Progress Report 42 – the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

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Six by Nine?

I’ve been looking forward to this one. We all know that 42 is the answer the to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, so maybe Progress Report #42 is the thing Douglas Adams was aiming for. Who knows, maybe this blogpost starts a new movement or religion or something1.

I’m still not feeling quite myself but I’ve been quite creative so I’m not complaining too much. So let’s start with the numbers and then we’ll see where #42 takes us:

One book/screenplay: I’ve read Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. Quite a fun read, nothing too deep but highly enjoyable.
Two movies: Still in the middle of my Buffy marathon. There are some great arcs and episodes. Season 2 and 3 are even stronger than one, Angelus is a great villain and the Mayor is just hilarious. I even cried a lot wehen Buffy’s classmates thanked her for saving their lives in the Prom episode. I also watched some horror movies, The Babadook and Drag me to Hell to prepare for my new project.
Seven pages: I’m not there yet. I have to light some fire under Orlindo’s arse though, I need to rewrite Die Klientin.
Seven hours: I’ve been working on my new idea and so far it looks promising. I’m still figuring out what exactly I want to say but I had some good ideas on how to structure the whole thing. At the moment I’m toying with some alternative setting ideas. The Nerdwriter hat this interesting Video this week about Passengers, that movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence2. In the video he talked about ways to improve the movie and he (and others) has a point. A structural change would improve that movie and it got me thinking, not only about the structure, maybe the movie and the supernatural aspects would flourish in a different setting as well. I’m not just considering space, maybe a different time period or just a really peculiar setting, basically anything more interesting than just a boring office.

That’s what I’ve been up to this week. It feels good to work creatively again and it helps me through all the other crap. Alfred Hitchcock once said: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”I’m just hoping I get to the happy end before I get canceled.

In other news: James Gunn released the Tracklist for the Guardians Vol. 2 Soundtrack, guess who’s on it…David Hasselhoff. I would never have thought of that but it makes perfect sense. Proof? Let’s end this post with an awesome song/music video.

  1. Or maybe it’s “Six by nine. Forty two. That’s it. That’s all there is. I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe
  2. Love of my life…please call me. 🙂

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.

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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.

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 26 – Too many Cooks

Greetings, another week ha passed and I have to admit that it wasn’t my most productive one. I didn’t write anything and I didn’t come up with that great idea for my next project. The Firefly thing seems to be dead. The Project leader was absent for a week (work related) and the momentum is gone and I doubt that it will come back. I have some intensive days ahead of me and I doubt that i’ll be able to put in the necessary hours, I’ll try though. I’m pretty sure that this will turn into one of those “Too many cooks” scenarios though. 5-6 people is just too much. Everyone thinks that the others should and could do more, me included, and in the end nothing gets done.

With the concert ahead I’m really busy, I’m not even sure that there will be a post next week but I promise that November and December are going to be very productive. I toyed with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo but I’ll focus on December and a screenplay.

But let’s do the numbers, even though they are terrible.

One book/screenplay: Didn’t do any reading besides the Firefly reading I mentioned last week.
Two movies:I saw Doctor Strange and I really liked it. I also saw some silly romantic comedies (…I know…) I’m not going to mention.
Seven pages: No new pages, still waiting on feedback.
Seven hours: Still nothing. I’m also waiting until Orlindo has something new to show me. If you’re reading this…I’m waiting.

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83.6 kg

There’s one other number I want to mention today and It’s probably the number I’m most proud of at the moment. I weight in at 83.6 today. I had some celebratory dinner afterwards but for the first time in many years I’m considerably below 85kg. I have about 10kg left to go but things are looking good. I’m really proud and it was the right decision to start this journey. I’m feeling fitter and healthier than ever and maybe even a bit more handsome. I’m trying out facial hair at the moment but it seems that’s not going to be a success. I hope to hit my weight goal early next year, Christmas might be a bit of a problem but I managed worse.

This is all for today but don’t worry I leave you with something funny, in German this time.

Star-crossed Screenplay Ideas

Charlie Brown and Snoopy

Life really is hard but unfair…

This is going to be a bit different.

I’m pretty sure you know that feeling, there is this really important thing, let’s say a screenplay or the idea for a screenplay. You love it, you never felt about an idea like that before. You can see every scene clearly in front of you. You know, or at least you think you know all the twists and turns and the ending, oh the ending, it’s going to be marvellous.

You just know that this is going to be it, the screenplay that launches your career or wins you an Academy Award or whatever dream you’re trying to achieve. You get this warm feeling when you think about writing it and you can’t wait to have the finished product in front of you. It’s not just a screenplay anymore, it turns into the whole reason for your existence. You and your idea become one, your blood flows though this unfinished thing waiting to reveal who you really are, who you’ve been all along.

I probably sound a bit crazy but please indulge me, it will make sense.

Ok, so you’re picturing this perfect unwritten screenplay. Now imagine that you’re not getting the chance to write it. It’s not even your fault. It’s just not meant to be. There are thousands of reasons why this might happen and all of the suck. Some reasons might be your fault but even if you solved all the issues, it still wouldn’t work. Not being able to write this thing just drains the life out of you. You know that it would be the best thing ever, but your “relationship” to the script is like those star-crossed lovers. It’s just not meant to be and it’s not even your fault. All you want is the chance to write that screenplay and find out if it’s as great as you imagined but that fucking screenplay doesn’t want to be written.

Still with me? Ok, so when do you stop obsessing over this? When do you move on? Can you move on? We all know that’s probably best to move on and not obsess too much but you’re just so in love with the idea and there’s this little part of your brain that just won’t accept the fact that it’s not going to work out for you and that screenplay. But that little part won’t shut up and even though you want it to shut up, there’s an other little part that doesn’t want that other little part to shut up because it want’s all those things you imagined that script might get you.

In fact, your brain is going crazy at the moment. You know what you’re supposed to do and you might even want to do “the right” thing but giving up on the screenplay feels like giving up on all your dreams. It feels like giving up on your last chance to be happy. You know that it isn’t, there are other ideas probably even better ones, easier ones, not so complicated, not so annoying, not so…. but these ideas are not the idea you have in your mind right know and you can’t come up with another idea because it feels like cheating on the best idea you ever had.

I’m so screwed. Good thing I’m going away for two weeks. I hope I can clear my mind and who knows, maybe the idea suddenly becomes more cooperative or maybe I’ll finally be able to move on. I honestly don’t know what I would prefer. I know that one of the options is highly unlikely but I feel the same about the other. I’m just so screwed. Why did I have to come up with that stupid idea. Everything would be so much easier, but then again, life isn’t supposed to be easy. Life is hard but unfair… and yes, it’s not really about a screenplay.