I want to write and tell stories.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas from DownUnder

Well ‘tis the season to be jolly. What do we have to be jolly about? Lots. We’re still alive and kicking :)

I was watching something the other day with my son, and from this I fully realised the situation where one little letter can change the entire meaning of what you are attempting to get across to readers of your scripts. Exhibit A below:

Wag the Dog, written by Mamet, well-known political thriller. On IMDB this is the synopsis.
When the president of the United States is about to get caught in a sex scandal 14 days from the election it is time to create a war. Perception and reality, life and death all flow from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


Follow me……

As we…….


A ……

Solitary ……


You now get……..

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Tiny error, huge change. Just thought that was worth exploring, plus it allowed me to really practice those full stops.

Next I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Below are some individual thank you’s for various scribosphereans:

In no particular order....

1. Billy Mernit(The Sultan of Swoon): Congratulations on your book deal Billy, thank you for all your insightful writing over the last year. It is always entertaining, interesting and educational to read. Plus you post photos of JA, so really that is just cream on the cream.

2. Jessica Alba: For being Jessica Alba and accepting the lead in Billy Mernit’s adaptation of his novel. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Billy you did manage to write in more of those bikini scenes didn’t you?

3. Craig Mazin: Thanks for the articles on your site about the WGA etc. It gets any of us hopefuls thinking about where the fence post sits before we (hopefully ) become members. Also, thanks for the Artful Forum, especially the Ask a Pro section….amazing and fantastic!

4. Bill”Mad Pulp Bastard” Cunningham: For the rants and information throughout the year. Always educational and always fun. The way I look at it, if I use the tips to reduce costs in the shoot, then it leaves more money for the fun bits! Merry Xmas Bill! Hopefully that thing will come off( and I am not talking about a body part)

5. John Rogers: For being able to accurately record and explain middle America and other countries thoughts on the responsibilities of our leaders, even though not enshrined in law, certainly in morality and ethics. Well done!

6. John August: For the endless amount of information and guidance he provides, plus the Death Star quote for SUV. That has given me numerous laughs, my wife hates you though.

7. Alex Epstein: Crafty Alex, another book out about TV. His blog is also a must read. Always some good information coming through and he is always willing to give advice to schmucks like me.

8. Jane Espenson: Wow, just wow. Amazing addition to the scribosphere this year. Between Ken Levine and Jane, what else could someone like me ask for? (Yes, Jessica Alba, but that has to wait)

9. Dennis(Dead Things on Sticks): Bill’s sparing partner and I love the debates. Two passionate and informed gentlemen waging an old fashioned war of the words. Great stuff. They even agree sometimes.

10. Ken Levine: Like Jane E, Wow. We all know how much we love his blog. Nothing else to say except a big sincere thank you.

11. Mac: Little known Mac. Thanks for those Aussie newsletters. I appreciate the time you take on them. Even got a lead off one :) Hopefully I will have the DVD of my short in my hand in February some time.

12. Todd: A kindred spirit. Battling plotholes and crappy dialogue. We’ll make it! :)

13. Warren: Warren has been quiet this year, but I am always thankful for his amazing blog. All the best for the new year to him.

14. Patrick Rodio: Patrick has been gracious enough to share his success and lessons(no matter how painful they were)with us to show us how hard it is, but all it does is make us more hungry. Best of luck for all your ventures in the new year.

15. Ted Elliot and Terry Rosio for Wordplayer and all those great movies. Saying anything else is really a waste of the alphabet.

16. Maryan for Fencing with the Fog: While all us other wannabes are slacking off, Maryan keeps blogging with much more grace and clear thinking than I could ever muster with all the best drugs available. Always a pleasure to read her blog and I wish her all the success.

17. Clarkblog: Damn good read that I wish I could get to more often.

18. Red Right Hand-Mat: Fantastic TV blog Shawn has got there. I hope he goes far, his knowledge and passion shines through.

19. Shawna: a big thank you to Shawn for her continuing updates on what show’s are happening, etc. Helps immensely in sorting the wheat from the chaff when the winds blow the shows Downunder.

20. Charlie & Dave: The B Dudes. A charming saga this year to follow. The Siege may end, but other stories will rise to replace it I’m sure!

21. Phil Morton: Looking forward to receiving Phil’s CD, it will be great I’m sure. His blog has been very helpful to me over the past few years. Thanks for that Phil!

22. Lee Goldberg: Love Lee’s blog more so just for his sense of humour and interesting articles and stories he shares. I love how he does show how hard the work is though.

23. Josh Friedman: For making Snakes and sweatpants cool. No small feat. Thanks for the laughs Josh.

24. Scott the Reader: Fantastic blog that is a must read. Scott, for all the tips which are too large to recall, a huge thank you. I am truly looking forward to using his notes service.

25. Fun Joel: Another big thank you to Fun Joel for all his great posts this year. Another blog I read often.

26. Bill Martell: Bought Bill’s book on writing action movies earlier this year, and he has the same knack as Phil Morton. They can break down complex ideas into easily understood terms and processes. Great book, helped a lot, going to re-read soon. Thanks for your blog and daily tips Bill, invaluable!

27. Danny in the UK: Showing that a Pom has brains and is a top bloke as well. Best wishes for the next 12 months.

28. Ras: She has been on a great ride this year, and hopefully next year will be her special year where she cracks it. Thanks for sharing!

29. Let Me In – Sal: Another person sharing their amazing ride. Thanks for all the stories Sal, intriguing and thoroughly interesting. Best of luck for 2007.

30. Do Cats eat Bats: Steve, knocking on Hollywoods door with a few successes, fingers crossed 2007 is his year. Certainly deserves it, he has a sharp mind.

31. The Constipated Writer-JD: Battling through a self funded feature Generator, I hope it goes well for him.

32. Writer Gurl: Moving to LA soon, I don’t think she is there yet. Another sharp mind who I think will crack it one day. Best of luck Rose!

33. Assistant Atlas: The “Deep Throat” of Hollywood. Great fun read, and educational about the goings on of the bricks and mortar industries of Hollywood. Hope his new media plans pan out for him. Thanks for the stories Atlas.

34. How to Write Screenplays Badly: Bloody funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the laughs guys!

35. Development Hell: Christine, IT guru and screenwriting wiz. Thanks for sharing your processes and here’s to a great 2007!

36. Security Dog: You’ve dropped off the earth, but I hope you are well. Top bloke from all correspondence I had with him. Merry Christmas I hope you are having a great time wherever you have landed.

There are heaps more people I would like to thank, but running out of time to get this posted before Xmas eve. Be assured if I have left a comment on your blog I probably visit as often as I can and I am either entertained or educated. Not a bad deal, so thanks for that.

To all, I hope you have a great Xmas and a fantastic New Year, may your plot holes be small, studio notes non-existent and your budget huge.

Talk to you again soon.

PS I have no illusions that most of these people do not read this blog. Just my own way of publicly thanking them for their input into my education as a screenwriter. They are all valued.


At 2:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have Martell's little blue book, heck, little is an understatment in the knowledge that reeks from it... wait a sec, that's peppermint schnapps reeking off it right now, oh well, Merry Christmas my good man and best of luck in 2007 (Todd/Moviequill)

At 11:01 am, Blogger mernitman said...

Hey, I just caught up with this cool list. I thank you back and Jessica thanks you, I'm sure, if she ever knew of all this (we can dream, can't we?). Cheers!

At 7:22 am, Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Wish I'd seen this list in December!



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