Fall update

•October 25, 2013 • 1 Comment

I’m juggling a lot of things right now, knives, chainsaws, bowling pins…

Almost done working on my portfolio of scripts for potential agents. Currently I have a full length play (in development at The Director’s Co here in NYC), I have a 30 minute spec sitcom (going to NBC), a 60 minute spec comedy/drama for cable, a 60 minute drama spec adaptation of a book, a horror/coming of age drama spec screenplay on The Black List, and another screenplay posting to the Black List later this week that is a WWII/ Horror spec.

Along with some referrals and some potential deals in the pipeline, hopefully I can nab a few meetings with some reputable agencies next month.

The eggs in my basket.

•April 20, 2013 • 2 Comments

From previous posts you may have noticed I have a lot of things I’m working on. I have a play in development. A screenplay I’m actively rewriting and submitting to every festival and contest under the sun. And a novel, that gets the writing energy I don’t know what to do with. Sadly, my blog has suffered, but that’s a good thing.

A ton of my energy is devoted to this screenplay that is very personal, and conversely very entertaining I hope, and not like anything I’ve ever seen, though that makes it hard to help people see. Hopefully a few choice results at various festivals and contests will help its traction and if nothing happens with it this calendar year, my intention is to produce it myself. “Not another Kickstarter!” you moan. Don’t worry, that’s quite a ways off. And if I still owe you cookies– I apologize and have faith!

The other piece of my creative life is for my play, “Secondary” which is getting a new title. AND a read with the Director’s Co. again on May 17th. I’m still convinced the commercial potential of the piece is huge and the timeliness of homosexuality in sports and the culture of violence that infects my beloved sport of football will help people realize that the piece could really succeed Off-Broadway and even Broadway. But the goal is to improve the script. Sharpening and sharpening until it cuts all who experience it.

My novel, while 2/3 of the way done, is still not far enough along to talk about. It’s safe to say though, it’s a labor of love, and my expectations for it, when it’s done, are minimal. I needed to make an attempt at the form, and I see it as the first attempt at something I will try a few more times in my life time.

So there we are. Looking at taking some classes later this year and entertaining the idea of attending grad school, though my responsibilities to my family limit my options, I will remind my self that my will makes many things possible. And those of my friends who have been supportive, even if it’s only in spirit, I thank you.

Back on the Blog

•April 6, 2013 • 1 Comment

I took a pretty long break there. I’m proud to report I haven’t been writing in my blog because I’ve been writing. I finished a screenplay I started with the intention of submitting it to the Black List and submit it I did. Here’s the logline, that I’m still trying to improve:

The Figure Of A Woman (Horror/Mystery & Suspense/ Supernatural Thriller) During a black-out at a secluded boarding school, three boys compete for a new girl’s attention by sharing personal ghost stories. When she joins the fun, her creepy recollection reveals a sinister secret.

It’s 103 pages, takes place at the Athenian School in 1989 and it was so much fun to write. I had a reading of it at Ripley-Grier with some fantastic actors who really helped me sharpen it and now I’m waiting to see what the Black List readers rank it. If it does well, maybe some folks who are interested in that kind of film will pick it up. Probably not. But I’m very happy to have accomplished part of my creative resolutions for the year which was to upload one script, and my goal is two more for the year.

How’s the novel coming? Good.  I’ve slowed down mostly because the aforementioned screenplay which I wanted to make sure was complete in time for Sundance submission. The novel is a great back ground project, and one of the first things I’ve ever done that I feel my momentum doesn’t affect my ability to write it. I always pick up right where I left off and it comes out quite easily when I focus on it.

And what about your play, you want to ask. I am almost done with the rewrites and I have a meeting next week with the Directors Co. to discuss it’s future which I’m hoping includes a mid May presentation for a few producers. Thanks to great suggestions and inspiration from seeing “Golden Boy” on Broadway as well as “Lucky Guy” I’m adding two actors and a new character. Originally I was trying to keep the cast as small as possible, but I kind of shot myself in the foot. I’m going to go ahead and add the character I need to to increase the conflict and not worry about two of the roles doubling like they did before. If the play ran for a year on Broadway then I’ve probably increased the operating expense by $140k but that’s hardly a deal breaking number.

So that’s the update. I’ve already begun the next script to upload to Black List, but my number one priority now is THE PLAY. Who is getting a title change. More on that later.

Every writer should read this!

•January 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

For everyone who writes or creates anything that incorporates events, places, people or things from their lives: Please Read this comic. Amazing.

When your house is burning down, brush your teeth.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

•January 8, 2013 • 1 Comment

Believing the universe gives you signs is silly. Seeing Omens of fortune or doom are fabricated narratives; self-centered POVs that allow people to feel part of something bigger than themselves (which they are but not like that), or to believe their life is a mystery or riddle that can be solved if they just pay close enough attention (which they can, but not like that). The idea that the universe, or god, or karma has a message for you and chooses to communicate cryptically is delusional. AND YET, your life does have signs.

I am one of those who believes we are a part of the universe and it’s very difficult to not feel I am the center of it when in fact I AM the center of my universe. And it’s better to have a dialogue with your reality than not to – even if the dialogue is between you and a fictitious creation you perceive as real. The signs you see, and I am talking about the cosmic, pertaining only to you kind, are not fabricated. It is the evidence you must examine to determine the best course of action for yourself. In fact there are more signs telling you what you should do than even you realize. Sadly, people really like the magical/unique/bizarre ones because the flashier the sign the more meaning it has, right? But most signs are mundane and often the same ones everyone gets, so that isn’t as exciting, but those signs are no less important.

Examples of signs to consider vs signs to ignore:
You are putting on weight. That is a sign.
A raven circles your home. That is NOT a sign. That is a raven.
Your spouse smiles less. That is a sign.
A black cat crosses your path. That is NOT a sign. That is a cat.

“Kevin, why the hell are you writing about this?”

I’ve been ignoring some signs. I’ve become a victim of the belief we all fall into which is that I think something monumental must occur to make me do something or move me to action when a number of small things are telling me what I need to know, but because they are small they seem less meaningful.

A joke:

A man is trapped on his roof, his entire neighborhood flooded. He says “Jesus/Universe/dead ancestor, save me from this flood!” An hour later a guy comes by with a small boat. He says, “the waters rising, get in!” The stranded man says, “I’m waiting for Jesus to save me!” So the man with the boat goes on. Another man with a boat comes by and the same exchange occurs. Finally a helicopter arrives and the man refuses to take the ladder, insisting The Lord will save him. Later, after he has drowned, he asks Jesus why he didn’t save him. Jesus says, “WTF, dude? I sent two boats and a chopper.”

So here are are signs I’ve been ignoring:

A few people ask to read what I am writing and if they do, they enjoy it. What do I wish the sign was? Everyone wants to read what I am writing and they have influence to propagate the writing and everyone enjoys it.
Three respectable companies inform me my play was a finalist for readings and they are eager to read the rewrite. What do I wish the sign was? Companies want to go into immediate production with said script and it’s heading to Broadway
My daughter asks when we can work on the script we are writing together. What do I wish the sign was?
Well, actually that was the sign that made the difference. She saw I was pretty discouraged the other day. She saw me giving signs that I was feeling like giving up. That I wasn’t sure what the point in writing was if it wasn’t fulfilling the potential I believe it has. She heard me discussing with a friend how I have difficulty mustering the strength it takes to turn on the computer and to organize my thoughts into a story and then, after chipping away at the words, going out into the world and asking people to read it. No one wants to read. And I understand. 9 times out of 10 the script or manuscript isn’t worth reading. When I’m asked to read things I am almost always disappointed. When I hold auditions 9 times out of 10 the actor doesn’t have what I want them to have. Reading takes time and if someone wants feedback then it also takes effort.

No one fails as much as actors. Audition after audition with occasionally something to show for it. But writers face a similar fate. Writing and writing and working and then selling it: by which mean – Trying to put it in people’s hands. People you never even meet. Sundance and Aurora sent me very nice responses saying the script was well liked by the reading committees and that it made the top 20 out of more than 300 but not the top five and that if I did a rewrite I could resubmit for next season with no entrance fee. I read these notices and said “it’s not good enough” and it was a defeat. The sign really said:
Keep going

But it took the sign I hadn’t seen before, the one from my amazing daughter to realize I have to keep going. It’s still difficult to not think: I’m constantly failing at this.

Last Entry of the Year

•December 31, 2012 • 1 Comment

Last blog entry of the year and there’s too many things to write about. Do I summarize what’s passed? Or do I focus on the future? Neither is appealing today. Maybe a couple concise statements.

This past year I feel my writing took a leap forward. Many factors contributed but the biggest reason was simply being dedicated to writing. In my mind I should have written more than I did. But as I examine the work I produced it was quite a lot. The second reason, I’ll say, was being interested in improving and less focused on results. In the end only one project reached completion. However I’m set up to finish a number of things in 2013.

And that’s all I have to say about the future. I’ve set myself up to have three screenplays and a rewrite of my play finished and I’m on pace to finish my first novel. I guess that’s a way to see 2012 as a success even though not a single word I wrote put a dime in my pocket.

As for directing, my only credit this year is the reading of my play at Directors Co. I need to improve on that for the new year.

So my creative resolutions for 2013:
Finish all incomplete projects not counting projects in stages of development.
To get out and direct more.
To find ways of feeling less alone in these endeavors.

“Skyfall” 24 hours later

•December 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I saw “Skyfall” yesterday and very much would like to see it again. Right now it is vying for my favorite Bond film of all time. While it’s difficult to compare original Bond films with modern Bond films I have to state this was a thoroughly satisfying film that was expertly constructed and beautifully executed. With respect to “Goldfinger” which has to be my all time favorite for it set all the standards by which a Bond film is measured I believe Skyfall, Casino Royale and Goldeneye are the films that met those standards and in certain respects exceeded them. To discuss this any further would require a second viewing an spoilers so I’ll leave it here. My humble opinion. 20121208-143245.jpg

 
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