Monday, July 16, 2007

Gone To Boone

I leave tomorrow ridiculously early for the airport. I'm going to North Carolina for two weeks to oversee some major construction on our home. There was a bit of a disaster and it needs to be taken care of. They say two is better than one. Let's hope that includes mortgages.

But that's not the worst part. The worst part is being separated from my wife for two weeks. Gonna miss her madly. The only good thing about us not going back together is that we won't be tempted to stay. Los Angeles is wearing on me. I've more than met my goals, the bloom's coming off the adventure, and I miss my front porch, mountian view, and southern accents.

Don't know if I'll have internet access out there in beautiful Boone, North Carolina (hit link for photos, and yes, it really is that beautiful), and even if I do, don't know how much time I'll have. So, we'll see you when I get back. Hopefully around the 1st.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I'm Already A Prick Again

Just yesterday I was sitting in a waiting room sure I was doomed and promising myself and The Good Lord that if spared I would appreciate life, smell the roses, and keep things in perspective. 22 hours later I'm screaming at the asshole in front of me for driving too slow (in my defense he was driving too slow), what's wrong with me?

I don't think the elation of getting that commutation from the The Big Governor Upstairs lasted the entire drive home from the doctor's office before I was all wrapped up again in the dit-dit problems of everyday life: Oh, I have this deadline -- Who's calling me this time of night? -- I got to return this stupid library book -- dammit, we're out of milk. I should be prancing around tossing rose petals, and here I am grousing already about nonsense.

Maybe that's the beauty of it. As the only living creatures aware of our own mortality, maybe we're just designed not to dwell on it. Maybe that's what keeps us sane. I don't know... All I do know is that I loved getting the news I was okay. I loved that feeling. But I also know I was a better person when I thought I was doomed. Ask anyone.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Chuck And Larry

Went to the premiere last night. It was really something. I had been to the Phat Girlz premiere, but this was on an entirely different level. It was huge. HUGE!

Me and the Misses walked The Red Carpet. Can you believe that? We walked right past the photographers and reporters... Right past the round haircuts who were watching and wishing they were us. And there really is a carpet that's red. No shit. And The Red Carpet is long. I mean, real long. They closed off half of Universal City for this thing.

Best part: all the free popcorn and soda you can carry. Good day to have pockets.

First they screened the movie in this gigantic auditorium. The place was jammed. (They were very nice about asking us not to talk about the movie at all until next wednesday. I'm going to honor that.) After, we were invited to a party with the people who worked on the film and the stars. This party's food bill alone could've paid for five Beautiful Losers: Chefs, full bars, beautiful desserts... Tons of food everywhere. I've never seen anything like it.

I couldn't get near Dennis. He directed the film and was swamped with people. I did get to say hello to his lovely wife Sharon. So, me and my lovely wife just had a little food and soaked it all in. And of course we kept an eye out for the stars. We saw Adam Sandler, The Great Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Kevin James, Seth Green, Seymour Cassel, Richard Chamberlain, and Jessica Biel.

On the way home the 101 freeway was jammed for miles thus fully completing our Hollywood experience.

I'm Not Doc Holliday

I'm fine, thanks for asking. I was a basket case, but now I'm fine. All the tests came back negative today (negative, in that good way) and I'm perfectly healthy. But it's been kind of scary this last week.

Last week I went to the TB doctor to start getting my treatments. He put my x-ray up, showed me the spot on my lung (it's the size of a Buick), said that it wasn't TB, and that I needed to get a CAT-scan as soon as possible.

You can figure out the rest from there. Needless to say the CAT-scan is clean, I have a very minor issue with lingering bronchitis that happens every once in a while, and am still planning to live forever.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Close The Bedroom Door"

I love my wife. I'm crazy about her. I adore her. But she does drive me crazy. I had a meeting with some people here at the house the other day and the conversation went something like this:

WIFE: Before they get here, vacuum, straighten up, put the dishes away, set out a guest towel, and close the bedroom door.

ME: Close the bedroom door? Why do you want me to close the bedroom door?

WIFE: Because the pillow cases don't match the bedspread.

I crane me neck to look in the bedroom.

WIFE: See?

ME: No, I don't see. The pillow cases are blue and the bedspread's kind of brown and pink.

WIFE: Which doesn't match.

ME: It looks like it matches to me.

WIFE: Do you think I've forgotten how you dressed when we first met? I didn't know if you were color blind, retarded, or a used car salesman.

ME: We're gonna have all these people here -- Don't you think they're gonna wonder why the door's shut.

WIFE: So, what?

ME: Well, think about it: This is a small house. Through the process of elimination they're gonna know that's the bedroom and they're gonna wonder what we're hiding. And whatever they imagine we're hiding can't be worse than mismatched pillow cases. They're gonna see trapezes and gerbils and a woman chained to the wall with a red ball strapped in her mouth.

WIFE: What kind of people are you having over?
I shut the door.

Tomorrow: Chuck and Larry

A few years ago I worked with Dennis Dugan, the director of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, we've stayed in touch, and over the weekend he invited Julie and I to the premiere tomorrow. I can't tell you how exited I am. Except for Phat Girlz, this is the only other major studio premiere I've ever attended and because I'm a star-struck moron the very thought of being in the same room with The Great Adam Sandler gives me the vapors.

When Dennis was directing Benchwarmers he invited me to that set for a day and I was so starstruck around Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigalow!) I could barely talk. So, hopefully there will be no star encounters with which for me to make a fool of myself. Just another grand Hollywood experience to remind me of why I came out here in the first place.

P.S. I still can't believe I met Deuce Bigalow. Deuce Bigalow!! Deuce frikkin' Bigalow!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Do I Look Like A Producer To You?

I had a very long but very pleasant lunch meeting today with some friends that ended with an offer for me to produce a film for them. It would be a low-budget affair; around $3 million, but it would be a nice chunk of change for 4 months work. I explained to them that I had never produced a film before, but they've read a series of articles I wrote about making Beautiful Loser, know I've been through it, and want someone locked at the hip with them who they like and trust.

It was an unexpected surprise. I've never even considered producing before (but I'd never considered directing either). I told them I'd do it. Why not, right? I didn't come out here to get stuck in a rut. I came out here for new experiences. I'll be in over my head, but it will be an exhilerating over my head. It will be chaos, and crisis , and madness. I can't wait. And what I lack in natural intelligence and experience I can easily make up for with hard work and wily resourcefulness.

A big benefit is that the script's really good. I've read a lot of bad scripts. Not all of them mine. In five years I have only ever read two that were any good. This is one of them. I read it when I was still sick as a dog after returning from Canada, and couldn't put down. It's an action comedy with three female protagonists. Good characters, well-plotted, briskly paced, and a lot of fun.

I suppose the financing could fall through as it often does in these cases. But they're moving forward and he's quit his job, so we'll see.

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Song Up

If you go to the Beautiful Loser website we've removed the piece score that played and replaced it with a song from the film called "Heaven Knows I've Waited," by Beau Killett. It's a hauntingly beautiful song that's perfect for the movie in so many ways.

Our music supervisor found this. It was during one of those many difficult late nights going through song after song after song, that usually ended with all parties frustrated at not finding anything affordable we all agreed on, that this one struck us. As it played we all started to look at one another praying everyone else felt the same way. Well, we all did and a big hole was filled.

We removed the score because it was a bit too melencholy. It's a lovely piece but not a good representation of the overall film.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

First Draft Is Done!

I hate writing the first draft of a script. Hate it. Plotting is so difficult for me. Pure torture. What happens next? What happens next? What happens next? SHUT UP! But, if you think about it that's all a story really is: answering that question. So, the first draft is done. Now the fun begins: The rewriting. I love rewriting. I love finessing a script. Never tire of it. And there's plenty to do. This is the first script since Beautiful Loser where the first draft came in at over 120 pages. 123 to be exact. That must be cut by at least 15 pages, and hopefully more. I like my scripts under a hundred pages. But, we'll see. The story comes first.

Most first drafts take me 6 to 8 weeks. This one I started six months ago. It's a ridiculously difficult concept -- a real challenge for me as a writer (which is good) -- and the What happens next? question sometimes took days of mental exercise to answer. However, it wasn't just the difficult concept slowing things down. In my defense, I did lose some time in Canada and rewriting another script that's hopefully going to some finance people next week.

My manager will be happy. He's been all over me about this. This is the script Disney's interested in, and even if they don't like it he's always looking for an excuse to call them.

Here's a little side story: I was Googling my name and the name of the script I just optioned to see if there was anything about it out there and came across this. Four years ago I won semi-finalist in a screenplay contest and didn't even know it. It's a contest run by Francis Ford Coppola. 2186 screenplays were submitted, I made the top 79. Not bad. Not bad at all. But I'm giving Francis hell for not calling me. You know, as soon as I'm a big enough shot to get near him.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm Such a Jerk...

I'm embarrassed to admit I completely forget to mention Andrew Teague as the designer of that fine Beautiful Loser website and Matt Rubenstein for getting us set up on MySpace.

Sorry, boys. Great work. Much appreciated.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Some BL News

We have an official website now. I'm not sure what makes it "official," we just kind of put it up, but it's there if you want to take a look and even hear a bit of the score. We'll be adding more content as we go along, but enjoy: And be sure to sign up for the mailing list.

There's also a MySpace page. What will be fun there is that we found Reggie's 1987 journal from high school and everyday we'll transcribe a day from his journal on the blog. So, if you want to know more about Mr. Reginald, his world, friends, and whatever else pops into his unambitious mind, go check it out.
Don't ask me why I chose that picture. Just thought it was cool. Anyone know where it's from?

Happy 4th of July!

As as I sit here ready to watch Yankee Doodle Dandy, enveloped in cool ozone-killing air conditioning, and wasting water during a shortage to defrost a mighty slab of fear for bar-be-cuing, I wish to pause to say this: May God Bless each of you, and continue to bless this beautiful grand country of ours we are fortunate enough to call home.

And to you, the past, present, and future veterans; thank you for all of it. Thank you ever so much.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Heaven on Earth

Want to know what heaven on earth is? It's four days home alone with my wife when we have nowhere to go and nothing to do. And air conditioning.

But first some quick movie reviews:

Sicko -- Very entertaining but quite unpersuasive. I don't argue that our healthcare system is a mess and could use improving, but Moore's only interested in total government control of healthcare and goes on to pretend that the socialized medicine programs in other countries is some kind of utopia. He presents few facts, zero statistics, just a lot anecdotes. My heart breaks for the people whose problems he spotlights -- and our healthcare system letting them slip through is criminal -- but Moore's no more serious about helping them than the insurance companies he goes after.

Live Free Or Die Hard -- Bruce Willis is so good in this role you don't care how silly the story or how wimpy the villain... It's dumb fun brought to you by one of the last true movie stars alive. I'd forgotten what it's like to sit in a theatre and be blown away by charisma and presence. Hasn't happened since Johnny Depp stepped off that sinking boat in the first Pirates.

Evan Almighty -- I know this is getting slagged, and it's far from perfect, but it did entertain me. Wanda Sykes is very funny and who could be better cast as God than Morgan Freeman?

A Mighty Heart -- A mighty bore. A dit-dit police procedure film where you already know the horiffic outcome. We never get to know Daniel Pearl. We don't really even get to know Marianne. The movie has no heart whatsoever, much less a mighty one. Huge disappointment.