Monday, May 29, 2017

The Carriage of the Spirits

This post originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in my e-newsletter I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP which you can find out all about by subscribing in the sidebar of this blog.

The iron sparked and smoked and gave away in a gush of water just as I was lowering it to my dress shirt--if that wasn't a sign to get off the hamster wheel for a few days, I don't know what sign I need.

So I am taking a long Memorial Day weekend, drinking a pot of coffee by myself and trying to heroically finish SIX FOUR by Hideo Yokoyama, a 600-page Japanese detective novel that is mostly about the internal mental struggle of a press officer whose daughter has gone missing just as an old kidnapping case heats up.  And by heats up, I mean at about page 400.  But it is so different from anything I know about style-wise that I want to keep reading.

But my movie which I codenamed TWICE SHY is cooking right along.  It is actually on its third title and I like the third one the best.  I did three drafts and I think it is finally pronounced done and going into production at the end of July.  I got some pretty cool news about it last night that makes me want to find that GIF where Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach all give each other the side-eye in THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY but I don't even know where to find GIFs.

TWICE SHY was the first script I sold that was written entirely in my new house, at this little desk in the corner where a big animal vet used to do his work, starting in the late 1950s.

Everybody thinks that if they can't be the next Michael Tolkin they will just write a bunch of SyFy movies but it is harder than anyone thinks.  Get somebody to hire you, then wait to see if that director can get the movie made, then wait and see if a distributor will buy it, then wait and see if you can actually find it somewhere.  There is o such thing as "just" making b-movies.  I invite anyone to try it who thinks so.

When I was visiting with the Horror Society in Chicago a few weeks ago somebody asked me about writing spec scripts. The truth is I think I wrote one or two very early on--in the late 90s, in longhand on a yellow legal pad, and then laboriously typed them into MovieMagic on a big PC squatting in the corner of the study--but I have never sold one and not very many people seem to want them.  Directors or producers already have ideas, and titles, and sometimes posters, and sometimes street dates, before they have shooting scripts.

That being said, it is summer, and the mind turns to writing a spec script, as I don't have anything else to work on right this second.  It is usually summer when I think about it, except last summer when I just moved to a place in the country and had a bunch of farm living to get used to.  I have mentioned before that I have a little dystopian story I want to tell, but who wants to read that kind of stuff now when you can just look out the window?  Plus I watch THE HANDMAID'S TALE on Hulu every week (which might as well be titled #Pence2020), and have nightmares after every time, so why would I do that to somebody else?

But I have a few more ideas, so we will see what happens.

Thanks for sticking with me.  Enjoy Memorial Day weekend.

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