Thursday, August 23, 2007

Many New Developments

I hope things are going well for all of you out there. Hollywood is dead as a doornail right now since it is the last days of August. I just came back from the Bay Area and I'm trying to get it together to leave town again next week. I trust you have your vacations well in hand, are not stressing out about the strike (since a work slowdown/stoppage is sort of a given at this point as a result of the accelerated spending), and are polishing up those specs.

I'm burnt out and this heat has made me a little nuts. I had a massive computer problem last week -- my hard drive overheated and I thought it had melted. Luckily, it was just a burnt out fan, but let me tell you, I was sweating it! So, the laptop is down which means I'm forced to write on my desktop in the overheated cottage. Poor me. :-)~ I'm just glad I got the "backup" machine. And my friends thought it was overkill. Ha! I'm also splurging on an external hard drive (my car has an oil leak, but the hard drive felt like more a of a priority. I still have my bike!) and I urge all of you to BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVES. I try to do it every week, and thank God for that, because I had literally just backed it up when the machine froze up and stopped responding to me. I'm buying a Seagate 320Gb drive through It should get here any day. Can't wait. I almost got the 500gb because it's not that much more expensive, but I really only keep music and pix on it other than my FINAL DRAFT files, so that seemed like an indulgence.

OK, I know I'm boring you all to tears. Have a great end of summer. I may not post until after Labor Day -- I have some book-related stuff going on that's taking up a lot of my time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


RIP. Man, I love Max Roach. First Mr. Batiste and now Max. I hope you all get a chance to spin a few for a great jazz man.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Again with the Random Musings...

I've spent the last week or so figuring out what I'm going to do with myself if there is a strike. I have a few ideas for reality shows so I'm developing those and will see where that takes me if and when the time comes to put that iron in the fire. From what I understand networks will have banked enough episodes of things to get them through November sweeps, then it's winter hiatus, then back with some mid-season replacement stuff that is shooting as you read this and if there is no strike, back to business as usual, but if there is a strike it will be wall-to-wall reality. I think anyone working at those big reality production houses has their fingers crossed right now. I know most studios learned from their mistakes last time around (2001) and have plenty of options in case things get nuclear around here. Including putting executives on leave and not renewing contracts. I had a clause like that in my deal, but, fortunately, it never came to that.

Last time around, just like this time, agencies took advantage of the strike to trim their client lists and cut loose anyone who was under-performing or just plain troublesome. I had a few friends who were "fired" by their agencies and it has been a long road back. First the year of depression and humiliation, then the year of spec writing and humiliation and depression, then the year of the comeback, and bitterness and depression.... :-) Anyway, I credit that last major trimming with consolidating the position and power of managers in this town. There were tons of very talented people suddenly at loose ends, desperate to get back in the game, willing to write on spec who were accessible, some for probably the first time in a very long time.

I'm also developing a series of webisodes that a couple of girlfriends of mine and I have been kicking around since May. One of my friends recently landed at a new internet entertainment site and they are desperate for content. She is lucky enough to be hooked up at a place that is the daughter of a highly trafficked site so they need content more than anything right now. I doubt it would cover more than the cost of producing the actual work, but considering that we were going to do it all for free, this seems like a good way for me to get a little directing under my belt before I attack my short film.

If any of you (Will?) have suggestions for the approach one should use when shooting for the itty bitty screen I'd love to hear them. I read a post over at Complications Ensue about Mobisodes that really started me thinking about how to do this. We don't really envision this thing ever getting off the internet and onto a phone screen, but I am really concerned about the screen ratio of that YouTube box. I've shot some stuff for TV before (just news footage when I was a wee-little Diva still delusionally thinking I wanted to be a hard-hitting journo) and it seems to me that the "readable" portion of the screen is the same -- meaning lots of close-ups and medium shots. I actually like movies that take advantage of depth of field (I'm thinking about TOKYO STORY here), so I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts about that, specifically. I haven't seen too much stuff produced for the web that uses depth of field in any meaningful way and I'm not sure if that's the constraints of the medium (resolution and bandwidth interrupting the impact of long shots that rack focus and/or feature fore, mid and background action) or just that the medium hasn't matured enough for folks to be exploiting it that way yet.

Anyway, back to the reality stuff. I have a close friend who I kick ideas around with, talk story, gossip, etc. She and I have been trying to find a way to spend all of 2008 out of the country. Preferably not working, but we will take what we can get. I'll keep you posted. I still have to get to my cheese tour of England and France....