Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dexter Script Update #8 - A Night In The Process


Saturday, August 11th I decided to write several scenes and tweet some photos of my progress. Below are the tweets.

Sorry there wasn't more info, but it is the Internet AKA the WORLD WIDE web. 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dexter Script Update #7 - The Tools


No not tools like Dexter. I do in depth  research on my scripts, but not THAT MUCH depth. LOL

Dexter and his tools

Below is a picture of my “screenwriting folder”

Like I said in previous Dexter Script updates, I do in depth research on my scripts and still very much of it is paper, even though I try to minimize that now as much as I can. Pretty much since I was in college I’ve been using that folder to keep all of my paper research. Sort of like a ritual for me that I plan to keep up as much as I can. LOL

I’ve also used a voice recorder since college too. While rewatching Season Two I took lots of audio notes and below is my tweet about it.

Before smart phones I was using it and it’s still useful. Writing is done mostly in your head as you are thinking about…anything. Often times I might be watching the news or a movie or television show and an idea might HIT me.  Instead of finding a pen and paper I record it.

These are just some of the tools, besides a computer of course, that I use to write scripts. 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Sneaky New Marketing Tools in Hollywood

Surprise! The New, Sneaky Ways That Stars Are Promoting Products

Friday, August 17, 2012

What I Really Thought of 'Game of Thrones' Season 2

Many people online have said that Season Two isn’t as good as the first one…well I’ll join that chorus, it’s not.

It was ok, but it seemed like a lot of double dealing that went NOWHERE. The one bright spot was MORE TYRION.

Tyrion Lannister played by the great Peter Dinklage (pictured above) had more to do and that was great!

Even though Arya Stark is one of my favs, expertly played by Maisie Williams (pictured above) her storyline seemed middling too. I’m like every week is she gonna get caught? Which was the point, but I felt that her “undercover work” went on too long. It too seemed to go nowhere. 

The rest of the Stark kids were cool. Someone who was not really on the radar in Season One really stepped it up in Season Two and that was Robb Stark. Who knew he such a master warmonger. Even though we didn’t see any of them (I understand budget constraints) Robb was winning battle after battle.

I really liked Jon Snow in Season One, but again he seemed middling in Season Two.

Joffrey Baratheon, the King, is a wicked, twisted little bastard, as excellently played by Jack Gleeson (pictured above). He is young and naïve and I surmise all the young kings from actual history actually were. I hope they weren’t as big an asshole as Joffrey, but the immaturity of youth with that much power can’t be a good combination.

Daenerys and one of her dragons
Lastly I must mention the whole Daenerys Targaryen or as she is called the Khaleesi, stuff. Daenerys and her damned dragons. Ugh. I assume the dragons play a huge part in later seasons and such, but at this point I could give a damn.

Emilia Clark in makeup as Daenerys (right) and not (left)
The actor Emilia Clarke does a well enough job, but I don’t think she projects the strength, fortitude and gravitas the role seems to require. I wasn’t a fan of the Khaleesi even in Season One.

As in Season One the penultimate episode of the season, Season 2’s “Blackwater” was the best. It finally showed a major battle and gave Tyrion a chance to shine.
Tyrion in "Blackwater"
If I didn’t mention anyone else from Season 2 they probably weren’t a real factor to me. The whole season seemed like one big long setup for events that I assume will play out in later seasons. The Season 2 Finale ending was intriguing, but was more of a shrug to me. Hopefully Season Three will pay off a lot of the storylines presented in Season Two.

The Rights Stuff

I love to read about the business of show business. Below is an article depicting who has the rights to tell certain stories, specifically Marvel stories.

'Daredevil' falling back to Marvel
No extension for Fox; Carnahan's take 'up in smoke'
By Rachel Abrams, Variety

With its extension request rejected, 20th Century Fox will have no choice but to allow the rights to "Daredevil" to go back to Marvel, marking the second major character to revert back to the superhero shingle since Disney bought it in 2009.

Under the current terms of the agreement, Fox has to put the pic into production by Oct. 10. But late Monday night, Joe Carnahan, Fox's pick to direct the film, indicated that the actioner wasn't happening at the studio.

"Think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids," Carnahan tweeted, followed by "We shall see. Time is NOT on anyone's side."

Marvel will regain control of the character sometime after the October deadline passes, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Punisher, which had been at Lionsgate, marked the first character to revert to Marvel since its 2009 sale to Disney. The Mouse House cannot exploit characters including Spider-Man, Venom, Ghost Rider, the X-Men, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, Elektra and Deadpool because the those characters were already licensed to other studios. Rights-holders that can prove films are in active development retain those rights in perpetuity.

Marvel began fully financing its own slate of projects in 2005, beginning with "The Incredible Hulk" and "Iron Man." Before that, Marvel licensed its characters out to other studios, with vampire hunter Blade the first to get the bigscreen treatment by New Line in 1998.

Marvel licensed Spider-Man to Sony in 1999, while Thor had once been set up at Sony before Paramount picked up the rights in 2006.

As John Couture at VideoETA points out "The studios that option these rights own them in perpetuity as long as they prove that they have a film in production every so many years. This is the primary reason that Sony rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man, so that the rights to the character would not revert back to Marvel."

"As proof of concept (and awesomeness) Carnahan turned to Twitter and YouTube to show off two sizzle reels that he created. (For Daredevil) They are both very similar, but the NC-17 version contains a lot more violence and really shows the dark places Carnahan was set to take this character." Read the full VideoETA with VIDEO here

Even though Joe Carnahan is not going to make the picture with Fox he didn't develop the picture for free. I'm sure he got a nice "development deal" sum to develop the Daredevil picture. I don't have any citation to back that up, but those type of deals are "par the course" in the Hollywood. Of course they hope your work is realized, but if it doesn't you still get paid.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dexter Script Update # 6 - The Write Path

Actually wrote some of the Dexter Script tonight and that's why I actually started WRITING instead of taking notes and thinking about it.

As I was writing I thought of a new plot beat. In writing you can't preplan everything, you have to sometimes write where the characters take you and that’s when you find the “write” path.

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Dexter Script Update #5 - In The Interim


Yesterday I finished rewatching Dexter Season Two and even though I've seen it before it was STILL great.

After seeing the first five seasons of Dexter, Season Two is my favorite and that's why I chose to place the plot of my spec teleplay AFTER Season Two and BEFORE Season Three which ironically is my least favorite.

I plan on following up on certain innocuous plot threads from Season Two and use them as a character beats in my "DexterScript".
Scene from Dexter Season Two
I chose to set the events of my episode in this Season Two/Season Three interim because I think that's when Dexter was still at his most "inhuman" and he wasn't encumbered by his personal relationships that developed over later seasons. I also think it’s cool to write my own small sequel to my favorite season.

Click the graphic below to see all of the 

Read what I said about Dexter's first five seasons here

Cool Trivia About 'Dog Day Afternoon' or Why Al Pacino is So Awesome!

Last weekend was the first time I'd ever seen Dog Day Afternoon (Don't judge me!) and this is what I said after viewing it.

#nfotd #DogDayAfternoon was excellent! The classic everyone says it is! Great
direction by SIDNEY LUMET & excellent performances by the WHOLE cast with
another especially outstanding performance by the one and only AL PACINO

Also my usual modus operandi after I see a movie I like is to read more about it on Wikipedia and IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) Below is some of the trivia I found about Dog Day Afternoon and on some my comments in red.
The original working title was "Boys in the Bank." Director Sidney Lumet hated it because he thought it made the film appear to be a "light, fluffy comedy," and he had it changed to "Dog Day Afternoon." I think that was the right move! That original title did make it seem like a "light, fluffy comedy"
The entire film is mostly improvised, though around the script. After rehearsing the script for weeks with his cast, Sidney Lumet took the improvisations that were made while rehearsing and made that the official screenplay. Excellent choice by Lumet. Really lent itself to the spirit of the picture.
Director of photography Victor J. Kemper stuck with practical lighting for most of the film, relying on the fluorescents inside the bank. Too cool! Great choice and it lent the proper aesthetic to those scenes.
Although he had initially agreed to play the part of Sonny, Al Pacino told Sidney Lumet near the start of production that he couldn't play it. Pacino had just completed production on "The Godfather: Part II" and was physically exhausted and depressed after the shoot. With his reliance on the Method, Pacino didn't relish the thought of working himself up to a state of near hysteria every day. Lumet unhappily accepted the actor's decision and dispatched the script to Dustin Hoffman. Pacino changed his mind when he heard that his rival was in the fray. An example of true artistic dedication. In hip-hop lingo he goes H*A*M.
Halfway through the production, Al Pacino collapsed from exhaustion and had to be hospitalized for a short time. After production was completed, he decided to stop doing films for a while and return to stage work. Again, dedication!
John Cazale was cast at Al Pacino's insistence, despite being nowhere the age of the real Sal, who was 18 at the time. Sidney Lumet was opposed to the idea because the actor was clearly inappropriate for the part. However, when Cazale came in to read for the part, Lumet was sold on him within 5 minutes. Another reason why Al Pacino is so awesome!
John Cazale in Dog Day Afternoon

Again I thought this was an excellent choice. I had only seen Cazale as “Fredo” in the Godfather pictures and while clearly an actor it was good to see this other side of his acting talent. Cazale’s “Sal” was brooding and menacing a 180 degree turn and clear departure from the inept Fredo.
John Cazale in The Godfather Part II
 “During his six-year film career, he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter. He is the only actor to have this multi-film distinction.”-Wikipedia
 Dying of Cancer just three short years after 'Dog Day', it was good to see another aspect of a fantastic actor.

For the lengthy phone conversation between Sonny and Leon - largely improvised by Al Pacino and Chris Sarandon - director Sidney Lumet was faced with the problem of what to do when the film in the camera ran out as it was only good for 10 minutes worth of film. He solved that problem by starting a second camera up just as the first was due to finish.
Chris Sarandon in Dog Day Afternoon
Sidney Lumet made Al Pacino do the phone conversation with Leon a second time even though his first take was perfect. Lumet's reasoning was because he saw how much the scene took out of his actor and he wanted Pacino to look exhausted, as the character had been holed up in a bank, and a highly stressful situation, all day. I didn't even recognize Chris Sarandon in this. Excellent performance! He was a damn mess! That phone conversation was one of the great scenes in the picture. So beautifully acted.
Frank Pierson wrote the screenplay. At one point Al Pacino's character says to one of the bank tellers, "Get your mind right." The same line was constantly used throughout "Cool Hand Luke", a movie also written by Pierson. I always thought "get your mind right" had its etymology in the black community. LOL
The production shoot lasted 7 weeks with crews and cast working day and night. Due to director Sidney Lumet's speedy style of working, the film was completed 3 weeks ahead of schedule. An attribute to a great director!

In the end one of the great things I liked about this picture’s great direction was that it was just that—great direction. No fancy fast cuts or wildly revolving camera angles. I don’t even think it had dolly shots and such that I can think of and if it did it was kept to a minimum. Again bang-up directing job by Sidney Lumet, but ultimately the success of this picture was…

External Link
You can read more IMDb Trivia: Dog Day Afternoon @

Dexter Script Update #4 - No Breaks


I realized this morning that Dexter is my first teleplay that I've written, and there have been many, that is NOT a network show, meaning I don't have to worry about commercial breaks.

When you write a spec teleplay for network television you must keep in mind "mini cliffhangers" to keep the viewer coming back after the commercial break. For instance on an episode of Law & Order the suspect is usually finally arrested after a lot of evidence has been gathered. "You have the right to remain silent..." commercial break...then you see the further development of the case.

For Dexter none of that matters as it's for cable television and runs straight through for 50 minutes or so (commercial television only allows for a 44 minute episode).

There must still be the usual plot points and story beats, but I find the freedom of writing a teleplay without the constraints of commercial break dictated mini cliffhangers refreshing.

Click the graphic below to see all of the