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.

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.

SoundtrackCorner #1: Getting Started

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SoundtrackCorner #1

I have a couple of goals for this year, personal and professional but one of the main goals, well actually it’s the main goal, is to write more. I realized last year that the more I write, the more I write. Sounds redundant but what I mean is, that the more time I spend writing random things, the more pages I get done. It’s like exercise or warm up, after a blogpost I usually write more and better. So this year I want to write more posts on my blog. The #ProjectMomentum updates will continue but I’ll also introduce some new segments. I don’t know exactly what they’ll be but you’ll notice.

But Today I’m going to introduce the first new segment: SoundtrackCorner. Soundtracks have a special place in my heart, in a way it’s how my obsession with movies started and even today I still love listening to a good soundtrack.

Obviously there are different kinds of soundtracks and I’m specifically talking about scores, those roaring main themes, these suspenseful action cues and everything in between. There are many great composers who work in film (and television) and some of their work is truly inspiring and they elevate the movies to new heights. The list of great composers old and new is nearly endless and in this segment I want to highlight some of them and their work. So from time to time I’ll post about a great score and it’s composer but today I’m just going to give you a few things to sink your teeth into just to get you started.

I’m going to name drop some of my favorite composers with a piece of their oeuvre that I think you should now. I’m going to try to take the road less travelled, so don’t be surprised if I’m not talking about their best/most famous composition. Just to be clear, this is not supposed to be a complete list, I’m not trying to do a best of or what ever, I’m just naming some composers I like and a soundtrack I think you should listen to because you might not know that one, I’m working on a top 10 list but you’ll have to wait for that one.

Ok, here we go and don’t think too much about the order and I’m not commenting on my choices, I’ll do that in later posts:

That should occupy you for a while. Don’t think too much about who’s on this list and who isn’t, it’s random just some names and soundtracks I thought of. There’s more to come.