About Greg

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

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.

Arrested Development svg

Progress Report 33 – The one with the competition

A few years ago Orlindo and I handed in Skyscraper into a few competitions. We never got far but it was an interesting experience. It was about getting our work out there and we’re glad for the experience and the feedback we got.

This week we decided to compete in one of those competitions again. There’s only one problem. We don’t have a script yet.

Orlindo came up with a wonderful idea, I’m not going to spoil it and the idea is very much a fluid concept at the moment but we think that the idea is promising and worth exploring. For the competition we only need 10 screenplay pages and an outline. We think that’s doable. Orlindo had a rough outline and we worked on it and it seems like we have a diamond in the rough. There’s a lot to be done but it’s quite exciting.

We’re also thinking about doing a quick polish of Skyscraper and hand that one in as well, last time we handed in the German version so this time we’d try the original.

If we go through with this, we’re going to be really busy. Too bad that there’s also exam week but who needs sleep.

But let’s do the numbers:
One book/screenplay: School reading and I bought a new D&D book, Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
Two movies: I had trouble sleeping this week so I upped my movie watching. I’m going to post my letterbox diary look here for you to enjoy but I specifically want to mention La La Land and Pitch Perfect. I love movies and I love music and movies like that just press my buttons. La La Land was wonderful and I don’t get some of the backlash it is getting, I have to admit though that I prefer Sing Street.
Seven pages: Still working on The Eternal. I’m a bit short of seven new pages though…
Seven hours: …I’m having some issues with my outline. I think I have to scale my outline back and focus on the character and the absurdity of his situation. More Big Lebowski and John Wick, less Memento.

And now for something completely different: I started to do some of those silly memes. I had a discussion with some of my students about their media consumption, apparently they spend hours on their phones looking at memes. Big mouth that I am… well, let’s just say I could do that. I’m posting them on my Instagram feed. Please enjoy.

 

Progress Report 32 – Year Two

Keep calm and enter year two

Yeah…keep calm. I wish…

#ProjectMomentum year 2, let’s kick some ass in 2017.

2016 is the past now and so are all the past accomplishments. Not that there were many but at least I wrote one decent screenplay. The plan is to pick up where I left off. I started a new script last week and I hope to finish it within 2-3 month while also continuing to improve “Die Klientin”.

Last week I focused on doing as little as possible. I just needed some time for myself and I finally feel ready to sit down in front of the keyboard again.

Let’s do the numbers.

One book/screenplay: Some school reading.
Two movies: I watched quite a few movies over the Christmas break. I’m using www.letterboxd.com to log my movies this year and I also started a list where I log all my consumed media. I might do something with that on this blog. The three things I want to mention this week are “John Wick”. “Kubo and the Two Strings” and the documentary “O.J.: Made in America”. Three very different but equally interesting offerings. I highly recommend them. “John Wick” I especially watched in preparation for my new Project.
Seven pages: I started a german version of “The Eternal” (the title will change). It’s going to be a no hold barred action romp with some genre stuff thrown in, John Wick meets Memento and Underworld or something. Just action, a decent MacGuffin and lots of dead bodies. That’s exactly what I need right now. I scraped the idea I talked about in my last post, at least for the moment.
Seven hours: I’m still outlining the rest of the story but I have a good grasp of the tone and where I want to go, I just have to get the details nailed down. Orlindo finally delivered the first draft/version/pages of his screenplay. It was a long way coming but he’s on track to delivering something really interesting. I was a bit skeptical about his idea but he fleshed it out and it makes sense now. I see what he’s trying to get at and it has potential. I’m really looking forward to the rest.

This is it for today. I have to get back to outlining and there are other things that require my attention but stay tuned, there’s more to come, 2017 is going to be the year I take my writing to the next level.

SoundtrackCorner #1: Getting Started

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SoundtrackCorner #1

I have a couple of goals for this year, personal and professional but one of the main goals, well actually it’s the main goal, is to write more. I realized last year that the more I write, the more I write. Sounds redundant but what I mean is, that the more time I spend writing random things, the more pages I get done. It’s like exercise or warm up, after a blogpost I usually write more and better. So this year I want to write more posts on my blog. The #ProjectMomentum updates will continue but I’ll also introduce some new segments. I don’t know exactly what they’ll be but you’ll notice.

But Today I’m going to introduce the first new segment: SoundtrackCorner. Soundtracks have a special place in my heart, in a way it’s how my obsession with movies started and even today I still love listening to a good soundtrack.

Obviously there are different kinds of soundtracks and I’m specifically talking about scores, those roaring main themes, these suspenseful action cues and everything in between. There are many great composers who work in film (and television) and some of their work is truly inspiring and they elevate the movies to new heights. The list of great composers old and new is nearly endless and in this segment I want to highlight some of them and their work. So from time to time I’ll post about a great score and it’s composer but today I’m just going to give you a few things to sink your teeth into just to get you started.

I’m going to name drop some of my favorite composers with a piece of their oeuvre that I think you should now. I’m going to try to take the road less travelled, so don’t be surprised if I’m not talking about their best/most famous composition. Just to be clear, this is not supposed to be a complete list, I’m not trying to do a best of or what ever, I’m just naming some composers I like and a soundtrack I think you should listen to because you might not know that one, I’m working on a top 10 list but you’ll have to wait for that one.

Ok, here we go and don’t think too much about the order and I’m not commenting on my choices, I’ll do that in later posts:

That should occupy you for a while. Don’t think too much about who’s on this list and who isn’t, it’s random just some names and soundtracks I thought of. There’s more to come.

2017 – Your turn

Fuck that Bullshit!

Ok, welcome 2017, your turn now, show us that you’re better than that awful 2016, we’re not asking for much, just make sure we don’t end up in the gutter and that not too many people we love and admire die.

On a personal note I want to continue my whole self-betterment-phase and see where that takes me. I’m starting to do exercise again to build some muscles and I also plan on setting even more time aside from writing and reading.

The plan is to complete at least 2 screenplays this year, maybe even more. I’m currently thinking about my holidays and I have some ideas that sound promising.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s give 2017 a chance, don’t fuck us 2017.

Fuck you 2016

I thought about and promised a 2016 review post but I don’t feel like it. I think we can all agree that 2016 was a shitty year and ended pretty horribly. Of course it wasn’t all bad, there are moments and achievements from 2016 I will always treasure, I wrote a script, had a great summer and lost 20Kgs but when I think about 2016 I mostly think about all the bad things that happened and all the people that are no longer part of our lives. 2016 sucked. Hard.

This is not going to be one of those “In Memoriam” posts and it’s not even going to be along post. All I want to say is good riddance 2016 and welcome 2017, the bar is low please be better than we expect you to be.

Progress Report 31 – Going Rogue

It’s the last week of work and to be honest, I’m a bit behind on my writing but I’m confident that I got through that little rough patch. After completing the current draft of “Die Klientin” my batteries were empty but I’m confident that they are about to recharge over the next couple of days. I finally had some creative ideas and I hope to put them to good use in the next couple of weeks.

But lets do the numbers, shall we:

One book/screenplay: That Hamilton book is really thick, especially if you have school reading as well. But I introduced my students to Watchmen this week, at least I have that going for me.
Two movies: “Rogue One” was decent and stupid me started rewatching “The O.C.” and “Friends”. I’m not a film critic so I’m not going to review “Rogue One”, let’s just say it’s the best of the prequels. I also don’t have to say how good “Friends” is, from the get go it’s just a good show and please don’t laugh, so is “The O.C.”, it gets really bad after a while and there are some stupid , very stupid storylines but the first 10 episodes have been great.
Seven pages: I started to rework “The Passion of the Geek”, not a page one rewrite but it’s going to be different, I have to streamline the whole thing and get rid of everything that’s not working and focus on the characters. I also startet working on another dialogue driven idea. I’d pitch it as “Before Sunrise meets Burried”. I’m writing that one in German and I wrote the first two pages. I don’t have a real title yet.
Seven hours: This week has has been a mix between developing and writing. Orlindo promised me some pages and I’m really looking forward to them.

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Not in the movie.

The new idea just came to me. I started outlining a much bigger version of it, a complicated story about love, rejection and whatnot. But I soon realized that I’m only interested in one scene so I decided to skip all the boring parts on focus on that one scene. I have no idea whether it’s going to be a short or a feature length script. I know how I have to set the characters up and how to get them to where I want them and from there on I let them speak and hear what they have to say. I’m not ready to go into details let me just say that it’s cheaper than a therapist.

On a side note. I’m below 80 kilos and I never felt better. People (some) are noticing and it feels great. I just hope that Christmas isn’t going to be too bad but then again, who cares, you have to enjoy some things without thinking too much about how many calories they have.

See you next week for the last post of 2016.