Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm an aunt!

My sister had a beautiful baby boy on Tuesday, June 17th. I'm thrilled beyond words!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I should be an aunt today.

But my sister apparently planned something the day after she was due, so she apparently wasn't anticipating having a baby today.

We're so close to getting the Lives Agape website up and running...

I took some engagement photos for a friend. It was one of the early days of the heat wave and therefore a bit gross after the first seven minutes, but the location was also very beautiful. However the pictures came out lovely, and my other best friend and her sister want me to do their engagement pictures when I come back from camp in August. I don't think I'm necessarily an exceptional photographer, but maybe that's because I have people who know what they're doing and equipment to make it happen with. Still, it's a fun thing to do on the side for friends. Maybe one day I'll make a portfolio, just for kicks.

Tonight is my last night at home for a while. Tomorrow it's off to camp, where there's no cell phone service and email only comes in and out once a day on a group email address. I'm excited. I'm excited to see my friends and invest in the campers and enjoy atmosphere of camp. I get to live in one of these, named after a Winnie-the-Pooh character:

My favourite is Heffalump.

I'll be updated every Saturday or so. Probably less about writing because I don't really get a lot of time to write while I'm up at camp. Regardless, I have a lot of projects going on - draft three of The 4:05, work on Current Draft, producing plans for the One Shot series, and writing websoides. But more likely I'll be talking about the fun things that happen at camp, my continued ruminations and theories on the glass ceiling, and other things I'm learning.

I'm looking forward to the next two months, for sure.

Normal Like You

They said you called me maybe yesterday
I don't even have the strength to pick up the phone
Wouldn't even know me since you went away
The prozac doesnt do it for me anymore

You ought to take your medication everyday
Be a good dog, live life in a wonderful way

Tell me why you want to be blind
I don't want to be normal like you
I know now, everyday
I get closer
To the place inside where I can be normal too

I heard those stupid people talk about you again
I just have to laugh to keep from hurting bad
Their simple minds just cannot seem to understand
You are neurotic and depressed
It doesn't mean that you're sad

You walk around oblivious to everything
You wear that party dress and black mascara
Like you're queen for the day

Tell me why you want to be blind
I don't want to be normal like you
I know now, everyday
I get closer
To the place inside where I can be normal too

I will never be normal like you
You walk around oblivious to everyone
I see you walking slow and simple
Underneath the big black sun

Tell me why you want to be blind
I don't want to be normal like you
I know now, everyday
I get closer
To the place inside where I can be complacent

Yes, I get closer
To the place inside where I can be sedated

Yes, I get closer
To the place inside where I can be normal too
Where I can be normal like you
Maybe normal like you
I can be normal like you

- Everclear

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I was researching, and I found this:

What the crap? How do you even say that?

I miss My Boys.

I phase out of TV a lot. I didn't really have any shows that I was following, except for cycles of America's Next Top Model. Then I got involved in Lost, and I love it. I started watching The Office socially, and I binge watch DVD episodes of it. But when I come to my parents' house, and I don't have much to do, I watch a lot more TV. My most recent obsession? My Boys.

The funny thing, I never really watched it when I watched it. It just came after another show, and I would always have it in the background while I played on my computer. (You know what I miss? Scarab of Ra. That was an awesome game.) I think I related to the premise of one girl with a group of guy friends. But osmosis worked, and last week the episode ended on a cliffhanger, and I've had to wait a week to find out the answer to who PJ brought with her to Italy! So now I'm nominally interested. As in, interested enough to continue watching the reruns through tomorrow until I leave for the land of no technology what so ever.

But I love Lost most of all. It's sorta redeemed TV for me, I think, though I'm not like a TV junkie or anything. But I think that there are some really good stories being told in very well crafted ways on TV right now.

I like drinking tea at night, but it's been too hot to think about it the past couple of days. It's finally cooled down, and I can enjoy a nice cuppa tonight.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Still something's missing - Are we speaking the same language?

There are some things people should know about the City. One of them is that it creates this weird time/space vortex, which makes going around it, through it, or under it more tricky than it would be to cross that distance in any other situation. We forget that we live near any ocean. When the City is in the middle of two destinations, you should think long and hard about what it is that is so great about the thing on the Other Side. Some people will never understand why in movies and TV shows people are chagrined and slightly frightened when they have to move from Manhattan to one of the other boroughs. These people will also never understand how the City two opposing points long distance automatically. On the flip side, the City is the most amazing American city there is.

Speaking of the City...

I had two very different movie experiences last week. I went to see Sex and the City with one of my best friends, and then the next night took my two brothers to go see Prince Caspian. I thought the City was well done and delightfully entertaining and true to the tone of the TV show (probably more like the uncut version, not like the TBS version that I watch). Prince Caspian was amazing, though. Incredible movie that I would definitely pay (a reasonable amount) to see again in theatres.

But one of the most interesting things didn't have to do with the film itself. My friend and I went early to the theatre for The City, about half an hour, and there was already a line to get in. In Prince Caspian, there was only a man and his little daughter who kept saying "Zombie!" during the previews (friend of yours, Emily?). There are a couple of variables here, location of theatre, release date, day and time, but this, I think, is the real reason why The City showing was packed and Prince Caspian was not.

Optimum is giving away free tickets. If you have Optimum Triple Play, you can get two free movie tickets to Clearview theatres every Tuesday and six dollar tickets every other day. In an area where the going ticket rate is $10.25, that's reason enough to use Optimum. I know that I wouldn't have gone to see The City in theatres if my ticket wasn't free. And my friend reports that the crowds at the Clearview on Tuesdays have been crazy. When we went the parking lot was more full than on a Friday night.

I'm not a business major or economics major or anything - but this is a theatre going behavior worth noticing. Who's making the money here? Are these free tickets being counted toward box office totals? How many paying theatre goers have been stolen away from weekend premieres to see a movie on a Tuesday? Are the theatres making loads from selling concessions to packed out theatres on a Tuesday night? Are people more willing to buy concessions after saving money on a free ticket? How many of those full houses were people who had gotten free tickets and how many were friends that came along for the discounted price?

My family just switched to Optimum again today. My dad said a door to door salesman came by with an offer he couldn't refuse. He also told me that the same company - Time Warner - owns Optimum, Clearview, and all the other businesses that rewards are offered for. So the money stays in the family. I am just pleased that I will be getting "my own" Optimum card.

Still, there's something worth thinking about here. If the price of movie tickets dramatically dropped- maybe from ten dollars to six dollars like Optimum customers get - would that bring more people back to the theatre? Or are people going to go regardless? I wasn't going to pay to see The City in theatres, and I didn't. But that extra person in the theatre increased the potential that concessions were going to be sold, that the free ticket holders were going to bring extra friends, guaranteed that they were going to be exposed to advertising for more movies. On the flip side, I was going to pay to see Indiana Jones. But tomorrow we're using the passes to get our two free tickets and one discounted one, from thirty dollars to six. Maybe it evens out. Maybe there's not enough of a dramatic change in movie going trends to warrant a change in the theatre business. But when Tuesday nights are packing out better than Friday night premieres - it's worth thinking about.

PS. I'm glad Susan got to cause some serious damage in those battle scenes.


A strangled smile fell from your face
It kills me that I hurt you this way
The worst part is that I didn't even know
Now there's a million reasons for you to go
But if you can find a reason to stay

I'll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what's at stake
I know that I've let you down
And if you give me a chance
Believe that I can change
I'll keep us together whatever it takes

She said "If we're gonna make this work
You gotta let me inside even though it hurts
Don't hide the broken parts that I need to see"
She said "Like it or not it's the way it's gotta be
You gotta love yourself if you can ever love me"

I'll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what's at stake
I know that I've let you down
And if you give me a chance
And give me a break
I'll keep us together, I know you deserve much better

But remember the time I told you the way that I felt
That I'd be lost without you and never find myself
Let's hold onto each other above everything else
Start over, start over

I'll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what's at stake
I know I've let you down
And if you give me a chance
and believe that I can change
I'll keep us together whatever it takes

- Whatever It Takes

Friday, June 06, 2008

I walked 7.5 miles today.

Just thought someone should know. The only other time I've walked that much was when I was stuck in the nether reaches of Norfolk county in England on a Sunday without public transportation (surprise!) and had 9 miles to go still until I got to my hostel.

I miss acting. Friend A. teases me because one time I made a very pretentious remark about how I am a "trained actress." Which isn't false. I spent two years studying theatre at my old university, and I wasn't a bad actress. I had terrible problems with my diction and annunciation, though, and that stabbed me in the foot.

How come actors can become writers and directors, but writers and directors can't become actors? There's a lot of advice about how writers and directors should take acting classes to understand what helps actors connect with stories, which I think is a great idea. I think the acting classes I took help me know when I write, sometimes when I direct. But I would love to put those acting classes to actual acting use. How does that look, though, when a writer wants to act in their script? I get such audition anxiety - it's been so long since I've acted - I'm so busy with the production side of filmmaking - will I ever have an opportunity to act outside of self casting? How much will my crew snicker if I try to act in something I've written or am directing or am producing?

Basically I want to be Zach Braff.

Have you ever been away for a few days, and when you come back, you're expecting the world to have shifted on its axis? I don't know what it is about being away, just being a little more out of touch than normal, especially when the days have been earth shattering for me, to come back thinking that I'll find out some revelation in a friend's life. The funny thing is, nothing shocking ever does happen. What if I started expecting...nothing?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I may be the only faintly conservative person left in the industry.

I can't stand internet political editorializing. It especially gets me when it's the people who like to insinuate a lot of nasty things about the other side and make sweeping generalizations without recognizing any good points that might come from said other side because said author doesn't have to. This happens on both sides.

I was remotely interested in politics when I was in high school and the first two years of university. My favourite part of the College Republicans magnet I got was that the slogan was "Best party on campus." We were a dry campus, too. Then I went to England and taking care of four foreign children became more important to me than who had the majority in Congress. I am pretty much uninformed and generally quite apathetic. However, at least I know this and will therefore refrain from name calling and diss throwing.

But really - I am shocked at how many entertainment professionals and preprofessionals are throwing around their cynicism and anger and arguments. I go to people's blogs to find out more about the screenwriting craft and instead I read their latest snarky remark on current politics. Look, I have a lot to say about the economy and homeland security too. But I find negative one liners distasteful and often too general and mean spirited to be true. I think I get upset, too, because using such anger when expressing your beliefs communicates a general disrespect for people on the opposite side. The other side is always referred to as "crazy." Those extreme right wingers or the crazy liberals. Well, you're sure going to swing a lot of votes that way.

There are points and counter points beyond belief, numbers and statistics and stories that could make your head swim. That doesn't invalidate the other side. It just means that it's a complicated situation, and nobody should be vilified for their beliefs.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's got a special sort of sound

We're dog sitting a beagle this week. He's really cute, albeit a little sedate (I want a huge, hyper dog when I finally have time and money to take care of one). I think my dad likes him most of all.

I have this great rolly chair in my room. I love it. I've been shooting myself from my desk to my light switch, which is a grand total of six feet and yet is the longest distance I can go. The chair is also old and disproportionately weighted, so I never go in a straight path. Unfortunately, my mom just pointed out that it's old and gross wheels have been making marks all over my floor. Which means I have to stop sliding around all over the place and stay on the carpet right in front of my desk.

I recently named a character Karlsbad Wonkite. Doesn't that just sound like fun? Wonkite has to change, of course, but I might keep the Karlsbad.

Now that I have a desk in my room I finally have a place for my typewriter. It's a little difficult to write screenplays on a typewriter, because of the format, but I've been using it the past couple of days to write out notes. We're getting our bathroom redone, you know, and I was heading downstairs this morning when one of the workers said he was surprised to hear the typewriter from my room.

I've seen a lot of great movies and had some interesting theatre experiences recently that I anticipate talking about, but not right now. I am clearly unfocused tonight.

It's one of my blog goals to be mentioned on Mystery Man's Screenwriting News and Links one week.

Instead, I'm going to mention links I found on other blogs, specifically about women in Hollywood. You may not *be* a woman, but chances are you work with one or are trying to sell a movie to several hundred thousand. Here's one Amanda put up about Sexism in the City. But I really like this one about women working in Hollywood (I don't remember which blog I found this link on, sorry!). Real influential women in the industry talk about how "Knocked Up" fails female wish fulfillment, how hard it is to make a movie with female leads who aren't romantic leads, and - most interesting to me - how a male producer can excuse himself from a meeting to take care of a child's ear infection to admiration, but the same action by a woman would be viewed very differently.

I am going to be an awesome aunt

Look what I got for the baby!

I was thinking about how resilient people are. I mean, really, we go through a lot of crap. All the time. Bad choices are made, people are hurt, things go out of control. Everyone's got a story or two or three. And yet, we keep going. What is it about hope? I just marvel at everyone sometimes, how amazingly brave people are. Indomitable. I hope people see how strong they are sometimes. We just need that encouragement sometimes.

And it's another thing when you realize what it is that keeps you going. I can be sort of a cynic sometimes. But to have an eternal source of joy and hope to combat the frustration that comes just from being a person in this world - but, I hate to be a Mastercard commercial, you know?