Progress Report 19 – Life Lessons and Space Cowboys

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Sadly he’s not alive anymore. 🙁

I’m skipping that whole numbering scheme. There aren’t enough decent movies with numbers in the title. From time to time one might pop up…but I’m done looking for them.

I had a busy week. I’m still on track with pretty much all my projects. Some things are still in shambles though, totally my fault, no-one else to blame but that’s life. But more about that later.
#ProjectMomentum is experiencing a “soft-reboot”. We’re (Orlindo and I) are still committed but we need some more structure, especially him. He’s contemplating abandoning his blog (at least for #ProjectMomentum purposes) but he promises to comment here more often. We also established a “mail answer rule” to make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks and on of us (usually me) has to wait 4 weeks for an answer. 🙂

We are confident that these changes will help us relaunch #ProjectMomentum1 and make us more productive….speaking of productive, this weeks numbers are:

One book/screenplay: Reading a lot for school.
Two movies: I’m really saddened by Gene Wilders passing so I popped in Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein and for a little while I wasn’t so sad anymore.
Seven pages: I’m currently on page 25, I have to go back though and adjust a few things, but more on that later.
Seven hours: That bloody project still keeps me up at night but it’s a bit on the back burner right now. I hope that Orlindo has some new material ready to have a look at.

Let’s get down to some actual blogging.

I’m quite happy with the pages I wrote so far but there is something in my writing that I need to address and I’m not just talking about “Die Klientin”, I’m talking about pretty much everything I wrote. The protagonist is usually some version of me, I’m not saying that that is necessarily a bad thing but I’m realizing that I’m protecting my protagonist too much. He needs to suffer more, he needs more flaws (not that I’m lacking in that area). The same is true for antagonists and/or love interests, even if they are inspired by real people or are mashup versions of real people, they need more flaws, they need to create more drama, even if I really liked those people, I have to turn some of them into assholes. Maybe that’s the reason I got stuck with “Down Under”, everyone was/is too bloody perfect.

Typing this, it seems quite obvious but It’s harder than it sounds. In a way I’m writing about friends and who wants to hurt his friends? Maybe that’s why I gravitated towards animation and sci-fi. Too removed from reality, no problem in torturing your space cowboys.

You’re probably wondering what the life lesson part is, well, if you shouldn’t treat your characters like real people, maybe real people shouldn’t be treated like characters, I mean let’s face it, when was the last time your life worked out like a movie? When was one romantic gesture ever enough to change some girl’s mind? I’m not saying it never happens but the odds are slim.

I should stick to space cowboys.

  1. It just occured to me that #ProjectMomentum sounds an awful lot like Project Mayhem, I say very fitting.

Progress Report – 18

Apparently there’s no decent movie with the number 18 can think of right now. Well, there are movies with that number in the title but this is not one of those blogs.

I’ve been busy. I had a nice weekend with a decent birthday party. My weight loss project is going well (my birthday wasn’t as bad as I feared on that front) and for some reason I feel like I have my “shit” together. I don’t know why. There are so many things that are not going according to plan but for some reason I have this feeling that everything is going to be alright if I keep putting some effort into it. Maybe that’s why I’ve been writing more. I just finished a little writing sprint, I planned to write an hour but after 45 minutes I reached a good spot. I know how to continue and I plan to do that tomorrow.

But let’s talk some numbers.

One book/screenplay: I’m reading “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. Wow, what a great read. A friend recommended “Frühling der Barbaren” by Jonas Lüscher, so I’m giving that one a try as well.
Two movies: Still behind on the movies. I still have to finish “Stranger Things”.
Seven pages: As of right now, I’m on page 13 and I know where page 14 leads to.
Seven hours: That bloody project still keeps me up at night. Looks like it might get interesting in springtime.

Let me end today with some music. I promise that one of the next posts will have more text. We’re updating and refining the #ProjectMomentum rules, so stay tuned, it might get interesting.

Progress Report – 17 Again

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The Graphic Novel is so much better.

Progress report 17 on the 17th of August…admit it, you’re a little impressed. But this is not just a vanity post, I have actual things to report. I mentioned that I’ve returned from an inspiring holiday and I haven’t been lying. It’s not the idea I posted though, for some reason I was drawn to an old idea of mine that I never quite fell in love with but for some reason it just overcame me yesterday and I wrote seven pages. Yeah, seven *fucking* pages in one sitting. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s do the numbers.

One book/screenplay: I’m doing the Aaron Sorkin Masterclass, so that counts a bit but I’m also reading (and re-reading) some books for my students. To Kill a Mockingbird is always a good read and I’m preparing Watchmen for one of my classes. Good times.
Two movies: I’m a bit behind of movies. I skipped a couple of big releases but inspired by my journey I rewatched Seven Years in Tibet an Kundun. I recommend those two as a double feature, it’s interesting that you can make two movies about basically the same thing in two totally different ways. This happens a lot but these two movies are both unique.
Seven pages: Seven pages and I hope to add a couple today. It seems that it makes sense to let ideas settle for a while and return to them, so far all the scenes and moments and characters just seemed to appear on the page in a fully developed way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that what I wrote is perfect (or even good) but it just made sense to write it this way.
Seven hours: Still thinking about that bloody project. I’ll tell if something interesting happens.

That’s it for today…my fingers are itching for some pages so I’ll leave you once more with a stupid YouTube Video.

Random Screenplay Idea: Sempa Trupka

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Sempa Trupka – True Love

As You know, I’m back from holiday. I haven’t resumed writing yet. I have to get ready for school next week, I’m doing this Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Masterclass and I’m playing a bit of No Man’s Sky. There’s a lot going on but I hope to get started again next week but I wanted to write a post1. At first I wanted to to another featured Screenplay but I’ll wait till September for that, so I decided to introduce a new segment to the blog, I call it Random Screenplay Idea and that’s pretty much exactly what it is. A random idea, nothing fancy, nothing too elaborate, just an idea, the core of a movie, maybe something I’ll explore in the near future, maybe not.

So without further ado, I present: Sempa Trupka.

Ok, a little ado, here’s some backstory/therapy. Readers of my blog know, that my holidays are great for my creativity. In fact, I can track back most of my good ideas and/or screenplays back to a great holiday. Sometimes it’s the place that inspired me (to keep going), sometimes it’s a person that sparked an idea but most of the time it was both. Every script I associate with places and people2. This year is no exception but its a bit different, this year a song is part of it too. The bus driver was really into Tibetan music and one particular song seemed to be playing all the time. Sempa Trupka. Sempa Trupka is Tibetan for True Love and it’s your typical ballad, it’s not better nor worse than what we have but for some reason it stuck with me. I have no idea what the lyrics mean but the title is self explanatory

So on my last day in Crete I suddenly had this idea for a movie based on the song. I’m not sure if it’s a movie I’d like to write (or even see) but the idea was intriguing. Inspired by the song and by what I saw in Tibet, the movie is about this Tibetan boy, his mother loves to sing him to sleep with a traditional song until one day soldiers show up. The family didn’t play by the rules and they have to suffer. The nightmare begins and after a huge ordeal the parents somehow manage to get their little boy to safety. He’s a refugee now and he uses his singing to make other forget their misery. A music producer hears him sing by accident and want’s to monetize they boys talent.

The movie then focuses on how the producer exploits the boy for his own gains. The boy is forced to sing whatever the producer wants. The producer plans his whole life and career, the boy is like a prisoner again, so obviously there are tensions but the producer has one ace, he promises to try to free the parents. He’s obviously lying but the boy/young man doesn’t know that. His parents are long dead. What’s even worse for the boy, is the fact that he’s losing all connection to his heritage.

Finally the boy is able to get rid of the producer and become his own man/musician by turning the song his mom sang to him into a worldwide hit. Guess what that song is called….Sempa Trupka. Obviously there’s going to be a romance as well but the main focus/theme is identity, standing up for yourself and being able to relate to your heritage, “True Love” for yourself and where you came from.

It’s probably not the most original idea and it gets me banned in China but I think it’s a neat little idea. What do you think?

  1. to get myself typing again and get those creative juices flowing.
  2. …and I’m not just talking about the girl who broke my heart that particular year.

BACK IN BLACK….or slightly reddish due to sunburn

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Potala Palace in Lhasa

I’m back, alive an well. That’s more that I can say about my phone.1 Tibet was an amazing experience and I’m really glad I did this trip. Sometimes I felt a little bit overwhelmed because Asia is just so different but what struck me the most is how rich and interesting all these different cultures are and how valuable traveling is to expand your horizon.

I didn’t meet too man locals but in those little moments I did, I really felt how different life there must be. I’m not sure how much I can use in my writing2 but I definitely grew as a person.

That’s it. I’m still really tired, the washing machine just beeped and I have to fix my phone.

  1. Let’s just say that whirlpools and iPhones don’t go well together.
  2. Well, there is this idea I have about the Tibetan refugee singer who gets used by a big producer to sell records but truly breaks oiut when he gets rid of that leech and rreturns to his roots and the traditional song his mom used to sing to him…Sempa Trupka.

I’m off to see the wizard….

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The Ancient One

…they have wizards in Tibet, don’t they? Isn’t the Ancient one supposed to be from there?

Never mind, I’ll check on my trip. I will be gone for almost 4 weeks, not that this changes anything here on the blog, I just wanted to give you the heads up. As I mentioned in my last post, I hope to fill my head with new and exiting experiences, not just for writing but life in general. I’m really excited and if the trip turns out half as good as I hope, I’m in for a treat.

Maybe I’ll write something for the blog on my journey, my iPad Keyboard is fully loaded, but don’t get your hopes up.

See you in a couple of weeks.

And it’s happening again.. but I keep trying

Never give up

Never give up….

Surprise, surprise…it’s happening again. I’m neglecting my blog again and I have no real excuse. I’m ding many things but unfortunately writing is not one of them, maybe this post makes me feel so bad about not writing that I start immediately but somehow I doubt it.

It seems like #ProjectMomentum has failed (at least for the moment). I totally blame Orlindo for that btw. It seems that he’s not able to find the time. His last post is from May but the last real #ProjectMomentum post is from March. It’s not just his fault but one of the big ideas was to make each other feel bad for not writing and if one person “quits” that part doesn’t work. I’m hopeful that this might change though. It’s another reason why I write this post, to make him feel bad and embarrassed fror not holding his end of the bargain1

I’m going on vacation next week and as always I hope that my writing juices are revitalized by that. I’m going to Tibet and I confident that I’m going to see many new things that spark my creativity. I’m not sure how Internet works in Tibet/China but maybe I’m able to post something from there, either writing or travel related.

I filled my iPad with books, comics and movies and updated all my writing software and made sure that the correct files are on the devise. Who knows, maybe I’ll finish Down Under in the plane2 or maybe I have an awesome new idea.

As for my/our current projects. I’m a little bit stuck with Down Under. I neglected it for a couple of weeks and I lost momentum (pun intended). I hope I’ll find my momentum in tibet or on Crete, that’s where the second part of my journey. Just relaxing, it should be possible to find some time there.

Ok let me end for today with this uplifting message:

  1. Who am I to talk. 🙂
  2. One can dream.

Progress Report – 16 Candles

…well, this is awkward but I have a really good excuse, well a few actually. The last couple ow weeks have been crazy. Work and other things were quite time consuming and I had to prioritize.
I hope that I can readjust my timetable in the following weeks (holidays are on the horizon) and to get the momentum going again.

One book/screenplay: I read quite a few books for the oral matura. Some of them were rereads and others were new discoveries but all of them quite enjoyable.
Two movies: I watched and rewatched a couple of movies as well. I haven’t been to the cinema in a while though. Saw Nice Guys in theaters, that was cool.
Seven pages: Let’s just move on.
Seven hours: There are some developments, too early to talk but there seems to be an interesting opportunity that got my creative juices flowing. I’m not giving you any details (I don’t want to jinx anything) but there’s a tiny chance that something interesting could develop here. As soon as there is something to tell, I’ll tell you. In the meantime I will probably use most of my development time for this.

I’m not going to write something else today. No time, I have to focus but let me end with this:

Progress Report – Slaughterhouse-Fifteen

Let’s get this off our chests, shall we.

One book/screenplay: Sandman still going strong but I’ve had a look at some other comics as well. I’m kinda in the mood.
Two movies: I’ve been looking into some TV, research for the pitch.
Seven pages: I focused on the pitch so I barely managed my page count but I hope to churn some pages out later today.
Seven hours: Definitely. I finished a rough movie outline and I’m collecting notes for the TV idea. I’m quite happy with the TV movie and the idea for the Tv show kind of excites me.

…and now for something completely different…I bought a new toy, well not exactly a toy but I’m the proud owner of one of those e-bikes. But nit just an e-bike one of those that let you drive with 40km/h. It’s awesome and in away it’s also part of #ProjectMomentum, remember that thing about my belly? I decided that driving my bike to work everyday would be great for my weight and my belly so I bought one and I used it for work twice already and it’s everything I hoped it would be.

It’s still cycling, just faster and less exhausting. You might argue that a traditional bike would be even better but I have to be honest, I’m not going to make that “journey” with a normal bike, it’s too slow and too exhausting so this is the only way I’m actually going to do it.

In a way this also relates to writing. You need to have goals but you have to make sure that you have the means to achieve them, don’t set ridiculous goals, make sure that they are realistic and achievable and make sure that if you can, help yourself by making things a little easier for yourself without totally selling out, I didn’t buy a motorbike.

That’s it for today, I have some grading and writing to do. I’ll keep you updated on my belly status.