Breaking News: That was unexpected



So yeah, this happened. Remember when I talked about how my motivation is slowly returning and that I feel confident that I can get #ProjectMomentum going again… Well, turns out that getting nominated for a screenplay award really helps in that department. Yes, you read that right, Skyscraper, written by by friend Orlindo and yours truly is nominated for the German Animation Screenplay Award at the ITFS 2018 in Stuttgart. There are two other nominees, I don’t know who they are but I’m sure I’ll find out soon.

The awards ceremony is set for April 27th and Orlindo and I will be attending. We’re obviously very excited but I’ll try to manage my expectations. I’m pretty sure that we won’t win but as long as we are able to have a few interesting conversations after the event and maybe, who knows…you never know but I don’t expect anything to happen. I’m going in open minded and I’ll try to have a good time. It’s probably the only awards ceremony for screenwriting I’ll ever attend as a nominee and I don’t want to spoil that experience by having too many expectations.

This I obviously a developing story so I’ll keep you updated but it’s important to me to use this chance to say thanks, I’m not going to name names, you know who you are, but I want to say thanks to everyone who either believed in me or challenged me. Skyscraper is a product of a lifetime of experiences and challenges and I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks.

Almost there, just give me a second

…I’m almost there. Things are looking good. I’m slowly getting into it. I’m doing some housekeeping on my computer, I’m reorganising my notes and I even started to write a few words. I don’t know why it takes me so long to ease into my process again but I guess it’s because I lost momentum and I need to get it back.

There’s this one problem with momentum though, you don’t have it until you have it. It’s basically an uphill battle to get it but once you have it, it’s pretty much flat or even downhill…in the good sense. It’s going to be a lot of work but I’m sure I can don it. I lined up a little project that should allow me to be creative without too much preparation and if things work out it should be creatively rewarding. I think a small thing like that might be the ideal way to get started again. I have some other projects and ideas but they all seem big and daunting and I just know that I need something small to get started….just give me a second.


Almost there…seriously.

That took longer than expected…

Ok, that took longer than expected but I think I needed the time. I just needed to relax and take some time off from this endeavor. It’s not that I was fed up with it, I just needed time to gather my thoughts and get a few things out of my system.

I don’t have an exact plan yet, I have no idea when and what I’m going to write but I can feel that there’s something burning underneath all my other thoughts. Unfortunately I don’t have specifics yet but I’m pretty sure that by easter I have something to show.

Maybe I’ll have a look at some of my older projects, but to be honest I really want to do something new or at least something older in a totally new way. But who knows, maybe an old project suddenly requires some more or additional work, you never know and I’m also toying with the idea of giving the Blacklist another shot.

The new version of Saber Rider and Skyscraper are different enough to try again ans see whether or not we can get some momentum. See what I did there? 🙂

There’s nothing new to report now on the Skyscraper front. These things take time and the Spaniards are not the fastest when it comes to reading your script and writing back. We also handed in the script to a competition and to some production companies. Hopefully something interesting will develop there. I’ll let you know if something cool or interesting happens.

That’s it for today. I promise to return to regular programming soon. Stay tuned. 2018 is going to be exciting, seriously, I have a feeling about this one.

Progress Report 55 – No Progress

Yeah, it’s that time of the year, the end of the year slump. I haven’t done anything since my last post. I just couldn’t sit myself down to type. My head is just empty and I desperately need some down time to recharge my batteries. I realise that this autumn hasn’t been as productive as it could have been but I’m positive that I will be able to return to form next year. I have a feeling that 2018 could become a great year. 

Maybe I’ll do a 2017 wrap up post next after Christmas, if not take care and I see you in 2018. 

Progress Report 54 – Updates

Sorry, I’m late. I’ve been busy. I haven’t written that much, had to do work stuff but I hope I can manage to get some keyboard time in the next few month. I abandoned the idea for a novel. I still like the idea but I don’t know if it’s a good idea to focus on that part of my life again.

I’d rather do something fun and exciting so I’m probably going to focus on “The Eternal” and I’m also going to resurrect my Time-Travel TV show, for German TV this time.

There’s also an extensive rewrite of “Die Klientin” in the cards. Orlindo helped me pinpoint some problems but I don’t have solutions I like yet. I want to tell a specific story that I have to adjust for audiences and I need to find a way to make the movie and its characters compatible for german tv without sacrificing what interested me in the story. It’s complicated but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

The “Saber Rider” rewrite is almost complete. I reworked the attack on the Alamo base and there might be some additional adjustments in the final battle but other than that, the rewrite is done and I’m quite happy with it.

No news from the guys from Spain. 🙁

Progress Report 53 – Rewriting Saber Rider

After last weeks big news1, this week is going to be focusing on craft, especially rewriting.

I mentioned that after cutting down Skyscraper, we decided to to the same with Saber Rider. I finally got down to it and I’m happy to report that we were able to cut about 17 pages. We were at about 130 and now the script has 113. The plan was 110 and I’m going to try to find the 3 pages somewhere. Most of the cuts happened in the action sequences. There were to many and they were convoluted. As much as enjoyed Ramrod fighting his way though the four elements, it just felt like three Super Mario levels in a row.

I also reworked the assault on the Ramrod base and made it smaller and a bit more focused on April and Jesse. Some banter between the characters had to go due to this but there’s still enough of that to feel like Saber Rider. What I realised again is that making Saber Rider a bit older was a great decision. It instantly elevates the character relationships and adds some necessary weight to his character that was lacking in the TV show.

During this rewrite I also corrected some spelling errors and polished the dialogue a bit and by polishing I mean shortening. I have the tendency to let my characters speak to long and convoluted2 and each rewrite pr polish I cut a few words more. It’s definitely not the mist efficient process but I think in the end it leads to decent results and I’m usually quite happy with how my characters sound after a couple of polishes.

One last thing I want to mention, I used Highland 2 for this rewrite. Highland is John Auguts’ screenwriting software and I got accepted to the beta program. The app runs really smooth and is totally decluttered and You really focus on the words the page. I feel that with Highland and WriterDuett I can satisfy all my screenwriting needs and the Final Draft days are definitely over. Highland is similar to Slugline but has some neat features that won me over immediately. The “bin” tab where you can put omitted scenes is especially useful while rewriting. I’m really looking forward to the finished version.

That’s it for today. Back to playing Super Mario Odyssey.


It’s a me, Mario!

  1. I’d love to report some reader spike or maybe a comment but seems like this blog is definitely a one man show. 🙁
  2. I wonder where they get that from.

Progress Report 52 – The New 52

The last week I divided my time between rewriting “Die Klientin” and annotating “Saber Rider”. Rewriting “Die Kleintin” was quite enjoyable. I prefer rewriting to writing and it’s especially rewarding when you feel the script improving. Thanks to Orlindo’s notes I was able to improve the story considerably and I’m currently in the process of polishing my changes and adjusting a few things. I had to realise that I had to improve my two main characters in order to make the story more interesting. I realised something though, technically my story is not about how my main character changes throughout the story, don’t get me wrong he does, but how his character is revealed. This makes it even more important that his perceived change makes sense and is visible. Otherwise he just seems like a boring character without an arc.

In this polish I have to focus on his journey a bit more and I think I know how to make his arc work on the page. The stronger his arc on the page, the stronger the gut punch of the twist will hit the audience. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Annotating “Saber Rider” was fun as well. There are some scenes that are easy to cut or shorten but there are also big decisions to be made on what to focus on. The plan is to cut a few pages and a couple of million dollars. I have a couple ideas on how to accomplish this. One of the highlights of this process was using my new iPad with the (silly) ApplePencil. Guess what, it worked like a charm. The latency on that thing is great and you can really write and annotate on the screen.

I’m going away for a couple of days and the plan is to do the next polish pass on “Die Klientin” in a similar fashion. I’ll tell you how that went.
I also made some progress with “The Eternal”. I think I know how to proceed and I started making a playlist today. Let’s see how that one turns out.

I don’t know how much time I’ll have to blog the next week and the week after. So don’t hold your breath but to make up for that, I’ll give you a little tease, I’m thinking about doing Nanowrimo, well, not a novel but I have this idea for this novella/short story I might try out. I just had that idea a couple of days ago but for some reason I keep getting back to it. Not sure if it’s a healthy idea. Hooked yet?

New 52 justice league

The new 52.

Progress Report 51 – I Will Survive

Greetings my friend. I know updates have been spotty but I hope this will change now. I really hope that some of my personal issues that have been keeping me way too occupied are finally ready to be resolved. I‘m not saying nor expecting that they are going away over night but I hope that it will get better in the weeks and months ahead. But ebnough this is not supposed to be a therapy blog, it‘s a writing blog so lets talk about writing.

I think I finally cracked one of my ideas, the one called „The Eternal“. I think I finally figured out who the main character is and I think that the rest of the story will follow now. It‘s still a lot of work but I‘m confident that I can get a decent story on paper.

Orlindo also gave me feedback on „Die Klientin“. His notes are really helpfull and I‘m sure that incorpotrating his thoughts will elevate the script and make it better, probably not producable yet but definitely more focused, more logical and more fun. I really appreciate his feedback and getting notes like this always reminds me why I like collaboratong so much.

I decided to stop making the numbers a part of the weekly reports and instead focus and writing a bit more about what I actually did. I might do the numbers from time to time but not regularly, I mean seriously, how many times do you need to hear that I did schoolwork. 🙂

But I will try to end every report with „one cool thing“1, a thing that I encountered that week that I want people to know about and/or check our. This weeks omne cool thing is the new Netflix show „American Vandal“. I don‘t want to spoil anything just watch, It‘s worth it.

  1. Yes, I‘m totally gonna steal this from John August and Craig Mazin and the Scriptnotes Podcast.

Still alive

NewImageDon’t worry, the report of my death has been greatly exaggerated, well slightly but you know what I mean.

I’m still looking for momentum but I hope to find it soon. There are a few things I have to take care of first but one way or another I hope that “our long national nightmare” will be over soon.

I don’t want to sound too dramatic but… well let’s just say that Werther seems like a really chill guy with a positive outlook on life….

I hope to resume regular posting soon, just bare with me until I find my bearings.1

  1. Cool wordplay.

Progress Report 50 – In for the long haul

NewImageThis is it, Progress Report 50. I know I’m a bit late but the last too weeks of the school year are always busy and I wanted this one to be a bit longer, it’s the 50th after all. Time to reflect and time to look ahead. I’m not going to talk too much about my private life, I did that many times in the last few month and I’m pretty sure I’ll keep doing that for the foreseeable future but today I want to focus on my writing and how I think I evolved as a writer or to be more precise what I learned about myself as a writer.

Working on Skyscraper and dealing with some personal problems1 I realised that Skyscraper and all the other scripts are much more personal than I thought. I’m starting to see things about myself in Scrap and Skip, well more so in Scrap, that I didn’t knew. I’m not a bird who can’t fly but some of his issues and especially parts of his journey remind me of myself and some of my issues, fears and problems. I didn’t realise it while writing but now it seems really obvious. There’s a lot of me in Scrap and I think that #ProjectMomentum is an important part of my journey and really helped me to spread my wings or at least getting me to a place where spreading my wings seems like the natural and right thing to do.

For me this is what art is supposed to be, I’m not saying that the things I wrote are great art but they speak some truth, maybe not universal truth but my truth and that’s the only one I have and frankly the only one I really care about. I know that Skyscraper is technically “just” a kids movie but if it gets made one day I really think that Scraps journey could be a good life lesson for kids and adults alike. Conquering your fears and self-doubts might not be the most original life lesson but I think it’s an important one, if not the most important one. It’s probably natural for any writer to give meaning to his work and I can see why, it adds value to your work and helps dealing with all the pain of being a writer. You wrote something that has meaning for you and if you’re lucky for someone else as well.

Again, I’m not saying that I wrote War and Peace but if were really honest, popular culture has a far wider reach than most great works of literature and and art, at least those who are not part of the cultural zeitgeist. A popular movie or a tv show has a far wider reach than Tolstoy or Joyce, I’m not saying that that is a good thing, Ulysses is a great book, so as a writer of these shows and movies you have to be aware of your responsibility. You characters, your themes, your stories are going to influence people, their choices and their values, maybe not in a big way but even small and insignificant choices can lead someone on a different path.

ProjectMomentum has been one of the best decisions of my life, it helped me though some dark times and made me a better writer and better person. Blogging about this process was a vital part of its success as well. I don’t know how this blog feels for my readers but it really helped me focus and reflect. If this just reads like gibberish I’m sorry but to me it’s really important.

I won’t do the numbers today, I watched a couple of movies and I’m preparing for my trip to Canada. I hope to get some editing and outlining done, maybe even some writing. I don’t know how often I’ll blog but you can be sure that “Hard but unfair…” returns in August and You can cry and laugh about me and my problems as a person and as a writer. I think the Canada trip is exactly what I need to recharge by batteries.

So, this is it for today but don’t worry, there will be at least 50 more of these in the near future, this time I’m in for the long haul. See you in August, who knows maybe something really great happens. You never know.

  1. I didn’t say I wasn’t going to talk about my personal problems, I just said not too much.