Tuesday, July 10, 2007

WHOOMP… CRACK! I’m okay!

With the kids out of school for summer, the hours whoosh by me at warp speed and by the time I catch my breath, another day’s gone. (My ADD brain, wired, apparently, by Dr. Seuss, requires more structure than this to get stuff done.)

Since my last post:

AMERICAN SUMMER wrapped and I’m, once again, out of the loop (“writer”). I’ve heard a couple rumors about release dates but nothing realistic enough to repeat. More on that when there’s more on that.

As expected, I had a conference call with the producer who read THE MIDDLE AGES. It was the first we’d spoken but she’s read all my stuff and seems to be a fan – in fact, she’s the one who hooked me up with my way-cool manager. I like her a lot – and not just because she had a few very flattering comments on TMA and some kick-ass notes.

I’ve spent lots of time this past month letting those notes marinate, coming up with new beats to replace the ones I’ve excised (“excising” is so much bloodier and, somehow, more satisfying than merely “cutting”). The story’s going to be much more streamlined, now – I’m yanking a fat thread the producer showed me I never really needed. I think I’ve almost got the outline ready to begin the next rewrite… but there’s something missing. I feel that like an itch. I’m chomping at the bit to crank up Final Draft and get going but the sense of a missing link keeps holding me back. So annoying, ‘cause it’s right there, like a floating spot behind my eyelid, dodging all efforts to look directly at it…

I’ve been invited to be a panelist at the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters’ Conference this year. Even did my first Q&A which was fun.

If you haven’t attended AFF before, here’s some of what you missed in 2005 and in 2006.

Still not enough motivation to part with a month’s worth of beer money? Here’s a current list of some of the other panelists who’ll be there this year:

Scott Alexander (writer 1408 - '07, Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Agent Cody Banks)
Greg Beal (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ®, Nicholl Fellowships Program Coordinator)
William Broyles Jr. (Flags of Our Fathers, Jarhead, The Polar Express, Cast Away, Apollo 13)
Curtis Burch (Latitude Productions)
Channing Dungey (ABC Studios fka Touchstone )
Dan French ("Dennis Miller", "The Late Late Show", "The Best Damn Sports Show Period")
Terry George (Reservation Road- '07, Hotel Rwanda, In The Name of the Father, My Left Foot)
James V. Hart (August Rush, The Last Mimzy, The Snow Goose, Sahara, Tuck Everlasting, Contact, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Hook)
Jon Hurwitz ( Harold and Kumar 2, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle)
Chris Hyams (B-side Entertainment)
Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Laws of Attraction, Three to Tango)
Duncan Montgomery (Montgomery Law/ Fireside Releasing)
Terry Rossio ( Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Dead Man's chest, The Curse of the Black Pearl, Déjà vu, Shrek, The Mask of Zorro, Aladdin)
Eric Roth (writer Suspect, Forrest Gump, Ali, Munich, The Good Shepherd, Lucky You - '07, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - '07)
Thomas Schlamme (Studio 60, The West Wing, Jack and Bobby, Sports Night)
Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar 2, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle)
Ed Solomon (writer/ director Levity, writer Tokyo Suckerpunch, Men in Black, co-writer Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and currently co-writer of Nowhereland starring Eddie Murphy)
Christopher Vogler (Story Consultant, Producer, author The Writer's Journey)
Gary Walker (TEX FX)
Audrey Wells (writer/ director Under the Tuscan Sun)
Guinevere Turner (writer George of the Jungle, The Truth about Cats & Dogs)
Herschel Weingrod (Trading Places, Kindergarten Cop, Twins)
Larry Wilmore ("The Office", "The Bernie Mac Show", "The PJs", "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", "In Living Color")
Bill Wittliff (The Perfect Storm, Legends of the Fall, Lonesome Dove, The Black Stallion)

I know a couple of these people and have heard most of the others in various panels over the years. If they’re talking, you want to listen. AFF 2007 is October 11-14. Mark your calendars and get your passes.

Wondering what that WHOOMP… CRACK! was when you first popped in? That was Malfoy, almost six, body-slamming me without warning July 4th.

I thought for sure she'd cracked a rib or ruptured something – my usually-high pain threshold has been on Red since it happened. So, this morning, I finally took myself to the doc for x-rays and he said I’m no more cracked or broken than I ever was. Good and bad, that. Nothing left to do but eat some more Advil and get crackin’ on my rewrite…