Thursday, August 25


Just a quick update of my progress on all the f'ing writing I've been doing as of late.

Californio: The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta. 3rd draft completed by my co-writer and I as of last week. Being read by our actress friend and waiting for feedback so we can get it into tip top shape before she sends it off to Gregory Nava and any other industry folks we can think of.

Bow & Arrow now retitled Beyond the Mat (by the director). Finished the 4th draft a few days ago and has been sent out to readers for feedback. Director says its 90% there. Work for hire is interesting that way.

Los Coyotes. Action/Drama set against the backdrop of illegal human trafficking. Is there any other kind? Currently in its 3rd draft as of March 2005, being read by my co-writer/roommate/all around bad ass, Nick. Thinking about reworking it together for instant strength/cred as writing partners.

The Sleeper. Comic book. Issue one has been completed and will undergo a rewrite over the next few days. Issues 2 and 3 are in the outline phase and the whole thing will span about 5 issues. Futuristic, sci-fi adventure with a Bruce Campbell flava'. Co written by Joy Buzzards friend and myself. Could be a potential comic book, feature film, video game kinda thing.

Possibly writing another comic book with another fellow I met at the comic con this year. He's close to signing with AP comics. We'll see how this progresses.

Linda Quan. Two feature screenplays based on this character. She's a bad ass. Like a female James Bond, only cooler. A third script idea is bouncing around in my head. Picture someone like Kelly Hu playing Jason Bourne, without the whole messed up memory thing. This is my Hong Kong version of the dollars trilogy.

Starting research (albeit slowly) for my next script. It's gonna be huge.

Somewhere in there is the still the possibility of the Taiwan project. Hong Kong director/producer is still talking to his people about getting the film off the ground. He's also trying to get one of our older projects off the ground - it needs a MAJOR rewrite.

Did I mention I also write DVD reviews for an online website?

Sunday, August 21


Remember the old prizes in crackerjack boxes? Well the prizes suck now but the stuff hasn't lost it's flavor since I remember it as a kid.

Anyhow, had a grand ol' time meeting fellow screenwiritng bloggers and the like at Joel's gathering this afternoon. Good times, good conversation, good people. In attendance:

Warren from Screenwriting Life, Fun Joel himself, Gary of Screenwriter's Podcast, Bill of Disc/ontent and his producer buddy Roy, Emily of E.B. Langton, Neil from Citizen of the Month, and my good friend Ingrid. Bill's got pictures, too.

Wednesday, August 17


From Steven T. Seagle's "It's a Bird"

"One thing writers have in common is the need to procrastinate. People don't understand this, but it's NOT avoiding work, it IS work. Going to lunch, cleaning the house, walking around eavesdropping, reading... all of it informs the process of pulling a story out of nowhere. After you've burned through the two or three tales that are born into your brain you have to siphon the rest from your environment. So, when I need something for my stories -- I open my eyes and ears to the world around me -- because I never know where the next idea, or scene, or line of dialogue is going to come from."

Now, back to writing.

Tuesday, August 16

It's all part of the process

As I've been looking over other screenwriting blogs and the like, over the last few days I've noticed some discussion on process - the way in which each of us, as individual writers/artists go about doing what we do. The only uniformity I see is in the fact that we all love to write and that we all write in different ways. I find that my process is ever changing. It's like water in that it kind of takes the shape that the particular project deems fit for it. As an overall blanket explanation of how I write, I'll toss this out.

I usually start with revisiting my "credo," which is exactly what it sounds like a personal manifesto of sorts that you put down on paper so that you are forced to look at your beliefs, thoughts, ideologies, etc. and take a real darn good look at them. I think it's a great exercise that really puts what your passionate about in the forefront of your mind.

Subsequently I like to watch films or read books/comics that are within the same genre of what I'm writing. It just helps me get a feel for the genre, type of film, etc. This of course is usually done on par with an extensive amount of actual research into particular things that need to be looked into about said script, story, character...

My actual process of writing is tricky, I write, for now, during the afternoons primarily, a few hours each day. A year ago I was a morning writer, before that, it was nights and EARLY mornings. Every project was different and still is. If I'm working on multiple projects, like I am now, I try and alternate days or time of day in which I focus on a particular project. Sometimes I like noise (TV, DVD's, music), though I still have yet to try writing in coffee shops or public places. Maybe the time is ripe to start trying. I had a professor, who said he wrote in 15 minute chunks, followed by 5-7 minute breaks over a stretch of 6 hours. Everybody is different.

I found a particular book useful, which is about learning and loving the process of creating your art called Art and Fear (written by Ted Orland and David Bayles). I learned about in one of Robert Rodriguez's audio commentaries (Spy Kids 2 I believe), which in their own right kind of make you want to get off your ass and create/write/draw/paint/shoot a film all in the same day.

I've also managed to learn to accept my procrastination, embrace it really. I found this in Steven T. Seagle's It's A Bird graphic novel, where he discussed writers and the art of procrastination. He explains that what we deem as procrastination is just another form of absorbing the world around you, gaining ideas, mind still working on the inevitable deluge of words to come. I'll get the specific quote when I have the book on hand.

That's all for now. Happy writing.

Monday, August 15

Sun Burger's

My co-writer and I just finished the third draft of The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta now retitled Californio and we're celebrating by polishing off a bottle of champagne (he scored like ten bottles from his brother's wedding) and "chillin" with our new roommate (check Gearhart photography on the links) and his girlfriend aka my best friend (check Sundberg Studio on the link) at our new place after just getting home from seeing Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers (pretty damn good flick in true Jarmusch fashion). That was a long sentence. Nevertheless, this is a good moment.

Wednesday, August 10

And so it goes...

Getting comfortable with the new apartment/area is taking some time but I think I'm adjusting nicely. My two roommates are great guys and very good friends (one is my co-writer). But I'm easing into rewrites on Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta which has since been retitled Californio. My co-writer and I are a little over 50 pages in and will most likely have a new finished draft by early next week. After that we'll send it out to folks and get some more feedback for the next draft. Once things are in a place we're both comfortable with it, it's on to getting it to Gregory Nava and a few other interested parties. To say the least, the rewrite is going well. I'd almost forgotten how much I really enjoy writing with my co-writer. We're contemplating starting a treatment for a new project, with various possibilities as far as what that project will be.

Bow & Arrow, according to the director, is about 80% where it needs to be (as far as he is concerned). With the exception of dialogue (my weak point) he feels this next draft will get us right where he wants the script to be as far as story and structure is concerned. I grow fonder of this project the more I work on it, the characters are loosely based on people I grew up with and I find myself pouring a bit of my own memories of high school into the mix. It's been good fun and will most likely be my first feature film to go into production. Damn, that's pretty "fracking" cool!

Not sure about the status of Taiwan but past projects with H.K. director are seemingly getting a second wind of life. I'm tempted to give him my Coyotes script and seeing if he might like to direct it, considering it's very much in tune with the tone of one of the other projects.

I got some reviews to write. Peace.

Wednesday, August 3

Human Traffic

Coyotes: Term used to describe the people who illegally traffic immigrants across the U.S. and Mexico Border.

My "thesis" screenplay down at Chapman University was about this very subject. It's an action/drama that followed a style more akin to John Woo's Bullet in The Head than Soderbergh's Traffic and in retrospect I think it needs to be an equal balance of the two. The script follows the story of Jesse Cerda, a young man who goes to Mexico to reunite with his sister, who has been putting him through school, only to discover that she is the head of a human trafficking operation involving immigrants from as far away as Hong Kong.

My co-writer, who didn't work on this project, will possibly be doing a rewrite, along with myself. The director of the film he is currently editing is looking for a potential new project to direct, seeing as he might be able to get a considerable amount of funding from a producer he regularly plays tennis with (who has a deal to develop Mexican-American themed projects, which seem to be growing in popularity -- FINALLY!). I proposed rewriting this script to my co-writer and he seems enthused about the prospect of doing so. It gives us a quick one two punch with our western in tow and sets us up as a writing team (which we really want to do).

Still have yet to start our rewrite on Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta, which is still progressing along nicely in the actress's hands. She's sending it out soon to some folks for feedback and the possibility of gaining some interest in the project.

Both comic book projects are still in the works.

Third draft of the independent feature (Bow & Arrow) has been completed and making it's way to various investors.