

The Amazing Joy Buzzards, check it...

I went to undergrad with this guy and to see him do good work in a medium he loves is refreshing. He's been wanting to team up on some stuff, but with his busy schedule who knows if it's possible. Then again, you never know. But his success inspires me. The book is a fun read and for those of you attending the Comic Con be sure to check him out at the Image booth.

Tuesday, July 5

Breaking in

The following is an email a friend of mine received after unwilling one of the head writers of a television show I managed to get contact information for. My friend emailed and received a very insightful response. With their permission (and sans any identifiable information) I am posting it here:


How's it going? Yeah, it's a tough gig, breaking in. It took me quite some time to get to a good place. And I had the same thing as you, where I was working production jobs, trying to get a break. And it's rough, because you rarely get free time to open your mind up to being creative.

I wish there was some magical advice I could give on what to do, how to do it and when to carry it all out. But really, it's just this, as far as I am concerned: if you are hyped up to write and want to dedicate your life to it, just stick with it.

I did, and even though there were times where I was really down and wondered if I would ever get a "real" writing job after doing all my specs and getting rewrites on loser indie films, I just kept going.

Even though that meant writing at home for awhile, and then taking a job to replenish the bank account, and then writing more, and then working more, I did it. So if you can do that, more power to you.

If you can get a job working with writers, that can really turn out to be a plus in a lot of ways. A lot of writers got their chances to move up by working as an assistant in the writer's office. Myself, included. The trick here is to know when to push yourself as a writer. Because you still have to do a good job, and they don't want to be bothered hearing about your aspirations all the time. But when it works, and they already know you and trust you, then you're in.

In television, a lot of it is getting in with a show runner/exec producer who likes being around you. There are tons of mediocre writers floating around in TV, and I've seen these people rise up. And it's obviously not from their scary talent. People hire writers in TV knowing that they have to spend tons of time in a small room with them, breaking story.

From my experience, you can get into TV writing one of two ways. Working up from an assistant is one of them. The other is, you come in cold. You have an agent pitching you as a new talent, and hope you can get someone to bite.

Agents always want what you haven't written, it seems. So be ready with everything. [Specs such as Six Feet Under, Smallville, Alias, The Sopranos and West Wing] might be considered old by now, in the agent world, because that was the hot spec show a few years ago. Now it's The Shield or Nip/Tuck, Lost or Desperate Housewives. And the agent would also probably suggest that you have a ... script [in the same style as the show you want to write for]. And also an original pilot. Sometimes a one-act play would be good to have, or a short story that shows your "voice."

Once you have what the agent needs to sell you, then it's very helpful. Staff writer positions are hard to come by..... So if you know anyone at all in the business, and can hit them up, you should. Agents won't deal with you unless you have a referral.

Well, I don't know if I've helped you at all. Feel free to e-mail me any specific questions you have, and if I can guide you, I will...

Best of luck,


Monday, July 4

Once again...

First draft of Bow & Arrow has been completed. It came out to about 95 pages in Final Draft 7, which is about 15 pages shorter than I had originally anticipated but a good length, overall, for a first time film. I'm emailing it to the director tonight, who is showing it to a potential investor this week. If all goes well - the man said "bonus." I cross my fingers. I feel good about the first draft as a whole. It needs work, of course. But I think it's a great jumping off point. Now, to set it aside for a a few days.

I've been contemplating turning one of my screenplays into a comic book. A friend is the writer an co-creator of The Amazing Joybuzzards, which has been published via Image comics. Both of my scripts are action oriented akin to Queen and Country. Both scripts could use a polish but I think are ripe for exploring. Decisions to be made.

In other news, my co-writer got our script to an upcoming actress who, after having read only the first 40 pages of the script, seemed to love what we were going for and wanted to set up a meeting this week.