About Greg

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

Progress Report 41 – A Monster Calls

Ok, bare with me, this is the last time I promise1 but at least this one is a bit writing related.

There’s a saying among screenwriters, I’m paraphrasing but basically its about the idea, that every villain is the hero of his story. He probably doesn’t know that he’s the bad guy, he has his mission, his goals and his motivation and he just want’s to succeed. If that is true, what about the opposite? Is every hero a villain of someone else’s story? To complicate matters even more, how do I know which one I am? How can I be sure that I’m the hero if it feels exactly the same as being a villain in someone else’s story?

In my ongoing quest to make sure that my life is one god-awful movie, I inadvertently (or maybe through mind-boggling stupidity is more accurate) turned into the villain of someone’s story. I was blind to the effects my actions had on that person and through all my efforts to fix my mistakes (apparently heroes and villains both make mistakes), I made it worse and  I turned from villain to monster. I’m not comparing myself to a moustache-twirling Bond villain and I’m no Xenomorph either but my actions deeply hurt someone. It doesn’t matter that my intentions were good, apparently all villains have (some) good intentions, the only thing that really matter how my actions affect others. It might be a while until I fully realise the damage I caused and the full extent of my misguided actions, I don’t even know if I can ever forgive myself, the only thing that I’m sure about is that I’ll do everything in my power to never repeat my mistakes. Out of respect to others, I’m not going into too much detail but trust me, I learned a valuable lesson I don’t intend to ever forget. It doesn’t feel good2 to realise that you’re the monster and that you (inadvertently) hurt someone you care for. If you should ever read this, I’m sorry.

NewImage

What I see in the mirror.

Moving on, I promised you screenwriting and screenwriting you shall get. It was Carrie Fisher who said,

“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

and that’s exactly what I intend to do. The last couple of month were really difficult for me and recent revelations reshaped my perception of them and I think in these events and my newfound insight into them lies my next movie. I know I say that all the time that I finally found my next project but I think I really need to write this one now. It might not surprise you that I’ll think of it as part writing, part therapy but who cares, I truly believe that it will turn out good and I’m saying that before I even have the slightest idea what the plot is going to be. I have a lot of ideas about the characters and I know that the story will get a supernatural-horror edge, I’ll mix in a bit of romance and round it up with a pinch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not the slaying part but the one with all the metaphors).

I have no title yet but I hope to finish my outline over the easter break. I’ll keep you posted.

And now for something completely different…the numbers:
One book/screenplay: To Kill a Mockingbird is a really good read.
Two movies: I rewatched a few things, among themThe Neverending Story (someone needs to remake this, there is so much potential) and I started with a Buffy marathon, its just a great show, the first season is really tight.
Seven pages: Not even one page.
Seven hours: Does my new Idea count?

That’s it, I’ll promise to regain momentum, but who knows I might be a villain and maybe I’m just lying.

  1. Who am I kidding, there will be more posts like this but let’s be honest, you’re just here for these anyway.
  2. Honestly, it totally sucks.

Progress Report 40 – The Shape of Things to Come

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Never heard of this movie.

It has been a while and I’m sorry that I’m not sorry. Things are complicated and my life seems like a silly soap opera. It’s probably the universe having a laugh on my expense but sometimes I feel like Ben from “The Passion of the Geek”. Life imitating art, but wasn’t that script inspired by life? Looks like I’m trapped in a vicious circle. Good joke universe, really funny.

Writing is on the back burner right now but I’m collecting my thoughts and I’m positive that I’ll start my next project soon. Until then I have a lot of work to do. School keeps me really busy, reading, correcting, preparing lessons and all that crap. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job but it’s very taxing at the moment.

But let’s talk a bit more upbeat, this is my Progress Report 40 after all, YEAH! I honestly never thought I’d get this far and I think it is fair to say that #ProjectMomentum has been a success. I got some writing done, I helped developing ideas and I’ve lost some weight in the process. #ProjectMomentum is not just a writing project anymore, it’s actually something that got my life (back) on track. I don’t want to sound too dramatic, I didn’t feel lost or anything before, but all things considered1 my life is better than it was a year ago. I think right know, I’m the person I want to be, the person I’m supposed to be, someone with a lot of potential to work towards (some of) his dreams. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?2

I have no idea if this post is depressing or uplifting. This is basically how I feel on most days and as much as I try, I can’t change that, I can try to make the best of it and that’s what I think #ProjectMomentum is for me, a way to make the best of my life and I intend to keep doing that. I have no idea in what shape or form that will be but I will continue on that path, I just hope it leads somewhere nice.

So here’s to 40 more, I’ll try to keep these reports coming.

I’m not doing the numbers today. Progress Report #40 doesn’t need that but the numbers will continue. I have some good books and some decent movies lined up. Today I want to end with a piece of music that gave me the idea for the title of this post.

Bear McCreary wrote some great music for the “Battlestar Galactica” series and here’s one of my favourite tracks. Its beautifully haunting piece of music that really resonates with me.

  1. ..well, besides that one small (really important and life defining) detail of course.
  2. For a better understanding of my hopes and dreams, see this entire blog.

Progress Report 39 – Evermore

NewImageMy mind is still preoccupied. I have a lot of correcting to do but I just can’t get myself to do anything really productive. I’m barely functioning, I pretend to function and sometimes I trick myself into doing some work but at the end of the day I’m just elsewhere.

It’s just not fun anymore and I’m at a total loss. I don’t know what to do anymore. It just sucks. I never intended this blog to turn into a depressive diary but that seems to be the prevalent theme of this blog. I’m sorry about that, not just for you, especially for me. I think I shared enough in the last couple of month that you have a pretty clear picture and the details don’t really matter, it’s just that life sometimes really is hard but unfair.

I’m at a total emotional and professional standstill. My mind has just one thought, total writers block, even these lines feel forced and I have to force myself to keep typing. Strangely, I actually have a lot to say but the wrong people are listening, or the one I need to listen doesn’t.

I’m defintely the biggest idiots ever and trust me, if I could, I’d change but I just can’t, I watched too many movies with happy endings, I just can’t and I don’t ant to give up. It’s fitting that I turned into the main character of “The Passion of the Geek” but who are we kidding, Ben was always me. Is it life imitating art or is it the other way round?

But enough whining. I won’t do the numbers today, nothing to report but I watched some Disney movies, old and new. The ne “Beauty and the Beast” was ok. Not as magical as the original cartoon but OK. I really like one thing though, one of the new songs, Evermore. It’s a new song for the Beast that exactly captures how I feel.

Finger crossed, if Belle can fall for the Beast…who knows.

Progress Report 38 – Not Motivated

Motivation office space peter gibbons motivation lazy demotivational poster 1217927102Can I be honest? I just didn’t feel like writing. My mind was elsewhere (actually it still is) and I couldn’t get myself to put words on pages. There are a lot of things I want/need to write but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I hope that will change, well hope is not the right word, I’m going to change that. I’m going to make myself write more. I have to regain the momentum and the plan is to get a decent outline and maybe a first act until Easter. I haven’t decided what I’m going to write but I assume it’s going to be something personal again. I just have to get that crap out of my system and even when the scripts are shitty, at least I wrote something. But then again, who knows maybe I write that ultra violent thing which seems unpersonal but to be hobest, sometimes I feel really violent.

I don’t have too much to say about the numbers but lets look at them anyway.

One book/screenplay: I’m done with Norse Mythology and did some school reading. I also started with Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I can.
Two movies: Sleepless movie watching continues, stay updated on letterboxd. I rewatched How I met your Mother and some other things, one thing I have to mention, Assassin’s Creed, what a turd.
Seven pages: Moving on.
Seven hours: Nothing to see here.

This is the part where I usually write about something else but I can’t think of anything interesting I’m willing to share, willing to share being the important part here. 2017 pretty much stated like 2016 ended and I’m so fed up with all the crap that I pity myself for feeling self-pity, I’d love to make it just stop or go away but no matter what I try, I just can’t seem to get my shit together.

It seeps into other aspects of my life and I’m pretty sure I’ve been a terrible person to be around but…it just sucks. Trust me, you don’t wanna know.

That’s it for today, I don’t want to get more depressing so I’m going to stop here and maybe next week will be a little bit less depressing.

Progress Report 37 – The Mead of Poets

Processed SAM mjodr

This explains a lot.

Sorry, late again. I don’t know what’s wrong, well I know but I’m not going to tell. This is a blog and not “Dear Diary…”.

I didn’t do a lot of work this week, had exams to ready and correct and other stuff to do but let’s crunch the numbers.

One book/screenplay: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman is a great read, I highly recommend it. Especially the story about the Mead of Poets. That one explains a lot.
Two movies: Another week of sleepless movie watching, stay updated on letterboxd. This week I rewatched The Matrix and tried to do the same with the sequels but I’m stuck, I also watched some Animation movies for research purposes and the LEGO Batman Movie for fun.
Seven pages: Definitely not seven pages this week.
Seven hours: Orlindo reworked the Outline for Windwheel and it’s in pretty god shape. I gave some minor notes but I think we should try and write the screenplay.

I owe you a longer blogpost but honestly I don’t really feel like writing about something inconsequential while my mind is occupied otherwise.

I thought about writing about the Academy Awards but I don’t really care. La La Land is probably going to win, which is fine but I prefer Sing street. I don’t really have a horse in the race so I’m only mildly interested in the outcome, I’m looking forward to some Trump bashing though.

I’m probably off keyboard the next couple of days, Carnival, the real thing not the TV show. I’m looking forward to it, I’m not the biggest drinker these days (weight loss and everything, I’m below 80kg by the way) but I think it’s going to be good for clearing my head. Who know, maybe I get inspired and churn out another screenplay next week.

So yeah, see you next week.

Progress Report 36 – Still Polishing

Auto polishing for red car

Still polishing.

I’m sorry for being late again, hopefully it’s no going to become the new normal. It’s just really busy at the moment and by busy I actually mean really slow and I realised that I work a lot better with a reasonable amount of “stress”, not real stress though, just the feeling of being busy, in a way that was what #ProjectMomentum was (and is) all about, keep yourself busy writing. I hope to be able to “increase” the momentum from now on and increase my output.

I’m still polishing “Skyscraper” but I’m not as productive as I could and should be but lets do the numbers:

One book/screenplay: Almost done with The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao. It’s an interesting book and it really surprised me, I thought it was about popular culture but its more Latin American dictators. Next up: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
Two movies: Week whatever of sleepless movie watching, stay updated on letterboxd. This week I rewatched the entire Mighty Ducks1 series and a bunch of other movies.
Seven pages: Still polishing Skyscraper.
Seven hours: Waiting on some Windwheel stuff to get feedback on.

After last weeks short post I feel the urge to write about something but I have no idea about what. My head is full of thoughts and ideas but most of them are not suitable for a blog that is mainly about screenwriting. I know I’ve stretched that definition in the past but by not suitable I mean too embarrassing. 🙂

So instead of a rant or something I’ll leave you with a nice video. John Oliver is back and he deserves your attention.

  1. The movies aren’t that good but they hold up, they are decent childrens sports movies. The bigger problem though, why the hell can’t I sleep?

Progress Report 35 – Untitled

Restaurant review river north untitled logo

If you can’t think of a title.

I’m a few days late, sorry about that but I was quite busy before I enjoyed a few das off from work and work related things. I also spent some considerable time working and Skyscraper and Windwheel but let’s look at the numbers:

One book/screenplay: The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao is off to a great start, I’m really enjoying it. I hope to be done in the next couple of days.
Two movies: No change in my sleep pattern and you can still follow my adventures in sleepless movie watching on letterboxd. Two movies I want to mention though, I did a submarine double feature, Hunt for Red October and Crimson Tide, I have to write a submarine movie at some point.
Seven pages: Developing and correcting took some time this week. The deadline was extended so I’m rewriting Skyscraper, rewriting is a big word, let’s call it extensive polishing.
Seven hours: Windwheel is coming together quite well, we have a good grasp on the story and the world and the characters feel very much alive. There are lots of details and lots of decisions to make but I have a good feeling about this.

I don’t have time to say more today. It’s Election Day here, I have to pay attention to that.

Progress Report 34 – Arrested Development

Another week, another progress report, I can’t believe I’ve done this 34 times already. Sure, technically the number should be higher but I’m still quite pleased with myself.

The last week has been really busy. Not only do I have to correct a lot (grades are supposed be done by tomorrow) I also spent some time working on the new idea I mentioned last week. I didn’t do as much running as I’m supposed to, it’s just too damn cold to go outside but to offset it a bot, I’m spending more time on the home-trainer and I did go cross-country skiing for the first time in I don’t know how many years. It went surprisingly well. I postponed the last stretch of my weight loss project until the weather gets better, right now I’m just managing my weight which is enough of a challenge as it is. I think it might actually be a good thing to stay around 80Kgs for some weeks before I get down to 75. The body has to adjust to the new circumstances. I also switched from sitting to standing desk again, I move a bit less so I decided to make sure that I stand more and I’m feeling really good about it.

But let’s break the numbers down before I talk more about developing the new idea:
One book/screenplay: Finally finished The Hamilton Biography. Really long but good read. I’m also finishing The Amzing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Next Up: The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao.
Two movies: I’m still not sleeping well. The upside is that I have a lot of time to watch movies. I watched all the Harry Potters and a bunch of other movies. You can follow my adventures in sleepless movie watching on letterboxd. At some point I’ll probably write a bit more about some of the movies I watched. I think the Harry Potter series deserves a post, maybe as one of the new segments I’m planing, I’m going to call it “Adventures in Sleeplessness”.
Seven pages: Developing and correcting took some time this week. Maybe next week.
Seven hours: Let’s ease into this. Developing the new idea is and has been a blast. Orlindo is doing the heavy lifting but I love this stage of any project. The possibilities are endless and every choice you make has the potential to turn your good idea into something great, obviously the opposite is true as well but let’s not go there. We’re using slack.com to sort our ideas and so far I quite like it, it’s far from perfect but it’s a decent group working tool but I digress.

I like the development stage, you don’t really know where the idea and your choices take you. It’s hard work of course and there’s a lot of work but what I really love about developing an idea is collaboration. Taking apart an idea your writing-parser had, defending your own idea, realising that your idea is total bullcrap and going back to the drawing-board. I love it, especially the defending your ideas part. It forces you to think about your idea, you’re not just throwing your idea out there, you really think about it and try to argue for it as good as possible and while doing that you see where your idea has its shortcomings and your idea gets better in the process. Defend and improve so to speak.

I’m really curious about what will come from this idea. It’s still promising and the work we’ve been doing has not only been fun but very fruitful as well. I’m currently waiting for the next draft of the outline to give my feedback. The deadline is February 1st, we’re cutting it close.

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