Late 2010 update...

I'm recently back from a glorious, perfect week in NYC with my wonderful girlfriend. Even managed to get some good work done on my novel. As for the screenwriting game: I'm just waiting on a few things to pop. If they don't, they don't, but we'll see. Looking forward to 2011!

A few of you have told me how much you've enjoyed reading the Bukowski poems I've posted. Well, here's another one I happen to appreciate. Hope you do too!

the weak

are always proclaiming that
they are now going to concentrate
on their work, which is usually
painting or writing.
it is known, of course, that they have
talent, they simply haven’t…well…
they haven’t truly been given a
there were matters that got
in the way: bad affairs, children,
jobs, illness, etc.
but now, that’s all put aside, they
they are going to concentrate
on their work
they are finally going to do it
they have the talent.
now the world will see.
oh yes, it’s going to happen.

the proclaimers are everywhere.
they are always getting
they seldom begin.
and when they do
they quit easily.
it’s all a whim with
they want fame.
they want it quickly
but they really have no urge
to do their work
except for fame
and to proclaim,

-- charles bukowski

A Flick About...Screenwriters!

Watched a cool little movie a couple days ago.
It’s low budget but well-done,
well-written, and the acting is quite solid.
It’s called The Blue Tooth Virgin.
If you’re a budding screenwriter—
even one who’s been at it a while—
I highly recommend this flick.
Rent it, buy it, but watch it.
Also…not only watch the movie, but listen to the audio commentary.
Trust me, it’s worth it.

Short Film News...

A director—who also happens to be somewhat of a special effects wizard—will be producing a horror short I wrote.

This director and I met initially late in 2009. He had read the script and thought it was just what he was looking for. We discussed some minor changes (i.e., tweaking the original ending somewhat and trimming things up by a couple pages so we can keep the run time down), which I agreed to. So I went away and did a polish, then waited and waited and waited while this director completed other film obligations.

Well, the director recently sent word that the project is now a definite “go,” with shooting scheduled to begin the first week of September.

I think I’ve written a solid short. If this director does his job properly, and I think he will, it’s gonna make a nifty, horrific little flick. We’ll see.

For those of you saying, “But, Jim, there’s no money in short films!” Yes, of course you’re quite correct (at least for the most part). But gosh, it’d be pretty sad if everything we did was for the almighty buck.

Over the years I’ve had a blast working on projects that paid me very little or, frankly, nothing at all. One project that leaps to mind: doing some sound effects work on the James Cameron movie True Lies. My buddy and I were brought in by the sound editor (who has since won a couple of Oscars) to provide gunshot sound effects. We spent a good portion of the day out in a huge, desolate field in Frazer Park, blasting away at various surfaces (wood, metal, tin, brick, etc.) with a wide assortment of firearms—and we were using live ammunition! (And yes, in case you were wondering, we did manage to destroy one or two microphones in the process.) My buddy and I were paid some sort of token payment, maybe received a nice lunch out of it, but that's OK cuz we sure had some fun out there.

I guess what I’m saying here is: Don’t be afraid to get involved with low-paying/non-paying gigs. If it sounds like a worthy project, if it sounds like something that can be a learning experience, just go for it. After all, you never know who you might meet—and you never know how much of a good time you’ll have doing it!

A Bit of Good News...

OK, so I had some good luck come my way not long ago. Here’s what happened:

Last October, I submitted a thriller script to a prodco here in L.A. (This is a company which I’m sure most of you have heard of. A solid company and they produce quality thrillers.) Though they really liked the script, they said it wasn’t quite up their alley. But…they asked if I would like to do a rewrite on an existing script they already had in development.

I had a couple of meetings, which went very well, then my rep worked out the details…and I was hired to do the rewrite. Two drafts, which I ultimately completed in about six weeks. I’m told the flick goes into production later this year. (Unfortunately, I won’t receive screen credit.)

Then…about a two months ago, the development exec at this same prodco gets in touch with my rep, asks if that original script I submitted last October was still available. (It seems that particular script was suddenly up their alley!) “Yes, it’s still available,” was the reply from my rep.

So I went in for a meeting…they suggested a handful of fairly minor changes…the deal was worked out…and I went to work on the changes.

I turned in the revised draft about two weeks ago.

A few days went by and we didn’t hear anything back. A full week went by, still nothing. Finally, they got in touch…and they really liked what I did with the rewrite. Great!

OK, so a couple days go by and we get this call from a producer at the company (a fella we hadn’t dealt with before), and he says: “We’ve decided to put your project on the shelf.”


Then a few hours later we get another call from the same company, but this time it's from our main contact there. Turns out that the previous call about putting the project on the shelf was in error—“ooops, sorry”—and rest assured, my script was still in active development.

Anyway, as things stand now, the company wants me to do one more pass at the script. No major changes, just trimming up a couple of scenes. Not a big deal at all. If things go well—and really, anything can happen—they’re confident the script will go into production in spring 2011.

The roller-coaster ride continues. I’ll keep you posted on any further developments.

A "My Roommate Sam" Advertisement!

"WHO is Sam?"
Watch the webseries everyone's talking about!
(Well, not everyone is talking about it,
but a lot of people sure are!)
episodes 1, 2, 3 & 4
are now up at YouTube!
More episodes coming!
Episode 1 ("Jack’s Predicament”):
Episode 2 (“Jack Meets Sam”):
Episode 3 (“Gillian’s Reaction”):
Episode 4 (“Jack Can’t Believe His Luck!"):

See behind the scenes photos from My Roommate Sam!

The Big Debut: My Roommate Sam!

I am very pleased to announce that the web series My Roommate Sam (created and written by yours truly) has hit the Net! Here’s what it’s all about…

My Roommate Sam is about a guy named Jack (Matt Devine), an aspiring young actor living in L.A. Sadly, his "acting career" isn't going so well. To top it off, his roommate (Mike Kersey) suddenly decides to pack up and move back to Ohio, leaving Jack without someone to share the exorbitant rent...and Jack's co-worker (Derek Lux) is super stuck-up and real pain in the ass...AND Jack has a cute little stalker named Gillian (Brandi Aguilar) who has a big crush on him and makes a big deal out of everything Jack does! Whew!

So, in search of a new roommate, Jack posts an on-line ad. A guy named Sam replies via e-mail and he really wants to see the apartment...and everything is turning out great until Sam arrives at the door. Problem is, Sam isn’t a guy. Nope, Sam (Rebekah Graf) is actually an outrageously hot young chick! Yes, folks, Jack is in L-O-V-E!

What will life be like with Jack and Sam, a single young guy and a single young gal, living together as "just" roommates? Will Jack make a complete idiot of himself? Will Gillian sabotage everything between Jack and Sam? Login and find out!

OK, so Casablanca it ain’t, but it’s a fun, sexy bit of entertainment and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Episode 1: "Jack's Predicament"
and Episode 2: "Jack Meets Sam" are now posted…additional episodes in the coming weeks!

* * *

See behind the scenes photos from My Roommate Sam!

Quote for the day...

"There's nothing to stop a man from writing unless that man stops himself. If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer he is held back the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising water against a dam."

-- Charles Bukowski