I am feeling so blah today. It's been raining for what feels like a fortnight(how long is that>?) and my mind is fried. I did write another 9 pages(46 1/2!) of Generator last night. Speaking of which, it's becoming apparent I'm going to need an assistant to ...assist me with the gore effects. There are some brutal sequences I've staged in my script.
I watched Dario Argento's Inferno yesterday, and loved it, like I knew I would. Late last night, I watched the Criterion Collection of "Eyes Without a Face". Highly recommend both.
I joined Blockbuster online and have a queue of 20 horror movies coming my way. Since I'm writing horror, can't hurt to study, right? Katie on the other hand is starting to get a little nervous with my constant bellowing and laughing. And the constant sharpening of my knives...um...anyway.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/30/2005 03:06:00 PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I am at page 39 in my horror script GENERATOR. I should be at 44, but Final Draft had Courier New set as it's default, and I didn't have Final Draft Courier for some reason. So I had to download that and apply it to my script, which brought it from 29 to 25 pages, respectfully. That's a punch in the gut to witness.
But after that, I took up an old old habit-Outlining. And I have to say, it helped me deposit 12 pages in the bank tonight. But alas, I still have a ways to go. Getting to page 75 or 80 won't be bad. And that's fairly good time for an independent horror movie. And I'm filming it anyway, so I don't know why I keep justifying the length?! There's a lot of action that I can fudge the time with. I mean "He limps across the building, all the while glaring at his victim" takes a lot longer to show than to read. So I'm confident it'll be over 80 minutes when all is said and done.
I just have to keep running to the end. But in the second act, where is the end? I can't see it. Once I get out of the middle pages, it's a dash to the finish, and that's the part I love.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/29/2005 12:04:00 AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Added another 7 1/8 pages tonight to Generator. All is progressing faster than normal. In two days, 21 pages. I only plan on it being 80 or so pages. Since I plan on filming it myself, I'd like to keep it lean and mean. So far, there are only three locations . And I don't plan on adding anymore. A couple pages feel a little too light hearted, but then again, I haven't gotten to the brutally violent elements with these characters yet. Hopefully, when the atmosphere turns dark and terrorizing, the balance will be okay. I really am trying to avoid jokes, but I'm good at finding humor in the macabre. It's hard for me to resist the black humor. Act II will be here by Monday, I hope I'm prepared.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/26/2005 04:06:00 AM
Saturday, June 25, 2005
I wrote 12 pages of my horror script, Generator. Just finished now. Love how it's progressing. I'm not sure how the ending is going to go, but I have a feeling my characters do. Can't wait until they take over.
LISTEN TO: Tears For Fears- Who Killed Tangerine?
Team Sleep- Tomb Of Leigia
Pink Floyd-The Final Cut
David Bowie-We are the Dead
Divorce Italian Style
April Fool's Day
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/25/2005 03:27:00 AM
Friday, June 24, 2005
1. Any success is almost entirely in the hands of others.
2. You have more of a chance of being struck by lightning then selling a script.
3. Family thinks you're wasting your life, and you agree half the time.
4. Letting an individual read your script results in that person being the only one, including you, to see an obscure movie that is very similar to your script, and was made in 1952.
5. When writers block hits, you hate your very existence. When you are flying through pages, you hate your writing.
6. You go to a bar to collect your thoughts when the barkeep starts talking to a waitress about being in his "A robot witnesses a murder..."movie which is in pre-pro., and she accepts.
7. You realize that the big break you thought you were getting isn't all that important to your slow moving agent.
8. You read contest winning scripts and realize you could have won had you entered. You enter the next year and don't finish in the top 50%.
9. You move to L.A. half hoping an earthquake will take you down on the first day, ending your misery.
10. You know more about guns than a Montana militia.
11. You know what 'The Green Fairy" is, and it sounds appealing.
12. You have 6 scripts sitting in Act II, but you start a new one.
13. You get notes on a script which says, "Make it scarier". It is a comedy.
14. Another note reads " Great script, but we already have a Tooth Fairy goes on a rampage because someone stole her stash of gold teeth. PASS"
15. You request a brochure from the Chubb Institute 3 times a year.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/24/2005 11:58:00 PM
I watched Malevolence tonight. I enjoyed it. I really did. But there are some embarrassingly blatant homages..yes..that's it...homages, strewn throughout the movie. There are no less than 10 shots taken directly from Halloween. The killer is a carbon copy of Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13Th part 2. He wears a sack over his face. The killers home bears an incredible likeness to that of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Bones and all. Broken down cars on the property? Check. Bones hung in the shape of a person/monster? Check. The score is lifted from John Carpenter's B-sides. Complete with the same cues from Halloween. There are two scenes that are almost identical to Dr. Loomis(Donald Pleasence) scenes in Halloween. In fact the killer is just about a cross between the young Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. Director, Producer, Writer Steve Mena should be ashamed of himself...and proud. He has made a film that will constantly beat you over the head with its influences, yet stay surprisingly interesting. He has created a real horror movie, and not a teen comedy where all the characters are in the know. This is a straight up horror film. The fact that he labored for 6 years to get this film made is great inspiration for all those aspiring to make their own film.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/24/2005 11:35:00 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I wrote 10 pages of DIRT. last night(or this morning...3AM). I mean that literally and figuratively. I did write pages for the Screenplay, Dirt, but I also consider the output quality dirt as well. But it's better than nothing. I hope to do 10 more tonight. Still have that bloody horror script on my mind. ...
There are a lot of big things coming up this summer, including the Nickelodeon fellowship finalists, Scriptapalooza quarter-finalists and the Eerie Horror contest, all of which I entered. And of course there's the situation with AFD 2 languishing over in La La land. I have not one idea what's happening with it. It would be nice to know. Last I heard, there was interest in moving forward. If they are moving at all, I do not know about it.
I want to enter the Disney fellowship, but I have nothing to offer. I could send in my serial killer dark comedy. How would that go over? Maybe I will send it, what's the difference. Better to enter something good in the wrong genre than to not enter anything at all.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/23/2005 03:32:00 PM
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Reading Hollywood Hack's blog and noticing his progress bars for his upcoming projects, I decided I wanted the same thing. I tracked the source down to David Anagoras of Man Bytes Hollywood. He even has a short tutorial for us CSS newbies. Sadly, I can't hack it, because apparently my brain can't grasp the idea. And I'm stupid. So if anyone wants to lend a hand, you'll be in my good graces which includes very few humans.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/22/2005 11:40:00 PM
So, I get a tuition bill from film school for almost $20,000. Well sure, it's expensive, but I can take out a loan for it. If I were still in school! At the end of Aug. , after 6 months in school, I took a forced leave because I could not get approved for the majority of the loans I needed(yet another cruel trick from FS). I took the full three months off, but just can't get the money up, so I withdrew from school. And now they bill me for the final 6 months I did not attend. They say I have 3 too many credits, which pushes me over into the second semester, if you will. How can it be possible to have 3 more credits than were earned in the 1st semester when I only was in school for the first f'n semester?! Just another headache to deal with, as usual.
And now for some positive news. I've been pricing camera's and other equipment, such as steadicam, cranes and jib arms. They can be had for relatively cheap. A few hundred for each. Now I can get all Scorsese'd up when I shoot come Winter time. I'm leaning towards the Panasonic AG-DVX100A. Seems like the best camera I can afford. It's getting better reviews than the Cannon XL series, which was my first choice. And from what I've seen, you can just about get it to look like film, which is oh so important for me. Thank you 24p! Here's a nice comparison of three cameras that really shows the differences. http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/shoot/
Looks like NJ is going to be Hollywood East when I get up there, because I really want to shoot a horror movie directly after DIRT. Shit, I might just shoot every script that I wrote so far. It seems to me it can be done for relatively cheap. I'll just kick Hollywood's door down. That's more my style anyway.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/22/2005 11:17:00 AM
Not the second act!
Boy am I getting crazed with this script. There's an inherent problem of writing people you know, because you go over every little sentence checking for the realism. "No, he would never say that!" Rinse and repeat. It's particularity a thorn in my side because I have the entire story in my head, but the dialogue, usually my strongest attribute, is failing me because I try and stick to what we would really say in that position. Bottom line is, you are all about to become fictional, punks!
By the by, a horror script keeps popping up in my dreams. Not a sly, wink at the camera type like Scream, or AFD 2 for that matter. Just straight up, blood soaked Texas Chainsaw Massacre type horror. I may start that just to give a spark to my hideous habit of trying to paint a perfect portrait of my friends in DIRT. Blood must be drawn.
Still haven't heard anything from my agent about AFD 2. Oh well, maybe Frank Mancuso JR wasn't interested....
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/22/2005 01:19:00 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Some little tid-bits unrelated to the trauma inducing 2nd act of DIRT.
I hate Florida drivers. In fact, I hate Florida people. There, I said it.
I live off of a 6 lane highway which doubles as a rice burner qualifier every night around 3am..but that's off topic. To get across the three lanes and attempt to make a left turn, it's very much like Frogger, but in a huge truck. The traffic flow is non stop thanks to the idiotic settings of the traffic lights, one to the left and right about a half mile down. Instead of having both lights turn red, allowing a snippet of time to cross to the other side, these yokels have the lights in a sort of contradictory fashion. One light turns red, the other turns green slightly before that so there's always traffic coming from one side. There is a 5 foot 'lane' in the middle where my truck has to reside, if I make it to that island, and wait for the oncoming traffic to either pass so I can get through, or I could get clipped from behind because the lane is so small my truck sticks out 6 fucking feet. What about taking a jug handle, you say? Ha! Only U-turns down here! And each lane is as small as the last...causing quite the confusion for some idiots down here who think they're NOT allowed in the center lane to turn/u-turn. They decide it's best to slow and turn directly from the left lane. Bravo! The amazing part of all of this is I managed to get a ticket for an illegal u-turn at a light down the road. It happens to be the only light I've seen that doesn't allow it. And of course, it offers up the most space to perform one. A brief re-enactment of this event:
Me: Shit, I missed the fucking turn.
Katie: Just do a U-turn up here.
Me: No u-turns at this light, though.
Katie: Just do it.
Me: Fine. But if I get a ticket, you're paying it.
Me: I don't like it at all. But here we go...
Katie: See? Do you see any cops? Oooh..scary...I told-Oh shit, there's a cop.
Me: Thanks a fucking bunch.
Score card: No seatbelt: $71.50 Illegal U-turn: 115.50(and traffic school to avoid points) Driving with a suspended license(unbeknownst to me!): Fighting it in court. License is good. But my registration is suspended. Great work NJ DMV!
Oh yes, on a related note, Katie found some cool apartments in and around LA. It may be manageable after all....
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/21/2005 02:53:00 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/16/2005 03:26:00 PM
I have gone back to DIRT while I try to work through some writers block on The Last Party. I'm going to write both simultaneously and hopefully we'll have a choice of which to shoot in the winter. I also have Waiting For The Sun coming in at 40 pages or so, along with my freaky religious Thriller/Horror script, The People Of The Sun, (or, Black Sunshine)constantly on my mind. Not to mention rewrites of Killer Is Me and April Fool's Day 2. A busy summer ahead, but the first two on the agenda are TLP and Dirt, which are both sitting on the 27 page mark. Next comes the hard work of act II, notoriously the biggest pain in the ass for me. In both cases, I know the story I want to tell, so it shouldn't be too bad this go around.
I lost all momentum I had last week because Katie had off all weekend. It's just too damn hard for me to write when she is in the apartment. It's not her fault, but I don't think she understands the interruptions it causes and the concentration I lose when anyone is around. So we're trying a new formula-headphones. I usually am listening to some music as I write, so if I listen with headphones, that should isolate me to that place I like to write in. We shall see.
Started Atkins again, and feel great. It's amazing how quickly the body changes. I am on it for the long haul. I got to get down to my "trim" playing weight if I intend to be onscreen at all come Winter.
May go check out Batman Begins this weekend, along with High Tension. It would be my first visit to the theatre since The Phantom Menace, I think. That or Drop Dead Gorgeous. Or Summer Of Sam. Whichever came out last was my last movie going experience. Hard to believe I love movies. I just prefer to watch them in my humble abode, away from all the pettiness and cell phone idiots that sit their rather bulbous asses into the theatre's on a Friday night.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/16/2005 11:16:00 AM
Friday, June 10, 2005
Well, so far I am 27 pages into The Last Party, which is averaging about 6 pages a day. I'd like to get up over the 10 page a day mark. But from where I started, barely being able to stomach jotting down an idea, I'm cautiously satisfied. Today I wrote 7 pages, and the day is still young. Yesterday, 8. So I'm getting in a groove. I know my struggles are usually page 30-60, so I hope to keep the momentum going to crash through that invisible wall. I still am not sure about the plot, but I do have the basic story, or is it vice versa? I don't know.
I have a few ideas about this film. I have this vision of a long ass tracking shot, outside by an inground pool. The camera will travel around the party, pausing at conversations for a few moments, then following a person from that group and settling on another, all in one shot. Kind of a Robert Altman (The Player, Gosford Park, Short Cuts) shot. Get a nice 5-7 minutes of people talking as they do at a real party, and quick slices of their personality. Good way to meet the characters(those that don't already have intros). But it's going to be very tough to do with the equipment that we'll have available. I'll have to build some shit. Yippee.
So anywho, if I write 5-10 pages per day, everyday, for the next two weeks, the first draft should be done. And then you can all read this semi mess I have created.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/10/2005 02:50:00 PM
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
There's your temporary title, kids. I have 12 pages in the bank between today and yesterday. I seem to be in rut, but able to find some goodness to write. Or it may all end up being shit, but at the very least, there are no longer blank pages staring at me. I have some nice intros for some of us planned, us being the main players(Actually, three intros are written already). That being said, everyone will have a part, whether it be the dancing mailman(Jim), or the enlightened pizza guy(Shak). Wrote a nice rant/argument that I actually had with a girl. It's damn funny to read it back to myself and see that we could have just ended the argument easily, but seemed to keep starting it up purposely for the fuck of it. Isn't that what relationships are anyway? Starting shit up for the fuck of it? :)
Tell me, is something alluding you sunshine?
Is this not what you expected to see?
If you want to find out what's behind these cold eyes
You'll just have to claw your way through this disguise
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/08/2005 02:15:00 PM
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
I have finally started writing the script that I will shoot in Nov./Dec. It was a long time coming, but I think I have a handle on it now. Today I want to write about 10-15 pages, which would bring me up to 20. Not a bad start. Hopefully the flood gates are open now. So, I'm going to go find out if they are.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/07/2005 01:06:00 PM
Friday, June 03, 2005
So, in my procrastination ritual which includes doing everything but writing, I find myself studying a milk carton. Where is this missing girl? Missing for 8 years? Where are all these people? How many kids go missing each year? And don't you just know there's some sinister plot or business going on overseas? Or even right here? We like to gloss over the fact that thousands of kids are missing each year. It doesn't really effect us. After all, we can just turn the milk carton the other way, or better yet, buy milk by the gallon. No pictures there! (best of all, don't drink milk, it's not good. But that's neither here nor there) Are they readying the moon for the elite 1%, doing the hard labor, farming and mining, while the elite plan their flight from earth leaving us to die in the dust storm to come? Or are they all underground, being forced to dig out caverns and tunnels while the reptilian's whip them? Is there some pervert convention in some yokel state that I'm unaware off? They gather up children and have their way, with no consequence? Where the hell are these kids?
Or, maybe, they just are legitimately missing.
I don't want to believe that.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/03/2005 02:36:00 PM
Thursday, June 02, 2005
When I last attempted to keep my northern buddies from southern Jersey up to date, it ended in a fiery death. I started off with best intentions, but, well you see, I just am not all that stable. We all remember that I made a short movie that was given enthusiastic applause, only to be trumped by the most generic piece of shit I ever witnessed. A standing ovation, this steaming pile of muck received. And, well, I cowered in the face of this, what I deemed, mockery. I closed down my site, regressed into the night with my tail between my legs.
Since then, there have been some very positive things to discuss. Some not so positive as well, such as being forced to drop out of film school because of finances. Good riddance, I say! We also know about my script getting into the hands of all the right people, and seemingly, something COULD happen. But I am grounded. In fact, I am much more than grounded. I am self depreciating to the fucking max. because I'm so afraid to think anything good will happen, and then blow my head up in disappointment. So I am very cautious when dealing with that area.
That being said, I did get an agent out of all this. I did get an actress to sign on. I did SOMETHING. So that's what I take out of it. I accomplished fairly sizable steps in the process. So, maybe I'm just due for a break. Maybe not...but I'm a helluva lot closer to getting where I must.
So, now onto the movie next winter. We're f'ing doing it. I am f'ing writing it. What's it about? I have no f'ing idea. You see, it's a funny thing. Knowing that I'm actually going to make this next script I write has two effects on me. One, I feel energized that the fate of this script and movie rests solely with me. I know I can do it, and I know you guys can do it too. Two, writing this has been the hardest thing for me yet. There are so many things I want to incorporate. There are so many of you willing to be in it. There are so many events that are just plain hysterical, sad, depressing and heartwarming that we have all been through together. It's turning into a guest list instead ofa script, all because I can't decide who's in it, who's a side part, who makes a a cameo. I have intense guilt when I think someone doesn't have enough screen time. Then I have the added worry of people having lives. Some of you guys are, or will be married by then. You have other things that take precedent over this debacle of mine. I have nothing else. I don't even fucking want anything else. But that puts me in the precarious position of editing out certain people, or just not knowing what angle to take with the story, because I have no idea who will be available. That being said, I am trying to incorporate everybody, even if it's a cameo. But the main story will have to revolve around a group of 3-5 people max.
What's the story? Who the fuck knows? I'm constipated.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 6/02/2005 04:42:00 PM