Monday, December 25
Thursday, October 19
Beyond the Mat is rolling forward; full blown pre-production looms on the horizon as I finished the 17th(!) draft a few weeks ago. Financing is falling into place finally, 6 months later than we we're hoping for but the production is looking good. A start date is being planned for Jan./Feb. at this point.
The Indian film I've been working on, co-writing with my collaborator on Californio, is moving along at a snail's pace. The treatment should be done this month and the first draft of the script should be completed no later than 4 weeks after that.
"We Can Be Heroes" is inching closer as well, tentatively slated to film next Summer. My work on that script has actually scored me the opportunity to do a rewrite on a Hong Kong Martial Arts film, which will be filmed in Chinese and English, right after Chinese New Year. Some sites have announced it as a rumor, but it should go through pending actor contracts and the like.
Am I thoroughly excited and elated by all this writing work? Well, yeah. Does it feel real? No, not really. I actually feel kind of underwhelmed by it all. Slightly jaded attitude aside, I just want to see these things happen. Like any writer who puts an enormous amount of time and effort into his endeavors, I want results.
The comic book is stagnant right now. My co-writer is overwhelmed with projects, as am I, but it'll get done.
Plus, if things keep on track, next year I'll be producing a film that my friend Ingrid wrote.
In due time, I know.
Tuesday, August 15
Beyond the Mat. Received its first bit of financing. Sweet. More to come soon. Starting the 14th draft and getting paid to do, it even better.
American Bhangra. Starting a new project revolving around bhangra music and dance set in college, with a colorful cast of characters. Getting paid to write it. Indie rates aren't too shabby.
We Can Be Heroes. Terence Chang has come aboard to produce. Progress is being made, financing coming together, cast being sought. Pay day looming. Awesome.
When the Sleeper Wakes. Issues 3-5 being outlined. On the search for an artist. Sam Raimi's company interested in seeing the book once it's been completed. Cool.
Los Coyotes. Five actors/actresses attached. Management team is going after a lead and a director. Pitching starts very soon.
Future projects with Beyond the Mat producers being discussed with me as a writer and possibly even coming on in a producer capacity.
Wednesday, July 26
By Mike Snider, USA TODAY
Final Destination 3 and Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman, both out today, give viewers unprecedented control over the story line.
At several points, viewers must choose between two paths. Depending on the choices, the movies play out differently.
FILM IS IN YOUR HANDS: Play God on 'Final 3' DVD
In Final Destination 3 (New Line Home Entertainment, $30), some characters have different fatal outcomes, and several can survive the mayhem. Among the 11 unique story paths in The Abominable Snowman (Goldhil Entertainment, $20), an animated tale of three children searching for their explorer uncle, some have "very bad endings and some very good endings," says Michelle Crames, a co-producer. "This is new for kids entertainment."
Two more interactive Choose Your Adventure DVDs, The Lost Jewels and Mystery of the Maya, are planned for 2007.
Interactivity was among the most touted features of DVD when it arrived in 1997, but only a few obscure releases have allowed viewers to affect the story line. New Line Home Entertainment says Final Destination 3 is the first interactive movie to be created with the collaboration of a major studio's theatrical and DVD production teams.
"I have a feeling that we may see more interactivity on certain titles, sometimes even as just a gimmick," says Erik Martinez of DVDTown.com. "This could be a very good thing for studios."
Other interactive DVDs:
•What the Bleep!? Down the Rabbit Hole Quantum Edition (Fox, $29, out today). The three-disc set includes an expanded "quantum mode" of the 2004 film that produces a different movie each time.
•Livin' It Up with The Bratz ($20, Aug. 1) from Goldhil, the same studio responsible for the Choose Your Adventure series. The fashion dolls branch off into different scenes.
•A Nightmare on Elm Street Special Edition ($27, Sept. 26) is the 11th in New Line's infinifilm series that lets viewers opt to see additional features along with the film. "The infinifilm mode allows you to see all the special features in scene-specific context," New Line's Mike Mulvihill says.
New Line approached director James Wong before filming Final Destination 3 about the idea of alternate story lines. The studio allotted an extra $750,000 to the $25 million film budget.
"The hope is the audience will respond to this in a way to encourage us to do this again," Mulvihill says.###
Plus a link to the article on their website:
Wednesday, July 12
Oh and if that wasn't enough The Weinstein Company has expressed interest in our previous project "Blood Bond". They requested a PDF copy of the script that they could print off and send to the higher ups. This was Friday as well, so again, a waiting game. Crossing fingers.
Plus a good friend of mine has managed to convince the producer of this TV show she script sups for to read a sample of my work, cause it just so happens that they're looking to fill a spot and need someone with quick turn around abilities. Ahem, that would be me.
I did, after all, right a completely new draft of "WCBH" in less than two weeks.
Oh oh AND... a friend of mine from Grad. school wants to shoot a feature next year, and is looking for a writer to pen her script and (gasp) she's willing to pay. I'm meeting with her today.
As a distraction I'm getting sucked in by the genius (madness) that is R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet". Also, I've been exploring some really cool L.A. eateries and bars lately, too. It's nice to finally be able to explore L.A. a little more. I'm loving the hell out of it.
I'm getting business cards, 'cause, you know I want to be all "legit" and shit.
So... I'm really, really, really in need of an agent, because if any of these deal go through (including my treatment - human trafficking script/treatment, my wrestling movie and Californio), I want to make sure I don't get in the a$$. Thus, I'm making a list, checking it twice, of all the people who I know who might have connections/referrals to agents. Working up a query letter and then sending that puppy out.
I will put as many cliche phrases and the like in this blog as I want, cause I don't want them in my scripts.
I need an agent. I need an agent. I need an agent. I will find an agent. I will find an agent. I will sign with an agent!
Oh and the Beyond the Mat webiste.
Tuesday, June 27
The last few months have been decent. I've been focusing heavily on my writing and working on getting a few projects off the ground. I've been reworking my thesis screenplay (Los Coyotes - human trafficking story) into a much better treatment. To make a long story short, five recognizable Latino actors have signed letters of intent to be in the film based on the treatment alone. Pretty cool, eh? The treatment is also going out this week to some VERY cool actors for the leads, as soon as we have one or two of them, we're pitching to a whole slate of production co's and studios, in hopes that they might actually pay my brown ass to write the script for them.
Okay so that's one project. "Beyond the Mat" (my high school wrestling movie) is progressing along nicely. I finished the 13th (?!) draft two weeks ago. The producers are FINALLY going out to contacts for financing, trying to raise money, etc. There has been some dissatisfaction in certain areas that has been frustrating for some of us, but we're trying to band together and overcome these obstacles - which I'm certain we will. Any other kind of attitude would mean certain death for the project (that's for all of you f#$*ing naysayers - think positive bitches!).
So that's number two. Kirk, the Hong Kong director I sometimes write for, has lined up something promising. I call him "Hong Kong director" cause some of the other monikers I came up with might get me in trouble. We wrote a script called "We Can Be Heroes" (like the David Bowie song) a few years ago. At the time it was a crap script, but it had a lot of potential. Seriously. Well, he's been pitching the story around and managed to pique the interest of this superstar Chinese actor, who, if we attach, we could use to pre-sell the film in Asia and raise more than half our budget. Interestingly, he used my knowledge of Hong Kong cinema (ironic, cause he always says I know more about the subject than HE does) to pitch the idea with a new slant. It's now something of "Fight Club" meets "A History of Violence" with a Hong Kong twist, with a healthy dash of "Scream" like deconstructing of the genre (i.e. action films). So, I rewrote the treatment; I'm rewriting the script now (I F&*KING hate dialogue, grrrrrr) and should have a new draft done by mid to late next week. Whew!!! But there's also the case that Kirk is now entering "negotiations" with two U.S. production companies who are interested in the script, oddly enough, based on the previous draft. The whole thing has my head spinning, but in a good way.
Plus, I'm working on a comic book with a friend of mine from undergrad. First two issues are in the bag. I have an artist that's interested in illustrating the book but I haven't heard from my co-writer in like month. But it will get done and it will get published.
Plus writing reviews for DVDtown.com
Plus trying to sustain something of a life between it all. If it wasn't for my friend Teresa, plus Ingrid and Russell forcing me out of the house every now and again, I'd be something of a cave dweller.
Peace out and much love. Until next time, I remain--
El Rey de los Chingones!
Friday, June 9
Wednesday, May 31
Tuesday, May 23
From my review...The misfire that was the theatrical cut of “Kingdom of Heaven” has been meticulously corrected and refined here to create a more complete and rousing epic film. Scott has created an inspiring work of allegory; one of his best films to date, which is now smarter, richer, and bigger.
Wednesday, May 3
Financing for Beyond the Mat is taking its sweet ass time, but it seems we will have the first 1/4 of the budget sometime this summer.
Californio has hit an impasse, so Nick and I are going on the hunt to attach a producer. With the release of Brad Pitt's Jesse James movie later this year and Ed Norton coming out with a modern day western (Down in the Valley), plus the success of Deadwood - the genre seems to be on a slow up swing. Now, if we can beat the other Murrieta project out of the gates there just might be hope. So if any of ya'll no anyone who might be interested in producing a Mexican-American Braveheart in the old west, shoot me a line.
In the mean time enjoy some reviews:
Tristan & Isolde
The Family Stone
American Dad: Vol. One
Wednesday, April 19
Back in December, Mark called me with a potential job offer. He asked me to come up with a few pitches that fell into the criteria of being "Latino" themed, music driven, urban stories. Once I had something rough we'd meet in January, I'd pitch him my ideas and we'd take those ideas, develop a treatment and then pitch to a legit producer (i.e. with money) who wanted stories/scripts/ideas in the "Latin" arena. I pitched Mark and his partner my human trafficking idea. They loved it. A Mexican-American Goodfellas - their words.
Roughly two months and 18 pages later, the treatment was ready to go. We set up a conference call with the producer who was in Spain and about and hour later, he asked how quickly I could get the script written, given the treatment I said 6-8 weeks. To say the meeting went well, would be an understatement. He loved the idea, wanted to get right on it. Getting him to pay for me to write, just take a look at the blog title.
Mark is trying to work out the details for me, get me an upfront/option on the treatment, a nice payday for the first draft, rewrites and polishes - a decent step deal. So, right now I'm just playing the waiting game to see how serious this producer is. He wants this script, he's going to have to pay me to write it.
But if this falls through Mark is setting up meetings with two very interested producers, one who works at one of the major studios.
I need an agent.
Tuesday, April 4
Wednesday, March 22
And for the heck of it some of my reviews.
A History of Violence
Smallville: Season Four
Veronica Mars: Season One
Ultimate Avengers: The Movie
Thursday, March 16
Heading to Wizard World Los Angeles this Saturday with my hermano, should be a fun time.
Writing is what it is at the moment. Still working on the Coyotes treatment. Working on a revision and the third act now. I'll hopefully have something finished early next week. Once that's in the bag, I'll be pitching shortly after.
Working on issue 2 of WTSW with Mark Smith. Taking a little longer than I wanted but, a combination of things (having a tooth pulled and a little bit of slacking) have put me behind. I'm aiming to have something to shoot back over to Mark by next week.
Off I go.
Friday, March 3
I'm knee deep in writing, finishing up my new Coyotes treatment and pitching it to a producer in less than two weeks.
The 11th Draft of Beyond the Mat is done; heading up to Bakersfield for the state wrestling tournament for research/promotion/investors, etc.
Still no word on Californio.
Blood Bond is now being looked at over at Touchstone.
WTSW (comic) is being chipped away at, plus a marvelous opportunity might present itself if the planets align themselves just right.
I'm off to go bang my head against a wall.
Monday, February 20
But I'm back on track. No damage has been done to the career track. Though I was afraid that if I let things continue on the way they were any longer, there would be hell to pay - my ass on a lovely little platter.
Here's how everything is breaking down:
Beyond the Mat. Mine again. After meeting with the other writer, the director decided that the other writer couldn't really bring anything new to the script and that working with me was in his best interest. I made myself a damn good commodity to the project. Not to mention, when you get advice from a professional screenwriter (working on a high profile sequel) that says your writer is doing damn good work and that the script itself is pretty good, too, you tend to listen.
And they're thinking about filming in my hometown. Draft 11 is in the works.
Blood Bond. The script is at Hyde Park, doing what, I don't know. I think it's fermenting on a shelf in their offices. Kirk is in Taiwan. That's all I really know about that subject.
Californio: The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta. No news yet. After a little trouble getting things in order with the release form they finally received it about a week and half after the script. We're crossing our fingers, waiting to hear something. If worse comes to worse, we're considering trying to get it off the ground ourselves.
Coyotes. The new treatment is about halfway finished, roughly eight pages. I should be getting notes back from Mark at Treasure to see what our next couple of moves are.
When the Sleeper Wakes. A comic book I've been fiddling around with as a collaboration with Mark Andrew Smith, who writes The Amazing Joy Buzzards over at Image Comics. First issue is in the can, working on the second right now, next three issues are in a rough outline form. We'll be finding an artist soon.
Linda. She's a bad ass assassin/bounty hunter; pure pulpy, Hong Kong style fun. Two features in the can, I'm brainstorming a new idea for a comic book. My meeting with Mark Smith put me in the right frame of mind to get this off the ground.
Future Projects. Nick and I will be cooking up some new screenplay projects very soon.
Dvdtown.com reviews are piling up.
Writing needs to be done... and in all honesty I'm looking for more.
It's good to be back.
Tuesday, February 7
Well, I get a call from the director this morning to inform me (and seek approval to a degree) that I am being replaced as the writer of the film. A swift kick in the nuts. But also something of a relief. I've written 10 drafts, which vary from being page one rewrites to polishes and verything in between. Maybe I've written more, all I know is that I'm so close to the project that I do need a break, to come back with it with a fresh set of eyes.
I'm being replaced by an Asian-American writer. The director said he'd only be comfortable with this if I was. It'll make things easier to sell to Asian investors I suppose. But there's nothing like the feeling I'm having right now of knwoing that someone else is going to be rewriting something I've invested so much time and energy into. I still get credit, I still get paid, I still get to be involved with the production, develop the script, etc. I also get to feel anomsity towards someone I've never even met.
I often work with a co-writer but this is vastly different. My work with Nick is seamless and easy, Californio is my best piece of writing and it saddens me that I can't get him inolved on certain projects (yet) because of race. It's kind of ironic, but the truth of the matter is that we work well together. Very well. I really wish he was the writer that would be handling the rewrite on this but the director really wants an Asian-American writer.
Well, I am off for now. I have to go work on my Latino, Urban themed, music driven film treatment. Hijole.
Sunday, February 5
Thursday, February 2
There's this great void of uncertainty, waiting, and nail biting agony that I'm trying to push into the back of my mind. I need to focus on these two new projects I have going, they're very promising and could lead to great deals for myself and the production/managment comapny involved. Not to mention the anticipation over Olmos productions reading Californio (they did, however, just request that we sign a release form before anything else - why didn't they ask for that BEFORE we sent the script?). I can't help but feel a little helpless, considering I can really do nothing at this point to influence what will happen. It's something of a great silence, un gran silencio.
Whine, whine, whine. Negativity is a bitch. But I know how fortunate I am to be in this position. Three scripts in various hands, doing various things, that could kick start my career. It's scary, exciting to think about. I know plenty of people who would kill to be in my position. I am every bit a struggling writer and I'm making things happen, or so I hope. I dream. I ain't got much else.
But you know what, life is good.
Monday, January 23
The second is kind of a Chicano/a "Garden State" with a rougher edge, and hopefully a female lead, that could be good. This one is a little closer to my heart considering it deals with a lot of issues and things closely related to my growing up in the community and the enviornment that I did. I had a friend, a popular white kid, who was murdered by gang bangers about 8 years ago. Some people say it was motivated by a riff between his close circle of friends and the gang bangers. Others say that it was for dating a very popular Mexican girl. Reasoning aside, someone very close to me knew details that could have led to much quicker arrests. This person never came forward and I never knew about their inolvement until after the police caught the guys almost year after the fact. Very sad.
In other news, the business plan for Beyond the Mat has gone out to financers and now we're just waiting to hear back from people. Crossing fingers.
Olmos Productions has requested to read our latest draft of Californio. The script goes out tomorrow.
Blood Bond is supposed to be making the rounds at Fox. Kirk is in Taiwan doing prep work on another project.
I'm about to start writing something new. It feels prett f'ing good. Hasta.
Thursday, January 12
ONE (1) earliest film-related memory:
My parents, mis padres, love the movies. Married 45 anos, their earliest dates consisted of going to el cine in their small, Texas town and when they had seen all of the films playing locally, they’d hop on a bus and head over to the nearest town to catch movies they hadn’t seen there. That said, they didn’t stop when they started having kids, movies became and important part of tiempo con el familia, family time together. My earliest memories are of Luke in the Rancor pit (sp?) in Return of the Jedi and watching Indiana Jones run away from the impending stone ball rushing after him in Raiders of the Lost Ark. There’s also an early memory I have of watching Rebel Without a Cause with my dad. “You’re tearing me apart!!!” Then there's also watching and crying at La Bamba con mi familia.
TWO (2) favorite lines from movies:
“It can’t rain all the time.” – Eric Draven, The Crow
“Stay frosty.” – Cpl. Hicks, Aliens.
THREE (3) jobs you’d do if you could not work in the “biz”:
Film Studies Professor/teacher
Own a Comic Book Shop
FOUR (4) jobs you actually have held outside the industry:
Graduate Assistant to a Professor of Business
Boys and Girls Club Counselor
Hardware Handyman, True Value Hardware
THREE (3) book authors I like:
Luis J. Rodriguez
TWO (2) movies you’d like to remake or properties you’d like to adapt:
John Steakley’s Armor, a great, pulpy sci-fi epic... and another project which I’ve been developing off and on for a while which I will leave unnamed for now. Gotta keep one in the bag. Con Safos.
ONE (1) screenwriter you think is underrated:
Tom Mankiewicz, who was responsible for making Superman into the film we all know and love. He turned what was originally a completely campy script into what we now know as one of the greatest Superhero films of all time.
THREE (3) people I’m tagging to answer this meme next:
Well since almost everyone I know has been tagged already, I’ll try:
The Write Brother
Phillip Morton (as Warren stated before me, let’s see if we can get any of the big boys involved in this)
Thursday, January 5
I've been stifled lately, unable to really write ANYTHING in the last few weeks - outside of the few posts here, of course. A potetnial (new and paid) writing job might break this cycle of zero output. Me hopes. Nine drafts (with a few more on the horizon) of Beyond the Mat was starting to get to me. Not to mention I also have three new DVDs to review for dvdtown.com. I needed the break.
March 1st is the tentative first day of production for Beyond the Mat.
"Un revolucionario verdadero cree en el mejor de las personas, en su valor y su listo."
Sunday, January 1
No word on Blood Bond.
Sent Californio out to another actor, waiting to hear back.
Coyotes outline rewrite is going slow, but I'll have something new soon.
Goals: Agent, Career start, New Script, Network, Californio, Assertive
Sometimes you'll watch a movie and it'll pull just the right heart strings to get you balling like a baby. Happy New Year everyone!