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.

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.

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.

C0DhffEVEAAqHWv

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.

Progress Report 30 – Loglines

You might remember some of my post about some of my random ideas, some of them I’m working one others are on the back burner. Last week I had the opportunity to take part in a little logline competition. I didn’t win (Orlindo has a different story to tell about that) but it was a good exercise and I feel a lot more motivated now. I handed in two loglines, one about the Idea I’m currently working on “The Company” and of about an older idea that I keep coming back to. Guess which one was more popular?

I call it “The Eternal” and this was the logline I submitted:
John has a problem – he keeps dying but he doesn’t stay dead. Too bad no one explained that to the Russian mobsters after him. John needs to hide and he has to find answers about his past but that’s almost impossible if you lived too long to remember who you are.

The second sentence still makes me smile. The feedback I got was encouraging and I think I’m going to pursue this project more than I intended to. Positive feedback is really encouraging.

“The Company” wasn’t that successful but working on the logline helped me define the project for myself: A young ambitious engineer invents technology that enables her to talk to her future self. Trying to prevent a family tragedy leads to even more hardship and soon she has to realize that she’s turning into the problem she’s trying to solve.

Before I share the winners with you, lets do the numbers:

One book/screenplay: Not too much time to read this week. Still reading the Hamilton biography.
Two movies: Arrival was amazing, finally a smart alien invasion movie. Great performances and great direction. Looking forward to Rogue One.
Seven pages: Still rewriting “Die Klientin” but the end seems nigh.
Seven hours: Time spent with the loglines and thinking about my other projects.

Orlindo dominated the competition. He entered three ideas and two of the took the top spot. I like to think that I helped a bit (I translated them from German to English) but the ideas were his.

Spacewhale: A starving moon sized creature threatens earth. Humankind descends into chaos but a young boy connects with the creature on the only level that exceeds its hunger.

One million Ways to die in the Holocaust: A girl in a concentration camp has to relive her last days again and again but trapped in hell on earth she finds hope: Freedom for her and her family could just be one death away.

I really liked the Holocaust idea, both of them are touching on an emotional level. I just hope that this success translates into hours spent at the keyboard. 🙂

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Writings on the Wall.