Category: Legend of the Cursed Angel


MICHAEL-AND-JANET-JACKSON-1983-michael-and-janet-jackson-24414047-775-517

Thought my mind would want a break in between finishing my first pilot and moving on to writing the feature.

Nope!  When the creative juices are flowing, gotta let em flow.

Wrote my first fight sequence to this, haven’t seen it used in anything yet.

Hmm…

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Michael-B-Jordan-Spirit-Awards-2014

I stand corrected.

The past month or so as I’ve taken on…you know, I can’t even tell you off the top of my head how many projects I’m simultaneously working on, on some level right now.  But as a lot of golden opportunities all hit me at once (because that’s the way it has to be right?), I’ve been telling my various friends and allies this is going to be one of my ‘burn out summers’.

He’ll never let me live this down, but way back in the day, I told my roommate at the time I was ‘married to work’.  And as always, at the time I said it, I was completely sincere with the statement.  My work and my dream were the only two things I was really passionate about.  Like a lot of other people, he advised me to build a more three dimensional life for myself, but in my supremely hard headed way, I’m pretty sure my response was ‘Yeah whatever.’

I won’t give him the satisfaction of telling him he’s right, but what is true is that if all you do is fuck around, you better be ready to live with the repercussions of that.  If you go around, lying to people all the time, you better be ready when that bill eventually comes due.  And it’s not always said out loud, but, if you work all the time…yeah there is a steep price for that, that is not necessarily attractive.

So I can’t tell you how or when it happened exactly, but at some point along the way, the lesson did sink in, and I prioritized my personal life.  If I wasn’t completely sure why I was talking to you, I started questioning myself and probably stopped (insert ex-girlfriend joke here).  I think my natural instinct of 10 percent talking/90 percent listening really served me well here, because if I wanted to hang out/get a bite to eat/date/catch a movie, I’d ask, and then I’d just sit back and let my people tell me about what’s going on in their lives and be completely content just having some human interaction to break up staring at a script or a computer screen for hours on end.

So where’s this rambling going you ask?  Well to bring it all home, the Lady In My Life rewrite pretty much got locked up this weekend with a lot of time to spare, and whereas in the past I would have immediately picked up the next project on my to do list, this weekend I went out.  Not all night, but long enough to get out of my own head for an hour or so.  And when I got home Saturday night, I was lying in bed, and a bunch of little ‘not fully fleshed out ideas’ merged into what I think would be one HELL of a sitcom pitch down the line.

So to my friends and family, while the majority of my life right now is not dedicated to ‘the fun stuff’, I will backtrack and say that I will get out and hang out enough to not completely stress myself out.

And on that note, have a good week!

 

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As I told a friend last night, this is shaping up to be a ‘burn out’ summer for me.  The script for Lady is progressing nicely, there’s a grant I think I can pull off to finance Angel (wouldn’t that be nice?); now there’s a new opportunity on the horizon which meant today was spent writing another of my long gestating ideas into a one off webisode; for things I don’t write I’m helping one of my LA fam put his short together, and there’s a ‘dream project’ that of course I can’t go into detail about at this moment, but I may start doing some ‘ghost’ work on that this week.

This guy is not lacking for opportunity to express himself creatively right now.

As I’m in full scale comedy mode right now, let’s start the week with a 1st ballot Hall of Famer from one of my favorite comedies of all time.  I remember like it was yesterday, literally being on the floor laughing for 5 minutes when the punchline of this scene kicked in.  So, if you’d like to learn:

1. How to use music to set up your joke (or scene in general),

2. How to slow build your setup,

3. How having too many resources may be restricting you from the most clever ideas,

4. How to just be completely silly,

I present Exhibit A.

Have a good week!

 

 

St-Louis-Cardinals-Dodger-Stadium

Things are moving in the right direction.

Everyone I’ve talked to so far about Angel wants to help and likes what I’m trying to do, which of course motivates me and makes me happy.  It’s so many moving parts to make it come out the way I want it to come out.  I’m the Captain on this ship though, so it all begins and ends with me.  Right now I’ve started the part, which truly, every creative person loves: getting warned and fussed at by my entertainment lawyer friends about things I need to take care of now or pay for later, sitting in two hour long meetings that go over contracts in specific detail.  Huzzah!  Has to be done though.

With the Lady rewrite, now that ‘the Writer’ is satisfied for the moment at where Angel stands, I can start banging out the pages there.  If that feature was a musical album, I only have two ‘songs’ I’m happy with right now. But we’re getting there.  We’re getting there.

Anyway, this weekend was the first absolutely gorgeous weekend of the spring in L.A., and that timed out perfectly with the Dodgers first home stand, so there’s one way to go song wise to start the week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Unmasked

“This city needs Bruce Wayne, your resources, your knowledge. It doesn’t need your body, or your life. That time has passed.”

I’m a week into the current chapter of my life.  I’ve been writing like a maniac all weekend.  Scripts, and letters of recommendation, and film reviews, and personal notes to people I love.  And I was done, then I turned the TV on, and Last Tango in Paris was on, so of course I got fired up and wrote some more.  And that was just the writing.  There’s text and phone calls lined up starting tomorrow, and game planning an indie shoot.  The life of an adult.

But, you know something?  As I’ve told my closest confidantes in detail (and to you in this top level way), I love it right now.  I enjoy being ‘old’.  On top of everything else, I finished remodeling my space so it feels less like the Batcave now and more like the first version of Aziz Manor.  Less movie posters, more pictures of my family and closest friends on the walls now.  The voiceover strides certainly are a part of it, but I’ve been spending more time talking (and sounding) like a college educated guy who’s been around the block and knows what he wants, and less like a take nothing seriously, non-conformist manchild (I’m both of course, but I think you get my point).

The rebel in me wouldn’t have it any other way I’m sure, but I am glad that with my life, people have generally stopped pressing me to chase things I didn’t want or into a life I didn’t want, and have allowed me to build something I like and then critique it from the inside and say ‘This could be better.’

And on that lovely note:

 

 

As this post is about me as a writer, let me do a solid to start.  If you’re a blog writer, screenwriter, joke writer, or a like minded member of our ilk, what’s the dreaded word no one wants to hear or be accused of?  Stealing.  There’s no foolproof method of course, but I recommend my friends at Grammarly to help out.  Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker online because every story has been told, and if you have a feeling the story you’re telling is destined for greatness, there’s a chance someone already beat you to it.

Now, what am I writing these days?

Well, the ‘indie’ project I’ve written is the latest version of my teenage, sci fi project ‘The Legend of the Cursed Angel’.  I’ve taken my Star Wars and refashioned it as a low budget webseries, with a stronger emphasis on every episode raising the stakes on ‘how does this end?’ and less emphasis on ‘planets exploding’ and other such nonsense it’s just completely impractical for me to pull off.  It’s a ‘movie star’ type part for yours truly, and when I figure out which way I want to go the other major part, I’ll at least get the pilot episode shot.  Science fiction, and movie star stuff, I know that doesn’t really scream ‘indie’ but as I joked about with one of my co-stars, when you’re name dropping Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal in your script, you’re not exactly screaming Hollywood either…

On the Hollywood side, I’m in the middle of my feature rewrite for ‘Lady In My Life’.  The ‘people’ like what I did in the last version fine, but my quest to be original broke way too many genre rules (damn System), so now it’s telling the story I want to tell in a form everyone can recognize while still doing it in a way that is so unique anyone who sees it will know it is ‘my voice’ and it stands out from the pack (welcome to the life of Hollywood screenwriting).  I’m already more than halfway there so that doesn’t really concern me; the other part of writing for ‘the Bank’ is the first thing ‘the Bank’ is going to do is envision who they can put in your story to make money.  In the last revision I did, I (of course) and Kerry were high school sweethearts who had a baby when we were teenagers, and now that kid (Michael B. Jordan) of course is about to be a man, and…Page 1.  And who would play the present day love interests?  Everyone who offered suggestions, I’m still digesting all of them: Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita, Alison Brie, Brie Larson, Emma Stone, Jurnee Smollett, Kerry, Beharie, Alba, Zooey.  And no, I’m not deliberately looking past the wife/mother character, she is the ‘Lady’; in the current version of the script though, I’ve framed it as a father/son story and how each reacts when given similar choices.  And if that framework sounds like it borrows from one of my favorite/greatest movies ever but using it in a more comic form…you may be on the right track there slugger.

So that’s what’s up with the nonstop writing so far in 2014.  When we progress into acting and/or directing, I’ll keep you posted.