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Thankful Friday 7/1

Oh yes. It’s the first of July and the brightness in my room is what woke me this morning (that and the squeals from my cat as he had gotten his claw stuck on his scratch post). Today is a going to be a busy day, because not only do I need to get my writing time in and knock out my freelance articles, but I need to do some preparation for upcoming our weekend-long trip.

We’re actually doing something for the Fourth of July!

Despite it POURING on Tuesday, this week was a good one…

+ Got a much needed haircut! Why do I always feel like I can take on the world afterwards?
+ Albeit slow, there is progress being made on both the Super Ted rewrite and the thorough outline of my new script.
+ Kicked the ass of my weekly freelance article quota.
+ Took a quick road trip with my friend so she could purchase a sweet 1960′s record player. I’m juiced for the upcoming listening parties. Speaking of music and this particular friend, she put me onto Bon Iver this week. This morning I spotted a video of Justin Vernon, the lead singer of the group, covering one of my favorite songs, Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (via Put Me On It). You need to watch it.
+ The Foreign Exchange dropped their acoustic CD/DVD release “Dear Friends: An Evening with The Foreign Exchange.” This alone makes the week awesome.

Hope you all have a great 4th of July!

Two Weeks of Fun + Caffeine

My caffeine consumption will make a sharp jump over the next two weeks.

I will be steadily working on the current script I’m rewriting (a script that is STILL untitled, damn it) plus a rewrite of Super Ted, with the intention of submitting both to the Nicholl’s Screenwriting Fellowship, due on May 2.

While that major deadline is sticking out its tongue and mocking me, over the next two weeks I’ll also be involved in the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), attending events and writing up articles on my experiences. The SFIFF kicks off on Thursday, and I get to be there on Opening Night as Ewan McGregor and Mike Mills attend to present their new film, Beginners.

I’ll also be trying to find a way to maintain my freelance workload and keep my sanity by fitting in some workouts.

I get to work on my scripts and attend a boatload of movies for two weeks. Oh, shucks.

InkTip / Thankful Friday

photo found on "This Isn't Happiness"

I’m thinking about putting up Super Ted and a few of my shorts up on InkTip, a company that serves as a middleman between writers and producers, distributing your logline and script to those who are looking for a project.

It costs $60 to list your script on their site for 6 months, $40 per listing in their magazine issue, and $50 for 4 months of being a part of their preferred e-newsletter.

Although you may be raising one eyebrow towards the idea of doing this (I did too, at first), they’ve had some pretty significant success in getting scripts optioned and sold.

Has anyone had experience, good or bad, with InkTip?

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My Thankful Friday list this week consists of the following:

+ the weather in the Bay Area this week has been in-freaking-credible

+ finished the freelance articles I wanted to complete

+ mailed out some more queries to some selective agents

+ finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and while I agree with a friend of mine that it’s a bit “preachy,” it was a great read

This upcoming three day weekend should be productive and yet hopefully somewhat relaxing.  We’re skipping on camping with some close friends, which bums me out to no end, but are planning to get some quality work in on the house.

Hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend, filled with friends, family, sharing wine and being outside.  Just make sure that it’s labor free.

Contests have officially killed Super Ted

Up and down, up and down… it’s been an absolute roller coaster lately…

But there’s no way I’m complaining.

The good:  We signed on the house yesterday evening.  It’s ours.  Keys will be in our hands on Friday (along with some margaritas).

The bad:  The quarterfinalists for the 2010 Final Draft, Inc. Big Break Contest were announced yesterday and Super Ted was NOT on the list.

First of all, my sincere congrats to those who made the cut.

Secondly, yesterday was an absolute cluster, but I had about five minutes before stepping in to sign house documents to be hurt regarding Super Ted’s early exits from this season’s contests.  That’s all four of the contests I entered now… Super Ted has been knocked out of all of them.

I don’t know if this house stuff is keeping me focused on something else and helps keep everything in perspective, or if I’m going to collapse once the rush slows down.

Either way, I’ll K.I.M. the Tribe Called Quest way and keep it moving… continue with rewriting Super Ted, querying it, and outlining my new one.

Notes from Readerproof on ‘Super Ted’

cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

Despite Super Ted making it to the quarterfinals of the 2010 Silver Screenwriting Competition, which will announce semifinalists on August 1st, I’d be a pretty big idiot if I didn’t recognize that I still have a huge amount of work left to do on the script.

After receiving feedback from a workshop I went to some weeks ago, reading through notes from Reader Proof and working some things out with my writing partner on the project, I’ve got a game plan of where I’m going to go next.

The goal is to have the rewrite finished and send queries out by August 1st.  It will be a bit of a challenge, but I believe it’s realistic. Besides, being put under pressure is when I seem to do my best work.

The notes that I received from Marcus at Reader Proof were particularly helpful.  Marcus noted things that worked and didn’t work, while also suggesting ways to improve on the things he felt needed to be strengthened.  He challenged me and also jump-started my brain to start thinking about the project objectively.  Although I may not take all his suggestions, I am going to be incorporating a large amount of them.

Within the “Heavy Proofing” package that I received, Marcus did point what may be considered minor problems, though play a huge role in a reader enjoying a script, such as typos and clarity issues. But, he went much further into the story, addressing both hero and antagonist character concerns.

Marcus’ real strengths, however, come from his understanding of pacing and structure.  He somewhat tore Super Ted apart, but in a constructive way, explaining why things did and didn’t work, and for each of those areas that needed some extra love, he discussed how they could be improved to increase drama.

After taking the notes and going over them with my wife/writing partner on this project, I’m completely amped to get back to work on the script.

Note:  If you’re interested in receiving notes from Marcus and Reader Proof, you can visit his website, here.  I received the “Heavy Proofing” package, which will also give me one free reproofing after I’ve completed my rewrite, plus a free hour phone consultation and unlimited email support. You can order the Heavy Proofing package for $250. “Light Proofing” and “Maximum Proofing” packages are also available. (Reader Proof’s Website, Blog, Twitter)

Not to be a Debbie Downer…

necklace by Oh Curses Necklaces

Oh, disappointment…

The house stuff is looking like it’ll take a miracle to work out.

Script PIMP announced their twenty finalists and Super Ted was NOT on the list.

But, the biggest bummer of the week?

I had to sit through the entire 99 excruciating minutes of What Happens In Vegas.

However, the weather’s beautiful today, there’s wine in my kitchen, and I have a four day weekend coming up… soooo, life’s not too bad.

Back to work I go.

EDIT:  Woo-hoo!  Super Ted was named today as a quarterfinalist in the Silver Screenwriting Competition.

Trying my best to Hakuna Matata

I’ve been completely slacking with my blog posts lately.  My last few days in bullet points…

* Went into contract for what possibly could be our first house

* Experienced approximately three nervous breakdowns

* Celebrated SF Pride with some great friends and really bad beer

* Watched the USA Soccer Team fall to Ghana

* Went and saw Knight and Day… disappointed with it and yet unable to pinpoint why

The house stuff is super exciting, and yet I have this mild yet constant nausea that just won’t leave me the hell alone.  Emails with documents needing my signature keep flooding in. 

I need to get out of the house and leave my laptop at home if I’m going to get any writing in.

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On July 1st, the Silver Screenwriting Competition will be announcing their quarterfinalists and Script Pimp will be releasing the list of their top 20 finalists and prize winners.  I submitted Super Ted to both contests, so Thursday will be an exciting day.

Rewriting Super Ted with Reader Proof’s help

It’s somewhat common knowledge that most screenwriters believe that whatever they put togeher is perfect.  I don’t know if I’m just the weird one in the bunch, but  seem to be the complete opposite, always sure that there’s something missing in my script.

In my efforts to rewrite and strengthen Super Ted, I’m going to be receiving notes from Reader Proof, a script notes company run by Marcus Leary (who was also a top 12 finalist in the Cyberspace Open) and his wife.

I should be receiving the feedback from their Heavy Proofing Package today, which I’m amped about.  It’s going to be awesome to get a perspective from someone outside.

Will be taking a short bike break

I was supposed to have a relaxing Sunday yesterday that was to include attending a talk by screenwriter Dave Eggers, but instead I spent most of my day dealing with the aftermath of being t-boned on my bike by some dill-weed and his new Mustang. 

Besides some bruises and a little bit of swelling, I’m physically fine.  I was more scared and rattled than anything, yet it’s still difficult to stay focused this morning.

Despite not being ready to climb back on yet anyway, I have to wait a couple weeks for my bike to be fixed before I’ll be riding to the coffee shop again.

I’m spending today planning and setting realistic goals for the projects that I want to finish in the next few months.

These projects include rewriting Super Ted, finishing the outline of a new script and starting the planning process of possibly making a short film with my wife and some friends.

*It’s difficult for me to say all cops suck, because I know a couple personally and they’re amazing people, but I need to vent.  So, I’ll just leave it by saying the two specific officers that showed up on the scene yesterday were complete dicks.

Entered Final Draft’s 2010 Big Break contest

After some peer pressure from my Bay Area writing buddy, Richard, I submitted Super Ted to Final Draft’s 2010 Big Break Contest.

It always feels really good to hit that “submit” button…

However, now that my bank statement reads $50 less, let me get some lunch and then get to work on writing some articles to make that money back.