About Greg

Hi, I'm Greg and I write screenplays and work as a teacher.

Let’s not get offended by trombones

Ok, let’s do this. I’m always telling myself that I should write more (blog and screenplays) but so far I only succeeded on the screenplay front. Don’t get me wrong I’m really exited that I finally have a story that is good enough to get me through third act but I also wanted to reinvigorate my blog. So far I failed miserably at the blog but I don’t give up yet and strangely the more screenplay pages I write, the more I feel the urge to write a blog post. But until now, the urge wasn’t big enough and I was missing the right topic.

Enter John August. If you don’t know his blog, check it out. He and Ken Levine are probably the best (Screenwriter) Bloggers around. In addition to his blog Joh also has a great Podcast with Craig Mazin called Scriptnotes. But, I’m not here to advertise other peoples blogs or podcasts, even if the are great.

Today I want to talk about something really *insert mean and/or derogatory word of your choice* John August did. What he did you ask? Well, he had the audacity to write a blog post on HIS blog in which he gave us HIS opinion about why he thinks children should learn the guitar or the piano before moving on to another instrument.

Man, did he hit a nerve. On the shit-storm was out of proportion. Unfortunately he turned of the comment section so you can’t read it now but trust me when I say some people went overboard and let me tell you why.

Do I think Mr. August has a pont? Yes. Was the argument well laid out? Yes. Do I agree? No. Do I hate him now? No, why should I?

I get his point. I play the Saxophone myself, Tenor to be precise, and I love it. Looking back at my own biography and other circumstances (music education works different here in Liechtenstein) I don’t think that I would still play an Instrument if I had chosen a different path. I always liked playing in a group and speaking as the president of the local music society  I hope that mister August’s plan doesn’t get implemented because we need clarinets, trombones, …. I play the saxophone quite well and contrary to Mr. August I think that it’s equally as useful as playing the piano … and don’t get me started on those camp fire guitarists. Sure there are days when I would love to know how to play piano but last year our orchestra performed Bolero and Rhapsody in Blue and I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

But why don’t I get offended then you might ask. Well I might disagree with him, but he never wrote that I’m stupid if I don’t agree with him. So why should I call him names. It’s an argument and it is a complicated subject matter so nobody is really right or wrong here. It’s a discussion. It’s boring if we all agree and just because I don’t agree with something you say doesn’t mean I don’t respect you or what you do.

People get easily offended. I think some people even search the internet to find things to be offended about and by good there’s a lot out there to be offended about. But a well written argument you might disagree with is not one of them. If you’re offended you get defensive which is really stupid because nobody attacked you. You don’t have to defend yourself. Just make your point, preferably politely and follow the discussion. You might learn something new or even change your mind. Imagine you change your mind, really embarrassing of you trashed the author at first.

To be honest, I’m not really talking about John August’s post. Sure, in a way I am, it’s the reason I wrote this but the issue is an old one and you can see it everywhere, especially in politics. Barack “Muslim-fashist-socialistic-christmas-killing-devil-worshiping-tree-hugger-who-is-to-chicken-to-really-do-anything-substantial-about-global-warming” Obama comes to mind but let’s not go there. I think I made my point.

Don’t be a dick and don’t get offended.

Greg

P.S.: Thanks John for the comment holiday, it made me write this post. 🙂

I’m alive and well

Dear reader (assuming there is one)

I’m alive and well. I would like to say that due to an alien abduction I was unable to post but it would be a lie. I just had nothing to say. I just needed a break from not blogging but lately I felt the urge to write. I’m still working on a new screenplay. I finally cracked the story (I thought I did dad a year ago) and the script is coming together quite great. Hopefully it’s the best thing I every written and I’m trying my best to make sure of that.

I don’t want to go into details but I really think that this could be the one. We (me and my partner in crime) decided to send it in to the Nichol Fellowship. The deadline is May 2011 and we’re trying to be ready then. Will we win? I don’t think so but it’s time to put our work out there and who knows, you never know.

What’s wrong with modern poets?

What is wrong with modern poets?

 

There was a time when poets used their talent

to write great poems about the beauty of creation.

They did not use it to simply pay the rent.

These poets wrote their poems in a large variation

of rhyme schemes and metres without limitation.

 

But this golden age is over.

Poets have stopped looking for rhymes,

They just write a sequence of words,

With the hope that nobody minds

that they have no clear structure, meaning and rhyme,

and no metre.

 

Rhymes are not necessary anymore,

And they don’t count lines to write a sonnet.

 

Just write a few words, add a profanity like the word with f,

and you can call yourself a modern poet.

 

The great sonnets of William Shakespeare

Are no longer something to emulate,

The modern poet writes about beer

and about staying in the bar till late.

 

The sonnet was so pure in its form

That it was used in all kinds of languages.

Of course they differed a bit, as you might guess,

But they all followed the sonnet norm.

 

Three stanzas with four lines each,

Two rhymes in each of these stanzas,

And a metre suitable for dancers.

But sometimes a rhyme is out of reach.

 

In the end just rhyme the lines again,

And you can feel like a proud man.

 

My poetry is kind of poor,

But I’m trying to do my best.

There are cheaper ways to success.

The poet Jandl for example,

wrote about Otto and his mops.

A whole poem with just one vowel.

Easy I say I can do that as well.

 

Tim sits in Sing-Sing

Tim sings.

Tim is sick.

Sick Tim shits.

Shit stinks. Tim: Ihhh!

 

That was really easy, but Jandl went further.

He deleted all the vowels, I call this murder.

 

Wht’s th prblm wth tht.

Nbdy gts th mssg jst sm lttrs,

Tht’s nt ptry, tht’s nt vn lngg.

 

My ears are bleeding, my eyes hurt.

I give up; the modern poets have won.

It was a bad idea to write about them.

My poem is not nearly as good as theirs are.

Maybe they are talented after all.

 

I do not have enough talent to become a poet,

Not even enough to become a poetry critic.

My writing is just too absurd,

And that’s why this is my final word.


Happy Towel Day Everybody!!!!

Today is Towel Day. “Towel Day?” you ask. Well, Towel Day is a holiday in memory of Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But enough from me, here’s what The Guide has o say about Towels:

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

Thank you Douglas for this amazing book.

The cake is a lie

I have two weeks off from work which means I have a lot of work to do. Right now I’m still trying to relax but I guess from tomorrow on I have to get working. I’m not really motivated but my summer plans (only 68 days until my America trip) keep me focused. 🙂

I’m trying not to think about all the stuff I need to get done until then but I’m glad that it will be over soon.

My writing is moving forward, slowly but steadily. I’m working on the first act and so far it’s coming together quite nicely. It’s far from finished but the project still looks promising.

Next school year chances are that I will work full-time. Which might be bad news for my writing but it will be my only job and financial security (maybe even part of the budget for the short film) might be a great starting point for my future endeavors.

That’s it for now.

Greg

Blog-jacking

This blog will be hijacked. I have to attend a course for my teaching degree and as part of this course we have to create some blogposts. I have no idea how many readers I have but consider yourself warned. During the next week at least two blogposts with some dubious content will show up on this site. I have no clue yet what exactly I have to do but I plan on doing it quick and painless. 🙂

..and now for something completely different…

Hugh Laurie is a genius.

Cheers.
Greg

Bad movies vs. Bad movies

I admit it. I like bad movies, I really do and at least for me there’s nothing wrong with that. I even like movies that completely fail at every single level. It’s like watching a train wreck. You don’t want to look, but you have to. The Core is one of those movies. To be honest, I think the Core and Armageddon are basically the same movies. One goes up, the other goes down. But if I had to chose which of those two films I want to watch, I’d always choose The Core. Don’t get me wrong, both movies are crap, well entertaining crap but whereas Armageddon is Blockbuster crap that filled theaters, The Core is a rare breed of crap so far out there that it’s hard not to call it a craptastic masterpiece of epic proportions.

But I’m not here to talk about The Core (I’ll do that later, but I want to get that one right), I want to talk about the crap that’s out now.
I recently saw that Battle Los Angeles movie. O. M. G. WHAT THE FUCK!!!

Skyline? What the hell. I could go on but I think you get the kind of movies I’m thinking of. To be fair, nobody expects a movie like Battle LA or Skylien to be good, to be honest I kind of hope for them to be “bad”, but the good kind of “bad”, entertainingly “bad” not “let’s-see-if-we-can-bore-the-living-shit-out-of-you bad”.

Is it just me or has the quality of bad movies declined recently? Where are the truly great bad movies of the last 2 years? Thank you Hollywood for ruining bad movies. Well done.

What the hell…

I’m trying this wordpress thing again. I decided to write more and worpress lends itself more to longer texts than tumblr. I decided to use tumblr for my “how many movies do I watch” project. I’m at 84. I name each movie I watch and I write short comment. Sometimes the comments are very short, especially when the movie is really bad. 🙂

But here on wordpress I want to try and write longer texts, maybe even with some content. I actually have a lot so say, I’m just too lazy to do it. But hopefully my new macbook air is helping me with that. So far it has improved my productivity.

As for my other writing; I’m currently waiting to get feedback about the first act of that bird movie. I guess I will write an angry mail after I finish this. But so far the feeling I have about that project is very good. One could argue that the story is very classic but at least it works. But I don’t want to spoil everything. 🙂

I’m also in the middle of planning a research/vacation trip in summer. I’m going to the US of A. I’m really looking forward to that and I’m already picking out nice places to just sit and write. I also bought a new camera. I need to take a lot of pictures in New York (that’s the research trip) for the screenplay. New York plays an important part in the story and I have to make sure I get the details right.

But the main reason for the trip is Comic Con. I was really lucky so far. I survived the ticket and hotel nightmare and I not only have a 4-Day pass but also a hotel room next to the convention center. It’s going to be awesome. 🙂
So I have to write that mail now. Take care. I promise to be back soon.

Greg