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December 30, 2007

Finishing the first draft - and requesting help.

I am working on finishing the first draft of my latest screenplay during this Christmas break. I had 30 pages done, based on notes from my instructor and classmates I cut those down to about 25, and now I'm up to page 60. I think this one will be just around 100 pages when it's all finished.

So I have 7 more days of break, I need to write just over 5 pages a day. Not bad. 5 pages could be 20 minutes and it could be literally 3 hours, depending on what's going on in the story, and how the inspiration is flowing.

While I'm in the program at UCLA my plan is to always be working on 3 screenplays at a time. Rewriting the screenplay from the previous quarter, writing the new screenplay for the current quarter, and outlining and developing a story for the next quarter. Not sure if this is the best approach, but it seems similar to what I'll have to do once I'm a working screenwriter, juggling a number of projects.

i need your help about something My instructor loved my screenplay so far, except for one thing. He said maybe I could come up with a more compelling title. I actually kind of dug mine, which was "A Well Adjusted Boy." But now I'm fielding suggestions. It's the story of a intellectually precocious 12 year old boy, the son of an esteemed but controversial child rearing expert, who believes in very carefully doling out both affection and experiences to her boy. He has a traumatic experience at school and runs away with his new (and only) friend to visit a texas televangelist who he believes can change his mom into the loving parent he needs.

Any ideas?

Posted by jason on 08:46 PM | Comments (14)

December 27, 2007

The Day After Christmas

I think Christmas has a problem. You look forward to it for a whole month, then it's one day, and it's over. And actually it's really like half a day because once you reach the evening this malaise sets in, it's kind of sad, it's over!

I think the day after christmas needs to be something special, so that you can look forward to that too. And two days of specialness is just about right, and you won't be sad as the day after christmas comes to a close, it'll seem like the right time to get back into your normal life.

So what should it be? I'm fielding ideas.

Posted by jason on 11:52 AM | Comments (10)

December 23, 2007

Almost Christmas

I've been home for a week now (east coast home, not our house home, staying with my parents home). It's been great. Getting to spend time with friends and family, reconnect with a ton of people, watch my kids with their friends. It's nice when you don't really lose anything but can just enter in with a group of people again with ease. A play that I wrote was performed twice, and it was fantastically performed, so that's always fun too.

Home for Christmas never really meant anything to me before, because I had never lived further than 10 miles from the home I grew up in. But now that we live thousands of miles away, it means a lot more, and it's more special.

Posted by jason on 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2007

Home for Christmas

After getting up at 3.15 AM and catching a 6.30 flight, a stressful layover in Phoenix where we had 10 minutes to sprint across the terminal to catch the plane, and 6 hours in the air, we touched down in Philadelphia. Cold Philadelphia. And now we're back here.

It's great to see people again, the familiar places. But it's also difficult to be "home" and yet not have a home anywhere. Our house that we love rented to strangers... But these things make up life, so you have to deal with them.

It's strange to live in this netherworld, that when you talk about home you have to explain where exactly you mean. You mean home in California? Or the stone house? It's like parts of you are left in different places, never put back together easily.

Posted by jason on 10:45 PM | Comments (7)

December 15, 2007

Shark Attack, Shark Attack, Shark Attack

Yes, I finally saw one. I gazed into its jet black eyes and didn't blink. It gazed back at me, a kindred spirit. And just like that, we bonded. One day I plan on swimming in the ocean, and he will have been released to the open waters, and see me, and mistake me for a seal. And just as he almost chomps down on me, he will remember me from the aquarium, and let up mostly, but still give me just a little nibble. So that I can tell my story of being attacked by a Great White Shark to everyone I meet.



Ollie and I took a little trip all by ourselves to Monterey, California, which is a pretty awesome town. Seals in the harbour, barking loudly. I saw an Elephant Seal on the way home, in Big Sur. That was pretty incredible. Unfortunately, I made a VERY bad decision. I thought it would be cool to come home on PCH, which is a breathtakingly windy road up high over the ocean. It was seriously one of the most beautiful trips I've ever taken.

But Ollie got sick to his stomach and threw up in the car. Lesson learned. It's the 101 from now on with kids.

Posted by jason on 11:39 PM | Comments (7)

December 13, 2007

Leave the poor guy alone!

So, you remember the Farley-esque Youth Pastor who misspoke at a Youth Rally? The guy who accidently blurted out something that really shouldn't be said from the pulpit?

Well . . . he got punk'd.

These dudes came in pretending to be . . . never mind. Watch the video. It's a little long, but it's worth it in the end.

Youth Pastor FCC Prank - Watch more free videos

Posted by xerxes on 12:53 AM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2007

what you can do help

Writers-- Please pass this on far and wide!

There are a couple of important things (besides picketing) you can do
to support the WGA striking writers. And we really need your help!

One way to help is to send an email to the studios producing your
favorite television shows. It's easy, just go to here.

Write an email supporting your favorite show (or use the text
provided) and the email will be sent automatically to the correct
studio when you click "Submit".

Another way is to make a short statement telling advertisers who
support the studios you won't buy their products until this strike is
settled fairly. Just go to here.

Have a party and ask someone to bring a laptop that has a webcam and
make a bunch of individual statements at one time. Upload to YouTube
and be sure to put the advertiser's name(s) as a tag on the video.
Advertisers do searches of their names and this will be of great
concern. Economic pressure is the only way to end this strike quickly.

Please take one or both of these actions today. Christmas is coming
and either action would be a HUGE gift to the WGA writers who are on
the forefront of the battle for fair pay. If we lose, every writer
everywhere will lose.

Thanks so much for your support. Please pass this on to as many
writers and fans as you can. Your participation can help bring the
strike to a fair resolution.

Posted by jason on 04:22 AM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2007

Finalist for a Screenplay Competition

I'm happy to announce that I found out today that I'm 1 of 3 finalists for a UCLA Screenwriting Competition called the Sheldon Award. I only submitted the script last Monday, but already they've read all the submissions and narrowed it down to 3! And one of the other finalists is going to be a writer partner with me!


Posted by jason on 03:31 AM | Comments (17)

December 09, 2007

If taglines were honest

Some of these are really funny.

Posted by jason on 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2007

This isn't good. strike update.

The latest news is not good at all.


Today, after three days of discussions, the AMPTP came back to us with
a proposal that included a total rejection of our proposal on Internet
streaming of December 3.

They are holding to their offer of a $250 fixed residual for unlimited
one year streaming after a six-week window of free use. They still
insist on the DVD rate for Internet downloads.

They refuse to cover original material made for new media.

This offer was accompanied by an ultimatum: the AMPTP demands we give
up several of our proposals, including Fair Market Value (our
protection against vertical integration and self-dealing), animation,
reality, and, most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor's
gross as a basis for residuals. This would require us to concede most
of our Internet proposal as a precondition for continued bargaining.

The AMPTP insists we let them do to the Internet what they did to home
video. We received a similar ultimatum through back channels prior to
the discussions of November 4. At that time, we were assured that if
we took DVD's off the table, we would get a fair offer on new media
issues. That offer never materialized.

We reject the idea of an ultimatum. Although a number of items we
have on the table are negotiable, we cannot be forced to bargain with
ourselves. The AMPTP has many proposals on the table that are
unacceptable to writers, but we have never delivered ultimatums.

As we prepared our counter-offer, at 6:05 p.m., Nick Counter came and
said to us, in the mediator's presence: "We are leaving. When you
write us a letter saying you will take all these items off the table,
we will reschedule negotiations with you."

Within minutes, the AMPTP had posted a lengthy statement announcing
the breakdown of negotiations.

We remain ready and willing to negotiate, no matter how intransigent
our bargaining partners are, because the stakes are simply too high.
We were prepared to counter their proposal tonight, and when any of
them are ready to return to the table, we're here, ready to make a
fair deal.

John F. Bowman
Chairman, WGA Negotiating Committee
Contract 2007

Posted by jason on 01:44 PM | Comments (4)

December 06, 2007

I'm going to see a Great White Shark

A dream is going to come true. I will come face to face with a Great White Shark. Ever since I saw Jaws (and I was way too young when I saw it!), I've had a love fear adoration relationship with these fantastic beasts. Every time I went to the Baltimore Aquarium I would run to the shark area. I still remember the day I realized... sadly... that none of these sharks I was seeing were much more dangerous than a rainbow trout. I wanted a thrill.

Then I was told that a Great White Shark could never even BE in an aquarium. Oh, no, now this was the worst. So I've always thought about chartering a boat or taking one of those photographic trips where they put you in shark cages.

But now I find out... It was a lie. One aquarium in California DOES, on occassion keep a Great White Shark in captivity! They have one now, in fact. And we're going next week.

Posted by jason on 10:46 PM | Comments (8)

The Writers' Strike

So, I've been thinking about the strike . . . trying to formulate my opinion . . . when I came across someone who stated exactly what I wanted to say and more eloquently than I could ever say it. And without further ado . . .

P.S. Jess told me I should post this:

Posted by xerxes on 08:48 AM | Comments (6)

December 04, 2007

Hey There Delilah

I knew the song was catchy... maybe even too catchy.

But I had no idea the inspiration was so creepy

Next time you're singing along, know that you're singing a total stalker song!

Posted by jason on 03:34 PM | Comments (4)

December 03, 2007


Jason and I are rivals. Pure and simple. Anything I do, he has to do better (like growing a beard) anything he does, I have to do better (like graphic design).

So, jason posted his animation on here, and I felt inferior. I tried and tried, and finally I felt as though I had something I could offer as competition.


Posted by ian on 08:34 PM | Comments (5)

December 01, 2007

Another pitch

I have to start working on the script I'm going to write next quarter. Here's the pitch I have so far. Thoughts?

True Love Waits is a comedy about a young couple, JOSHUA and NIKKI (22), who are heavily invested in the Abstinence Only movement. They "do things the right way" and wait until marriage to have sex - only to find their "happily ever after" turn into a (metaphorical) "dark and stormy night." Joshua soon realizes that they aren't able to consummate their relationship until he "gets his heart's lust under control" to Nikki's satisfaction, but in the end what they both need to find is the true love they both desire.

Posted by jason on 01:13 PM | Comments (5)