Saturday, November 10
Monday, October 29
My comic book stories are being postponed until Popgun Vol. 2 which should hit right before Comic Con. I suppose that's just how things go.
I finally finished my latest draft (page one rewrite, reinvention, whatever) of Los Coyotes, my human trafficking script a few days ago. Hurray!! It came out to 176 pages Frakkk! Polishing before handing it off to my manager will commence soon.
Still, no time to recoop as I'm in the midst of polishing up the Bhangra script I wrote earlier this year, which will then be followed by a quick polish of the action comedy I co-wrote. This is all happening concurrently as I'm in the midst of paid rewrite work on a variety show pilot, coupled with dreaming up a commercial story/pitch for my management as they're hoping to target the Latino market for some big fast food type companies. Not to mention circling two other potential writing gigs.
Somewhere in there I need to find time for a life.
Tuesday, October 2
But it also made me realize that I no longer qualify to enter, as half of my income this year has been from screenwriting/producing. Still, I'm not about to run out and purchase a new house or car but it has, for all and intents and purposes, disqualified me from entering. That's kind of frakking cool.
Yes, I said frak.
Lots more to come.
Things are getting better.
Monday, October 1
Sunday, September 23
Tuesday, September 4
After a rather hellacious summer health wise, I'm happy to report that I'm doing much better both physically (and "emotionally"). There are still a few bumps I have to get over but good friends and family come through in spades when things seem a bit overwhelming.
Anyhow, on to the good stuff. I'm officially a represented writer as I signed with Treasure Entertainment for management very recently, who I'm also developing my "Coyotes" (human trafficking) project with for production. The plan is to take my existing thesis screenplay and revamp it considerably as we have interested producers and companies waiting for me to deliver.
"Beyond the Mat" is gearing up to film at the end of the year. We're still trying to line up investors and plan on working towards this end so we can get things moving. Reception of the screenplay and trailer has gone considerably well since Tribeca, which has opened some new doors. We're currently pursuing the Latino version in hopes of securing financing for the film.
Back in June one of my co-writers (Nick Sherman) and I optioned the rights to our script "Californio: The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta" to an independent producer for 6 months, which we wrote while at Chapman. The producer is working diligently to get investors and other talent aboard the project.
The month of July was taken over by my work on the remake of a popular Chinese Martial Arts film which is being directed by Kirk Wong (who I have worked with off and on for the last 5 years). I completed a semi-translation, rewrite and polish in one month (!) and if all goes well I'll even get a writing credit on the film.
Just prior to that I finished a rewrite on a script called "The Decoys" which is essentially Harold and Kumar meets Spies Like Us with fellow Chapman alum William David Lee. A number of actors are interested in reading the script once my partners and I have a draft ready to go out.
This November will see two of my stories being published in Image Comics' "Popgun: Vol 1" anthology; it's been a long time coming but the date is almost hear.
The next two months you'll find me working on my "Coyotes" screenplay and developing my next comic book project, "The 7th Wonder", which I hope to get published next year. I'll also be finishing up rewrite work on the Bhangra/Indian Dance film I have been working on for some time now.
Other than that I'm just doing my best trying to get by in the City of Angels. Some days are better than others but the drive and passion for my work, my family and friends easily keep me going.
Tuesday, June 5
Oh and then signing with a manager, being considered by an agency, optioning my western, working on comics and figuring out my writing tasks for the next few months, it's all a little overwhelming.
Friday, April 13
Local screenwriter hopes to launch career at Tribeca
BY JENNY SHEARER, Californian staff writer
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Thursday, Apr 12 2007 10:15 PM
Last Updated: Thursday, Apr 12 2007 10:19 PM
It's almost something out of a movie: Small-town guy travels to ultra-hip New York City.
It's his first time on a plane.
He'll pitch his screenplay to movie industry bigwigs.
In this case, the small-town guy is played by Arvin's Erik Martinez, 29.
He and his co-producers are going to the Tribeca Film Festival to meet with film industry executives and potential investors later this month.
Martinez's screenplay, "Beyond the Mat," is part of Tribeca All Access, a program that gives minority filmmakers one-on-one meetings with Hollywood's movers and shakers.
These meetings could lead to financial backing to make a full-length film, parts of which may be filmed in Kern County, Martinez said.
The story is among 32 projects chosen from more than 300 entries for the all-access segment of the festival.
"Beyond the Mat" is a coming-of-age tale about two best friends in a small town, minority experiences in America and high school wrestling. The story idea came from director Van Pham, who Martinez knows through film school.
He didn't know his co-producers submitted the script for consideration and learned of the script's acceptance via e-mail.
"I seriously thought it was spam, some Nigerian money scam," he said.
But Martinez is confident about the script's appeal.
"I honestly feel that the film will get made and we'll all see our careers become what they are meant to become," he said.
Martinez has other projects in the works, including a western and two stories that will be published in comic book anthologies.
Longtime friend Rocio Cantu is proud of him and thinks he'll handle success well.
"Not only is he book smart, but friend-wise, he has this great ability to work well with people," she said. "He's such a positive person."
Martinez's writing interests started with "really bad poetry" in eighth and ninth grade, which turned into halfway decent short stories. He was a teen journalist at Arvin High and wrote for the student newspaper at Cal State Bakersfield.
Judith Pratt, an assistant professor of communications, advised The Runner while Martinez was on its staff as a writer and editor.
"His wheels are always turning," she said, "and much faster than a lot of other students that I've had encounters with."
Ultimately, journalism wasn't the kind of writing he wanted to do.
He transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara, to study film. From there, he attended Chapman University's film school and has a master's in fine arts in screenwriting.
To pay the bills, Martinez tutors students and writes for a DVD Web site. His schedule gives him time to write during the day.
Martinez wants his words to express the multicultural reality he knows. He's encouraged by programs such as "Ugly Betty" and "George Lopez."
"Minorities are so underrepresented in popular culture ... there needs to be a better balance of the world we live in in our entertainment and media."
Wednesday, March 21
My filmmaking team (director - Van Pham, Producer - Kase Chong, co-producer - Teresa Hsu, and co-producer Henry Priest) and I (for "Beyond the Mat") were recently accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival All Access program, which is designed to give filmmaker's of color an opportunity to take meetings with a myriad of executives, production companies, financiers, agents and managers - who might be interested in co-producing or financing the project and just meeting with us as filmmakers they may like to work with.
So with that's said here's the press release and a link to "indie wire" which just posted about the program participants.
In other news my comic book stories will be published later this year in the now retitled Popgun Anthology from Image Comics. My artist on one of the stories recently dropped out so now I'm on the hunt for someone to pick up the reigns.
I'm still writing the Bhangra film and almost done with a first draft, the rough draft was handed in about three weeks ago.
I'm still developing around 12 projects as a co-producer (some of which I will write) with my partner Kase Chong and producer Teresa Hsu on another, respectively.
Other than that things are running rather smoothly as the clock ticks away until this guy gets on his first flight to New York.
--- from indiewire---
For its fourth year, the Tribeca Film Institute's Tribeca All Access program will showcase 32 projects by people of color. TAA matches African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander filmmakers with potential investors in a series of one-on-one meetings and other events during the annual Tribeca Film Festival (April 25 - May 6, 2007). Two filmmakers and one screenwriter in the TAA Program are competing for the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award which include cash prizes.
"Tribeca All Access is now a recognized incubator for U.S.-based writing and directing talent," said Tribeca's Jane Rosenthal, in a statement. "We are very proud to present this platform to celebrate a multiplicity of filmmaking voices."NARRATIVE
A Palestinian woman and her son arrive in the suburbs of Chicago to escape a life of oppression, only to face the fallout from America's war on Iraq.
Writer/Director - Cherien Dabis
Producer - Christina Piovesan
Two teenagers with the same sperm donor father and a rare form of dyslexia begin a journey, after receiving a mysterious message from someone claiming to have a cure.
Directors - Tze Chun, Sheila Dvorak
Screenwriter - Sheila Dvorak
Beyond the Mat
Two wrestlers put their friendship on the line for the sport they love, setting one of them on a journey to self-discovery that brings him one step closer to manhood.
Director - Van M. Pham
Screenwriter - Erik Martinez
Producer - Kase Chong
A couple moves into their new Manhattan apartment only to be haunted by its hidden past, which they soon discover is linked to their future.
Writer/Director - Buboo Kakati
A moving tale of friendship between a young girl and her imaginary friend, as told from the point-of-view of the imaginary friend.
Writer/Directors - Joe Turner Lin, Julie Anne Meerschwam
Cougars on Three
One woman battles her own selfishness and her father--the temperamental coach of her pro football team--to win her teammates' support and a spot on the field.
Screenwriter - Tanisha White
The Flicker's Dance
Confined to his house because of his illness, a boy refuses to give up his love of the outdoors and unexpectedly changes the lives of those around him.
Writer/Director - Priyanka Kumar
Cast: Joe Mantegna, William Mapother, Ione Skye
As the rest of America celebrates Fourth of July, two couples discover the limits of desire and the possibilities of transcendence. Based on the play by Christopher Shinn.
Writer/Director - Joshua Sanchez
Producer - Gill Holland
Fruit of the Tree
The inspiring true story of Dr. James Cameron, who survived a lynching and turned his anger into a force for forgiveness, remembrance and healing.
Screenwriters - Aaron Greer, Fran Kaplan
Producers - Fran Kaplan, Tony Ferraro, Brad Pruitt
A neurotic lesbian committed to playing the field has a change of heart when she meets Hannah Henri, a woman who embodies everything she ever wanted.
Writer/Director - Akiva Penaloza
The eldest son of a Korean immigrant family gives up his career to manage the family's convenience store, so that his brother may fulfill his potential as a
Screenwriter - Young Il Kim
Producers - Teddy Zee and Jonathan Kim
Last Road Home
When a dying man flees his suburban home to live out his final days in paradise, his estranged son is charged with the task of bringing him home before time runs out.
Screenwriter - Roberto Marinas
A troubled inner city teen struggles to come to terms with her mother's difficult past while carving out an identity of her own.
Writer/Director - Ryan Richmond
Producer - Sam Pollard
The Papaya Factory
Fourteen-year-old Lucy Alvarez faces an unexpected challenge when a class rival decides to go head-to-head with her Quinceanera party, by throwing an all-out Sweet Sixteen party.
Writer/Director - Anna Margarita Albelo
Producer - Jamin O'Brien
Rain for Kabul
The lives of a celebrated journalist working on a story of detainee prison abuse and an American aid worker in Kabul collide when one of them goes missing.
Screenwriter - Soo Hugh
A young gay man navigates cultural conflicts when his family visits the city from the reservation for his college graduation.
Writer/Director - Bennie Klain
The Sisterhood of Night
When a twelve-year-old girl exposes a secret society of junior high school girls a small New Jersey town is plunged into controversy.
Director - Caryn Waechter
Screenwriter - Marilyn Fu
The unauthorized biography of a corpse: based on a true story of a dead man who became famous after having been kept in a closet for sixty years.
Writer/Director - Natacha Feola
A geeky drummer struggles to hold his band together after a new job arresting shoplifters awakens his inner machismo.
Writer/Director - Aldo Velasco
Producer - Jasmine Jaisinghani
The Vitruvian Man
When a worldwide blackout causes panic and chaos, a young couple finds themselves deeply entrenched in the heart of the mystery that triggered the situation.
Writer/Director - Rooth Tang
Producer - Emily Wang
A widowed NYC sanitation worker must negotiate his relationship with his son after he becomes a key figure in a Sanitation strike.
Director - Ben Rehki
Screenwriters - John Campo, Ben Rekhi
Adopted: The New American Family
An intimate look at the evolving notion of "family" in America, through the stories of two families coping with the complexities of trans-racial adoption.
Director/Producer - Barb Lee
Producers - Molly Fowler, Nancy Parsons
A look at the tragic events and misguided policies that led to the destruction of a borough, and the residents who chose to stay and re-claim their neighborhoods.
Director - Edwin Pagan
Producer - Bienvenida Matias
After almost 40 years of civil ward and turmoil, an 80-year-old grandmother returns to Monrovia, Liberia to rebuild her life and community.
Director/Producer - Dee Rees
Producer - Nekisa Cooper
An up-close-and-personal look at the die-hard fans behind Chivas USA, the Los Angeles-based offshoot of the wildly popular professional Mexican soccer team.
Director/Producer - Mylene Moreno
The Foolishness of God: Desmond Tutu and Forgiveness
An in depth examination of Desmond Tutu's life and work with a focus on his controversial message of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Director - Karen Hayes
Producer - Darin Kuhlmann
Living in Silence: Toraichi Kono
The untold story of the man who was personal valet and confidant to Charlie Chaplin, before facing charges of espionage on the eve of World War II.
Director - Philip Chung
Producers - Clyde Kusatsu, Timothy Lounibuos, Nancy Yuen
The Making of 'The Boys in the Band'
An in-depth look at the creation of the ground breaking play and film that dramatized the complex experience of being a gay man in the 1950s, long before the Stonewall riots and gay pride parades.
Director/Producer - Crayton Robey
Executive Producer - John Hadity
Monica & David
Two adults with Down Syndrome embark on a new life as a married couple amidst much love and some trepidation from their friends and family.
Director/Producer - Ali Codina
Producer - Paola Gutierrez-Ortiz
A personal perspective on this controversial immigration practice where Taiwanese teenagers are sent to American to pursue a coveted education.
Producer/Director - S. Leo Chang
For a group of young dancers and drummers, preparing for the carnaval is the only escape from the violence and crime that dominate the gritty streets of the favelas.
Director - Jessica Sanders
Executive Producer - Lawrence Bender
Ultimate Christian Wrestling
A group of disenchanted former pro-wrestlers find a new way to combine their passion with ministry.
Directors/Producers - Jae-Ho Chang, Tara Autovino
Wednesday, January 31
by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
Yo soy Joaquín,
perdido en un mundo de confusión:
I am Joaquín, lost in a world of confusion,
caught up in the whirl of a gringo society,
confused by the rules, scorned by attitudes,
suppressed by manipulation, and destroyed by modern society.
My fathers have lost the economic battle
and won the struggle of cultural survival.
And now! I must choose between the paradox of
victory of the spirit, despite physical hunger,
or to exist in the grasp of American social neurosis,
sterilization of the soul and a full stomach.
Yes, I have come a long way to nowhere,
unwillingly dragged by that monstrous, technical,
industrial giant called Progress and Anglo success....
I look at myself.
I watch my brothers.
I shed tears of sorrow. I sow seeds of hate.
I withdraw to the safety within the circle of life --
MY OWN PEOPLE
I am Cuauhtémoc, proud and noble,
leader of men, king of an empire civilized
beyond the dreams of the gachupín Cortés,
who also is the blood, the image of myself.
I am the Maya prince.
I am Nezahualcóyotl, great leader of the Chichimecas.
I am the sword and flame of Cortes the despot
And I am the eagle and serpent of the Aztec civilization.
I owned the land as far as the eye
could see under the Crown of Spain,
and I toiled on my Earth and gave my Indian sweat and blood
for the Spanish master who ruled with tyranny over man and
beast and all that he could trample
But...THE GROUND WAS MINE.
I was both tyrant and slave.
As the Christian church took its place in God's name,
to take and use my virgin strength and trusting faith,
the priests, both good and bad, took--
but gave a lasting truth that Spaniard Indian Mestizo
were all God's children.
And from these words grew men who prayed and fought
for their own worth as human beings, for that
GOLDEN MOMENT of FREEDOM.
I was part in blood and spirit of that courageous village priest
Hidalgo who in the year eighteen hundred and ten
rang the bell of independence and gave out that lasting cry--
El Grito de Dolores
"Que mueran los gachupines y que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe...."
I sentenced him who was me I excommunicated him, my blood.
I drove him from the pulpit to lead a bloody revolution for him and me....
I killed him.
His head, which is mine and of all those
who have come this way,
I placed on that fortress wall
to wait for independence. Morelos! Matamoros! Guerrero!
all companeros in the act, STOOD AGAINST THAT WALL OF INFAMY
to feel the hot gouge of lead which my hands made.
I died with them ... I lived with them .... I lived to see our country free.
Free from Spanish rule in eighteen-hundred-twenty-one.
Mexico was free??
The crown was gone but all its parasites remained,
and ruled, and taught, with gun and flame and mystic power.
I worked, I sweated, I bled, I prayed,
and waited silently for life to begin again.
I fought and died for Don Benito Juarez, guardian of the Constitution.
I was he on dusty roads on barren land as he protected his archives
as Moses did his sacraments.
He held his Mexico in his hand on
the most desolate and remote ground which was his country.
And this giant little Zapotec gave not one palm's breadth
of his country's land to kings or monarchs or presidents of foriegn powers.
I am Joaquin.
I rode with Pancho Villa,
crude and warm, a tornado at full strength,
nourished and inspired by the passion and the fire of all his earthy people.
I am Emiliano Zapata.
"This land, this earth is OURS."
The villages, the mountains, the streams
belong to Zapatistas.
Our life or yours is the only trade for soft brown earth and maize.
All of which is our reward,
a creed that formed a constitution
for all who dare live free!
"This land is ours . . .
Father, I give it back to you.
Mexico must be free. . . ."
I ride with revolutionists
I am the Rurales,
coarse and brutal,
I am the mountian Indian,
superior over all.
The thundering hoof beats are my horses. The chattering machine guns
are death to all of me:
I have been the bloody revolution,
I have killed
And been killed.
I am the despots Díaz
And the apostle of democracy,
Who die with me
Depending on the time and place.
I am faithful, humble Juan Diego,
The Virgin of Guadalupe,
Tonantzín, Aztec goddess, too.
I rode the mountains of San Joaquín.
I rode east and north
As far as the Rocky Mountains,
All men feared the guns of
I killed those men who dared
To steal my mine,
Who raped and killed my love
Then I killed to stay alive.
I was Elfego Baca,
living my nine lives fully.
I was the Espinoza brothers
of the Valle de San Luis.
All were added to the number of heads that in the name of civilization
were placed on the wall of independence, heads of brave men
who died for cause or principle, good or bad.
Are but a few.
They dared to face
The force of tyranny
Of men who rule by deception and hypocrisy.
I stand here looking back,
And now I see the present,
And still I am a campesino,
I am the fat political coyote–
Of the same name,
In a country that has wiped out
All my history,
Stifled all my pride,
In a country that has placed a
Different weight of indignity upon my age-old burdened back.
Inferiority is the new load . . . .
The Indian has endured and still
Emerged the winner,
The Mestizo must yet overcome,
And the gachupín will just ignore.
I look at myself
And see part of me
Who rejects my father and my mother
And dissolves into the melting pot
To disappear in shame.
Sell my brother out
And reclaim him
For my own when society gives me
In society's own name.
I am Joaquín,
Who bleeds in many ways.
The altars of Moctezuma
I stained a bloody red.
My back of Indian slavery
Was stripped crimson
From the whips of masters
Who would lose their blood so pure
When revolution made them pay,
Standing against the walls of retribution.
Blood has flowed from me on every battlefield between
slave and master and revolution.
I jumped from the tower of Chapultepec
into the sea of fame–
my country's flag
my burial shroud–
with Los Niños,
whose pride and courage
could not surrender
their country's flag
to strangers . . . in their land.
Now I bleed in some smelly cell from club or gun or tyranny.
I bleed as the vicious gloves of hunger
Cut my face and eyes,
As I fight my way from stinking barrios
To the glamour of the ring
And lights of fame
Or mutilated sorrow.
My blood runs pure on the ice-caked
Hills of the Alaskan isles,
On the corpse-strewn beach of Normandy,
The foreign land of Korea
And now Vietnam.
Here I stand
Before the court of justice,
For all the glory of my Raza
To be sentenced to despair.
Here I stand,
Poor in money,
Arrogant with pride,
Bold with machismo,
Rich in courage
Wealthy in spirit and faith.
My knees are caked with mud.
My hands calloused from the hoe. I have made the Anglo rich,
Equality is but a word–
The Treaty of Hidalgo has been broken
And is but another threacherous promise.
My land is lost
My culture has been raped.
I lengthen the line at the welfare door
And fill the jails with crime.
These then are the rewards
This society has
For sons of chiefs
And bloody revolutionists,
Who gave a foreign people
All their skills and ingenuity
To pave the way with brains and blood
For those hordes of gold-starved strangers,
Changed our language
And plagiarized our deeds
As feats of valor
Of their own.
They frowned upon our way of life
and took what they could use.
Our art, our literature, our music, they ignored–
so they left the real things of value
and grabbed at their own destruction
by their greed and avarice.
They overlooked that cleansing fountain of
nature and brotherhood
which is Joaquín.
The art of our great señores,
Orozco, is but another act of revolution for
the salvation of mankind.
Mariachi music, the heart and soul
of the people of the earth,
the life of the child,
and the happiness of love.
The corridos tell the tales
of life and death,
legends old and new, of joy
of passion and sorrow
of the people–who I am.
I am in the eyes of woman,
her shawl of black,
deep and sorrowful eyes
that bear the pain of sons long buried or dying,
dead on the battlefield or on the barbed wire of social strife.
Her rosary she prays and fingers endlessly
like the family working down a row of beets
to turn around and work and work.
There is no end.
Her eyes a mirror of all the warmth
and all the love for me,
and I am her
and she is me.
We face life together in sorrow,
anger, joy, faith and wishful
I shed the tears of anguish
as I see my children disappear
behind the shroud of mediocrity,
never to look back to remember me.
I am Joaquín.
I must fight
and win this struggle
for my sons, and they
must know from me
who I am.
Part of the blood that runs deep in me
could not be vanquished by the Moors.
I defeated them after five hundred years,
and I have endured.
Part of the blood that is mine
has labored endlessly four hundred
years under the heel of lustful
I am still here!
I have endured in the rugged mountains
Of our country
I have survived the toils and slavery of the fields.
I have existed
In the barrios of the city
In the suburbs of bigotry
In the mines of social snobbery
In the prisons of dejection
In the muck of exploitation
In the fierce heat of racial hatred.
And now the trumpet sounds,
The music of the people stirs the
Like a sleeping giant it slowly
Rears its head
To the sound of
Fiery tequila explosions
The smell of chile verde and
Soft brown eyes of expectation for a
And in all the fertile farmlands,
the barren plains,
the mountain villages,
we start to MOVE.
Or whatever I call myself,
I look the same
I feel the same
Sing the same.
I am the masses of my people and
I refuse to be absorbed.
I am Joaquín.
The odds are great
But my spirit is strong,
My faith unbreakable,
My blood is pure.
I am Aztec prince and Christian Christ.
I SHALL ENDURE!
I WILL ENDURE!
Saturday, January 13
For those of you curious about the state of "Beyond the Mat," the wrestling movie I've been working on for some time now (17 drafts later), the producers are currently aiming for a April/May start date. They're meeting with financiers continuously and are making progress every day. More as this develops.
My co-writing work on Sabina Shamdasani's feature debut, "American Bhangra", is coming along nicely as well. We just wrapped up the 24 page treatment and have moved on to the scripting phase. With any luck we'll have a working draft ready by mid Feb.
I am also developing a Sci-Fi epic with Kase Chong and Nick Sherman (potentially). The treatment is at 15 pages and growing. If Nick comes aboard, like I hope, we will be writing and hopefully finishing the script by March!
"Californio: The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta" was recently optioned by an independent producer recently. The producer is very excited and passionate about the script and hopes to team with some big name Latino filmmakers to get it done. I wish I could say more but doing so would be premature.
"Los Coyotes", my human trafficking story/treatment, is waiting in the wings over at Treasure Entertainment. With any luck I'll be writing the script soon (and getting paid to do so).
In non-film writing news. My short comic "Everybody's Hero" was recently accepted to be included in the Low Orbit Vol. 2 anthology from Image Comics, which spotlights rising talent (Vol. 1 will be in stands Jan. 24.). As soon as I am paired with an artist we'll be getting to work and getting the story ready for inclusion in the book. There is also a very strong chance that I will have a second story published in the anthology, but that, my friends, is currently tentative.
On to producing, yes I've started this too...
I've teamed with Beyond the Mat producer Kase Chong in developing two projects which I will co-produce with him. The first is horror project set against the political climate during the fall of the Berlin wall, the second is an Action/comedy being developed with a fellow Chapman Grad. Both scripts should be ready in March.
I am also circling another project by Chapman grad. Ingrid Sundberg, which I hope to kick into pre-production later this year.
And in between it all I'm finding time for a life, hanging out with friends, discovering new places in LA, movies, family and fun.
2007 is going to be a great year, I look forward to sharing it with you all!