Highlights of 2012
In a few hours I’ll be heading to San Francisco to spend the last evening of 2012. Honestly, my ideal way to spend the night would involve a couch, a movie, wine and a crackling fire, but my wife prefers to actually step out of the house sometimes.
This year has been en eventful one. It’s been one of the most stressful years of my life and yet I can’t overlook all the positives that occurred over the year. Both professional and personal progress were made and I’m thankful for that. I find it helpful to take some time to look at what I accomplished over the year, as it serves as motivation and inspiration as I lay out my game plan for the following year. Here is a look at my 2012:
The beginning of 2012 was a bit of a grind. I spent hours and hours sending out rewards to the Kickstarter backers who generously financially supported my short film, SLY SYLVESTER. I did a full rewrite of my feature script QUEEN TO BE in efforts to strengthen it before submitting it to contests later in the year. I stuffed my face with football cookies while watching the 49ers just miss making it to the Super Bowl. I saw Blu & Exile perform live at 330 Ritch and I stopped being a chicken and got my first (and most likely last) tattoo.
I participated in Screenwriting U’s teleconference on how to find an agent and/or manager. I spent a whole lot of time going to the theater and renting movies so that I could see all of the Oscar nominated films before the awards show. We hung a big white sheet in our back yard and projected SLY SYLVESTER to our cast, crew, family and friends. My best friend and I stood for four hours and watched Lauryn Hill perform live at the Warfield in San Francisco. I started a notebook to compile all my story ideas.
We received the news that SLY SYLVESTER was accepted to both the Oakland International Film Festival and the Sacramento International Film Festival. I interviewed for a really cool job and then never heard anything back. My wife and I spent four days in Scottsdale watching the San Francisco Giants train for their upcoming World Championship season. With the design and branding help of Steve Gordon Jr., I redesigned this website.
April was a motherfreaking blur. SLY SYLVESTER screened at both the Oakland International Film Festival and the Sacramento Film Festival. I was interviewed by online newspaper Oakland North. I was also on the KPFA 94.1 radio show. I met with the Editor in Chief of our local neighborhood newspaper and was given my first article assignment. I submitted QUEEN TO BE to the Nicholl Fellowship and Austin Film Festival’s Screenwriting Contest. I joined a local women’s writer’s group. I handed out twenty copies of Maya Angelou’s I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS at Lake Merritt as part of World Book Night. I went to see Gotye in concert with family and friends. I did coverage for the San Francisco International Film Festival and wrote recaps for five different events.
I met with my writer’s group again. My friend Danny Swain performed at Vitus in Oakland. I did the running man after President Obama came out in support of marriage equality. SLY SYLVESTER was named Outstanding Nor Cal Short at Sacramento’s International Film Festival. I submitted my short script, BREAKFAST AT GERARDO’S to Blue Cat’s Short Screenwriting Contest. I rode a skateboard for the first time. I picked up a free rain water tank from the City of Oakland and as of this post have yet to install it.
In June I almost got picked for Jury Duty. I saw STAND BY ME for the very first time at Oakland’s Paramount Theater. I met Oakland writer and filmmaker Leah Taylor and spent one morning on the set of her upcoming short film. I turned on the TV in time to see the final two outs in Matt Cain’s perfect game. I was selected to participate in Kid in the Front Row‘s Week-Long Writing Mentorship and in the process finished a short script, TUESDAY SUNRISE.
July rocked. I received word that BREAKFAST AT GERARDO’S was a quarterfinalist in the Blue Cat Short Screenwriting Contest. A day later I found out I was one of eight finalists in the San Francisco Film Society/Hearst Screenwriting Grant. Then a week after that an actor asked me to adapt a feature-length script for a real-life story he has the rights to. Plus, the Olympics started. Yay July. Come back soon.
August must have been a rough month for me emotionally, because a number of my blog posts were emo. I talked about friendship and my own definition of success. My little sister came and stayed with us for a week. I focused on the script adaptation and struggled. I downloaded the Final Draft App for the iPad and it kept crashing. I met with my writing group.
The Nicholl Fellowship and the Austin Film Festival told me that QUEEN TO BE wasn’t good enough to make their cuts. The San Francisco Film Society told me I was not the winner of their prestigious Hearst Screenwriting Grant. I ate Fenton’s ice cream and felt better. And then I received a phone call from an actor that I respect letting me know he was interested in collaborating on a super freaking cool project together. I pulled out my story idea book I started in February. He liked one. We’re in the early stages of the project now and I’m so stoked. SLY SYLVESTER was released on YouTube!
I was interviewed by Julie Gray. My wife and I put in a brick patio in our back yard. I took Scott Myers’ Core: Scene Online Writing class. I saw The Foreign Exchange and Allen Stone in concert with family. The Giants won the World Series! I was included in RDQLUS’ Fall 2012 Lookbook. I published an interview I did with screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. I attended this year’s Austin Film Festival and Conference.
I spent a weekend attending Blue Cat’s Full Script Workshop, led by Gordy Hoffman. I sent over the first draft of the adapted feature-length script to the actor I’m writing for. I saw Oddisee perform live. How many concerts did I go to this year?!
I started the routine of beginning each day by free-writing three pages. I spent my 33rd birthday in New York. I survived the worst cold I’ve ever had. Plus, I wrote and released a short script, RUDY.
Phew. Time to lay out my goals for 2013.