Saturday, November 07, 2015

Yeah hi, my brain is up here

It's a funny thing, having boobs. Sometimes they get you in the room and it's great, 'cause you've worked hard and you deserve to be there. But just as often, you get stuck in there while someone you've respected and admired for years stares down your shirt, not listening to a damn word you say. #YeahHiMyBrainIsUpHere #DontHateMeBecauseImStacked

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Kinda ran low on blogworthy stuff to say after I got my foot wedged in the door of Hollywood. There's little I've learned or seen or done since then that hasn't already been covered by the heavier-hitters of the Scribosphere.

And frankly, I procrasturbate too much as it is.

That said, it would be a shame and a distressing lack of closure if I failed to share THIS or this:

So there's that.

I'm told to expect an invitation in the mail soon for the October 12th premiere at Grauman's Chinese. If you're in LA or inclined to go there, get free tickets HERE. I'd love to see you there!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

An awesome day on set of THE BLIND SIDE

John Lee Hancock, generous friend and mentor, let me shadow him for a few days of "director's school" earlier this month. Big difference from the time I spent on my own set when we shot THE POOL BOYS: back then, I hadn’t been on a feature set before, so I concentrated on staying out of the damn shot and not tripping over anything while trying to figure out what everybody’s jobs were.

As my eyes and brain have now adjusted to the sight of hundreds of crew scurrying around wielding lethal-looking equipment, I was able to focus on how the hell you go from the mostly-solitary work of writing a screenplay to directing a multi-million-dollar production.

I feel luckier than maybe any screenwriter outside of JLH, himself, when he learned from Eastwood. I mean, I was just happy to be on set, absorbing what I could. Certainly never expected JLH to have or take or make the time to answer and encourage questions (including those I didn’t know enough to ask).

Cool as it was to meet Sandra Bullock, and to chat about our kids with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, it was way cooler when JLH explained the effects you get from different lenses and when to use them.

Yesterday was different from my previous days on set, ‘cause Munchie, our aspiring actress, worked as an extra. The scene was a high school volleyball game and Munchie was in the stands with a couple hundred other extras. When they first filed in, she was all the way on the far side of the bleachers. But somehow, when they were setting up the shot, she was moved a few times and got herself placed just over the left shoulder of Sandy’s stand-in. (This was 100% coincidental. I asked.) She sat with another girl and her mom and they didn’t realize the pretty girl in front of them was Sandy’s stand-in, but Munchie acted perfectly professional when April left and Sandy sat down.

Because they were in the shot, Munchie and a small handful of other extras didn’t get to break when the others did, but my kid never complained. When they were finally released for lunch, her energy was great. “John talked to us three times and said we were doing great, and Tim asked how we were doing, and Sandy said ‘Don’t eat too much popcorn,’ and the lady with the cool afro came up and put product in my hair!”

After lunch I introduced Munchie and her new friend to Sandy’s co-star, the sweet-faced and sweeter-souled Quinton Aaron.


Later, when her scene finally wrapped (after ten hours), she didn’t want to leave set, so we went to the second location and I got to formally introduce her to JLH and a few of the producers. Each time I made introductions, she was warm and poised, shook hands and chatted a moment. I was never that confident as a kid. (Or for most of my adult life, to be honest…)

We spent about an hour watching the next scene on the monitors before heading home. The second location was tight and Munchie stayed quiet and out of the way, like she’d been on set her whole life. If I had any reservations about schlepping her to auditions or shelling out for classes, they’re gone. I couldn’t be prouder of her – she acted like a pro all day.

And now, back to my rewrite, ‘cause as much as I enjoyed visiting John’s set, I’m itching to get back to one of my own…

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Put Your Records On

Munchie and her girlfriend auditioned for the 5th grade talent show yesterday. This is a recording of their practice.

"Proud" doesn't quite cover it...



video

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hi.

Yeah, it’s me. I know, I suck and I’m sorry. But you knew I wasn’t the most reliable blogger and the frequency of my posts isn’t why you love me, anyway, so let’s not argue. Okay? We’re good then? Good.

To catch you up, the fam and I are comfortably settled in our new digs just northwest of Atlanta. We love it here – it’s got lots of cool stuff we didn’t have in Florida, like “hills” and “seasons” and “basements.” My sister and her family live just a couple streets over, which is fun and convenient, there are hundreds of kids in the neighborhood so ours are rarely bored and we’ve got some very cool neighbors who enjoy a glass or three of wine as much as I do. Soon as I figure out how to dress in layers so I don’t freeze my ass off (shut up – it is not too late), I’ll be a happy girl, indeed.

On the writing front, the movie-related lawsuit settled amicably and after too-long away, I’m back in the saddle. Just turned in a treatment to my producer and manager – planning the next rewrite of THE MIDDLE AGES. Looks like it’s gonna be a page-one, but that’s cool. It’s part of the process and I’ve got some new stuff in there I’m excited to write.

Got back from my sixth Austin Film Festival last week -- the second I’ve attended as a panelist. This year, I judged two pitch competition sessions and talked to high school filmmakers in a roundtable. Having pitched at the AFF competition myself, back in ’03 (my 60-second rendition of POOL BOY, the script that later became the movie AMERICAN SUMMER), I get a kick out of the full-circleness of my being a pitch judge. The pitches this year were surprisingly good – even the writers who stumbled over their words had unique, compelling stories. And I really enjoyed chatting with the high school kids at the roundtable sessions. They were sharp and expansive-minded, much smarter than I was at their age – in a whole ‘nother league, to be honest. Just hope they weren’t too disappointed when the rotation landed me at their tables, instead of Terry Rossio or John Turman or one of the other hot-shottier panelists.

As happens every year, I returned from Austin with lots of gut-deep emotional parting gifts. Still processing this year’s goodies, especially a few gems from Lawrence Kasdan and Shane Black. Both gave me hope and made me ache for completely different reasons, yet to the same end.

I almost didn’t make it to Austin this year, yet looking back, I think it was my most important AFF so far. I haven’t fully identified what I took from there but I’ve been wrapping myself up in it ‘cause it keeps the chill at bay and it sure can get drafty up here in the saddle...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Declaring my Independence from Tzures*

*Noun. tsoo r-is (Yiddish) Aggravation, frustration; “Oy, the tzures I’ve got, you should know from it.”

Lately, I feel like as soon something good happens, Big Corporate (in either brick-and-mortar or meat form) comes along and takes a steaming dump on it.

There’ve been a handful of instances of this the last couple years. Some you know about, some I can’t discuss. Some have been fixed, others may never be. They all stink.

The latest in the shit-on-my-happiness processional has to do with our upcoming move. We got some good offers on our house and found a nearly-perfect one to buy in our new area. Everything was rolling along smoothly to close the sale of the old and the purchase of the new in time to settle in before the kids start their new school. We’re supposed to move in less than two weeks, but now our buyer’s mortgage company says we need to bump the closing well past that date. Which also bumps our purchase of the new home (and, incidentally, bumps the people we’re buying from and the closing of their new home). I’ll spare you the clusterfuck of rescheduling movers, rerouting mail, resetting dates for utilities to be shut off and how annoyed I’ll be if we lose our interest rate.

I’m up to my eyeballs in boxes (well, if I’m reclining…) and between the housing issues, film stuff I can’t talk about and having the kids home from school, I’ve got plenty of excuses to choose from when berating myself for my lack of progress on the writing front.

But I’m damn lucky and I know it. There aren’t many people I’d wanna swap problems with. I’ve done a lot that I’m proud of and I’ve got lots to look forward to. (That makes me the very picture of mental health, doesn't it? Yeah, I thought so, too.)

So, I guess I’ll just keep plugging along and try not to kvetch.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The answer is "nothing."

The question was "What is she smoking?"

Did it throw you in my last post when I got all metaphorical and shit? Sorry 'bout that. I just felt like touching base but everything had (has) kinda been in limbo, so there wasn't a whole lot to share, really. Things have been inching in a forward-like, slo-mo-momentumish direction, so I can't bitch... too much.

I've got a conference call later today with Hot & Smart Chick Manager and Incredibly Cool & Smart Producer Who’s Nevertheless a Fan of My Work to talk about my next draft of THE MIDDLE AGES. They both dig my new treatment and I'm excited to get back into it. (If you've been reading here a while, you may have noticed that this script is taking forfuckingever to finish. It kills me that it's been this long, but to be fair, in the time it took me to write a few unique drafts of TMA, I had a movie made, engaged in a legal battle and kept the wife-and-mom plates spinning on their respective sticks. I might slow down, but I'll never stop.)

During this limbo period, I've been working out like a fiend -- Pilates and kickboxing classes. Love them both. Unfortunately, these particular classes are scheduled consecutively, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I hate to miss a class, so I've been doing an hour Pilates class, catching my breath for 15 minutes, then jumping into an hour kickboxing class. It's fun to imagine the people I'm punching and kicking as I pant and wheeze.

Aside from all that, we're fixing up the house, trying to get it in sell-shape with hopes of moving up near my sister and her family outside Atlanta. Manual labor is hard. Especially after Pilates and kickboxing.

And, it's time I say it here: I love David Cook. Have a thing for Jason Castro, too, and would happily sit at his feet and listen to him and his acoustic for hours. But I've loved Cook since his audition. Love his intensity and his choices and his haunting voice. I've watched Idol off and on most seasons, but was never this passionate about any of the contestants 'til Cook. There's a kind of magic there.

I don't know what it is, exactly, but I think it's the difference between Good and Great. Lots of people have talent and proficiency. Lots of people work hard and study their craft. Few of those are great. Maybe it has something to do with energy, vibrations, frequency... like, some people think and work and transmit on a higher level...

No, really. I swear, I'm not smoking anything.