Thursday, October 23, 2003

Happy Anniversay, Baby

Today's my sixteenth wedding anniversary. 1987 doesn't seem that long ago. It was a good year. Met my wife in January. Won a Letterman Scholarship for a script I wrote in the spring. Went to Asia as an exchange student over the summer. Used the money from the scholarship to get married that fall. So I owe Dave Letterman a lot, for helping me get married and buy that 1980 Mercury Monarch.

So yesterday I mentioned I wrote 100 letters to industry professionals to garner interest in my work. Only one person wrote me back. That was Mark Polonia, one half of the Polonia Brothers, the direct-to-video gurus whose cannibal alien movie FEEDERS, love it or hate it, is widely reported to be the first shot on video movie accepted at the Blockbuster chain.

A student of mine at Ball State brought me a batch of b-movies, and Mark's BLOOD RED PLANET was among them, as well as Brett Piper's DRAINIAC, which has Mark in the credits. I was so mesmerized by the creative energy in BLOOD RED PLANET, despite the pocket-change budget, that I found Mark on the Internet and started emailing him. A while later he sent me his phone number, and when I called he asked if I would be interested in writing a script for them.

Brett Piper was going to do FX for a project for them in a kind of trade-out for some production support they had given him, and they were down to two ideas; a giant turtle and a giant tank. I had a lot more ideas for the tank than the turtle, so I went that route. Unfortunately that had problems in preproduction, then a zombie movie I rewrote came apart in development, but one day Mark called and said, "What would you think about a Bigfoot movie?" and that one took off. It's always a real roller coaster.

Really, last winter I was thinking about giving it up altogether again, because it was such a dry spell. But now I have a lot of things in the hopper, which is nice. But I suspect the tide will go out again at some point.

That's why I think you just keep nurturing your contacts and hope for the best. Jon McBride once told me that you can't really propel others forward because it takes all of your energy to propel yourself. But if you get launched forward, you might be able to pull others in your wake; and someone ielse in your circle may be able to do the same for you. So I just help everybody I can because you just never know. You really never know.

Give me a yell at

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