#Momentum – The first five Days

Quick update. I started with the “One Page a day Challenge” on Monday and so far it has been a success. I had to force myself to start and the first two days were a bit difficult but once you’re having a “streak”1 you want to keep it going. I decided to stick with the one-page goal, I could’ve written more on some days but I figured it was a good idea to know how to start the next day so I try to end every session a with a prompt for the next day. I like knowing how to start and once my brain is in writing mode, new ideas keep coming but I like the initial spark from the day before to get me up to speed again. 

I’m quite happy with the pages. They will require a couple of rewrites obviously, the dialogue is too on the nose,  I’m still “finding” the story and I’m probably missing many occasions to develop the theme but getting this first version of the story written is more important than unachievable perfection. First drafts always suck but that’s what rewriting is for. So fingers crossed that I can keep the streak going. The plan is still to have a decent draft by the end of the year.

In other news… not much. The Netflix “Dark Crystal” show is pretty good. Judging by it’s premise, “Carnival Row” should be right up my alley but I had to force myself though the first episode. Not a good sign. Other than that, there haven’t been that many new shows that caught my eye. It’s probably because there are too many to keep track of. 

While I wait for a new must see show, I’ll try to keep writing and I might read a couple of D&D and or Pathfinder 2nd Edition books, speaking of that, Amazon, please hurry I’m so looking forward to compare rules. I obviously looked at the P2 Playtest but comparing books is just so much better than looking at pdfs… and I’m saying this as an DnDBeyond Power User. 🙂

 

  1. I’m on day 4, probably too early to call it a streak but this is my blog so…

#Momentum – Here we go again…again

Yeah, let’s do this again…again.

First things first. I’m back and I’m well, very well actually. I took my time adjusting to normal work life but I can honestly say that I feel exceptionally well. My trip through Ireland had the intended effect. I feel rested, content and ready to conquer the world. Those five weeks really relaxed me in a way I haven’t thought possible. I’m as good as new and ready to embark on the next phase of this hopefully final self-improvement project.

Not sure if this is the second, third or whatever relaunch of #Momentum and I don’t really care. I decided to stop caring about unimportant things and focus on the important stuff. One of the many things I learned or rediscovered in Ireland is the fact, that I am a writer. Yes, I just typed that, and I’ll type it again: “I am a writer!” and I will try to prove that from now on.

Doesn’t matter that I’m an unsuccessful one, doesn’t matter that most of the things I write suck, I’m a writer. I might have to remind myself about that from time to time, but at the end of the day, I like writing and I don’r care what wether I’m successful or not, I love telling stories, I love writing them down, not as much as making them up but nothing is perfect.

#Momentum has been successful in the past but I have to make it permanent. I’m currently listening to the Podcast “Write Along” by David Chen and C. Robert Cargill and I feel energized. I will try to follow the advice from the first episode and set myself a reasonable writing goal. I will probably go for 1 or 2 pages a day, dosen’t sound like much but the idea is to be consistent in achieving your goal.

Another thing I care about is doing a good job teaching my students. Even though I haven’t prepared too many lessons over the summer, I had a good start, my students return a bit more mature from their holidays and I’m cautiously optimistic about my new class. They seem nice and eager to learn so far.

So what are my goals for the immediate future, let’s say December? They can be summed up in three words: Write, work, weight.

Let’s elaborate. As I already mentioned, I’ll try to write one page a day. I might increase that number but for the time being, one page a day, five days a week. That seems achievable. I’m also focusing on work in general. I include teaching and my responsibilities for the “Verbandsmusikfest” in that. I also have to work on my weight again. Stupid me, wha did I let myself go again. Well, long story but I did it once so I know that I can do it again.

This is it for now. I have a lot of work to do.

#Momentum – The Seven Year Itch

It’s been a while, but I think I’m good to go now. I know, I might have said something along those lines in the past (might have been this January), but this time I mean it. Things are good right now and I feel like I have my shit together again. I just needed some time and a few things have changed in the meantime and I feel good of some new found free time.

I started my diet and exercise regiment again…I have to lose 10Kg by summer… and I finally cracked the beginning of Alaska. I have to admit that I had a hard time incorporating some new ideas, the set up wasn’t working anymore but finally after month of (honestly not thinking about it that much) I finally had the fix for the issue. I’m on page 10 now, I have to continue to make some adjustments but my (realistic) goal os to write at least 5 pages a week.

I hope to be able to increase that number when I rearranged and adjusted all plot points. If everything works out, I should have something presentable after the easter holidays. Stay tuned.

I also managed to get a D&D group together and we’re running a Homebrew adventure. Our first session has been really fun an The next one is in April, finding dates is really hard if you have a bunch of people with lives. 🙂

Other than that, life was pretty uneventful. I read a few books, or am in the process of reading them and I watched some fun and some mediocre movies and TV. Into the Spider-verse is awesome though. Thumbs up. There’s this one shot in that movie that is absolutely spectacular and I hope that 2019 is going to be the year that I “rise to the occasion” as well. If I put the work in, who knows.5c758524eb3ce87cd655fca4 750 562

#Momentum – 6th Sense

I stopped numbering weeks, I’m back to numbering posts. 🙂

So, love was really busy but there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I started writing “Alaska” yesterday. Well, I typed “FADE IN:” and thought of some character names but I felt the excitement building. There’s still a lot of work to do and I’m already preparing for some heavy rewriting but I just felt that I needed to stop outlining and start writing. Hence this short post.

I need to get back to Alaska, I want to get at least another page done today maybe even two, remember, I need to get the #Momentum going. 🙂

Iditarod Dog Sled Race Global Warming

No Spoilers!

#Momentum – Week whatever – Do I really care anymore?

I lost count, well losing count would imply that I actually counted but let’s just say that I have definite proof now, that I don’t do well without pressure. I have absolutely no excuse for not blogging and not writing. None, zero, nada… I was just too lazy and I basically had too much time on my hand. I literally postponed everything to tomorrow… yes, hat magical place where all the things happen and get made….too bad that tomorrow is always one day away. I have no-one to blame but myself, well there was a bike accident I was involved in, but I didn’t get much done before that as well, so I can’t really put blame on that.

It’s not that I didn’t do anything. I worked a bit on “Alaska”, that’s the working title of the new project and I’m quite happy with how the story is evolving but I need to get off the brakes and go full throttle with my writing and my life again. It sounds strange, but I’m feeling a bit too content right now. Most of the things in my life are going well and I don’t or didn’t feel the urge to change too much, so I fell back into old habits. I gained a few pounds and I have to admit that I’m probably a bit too comfortable in my own shoes.

I think I have to change my ways again. I need to get my shit together and start “adulting” again. I need to take better care of myself and I need to focus on the things I want. I’m not giving a timetable right now, and I think the change has to be a bit slower than last time. I strongly feel though, that I need to start logging my activities and my calorie intake again. I hope that this blogpost is a first step in that direction. So, I guess I need to get the #Momentum going again.

Orlindo just gave me new idea for “Alaska” that I have to think about. I’m not totally against the new idea but I need some time the get used to it. Maybe that can be first foray into writing again. I’ll keep you posted.

On another note: Skyscraper finally has (some sort of) a poster. Lisa, Orlindo’s girlfriend designed as a title page for a treatment we sent in to a competition. I totally love it and not just because it might be the closest I ever get to a movie spotter of one of my ideas. Please enjoy.

Skscraper Cover3 Title

#Momentum – Week 2 and 3 – WWW

I’m back and I’m not even pretend to be sorry because of my broken promise. I really wanted to blog last week but WWW (Whiteworms Work Week) was a success. We worked hard on some new projects and old projects and I think it’s fair to say, that I feel energised and motivated to hit the keyboard again. But what I liked most about last week wasn’t the actual writing it was the way to get there. We had some heated discussions and I think our new project is the better for it. I don’t want to spoil too much but I just finished a new draft of the new project’s first act and I have a pretty good feeling. It is so much better than it was a week ago. I now where the characters need to go, I have a pretty good idea about their journey all I need now are some interesting set pieces which force them to change and become better… I don’t want to spoil anything.

All I’m saying is, it’s not a sequel to “Skyscraper” but in a way it is. It’s set in a different part of world, a different time and everything is different but there’s a similarity in tone and theme to “Skyscraper” that seems to be the thing we/I aspire to when writing. If I write something I need to say something, it actually doesn’t matter that much whether or not the audience gets it, I just need the story to mean something to me and both “Skyscraper” and our new animated feature have something to say that is very personal.

In fact, the new project is probably one of the most personal things1 I ever attempted to write, but not in the sense of an actual story, more in an emotional way. It’s not that I lived through these events, it’s more that similar events and experiences made me think a certain way and this story is a way to share these ideas and feelings. I think it’s probably my version of Finding Nemo’s Andrew Stanton realisation that he was an overprotective father that led him to write Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo‘s roots back to a 1992 visit to Six Flags Marine World  and started Andrew thinking about the amazing possibilities of capturing an undersea world in computer animation. The film was inspired by a fleeting moment of realization in which Stanton observed that his overprotective fatherly instincts were preventing him from properly bonding with his son. It tells the tale of a young clown fish who is whisked from the ocean to a dentist-office aquarium and his father’s quest to bring his son back home safely. As with Stanton’s other writing efforts, Finding Nemo focused on character development and provided an emotional resonance and heart rarely seem in animation. – http://www.pixartalk.com

I’m not saying that my story is as good as Finding Nemo but I think the fact that I the idea had a similar way of coming into existence is probably a good sign. As I say before, writing is not just for entertainment, it’s also about ideas and communicating those ideas. Even blockbuster movies, actually especially blockbuster movies need something to connect them to an audience and it usually helps if the writer or the director or preferably everyone who works on the movie has a personal, emotional connection to the core theme or message of the story.

I actually think that’s what good writing is really about, finding that emotional center, and it actually doesn’t matter if everyone in the audience gets it. Maybe someone takes something different away from the movie, who am I to judge. I’m not going to explain to anyone what he or she should feel after reading or (hopefully) watching one of my stories. I’m going to share with you what it means to me but if it means something different to you, be my guest.

IMG 0040

No Spoilers!

  1. Well, the most personal is it probably “The Passion of the Geek” but let’s not go there, it’s a silly place.

#Momentum – Week 1 – Breaking the Research

The 1st week of #Momentum is almost over and I’m happy to report, that even though I didn’t meet all my guidelines, I consider week one rather successful. I spent most of the week thinking about the follow-up to “Skyscraper” and I’m happy to report that I made some progress. I’m far from finished and I don’t have a story yet but I have a feeling about the characters and their journey. But let me tell you bit about how I approached this project.

Usually, I have a story I want to tell but this time I decided to force myself to approach the script from a character perspective. For the last couple weeks I had an idea about the kind of story I want to tell and what the theme, the message should be. So all I had to do is come up with characters who could experience this emotional journey I planed for them. I narrowed down the theme and suddenly I knew what characters I had to pick and how their journey looked like. It’s obviously not polished yet and there will be many things that will change but looking at the character breakdowns, I get a feeling for them and I think I want to get to know them better (which is really important when you decide to write 70 to 80 pages about someone).

Ok, so now that I have some ideas for the characters and a sense of what I want to say it’s time for my favourite part, research. Where do I set the story? Do I use animals or humans or both? What kind of animals, what kind of humans? What external forces play a role? etc.

I love this part, the possibilities are endless but as soon as you hit on the idea, it just clicks, and yesterday it did. I’m not going into details but I had an epiphany yesterday and I could feel how the pieces started to fit together. It’s a nice feeling and probably one that every writer cherishes. It doesn’t feel like work yet but It’s a huge leap forward. The only downside, now the real work starts.

Now I have to distill all my ideas and all possibilities into a treatment that Orlindo and I can (hopefully) develop into our new project. Ok, back to writing now, I never said these updates have to be long. 🙂

The West Wing – A Perfect Antidote

Aaron Sorkin is one of my favorite writers, I like pretty much everything he has ever written. I even like Studio 60. I admit, not a great show but I like shows about shows and Bradley Whitford is always fun to watch. The same is true for Sports Night and Newsroom but Sorkin‘s best behind the scenes show is without a doubt The West Wing.

I’d vote for him!

 

Apparently the show originated when they had great material leftover from The American President. I mean obviously „leftover material“ doesn’t make sense but I think they realized that there are more stories to tell within the White House dealing with politics and the people involved. On the surface it sounds really boring but the characters are really compelling and you just love to watch them do their thing.

The characters are very well realized and even though there’s room to grow for them, they appear fully developed in the Pilot. Toby’s arc in the final season doesn’t fit though, but Sorkin was long gone by that time.

I’m currently in the middle of my yearly rewatch and the show is still amazing and has probably the best dialogue ever. Nearly every conversation has it’s moments and I know it’s stylized language but I wish I could talk like that in real life. I’d probably be somewhere in between Josh and Sam but every character gets great lines.

But it’s not just about the characters it’s about the storylines and the politics as well. In today’s world, it’s particularly nice to see a bunch of government officials who are trying to do good. We’re not used to that anymore. Granted, the Bartlet presidency had its fair share of disasters (the Zoey thing is happening in one of the next episodes) but there are other great two parters that elevate the storytelling. I’m binging the show and I’m astonished how high the quality of every episode is. Nearly every episode has at least one moment that I can still remember from my last rewatch… “ahh, that’s the episode where Josh does this…“. I rarely skip an episode and if I do it’s mostly because I’m not in the mood for something really depressing.

But let’s get back to the actual writing. I have no idea how Sorkin managed the workload on the show (drugs?). His name is on nearly every episode and maybe that’s one reason why the show is so consistent. You can clearly hear his voice, his values, his opinions and I have to admit, I share a lot of them or at least I find the presented arguments compelling and worth talking about. The show was sometimes panned as „The Left Wing“ and I can see where these people came from but I have no problem with how left-leaning the show is. In fact I think the show might have influenced me politically.

So If you’ve never seen The West Wing go watch it, keep two things in mind though:

  1. Yes, Bartlet would have been a great real president.
  2. Yes, the show is „old“ but isn’t it embarrassing that we’re still trying to solve the same political issues?

So, what are you waiting for. Go watch it. I fully endorse The West Wing and while you’re at it, go watch Sorkin’s movies as well. Molly’s Game was fun and who doesn’t like A Few Good Men.

ITFS 2018 – Here I Come

I have to admit, I’m getting nervous. I leave for the ITFS today. I have a 4 hour trainride ahead of me but I’m so excited that I don’t mind. Slowly, the fact that I’m attending a festival where I’ve been nominated for a prize, starts to really sink in. I’m not fully there yet, I’m quite sure that it will happen once I have my lanyard with my name on it that says filmmaker. I’ll post pictures. 🙂

I’m probably going to use my instagram account this weekend and the plan is to write a follow up on saturday on my way home. I don’t really know what to expect from the festival, I just know that I’m really excited.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Orlindo, my partner in crime (in the flesh), again. A long time ago we started this journey together, on somehow diverging paths but it’s fitting that we can experience this together and that “Skyscraper” is the screenplay that made it happen.

I obviously have no idea if and how this weekend will influence our careers and to some extend maybe even our lives, if at all, but I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s going to be a great weekend and because we worked hard and long for it, karma should reward us at least a little bit. A journey that started on April 7th 2007 and that had its ups and downs, lead us to this weekend and as I said, I have absolutely no idea what will haben but I know that we are going to have some serious fun this weekend.

Stay tuned. 🙂

It’s official!

Another bit of ITFS follow up.

Orlindo’s and my nomination is now official. We’re still waiting for a proper press release but our names appear in the official festival catalogue and although the possibility of it being a very elaborate practical joke still seem like a viable explanation… all signs point to it being a real thing. Yeah! Rejoice!

Skyscraper

from the Official Festival Catalogue

We feel humbled to be included among these other nominees. Ron Segal is an accomplished author and his novel that the screenplay is based on, went straight on my to read list. Ali Samadi Ahadi and Arne Nolting are two prolific filmmakers with a long list of IMDB credits. Orlindo and I definitely feel like the underdog here but I actually prefer it this way. No matter what happens in Stuttgart, the fact that we were nominated is rewarding enough, especially with these fellow nominees.

We seem a bit like the odd one out, no producers attached, no grants awarded yet but I guess that’s why these writing competitions are so great, in the end it’s just what’s on the page. Sure, there’s the tiny possibility that only three screenplays were entered into the competition but I choose to ignore that thought.

So, I wish to congratulate my fellow nominees and I can’t wait to meet them in Stuttgart. It’s going to be a blast.