Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: The Story of English in 100 Words

Along with geoscience, another academic interest that has taken hold in me as of late is anthropology and, more specifically, linguistics.  There's something about the macro of people that I find fascinating.  A friend of mine would call it "wisdom of crowds," but I think I'll just stick to something a little more vague.  Like... things humans do in groups.  Of which language is one of the most obvious of those things.

David Crystal's The Story of English in 100 Words, published in 2011, is a fascinating and often humorous journey through the history of the English language, starting with the first recorded English word ("roe") and ending with "twittersphere."  Using the eponymous 100 words, Crystal identifies sources, trends, and uses of words both common and rare, and even provides quite a bit of information concerning words that are now, for all intents and purposes, extinct.

While avoiding too much depth in any one aspect of language, Crystal delves deep enough into the anthropology and history of English to paint a fairly comprehensive picture of our strange and magical tongue.  That stated, I would've like more... more words and more depth.  Were this book called The Story of English in 200 Words, I imagine I'd have found it near perfect.

Still, if there is a more entertaining and better written introduction to the nuances of English, I would like to read it.  There probably is one.  And I wouldn't be surprised if David Crystal wrote that one, too.

Rating: 20 (Style: 5 stars; Substance: 4 stars).

As with my review for The Nutshell Technique, this review does not warrant a "Things I Learned" section.  Unlike my review for The Nutshell Technique, however, this review doesn't have a "Things I Learned" section because that was basically the entire book.  Go read the book and then you'll know what I learned.  Nyer.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: The Nutshell Technique

I have, to date, read well over two dozen books on screenwriting and its related mediums (theatre, specifically).  While most - if not all - contain at least one or two nuggets worth adding to an aspiring screenwriter's toolkit, most - if not all - seem to drop the ball and wind up wantonly misinterpreted messes that can be (at least partially) blamed for the perceived precipitous drop in the quality of studio films.

Now, that's if one believes there's been a precipitous drop in the quality of studio films.  On that topic, I am dubious.

However, there are absolutely screenwriting books (and their corresponding systems) that have left their indelible mark on the art of screenplay, and not necessarily for the better.  Syd Field, the godfather of screenwriting gurus, is of course the author of what has been the most prominent screenplay guide for most of the past four decades.  First published in 1979, his Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, was the first book that formally identified script structure for the masses.  It is arguable that most university screenwriting curricula stems from this book, though many classes and professors prefer other authors.  Regardless, Syd Field opened the door for the plethora of screenwriting gurus who followed, the most prominent of which would be Robert McKee, Christopher Vogler, Linda Seger, and Blake Snyder.

Indeed, it is Blake Snyder who further revolutionized the guru field in 2005, with his ubiquitous Save the Cat!: The Last Book On Screenwriting You'll Ever Need.  In the book, Snyder identifies a template - replete with page ranges - of when certain things need to happen in a script.  The entire script is divided into a handful of obviously-named sections (such as "Dark Night of the Soul") that are designed to inform the writer of what he or she should be writing on what page.

Needless to say, things didn't end there, and in 2011, guru Todd Klick published a book which basically provides a page-by-page format of what a good script should look like.  I have, so far, resisted acquiring this book, but my curiosity has been piquing as of late, so I don't know how much longer I can hold out. 

At any rate, should you head to Amazon.com and search for "screenwriting" in their book section, you'll get a whopping 3,152 hits.

Three thousand, one hundred, fifty-two.

And one of those books, published in 2016, is Jill Chamberlain's The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting.  It is short, sweet, and... well... I dunno.

(In a weird twist of fate, I'm going to be attending a panel of Ms. Chamberlain's the day this blog post is published - Saturday, June 24 - but that's neither here nor there.)

The Nutshell Technique, in a nutshell, is essentially a checklist of eight points that Chamberlain claims are essential to a story's DNA.  And she explains those eight points over and over and over and over for over 150 pages when, really, 15 would have sufficed.  But, she is trying to sell books, so I can't really blame her for the attempt.

To be fair, quite a few of those pages are used to apply her eight points to familiar movies, although she repeats her examples over and over again, as well.

And while I am most certainly not praising the book, he theory seems to hold up well.  I have to admit that this is the first screenwriting book that I have not incessantly rolled my eyes in a very long time.  The nuggets in this one are sound, though I feel as though I should repeat (just once!) that those nuggets could have been as effectively explained in 10% of the page count.

Part of me greatly dislikes that her system deconstructs "good writing" into so simple a technique (perhaps the simplest I'm familiar with), but most of me recognizes that her system isn't as much a system as it is a checklist to be used on top of other systems (such as Syd Field's, whose system Chamberlain most often refers to).  Indeed, her nutshell contains no information regarding actual character development, implementations of antagonists or even obstacles, and is so beholden to Aristotle's basic concept that it seems to try to obviate many notions and theories of effective storytelling.

That stated, a great many aspiring writers will find Chamberlain's book and system useful, and I will certainly be taking a few notes from her.  What can I say?  Though she doesn't cover anywhere near enough of the storytelling process, of the areas she does cover, she's not wrong.

Rating: 9 (Style: 3 stars; Substance: 3 stars)

Sadly, I didn't learn anything from the book that would qualify this review to have a "Things I Learned" section.  Maybe that's saying something.  Maybe it isn't.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: The Story of Earth

I've been a science nerd for a long, long time.  Physics was probably my favorite science subject in high school (perhaps other than oceanography), and I am far more interested in the forces of the universe at large than I am in chemistry or biology.

All that aside, there is one branch of science that I have long avoided in my life (other than its relation to the aforementioned study of oceans), and that branch is Earth science (or, as I will refer to it, geoscience).

(I promise I'll slow down with the parentheses.)

I don't know why I've so far avoided geoscience, but I think it has something to do with the observation that in the school system I grew up in, the Earth science class seemed to be for the idiots who were too stupid to take the other sciences.  Whether or not that observation has any merit is irrelevant, but that's probably the reason I never gave the geosciences much thought.  At least, not actively.

Anyway, fast-forward to... a few years ago... and I'm working on a science fiction story in which one of the lead characters is a geoscientist.  Her discipline changed based on whichever draft I was writing, but she was always in geoscience.  Maybe as an oceanographer, maybe as a meteorologist (might be making that one up, and maybe as even a geophysicist.  Long-story short, the amount of cursory research I was doing of geoscience began to pique my interest.  Piqued it enough that I am now seriously considering going to a local community college and picking up an Associate degree in Geoscience.

This, combined with the fact that I have recently met a geoscientist that I enjoy friendly banter with, led me on search for "science communicator" books regarding geoscience.

Now, this is easier said than done.  While there are many, many science communicators who write about physics (Tyson and Davies are favorites of mine, and Kaku populates my library), finding one who writes about geoscience felt like a wild goose chase, albeit a brief one.

Finding a book called The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, From Stardust to Living Planet on Amazon, I decided to take a chance on it, despite several spurious reviews and some mentions of controversy.

And, oh, am I glad I did.

This book is fantastic.  Written very simply, author Robert M. Hazen informs and elucidates on the origins of our planet in a very clear and subtly repetitive manner.  Yes, there is not insignificant reliance on math and science that I didn't fully grasp, but never did I feel completely lost, either.  And even those passages in question were usually bookended by anecdotal explanation to keep the reader on track.

Though concentrating mostly on the lithosphere of Earth (its geology), Hazen takes us through the origins and developments of the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere.  From the Big Bang to the death of the planet (Earth itself, not us humans), Hazen explains the eras of Earth's history in a series of colors (black, blue, gray, red, white, green) with some interjecting phrases in between.

Personally, I didn't find his notion that the geosphere and biosphere co-evolved all that controversial, as it seems more logical.  Granted, that's the point of this book, but the most controversial thing I found was the chapter about the Theia hypothesis, regarding the formation of our moon.  Hazen writes as though Theia is indisputable fact, though I am personally unaware of whether or not Theia is the current widely accepted theory in academia.

Regardless, I am extremely glad I bought this book.  If you have even a passing interest in geoscience, or in the general natural history of Earth, this one is a must read.

Rating: 20 (Style: 4 stars; Substance: 5 stars)

Things I Learned:

Beyond the obvious, of course...
  1. New word: adsorbtion - the adhesion in an extremely thin layer of molecules (as of gases, solutes, or liquids) to the surfaces of solid bodies or liquids with which they are in contact
  2. New word: anoxic - of, relating to, or affected with anoxia; greatly deficient in oxygen
  3. New word: evince - to constitute outward evidence of; to display clearly

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Have Returned... Maybe

So, it's obvious to the both of you reading this that I'm kinda back.  Don't know if I'll stay, but I'm enjoying sharing my thoughts again.  Maybe I won't rant and rave like I used, but that's okay.  That shit consumes too much energy, anyway.  And it just riles me up.  Plus, particularly in the contemporary climate, nobody really cares what anyone else has to complain about.  Most people just want to troll.  Too few actually want to engage in debate.

Of course, I'll still be posting opinions and reviews... that won't change.  But I think I'm going to turn this into more of a journal.

I dunno.  Maybe.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: Road to Purgatory

This is an interesting one.

First published in 2004, Road to Purgatory is neither a sequel to the novel Road to Perdition, or the film Road to Perdition.  Rather, it's a sequel to the graphic novel which, as Road to Purgatory has ceremoniously reminded me, is quite a bit different than the movie.

In this book, Micheal O'Sullivan, Jr., has been adopted by Sicilian restaurateurs and goes by the name of Michael Satariano.  Returning from the early days of American involvement in World War II, Michael is given the chance (via Eliot Ness) for revenge against Capone for the murder of his father.  Long story short, Michael goes undercover in the mob and adventures ensue.

Let me just state that I like this book.  It would probably make an interesting movie (although much would need to be changed to be a proper sequel to Road to Perdition) and would make an excellent graphic novel.  Truth be told, I wish this would've been a graphic novel, as a lot of the feats of the characters seem pulled straight out of comic books.  Michael is just a little too much of a super soldier.  He's just a little too good a lover.  He's just a little too smart for his own good.  Indeed, most of the violence reads like video game cut-scenes.  For a novel, and one based on actual historical people and events as much as possible, the suspension of disbelief required was just too much.  Were this a graphic novel, it would've been fantastic (but I think I said that already).

Anyway, despite some of the more comic elements, I really do like how author Max Allan Collins fits the story in with real history (and even, I understand, other stories in his literary catalog).  The section dealing with the Army seems a little hokey, and there are a couple of errors in military accuracy, but it works as a setup for the most part.  All that out of the way, many of the plot twists and devices are very deux ex machina, convenient for their convenience and not altogether convincing.  Sure, many of them are - again - real events from history, but Collins seems to hide behind that fact, rather than embracing it for the narrative.

Oddly enough, the most insincere character in the novel is the one he created: Michael Satariano.

Rating: 9 - (Style: 3 stars; Story: 3 stars)

It just wasn't as engaging as its predecessor (in any form).  A few too many typos... although I noticed that in Road to Perdition, too.  I'm going to guess that there will be some noticeable editing mistakes in Road to Paradise, as well.

Things I Learned:
  1. New word: gabardine - a firm hard-finish durable fabric (as of wool or rayon) twilled with diagonal ribs on the right side; a garment of gabardine
  2. porkpie hat - I guess I just never knew those were called "porkpie hats."
  3. "Kidding on the square" - an old, rarely used phrase meaning "joking, but not joking."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Good Morning, You Old Bastards

Just sharing another photo from my Instagram.

Morning, June 9.  I had been sleeping soundly, then Sagremor decided to knead my chest. I'm pretty sure Starbuck was farting and burping.  I guess they wanted to be let outside.

Well, good goddamned morning to you, too.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: Silent Witnesses

I love forensic science.  It is another one of those sciences I'm obsessed with that I don't know shit about, but read about voraciously in the hopes that something sticks in my increasingly malleable brain.

Back up for a moment.

I'm on a script deadline for a film called The Hand That Feeds You.  Without giving anything away, its premise involves a rather grotesque crime scene.  My original deadline was May 14, 2017.  I missed it.  The extended deadline was May 21, 2017.  I missed that one, too.  Truth be told, I still haven't turned the damned thing in, and the only reason I haven't been removed as the writer is because the producer is busy on another film at the moment.

But... that situation ain't going to last forever, so I decided to try to inspire myself by reading a true crime book.  After sifting through some recommendations, I chose Nigel McCrery's Silent Witnesses: The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science.

Now, I can't rightfully claim this book inspired me at all, but I can rightfully claim that I enjoyed reading it quite a bit.  It is a plainly written, easily digestible, and often entertaining journey through the history of forensics.  Rather than simply iterating methodology and who discovered what, McCrery takes you through the criminal cases and lets the narrative reveal the methods and the players.

As a former British cop and mystery novelist, McCrery's ability to educate while entertaining is very competent.

That stated, there's not as much detail as I would have liked regarding the actual "science" portion of these stories of forensic science.  The book is more of a philosophical outlook of the field, basically exploring more why the field is so important, how it's implemented in society, and what it can do.  Had there been more nitty-gritty (granted, the crimes themselves were very well explained), I'd have no hesitation in recommending this as a "go to" book for forensics aficionados.

Still, if you have any interest in forensics at all, give it a whirl.  It's a fun read, at the very least, and despite some typos (I can recall at least two, but it seems like there are more) is a professional presentation.  I may even wind up acquiring some of McCrery's fiction, as even this book made me laugh out loud a number of times.

Rating: 12 - (Style: 4 stars; Substance: 3 stars)

I'm also going to add a feature called "things I learned from" movies and books that I review.  These will be things I learned that aren't obvious in the subject matter of the book (for instance, I learned a lot about the history of forensics in this book, but... no shit, right?).

Things I Learned:
  1. New word: inveigle - to win over by wiles; to acquire by ingenuity or flattery
  2. Another term for "railroad tie" is "railway sleeper."
  3. A "curé" is a small rural town priest (one of my French tutors happily pointed this one out for me).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: Road to Perdition

So, first off, for those who don't know, Road to Perdition is my favorite movie of all time.  Near-perfect, in my opinion.  Its flaws are so minor, one must nitpick to expose them, and most won't even bother.  It is not a film designed to make you feel good, however, which (at least partially) explains why it's not a more popular film than it is.

That stated, it's the best movie ever.  I even wrote a term paper about it in film school.  Because I'm smart.

Anyway, after having seen the film multiple times, I acquired the original graphic novel by Max Allan Collins, a pulp/private eye writer of some note, whose work I had never read.  I was surprised by just how different the graphic novel is to the film (especially in regard to exactly how far the "road" actually was, and to the depiction and ultimate fate of Michael, Jr.).  In the end, though I quite like the source material, the movie remains the superior narrative.

This was all at least ten years ago.  Probably closer to fifteen, but who's counting?

Fast forward to 2017.  As I'm shopping Amazon for something (probably more books), the inevitable "Amazon recommendations" pop up, and I'm quite intrigued by one in particular: a book sequel to Road to Perdition called Road to Purgatory.

I was like, "Whaaaaat?"

I went down the rabbit hole of clicks and learned that there was a second novel adaptation of the movie, and two novel sequels to the graphic novel version of Road to Perdition (How does one annotate a graphic novel?  Underline?  Italics?  Remind me to look that up later.): the aforementioned Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise.

And as it just so happened, Brash Books had published the updated adaptation (Collins had wanted to properly adapt the story in novel format -  the original was simply a novelization of the film - and Dreamworks finally let him) and had reprinted the first sequel, with the second sequel scheduled for the end of May, 2017 (a fact I only discovered a couple of days ago, at which point I promptly ordered my copy).

So I read it.

It's good.  It's not great, and it certainly takes getting used to Collins' comma-happy, run-on runs-on run-ons, but it's good.  Stylistically, he chose a weird pairing of diary type entries at the beginning of each chapter (from the perspective of Michael, Jr.) and traditional prose (albeit with run-on sentences form Hell) for the remainder of the book.  This also took some getting used to, but once I was about halfway through the book, I didn't really mind it.

There are some added moments for the main characters from the film, as well as some new supporting characters (some of which appear in the film's deleted scenes) that help to add color to the narrative and ground the story in reality.

But, despite Road to Perdition topping my favorite films list, Road to Perdition doesn't come anywhere near my favorite books list.  I'm doubting it even sits in my top 100.  Granted, I used to read a lot, so maybe that's not such a big deal.

Anyway, if you like the movie and/or the graphic novel, and are interested in the further adventures of Michael, Jr., it's worth a read.  I am, I'll admit, anxious to read Road to Purgatory, but I have to read a history of forensics first (for work and all that boring shit).

For those interested, there are apparently several comic book sequels to the original graphic novel, as well.  I have not read any of them, however, though I hope to in the near future.

I'm going to give Road to Perdition 3 stars (out of 5) for style, and 4 stars for story.  That's an Irre(x2) Aggregate of 12 (I'll explain later).

I should really get graphics made.

Ooh!

Edit: Adjusted the star ratings to reflect my brand-spanking-new rating system.  I'll explain that shit in a later post. :)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fearless Preduction: The Alien Franchise

Anybody who knows me by now knows how much I loathe Alien: Covenant.  Lazy-ass storytelling, that one.  I mentioned in a blog post a few days ago that I am enjoying the ass-whooping Alien: Covenant is taking at the box office.

Seriously.  Fuck that movie.

Anyway, from analyzing the box office numbers, one thing became clear to me: 20th Century Fox is going to remove Ridley Scott from the director's chair.  And the studio is going to do that in one of two ways.

Option #1: Assign a production executive who will tighten the reigns on Ridley Scott, who clearly has forgotten how to build tension, suspense, and appropriately scare anybody.

Option #2: Fire Ridley Scott.

But, as my director of "Dog," "Go Tell It on the Molehill," and "Ananas Comosus" pointed out, option #1 is effectively option #2, because option #1 will likely cause Ridley Scott to quit the franchise.

Fine.  Let it happen.

That is my prediction.

But...

For those who follow the Alien franchise, they will remember that Neill Blomkamp had developed an "Alien 5" that would have starred Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn (as "Ripley" and "Hicks," respectively).  Not only that, this "Alien 5" would have been a soft reboot, ignoring the events of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection.

If my prediction comes true, then I will automatically predict that Blomkamp's movie gets the green light.

Whatever happens with Blomkamp's project, let's hope that Ridley Scott never directs another Alien franchise movie again.

Hell, I'd be happy letting him finish his Prometheus trilogy, as long as they re-distance it from the Alien franchise as much as possible.

But don't let him touch the xenomorph every again.  He's already completely ruined it.  It's no wonder they gave the sequel to Blade Runner to someone else.

Friday, June 2, 2017

What I'm Up To: A Random Walk Through JeffScape's Randomness

I'm bored, so I'm just gonna mention stuff.  I've probably mentioned some of this stuff before, but I don't care.  And if you've followed me for a while (all three of you), you probably know that I don't care.

So, hmm... what's subjectively interesting in my life...

Well, I had a script deadline on May 14th.  I missed it.  Luckily, there was an option to extend the deadline to May 21st.  I missed that one, too.  Truth be told, I still haven't turned it in.  There's a good chance I'm going to get fired.  But... I don't care.

I don't know why I don't care.  I just don't.  The script in question is for a project that has been an exercise in insanity for years now.  Literally.  Years.  I think we need to inject some new talent into the writing process (I am currently the third writer on it), although the film's investors are hesitant to pay another writer.

Truth be told... oh, wait... I used that phrase already.  Let me think of another...

Nope, got nothing.  Moving on!

I recently lost 30 pounds.  A full on fucking 30 pounds.  I weighed 208 just last October.  By the end of January, I was 178.

Fucking crazy.

Went to this the other night:

L to R: Marti Nixon, Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, J.J. Abrams, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jimmi Simpson

Was pretty cool.  First time to the Television Academy.  Two of my friends have minor roles on the show (one of whom might be returning for season 2), and I worked with Angela Sarafyan ("Charlotte Pennyfeather") on a couple of movies years ago, so there's some icing on the cake when I watch Westworld.

I'm co-writing a short film about two combat veteran Teddy bears.  It's for a competition.  Wish me luck.

One of my cats is sick, but his meds are working.  It's weird watching him play around, knowing that he's probably dying.  As I type this, he's in the backyard, asleep among the grass.  Such a wonderful cat.  Both of my cats are wonderful cats.

I found out a week or so ago that I've had my dog one less year than I thought I had him.  I got him in 2005, apparently.  So, unless I wrote the wrong information down (which is possible), he's likely only going to be 13 this year.  I thought he was 14.

I hated (HATED) Alien: Covenant.

I quite liked Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.

Speaking of Marvel, one of my friends is one of the leads in Marvel's The Inhumans that comes out this fall.  You should watch it.  Even if it sucks.  He needs the work.

That's him on the far left.  Eme.  We fight all the time, but I taught him how to shoot, so he loves me.

They got the costumes aaaaaaaalmost right.

I'm thinking about going to back to school.  Los Angeles Valley College has a two-year degree in Earth Science that I want.  California State University Northridge has the Master's I want, but I figured it would be better to do another Bachelor's first.  Besides, I have my eye on anywhere from three to six minors.

I love school.  What can I say?

And I'm still targeting a PhD by the time I'm 50.  Depends on how this ol' career of mine goes.

Anyway, you're probably bored of me by now.

I'll continue that Short Pajamas story soon.

Time for wine.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Brief, Drunken Story of Short Pajamas, Part 2

*Continued from Part 1

***

Okay, so where was I?

Oh, yes... we made this movie:




... and then we started this production company:


... and then shit got real.

By August of 2013, Horizon Axis, LLC was a thing.  The first short film made under the banner was called "Sweethearts," even though it wasn't our film and I was just producing it.  Later that year, we provided insurance and consulting services for another short film ("Let's Play a Game").

Basically, despite not actually having made a movie in 2013, we had two more movies attributed to Horizon Axis (specifically to Short Pajamas, but whatever).

Now, back up a bit... in either very late 2012 or very early 2013 (I'm guessing very early 2013), this wannabe actor came to pitch me a project.  As the "project" was basically him asking us to film him do a scene from Ally McBeal with some young actress he wanted to fuck, I turned him down.  But, I offered an alternative: I'll adapt one of my short stories with a similar tone, and we'll film that instead.  This was called "Go Tell It on the Molehill."

Somewhere along the way, an actor who was supposed to be in "Dog" (but I fired him), came to me asking to get a project setup.  It was to involve him, his girlfriend, and his best friend.  So, I offered a project: Adapting one of my short stories with characters appropriate for the actors.  This was called "Straight Heat."

Given the available resources, we decided to prep these two projects together and call in every favor we could to make them for cheap.  Target was Fall/Winter of 2013.

Now, back up a bit again... either very late 2012 or very early 2013... I'm dating that French girl and she asks me to write her a monologue that will kick some ass for her acting class.  So, I did (of course... duh).  That monologue was about the US Army's first female Ranger platoon leader, and it was called "Gloriana."

For whatever reasons (and some of them deserve stories of their own... ask me later about the actor who couldn't make schedule because he had to fly home to be an usher in a wedding... AN USHER!)... for whatever reasons, we couldn't film these shorts in 2013.

So, in a very real way, "Sweethearts" and "Let's Play a Game" saved Short Pajamas (and Horizon Axis) from dying a premature death.

Anyway...

While everything in the world is going on, I'm staring at "Gloriana" and thinking that it would rock in the hands of a really good actress.  I let a ton of actresses read it, get notes, improve it a bit, yada yada (I would later learn that the French girl interpreted me allowing other women to read the monologue as a slap to the face... like... I think I learned that in 2016.  Maybe 2015).  It does its rounds and does its thing.

Now, while that's going on, we're trying to get the second of the original eight Short Pajamas scripts off the ground... "Lights & Angels."  The script isn't quite there, we're burning through attached directors... it's just not happening.

I announce an open directing position after the most recent director leaves in a rather spectacular fashion (translation: nervous breakdown... she was actually cast in "Go Tell It on the Molehill," having replaced the original actress, and was a castmember in a webseries we almost got wide distribution for... but those, too, are other stories).  Anyway... open directing position, two finalists (both women), and one of their presentations just blew the other one out of the water.  It was a no-brainer.

Development on "Lights & Angels" begins anew, even as I'm trying to figure out all of this shit with "Go Tell It on the Molehill" and "Straight Heat."

And then something crazy happens... one of the actresses who read "Gloriana" offers $7500 to get the film made.  She needs it for her acting reel and thought it rocked (which it does, of course... I wrote it, right?).

The game changes again for Short Pajamas.

And that's where this story continues.

I'm drinking Barefoot Merlot, however, so it's not going to end today.  Back soon.  All apologies for the brevity.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments.

*To be continued...