Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just for Will: MySpace Answer

For some reason, this nutty blogger-beta won't let me make comments on anyone else's blog (unless they don't require a sign-in). So, because Will is always so nice about commenting on my blog (and has great stories and YouTube connects), I'm creating a post just for you, Will!

I've been way out of it so I know I'm Diva-Come-Late-to-the-Party on this

I think MySpace is about people feeling the need to get
noticed. Look at all the social networking sites YouTube, MySpace,
Blogger, etc., and the common theme is folks reaching out for validation, peers
and admirers. Not to get too philosophical, but celebrity has always been
about the search for love, and if you go through some of these profiles that
becomes soooo apparent.

Most of the A-list folks I've worked with (and the hardworking folks who
aren't household names, but still manage to pull in north of $750K a script, or
$2-3 million for a directing gig) are far too computer illerate to set-up and
maintain anything on the internet. They can barely operate their
text-messaging (I actually have a friend who dictates text messages to his asst
because his ADD is so bad he can't operate the Blackberry!).

Of the industry folks I know out here who have MySpace profiles they are
either doing it to promote themselves professionally or have serious addictions
(comics, sex, teenagers - or other darker things). I do have a friend who
uses it to keep in touch with her extremely large extended family.

As for the Diva, I set up a page long long ago, but found blogger much more
suited to my purposes -- I have no interest in DRKNITE79 and his ill-conceived
plans for my body....

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Dog!

I bought my dog when I quit my studio job. He was eight weeks old, 3 1/2 lbs, and mostly potty trained. So, every year at this time during "our" anniversary it reminds me that I quit in order to enjoy some "outside interests." As we bear down on Labor Day Weekend I encourage all of you to get out in the world, kick up your heels and find something else to do!

P.S. The indie film is coming back into my life in dribs and drabs. I'll keep you all posted once I've spoken with the other producer. The filmmaker, bless his heart, was really passionate about the work I've done with him so far and had a heart-to-heart with the guy who brought me the film. As a producer I do not like to call attention to myself, or to be the source of any drama on a project. In this particular instance, I felt that I would be more of a problem unhappy than off the movie. Anyway, we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Well, I had a very emotional last few weeks. It's affected my writing, my sleeping, and my blogging. I had to make a very difficult decision to part ways with the independent film that I've been working on for about a year now. The project was originally brought to me by another producer and we had a disagreement (an amicable one, since we've been friends for about 7 years now) about how to move forward.

When I left my former life, I made a pact to establish myself as a writer. I'm super competitive so it's been murdering me to listen to my friends succeed (I mean, I'm happy for them, but I also know I could be them), while I toil away at home, doing all kinds of crazy jobs to keep my dog off the street and my little putt-putt on the road. Ultimately, I guess it came down to me not wanting to compromise during the hours I don't spend writing. I agonized over it, and came to the conclusion that the sadness I feel at leaving is far outweighed by the anxiety I felt staying.

Anyway, I finally spoke with the filmmaker today to reassure him that I wasn't leaving the project because I no longer believed in his film or in him. These are always really difficult calls, and I'm happy to say he is a very classy guy and it went as well as it could (no tears!). So, broken-hearted, I'm writing out my sorrows in this little scene I came up with over the weekend for my TV pilot. It's a bit arch right now, very mellow dramatic, wounded warrior kind of stuff which I'll smooth out later, but it sort fits with how I'm feeling right now....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Slowly But Surely

There are more changes today. I haven't opened up all the posts to start labeling them because I haven't settled on a nomenclature yet, and I wouldn't want to put you (and me) through multiple republishings.

The blog has been slowly gaining visitors, but the day after I switched to the new Blogger Beta I noticed that I had a big fat 0 in the visitor column. I sort of brushed it off -- I mean, it's not like I've been posting anything of note lately, right? But, this morning when I checked, again with the 0 visitors thing. Then I realized -- Blogger wiped my html clean. Dang it! I barely knew what I was doing the first time around, and now I've got to go around the internet and reload all my little htmls..... This may take longer than I thought.

Anyway, enjoy the new template, or let me know if you don't. You're my little test audience. See, when I started the blog it was all part of a master plan which won't be revealed until we hit some critical numbers. Hee hee hee.... OK, actually, there is no "master" plan, but I thought that would be a provocative way to end the post. :-)

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I just upgraded my blogger account to the new beta and I'm planning to add labels to some (all, if I can) of the archived posts. I thought I should warn anyone who has a feed, just cuz I'm cool like that. ;-*

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trying Snazz the Place Up a Bit

I found this very cool website (through Micro Persuasion) that gives you a Web 2.0 mock logo. I love it and wish I knew enough about the internets (*snark intended*) to post it instead of the blogger template logo I have now.

Monday, August 14, 2006

That Kung Fu Monkey!

Well, fortunately, I decided to scour my favorite blogs to see who I could link to on the Manager topic and I came across this great post at Kung Fu Monkey. I encourage you to click on through, read, enjoy, and I'll revise my post down to cover the advantages/disadvantages of management for folks a little lower on the food chain than Mr. Rogers. I plan to read the archives of a few more blogs to see if anyone else had my same bright idea -- I might be able to save myself even more typing!

Had a friend read the first 36 pages and the last 6 of my spec pilot and got some really solid feedback on the scenes I haven't written, and I got to test run a pretty big change I'd been playing with for my lead character. My normal process is to keep things to myself until I'm completely finished, polish, put it down, read, polish it again, then send it out, but since that method wasn't conducive to the assembly line method I'm trying out this year, I'm just pitching out scenes and writing them as they come to me. I can't say it's the best method, but once, a very long long time ago, when I was a little asst. hottie (and I was, with my 4 inch pumps, mini-skirts and disco shirts while on location scouts...I didn't know any better!!) I had a chance to work with Danny Jacobson for two weeks while he did a script doctoring job on this movie that was on the swift boat to hell. It was great fun, there were two comedians involved and I sat on the phone with him typing my fingers off while he pitched ideas around the ether. I learned a tremendous amount, which I promptly sublimated until I quit my studio job.

I'll let you know how it all works out. I did a good bit of revising in addition to the new pages I finished this weekend, but the entire thing reads much much better, and the character work is getting closer to what I want it to be. I have to finish it soon, though, because some of my other projects are getting close to boil.

The independent project is in limbo right now. I didn't get a positive response from the casting director. I can't say that I disagreed with any of his comments, the director and I had actually had a long talk about the problems the casting director mentioned to me, and we'd discussed how we were going to address them. I think he needed that outside opinion to push him to the next place, and let's face it, I'm pooped. Anyway, I put the whole thing on pause over the last week so I can finish this draft.

Also, one of my former assistants is totally coming through for me and scoring me a stage to hold a reading of one of my short films. I've been blessed with some real gems in the assistant department (who curse my name to this day, but still take my calls), and I try to keep up with them. I had a couple of real stinkers, too, mind you. One woman, gorgeous blonde, which sadly for her had no influence on me, although every senior executive on the lot found a reason to drop by my office while she worked there, actually got me into a screaming match with my boss. All week I'd been sending faxes out about this project I was desperate to put together. Every time I saw my boss I'd harass him about it, I was faxing business affairs about putting the deal together, calling the writer's agent every five minutes, in short, making a Grade A pest of myself. Finally, my boss called me on Friday afternoon and started SCREAMING at me for bothering him all week long and then not doing my job by getting him and everyone else all of the information. I whipped out my stack of correspondence (CYAP, folks, Cover Your Ass in Paper), and started reading through the stack at the top of my lungs. When he yelled back that he had never received any of them, I screamed back: I have the confirmations in my hand! Then, of course looked at them, and every single one read FAIL FAIL FAIL. Eek. Talk about a 180! I started laughing hysterically, which is what I do when cornered. Told him I would be in his office in 5 minutes (cuz I figured I might as well show up with my own whipping post), and then I asked my assistant what happened.

"I don't know," she said. So, I made her stand up and physically show me what the hell she'd been doing all week with the fax machine. She grabbed the papers, put them in the WRONG WAY, punched in the fax number, then pressed STOP. STOP, people, THE RED BUTTON, not THE GREEN BUTTON which said GO, but the STOP button. Which, of course, pulled the papers through then printed a FAILED notice NOT A CONFIRMATION.

I literally couldn't breathe. My entire chest cavity collapsed. My cheeks went a dark dark red color and felt like they were going blister. I was so past shock and anger that I couldn't even tell her what was wrong and why she would NEVER WORK ON THIS LOT AGAIN.

Instead, I went to my office, called HR and told them I needed her out of my office before I got back from my visit with the HEAD OF THE STUDIO who was REALLY PISSED AT ME because my assistant DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SHE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO USE A FAX MACHINE and that I was INCHES AWAY from losing A $60 MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE because EVERYONE THOUGHT I WAS AN IDIOT AND A LIAR. And can you help me deal with this before close of business?

Then, I hung up the phone, put on my little Gucci suit coat, grabbed a fork and knife and trailed off to my boss' office to eat a crow.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

You know...that novel I'm writing?

Came across this today while I was procrastinating (this is why I write at Starbucks!). I love this show so much. The way they play past the first laugh on the flashbacks/fantasy sequences, the way they are not afraid to keep working a joke. Fox has got it all right with their animated comedy line up.

I've been watching a lot of pilots for the new season, and so far, my favorite is Studio 60. I'm not a big fan of Amanda Peet (she is REALLY not funny at all), but the stars on that show are bright, indeed. I especially can't wait to see what happens with D.L. Hughley who is hysterical and much much funnier in his blue stand up than he was on that family show that made him a millionaire. I like the idea of Tina Fey's show, but the promo clips play better than the show to me. Can't wait to see KIDNAPPED, didn't like VANISHED, and want to see HEROES (I'm putting that out there in case anyone has a tape!) -- although doesn't it seem a leeeeetle too much like X-Men? OK, back to work!

Friday, August 11, 2006

I Must Be Crazy

Taking a little break from my script to scribble a few lines for you guys. I know you miss me.


About a year ago, I convinced my novel writing group to go on a writing retreat. I'd been freelancing my ass off, had just moved back to Los Angeles after an extended absence and wasn't getting any pages written on any of my projects. The week before I was trying to decide what I would work on during the retreat. Then, I had this dream about a pair of siblings at their father's funeral. The image that stuck with me when I woke up was of the younger sister crouched beside the grave dropping in worms instead of dirt and saying, “God bless you, old man. You worthless bastard. I hope they eat your eyes first.” Since then I've been plugging away at it in 25 page chunks. And let me tell you, 25 pages of a book is a hell of a lot more writing than screenplay pages.

I'm not saying the book is fabulous or anything, I try not to re-read it too often cuz I alternately hate it and then love it and then hate it again, but it will be finished by December. Just in time for me to start the second draft! I love how this whole writing thing works.... Anyway, I just received pages from another woman in my group on her 5th draft of the book she's writing (5th!!!) and that old green monster is rearing her head. Not to mention the fact that I set a deadline to submit the next 75 pages of the book in October, and I've only written 30 of them.... Why do I do this to myself???

Blech. I decided that 2006 was a volume year. Finish as many projects as possible, no excuses. So, back to the salt mines. The manager post is almost finished, so I'm going to start cutting it down then I'll post it in parts. Right now, I'm headed off to find to drown my sorrows in some frozen yogurt.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Flapjacks and Links

I'm working on my script. That's about all I can say for myself. After my weekend high, I've been hunting and pecking out the second act about one scene per day (which means I've written 6 pages since Monday!). I had planned to post a little bit every day while I work on the longer post, but got distracted..... Soooo, thank god for Will Dixon over at Uninflected! (Yay, Will!) He wrote an excellent post the other day about writing and posted some excerpts from Stephen King's book (which I haven't read, but the excerpts were great so now it's on my b&n shopping cart).

There's an interesting discussion (started by Jutratest) about becoming obsessed with how-to books which I'd like to pick up here. I'm one of those big nerds who reads tons of those how-to books, marks up the margins and underlines and highlights my way through, looks up related terms, then types up those notes and files them away to be compared with one another at a later date.

Of course, I only sleep 5 hours a night, so I've got to keep myself busy somehow.... ;-)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Life on Mars

I have a new favorite show. LIFE ON MARS is a BBC drama that's playing on BBC America right now. It's about a modern-day detective who finds himself in the '70's working his old beat. I love that music, the clothes, and the fact that the word "bastards" is used in the promo trailers. Oh yeah, baby, Manchester is the British Detroit!

It isn't nearly as well written as ROME, another favorite, but it certainly has the best internal character conflict of any show in recent memory. I'd love to hear what you guys think.

P.S. I am working on the manager post. I wrote 30 pages this weekend of my TV pilot and 10 pages of Draft 2 of my feature, so my hands are KILLING me. I'll try to pound out a longer post later tonight after I ice my wrists!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I try to keep my blogging separated (like Church and State used to be in American politics). But, every once in a while, something so stupendous happens, I have to share it. So, in a bit of self-referentiality I link you to my latest groove. I downloaded this last week and have it on super high rotation in the Diva Lounge.

Miss Me?

I've been working, folks. Long hard hours at the keyboard finishing a polish on my short film, reworking the first act of my feature, writing long, detailed memos to the line producer on exactly how many donut-munchers I can afford working the set of my independent film, and talking my writer-director off the ledge every time we hear back from folks about the movie (or don't hear back from folks about the movie which is actually much harder to deal with, ain't it?). Casting director and I spoke about actors, met with a packaging agent twice, and now I'm starting to circle my financiers to find out who has money for me. Oh, yeah, the short film I'm producing has reared its head once again, so I'm meeting with that filmmaker and the woman who is helping production manage on Tuesday. I'm swimming in a dank pool of my own making. And it ain't pretty.

It's hard out here for Diva, let me tell you.

I am sleeping 5 hours a night for the next few months, so I'll carve out a 20 minute stretches to blog now that I have my arms around my work load.

Manager post coming up!

1st post: Difference between manager and agent and producer.

2nd post: Manager's role in your life

3rd post: strategic use of manager to score gigs and earn your rightful place in Hollywood.

Hopefully, I'll come up with some snappy titles for these otherwise, it may just be 1,2,3, cuz it's getting that deep up in here....

I've written 10 pages today and I'm on a little bit of a sleep-deprivation high, so I'm going to keep plugging away at this 2nd draft of my feature. I'm giving it to a friend to read this weekend. I want her to tell me if I'm just cracked out, or if it is almost as good as I think it is.

I saw the trailer for THE PRESTIGE. It looks ah-mazing. Anybody else see it? I know folks who worked on it, so I'd been hearing the title for months, and honestly was a little worried. It was on the front of PIRATES which I saw last weekend (more on that some other time) and I was absolutely sucked in -- Christian Bale is evil! I love it!!