This post first appeared in my eNewsletter I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP.
I hope my e-newsletter finds you all well. It's been a long while, but that goes without saying. I don't have anything to add to the discourse, as I don't know how to make a dumpster fire into a risen phoenix.
It seems quaint now, but when I sent my last newsletter in March, I had just canceled the first weekend of shooting for HIS WIFE MY KILLER at the last second, and I mean the last second, as I had already bought the lunch meat for the first day's sandwiches. I thought, as it turned out correctly, that I could have gotten the first weekend of shooting in, but would have been under restrictions for the second. And I would have been sitting here today with half a movie, which I honestly think is worse than no movie at all.
It seems a long-ass time ago, but around then my first movie, THE GIRL IN THE CRAWLSPACE, had just dropped in Walmart and Family Video and a ton of other stores nationwide, and I had been tooling around finding it places. Back then Family Video stores seemed to be closing faster than they could stock my movie, but I talked to a lot of store managers around my neck of the woods about it, which was fun.
If you haven't seen it yet, it is still free on Amazon Prime, and also free on Tubi.
Speaking of Tubi, my second movie SCARECROW COUNTY also landed there ahead of the physical media release, so dare I say 2020 wasn't all bad, as both my movies came out this year.
Strange but true, but two movies I wrote, AMITYVILLE ISLAND and SHARK ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, also came out this year. Both are available streaming, although only the former is free.
I wrote these in a white heat some while ago, when I actually penned three movies in six weeks, and I can't recall much about writing either one of them. As many reviewers have already noted, they are both deliriously crazy, and I can't argue the point.
My freelance output hasn't been much during this time. I was sent to work from home for three weeks, nine months ago, from my day job in marketing and communications for a regional college campus. Since then we have been the main window into the campus, though press releases, social media, live Facebook and Zoom events, and more; unlike a lot of people, I have been fortunate to actually be busier during this time than if I was back at the office.
So I haven't been able to make the sourdough starter and other things cooped up people have done. I have cartooned a little, and started building Gundam models after a friend gifted me one. We bought a camper in case we need to stave off of the Apocalypse and have enjoyed that, including an outdoor (cold but fun) camping Thanksgiving. My wife has been teaching from home, at a different university, and it's been nice to have lunch together every day, after working at campuses 50 miles apart for the last 15 years.
I wrote two scripts; one a science fiction adventure and one a western. The western had started shooting under the direction of my old friend Henrique Couto, but like everyone else in our industry the production had to take a time out when they struggled with COVID restrictions (and weather). I'm not sure about the fate of the other. But that's the nature of the beast right now, perhaps even more so.
I haven't been able to get the machine running for myself writing-wise, and I'm not sure when it will be safe to ramp up HIS WIFE MY KILLER again. We shall see.
It is extremely weird to write this, as when I lay it all out and read it I think I had my best year as a screenwriter and filmmaker. And yet.
When we talk about the first thing we will do when it's all over, if it is truly over, I always say I am going to make my (regionally) famous beef brisket for my extended family, who I have seen only in small doses in exterior settings (so much so that my two-year-old grandson calls our camper 'Nana's House'). If I could George Bailey this noise, and have all my movie stuff never exist and instead be making that beef brisket today, I would take that deal.
But as I said when I got my emergency root canal and crown a month or so ago to end 2020 in style, it's not the crown I wanted, but it's the crown I was given.
I promise I won't be too long before I write again, because I always like to share my favorite reads of the year, and I have read some good ones, including one I'm half through now.
Until then, thank you for reading and sticking with me and I truly wish you all well in this time.