February 20, 2011

What if?


I love playing the "what if?" game. I think that's why I like to write as much as I do (and why I like my day job in marketing). Just for laughs, Sunday AM, grab your coffee, a notepad and a paper (or your laptop if you think print is yesterday's news) and start going through it.

I just saw three headlines that caught my attention since I started writing this (I'm a multi-tasker, sue me).

One of those: Scientists just did a census of the night sky and determined there are 50 billion planets in our galaxy.
  • What if two buddies went on a road trip to the 1,235 estimated to contain some form of life.
  • What if one night, you went outside and everything in the sky, including the moon, was gone?
Each of those two options, could then lead to other questions. Write them down. Most will be dead ends or pedantic.

But, what if, among all the bad ideas, there were something original and worth telling?

January 12, 2011

Snow is falling outside right now. The house is quiet. I should be going to bed. But I got it stuck in my head--this poem I remember reading in college. I couldn't remember the whole thing, just that it was moving. It's short, but packs all the punch of good cinema. You get a sense of place, tone and theme. You get an establishing shot and action. And like Aristotle would want, you get a 3-act structure--beginning, middle, end. Damn, this is tight.

FIRST SNOW IN ALSACE
Richard Wilbur

The snow came down last night like moths
Burned on the moon; it fell till dawn,
Covered the town with simple cloths.

Absolute snow lies rumpled on
What shellbursts scattered and deranged,
Entangled railings, crevassed lawn.

As if it did not know they'd changed,
Snow smoothly clasps the roofs of homes
Fear-gutted, trustless and estranged.

The ration stacks are milky domes;
Across the ammunition pile
The snow has climbed in sparkling combs.

You think: beyond the town a mile
Or two, this snowfall fills the eyes
Of soldiers dead a little while.

Persons and persons in disguise,
Walking the new air white and fine,
Trade glances quick with shared surprise.

At children's windows, heaped, benign,
As always, winter shines the most,
And frost makes marvelous designs.

The night guard coming from his post,
Ten first-snows back in thought, walks slow
And warms him with a boyish boast:

He was the first to see the snow.

January 09, 2011

Re-boot


Sometimes you go long enough without doing something. Then you remember that at one time you enjoyed it and want to get back to it. But where to begin? What's the momentous thing worth spending a few minutes writing and posting?

I'm not sure.

But I figure I reboot. Put some words down, maybe halting and pointless at first, and keep going until the road makes itself clear.

So today I reboot on this blog. My goal is to post at least once a week, more if I've got more to say.

More importantly, I'm rebooting my latest script. After a certain amount of refinement, I realized I'd written myself into a corner. Blame it on a weak outline. I started a new outline over the holidays and am hitting the reboot button on the script. Goal on that is to have the finished draft complete by end of February.

Time to go.


May 09, 2010

Jazz Fest 2010


DSC_0050
Originally uploaded by Sally Asher
One of the first acts we saw was the Steep Canyon Rangers. Very entertaining, for a variety of reasons.

January 11, 2010

Been There, Done That


Here's three blurbs from IMDB; see if you can name the movie:
  • In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
  • Post-apocalyptic America. What begins as a con game becomes one man's quest to rebuild civilization by resuming postal service.
  • A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.
Stories of the loner sacrificing the comfort he knows, even his life, to save humanity go back at least as far as the New Testament. Or, in other cultures, from when Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man.

No, this isn't a rant at Hollywood's lack of originality--let's face it; it's show BUSINESS, and we consumers crave the familiar. If we didn't go see them, they wouldn't keep making them. Plus, I've heard that children ask for the same story at bedtime every night for weeks at a time, and that this helps build synaptic connections as they grow.

And major stars like Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner and Denzel Washington want to play the guy who makes that ultimate sacrifice. Hell, Kevin Costner did it twice (WATERWORLD), three times if you count DANCES WITH WOLVES. Will Smith did it with I AM LEGION.

But the coolest example is when Pixar turned the tables and used a cute lil' robot as our hero yearning to make a connection (WALL*E).

I just wish the future didn't always looks so damn bleak.



p.s. The blurbs above: the first is for MAD MAX: ROAD WARRIOR (1981). The second is for THE POSTMAN (1997). The third: THE BOOK OF ELI (2010).