Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Script rejected, should I proceed

Three months ago producing a film wasn't even on my serious radar. But after signing up for a screenwriting class and writing "Pink," my short about a 1969 landmark obscenity trial, I was getting increasingly excited about actually producing it.

Yesterday, I got a form rejection email from Access Sacramento.
Thank you for submitting your script for the 2011 "Place Called Sacramento" film project. The competition was very challenging and several scripts were within a few points of each other after being reviewed by at least two different professional filmmaker evaluation panels.

Unfortunately, while your script came close, it was not selected in the final ten. I encourage you to continue polishing the script and resubmit next year. I know this is disappointing news but I ask you to not be overly discouraged.
No offense to scripts chosen in previous years or this year, but I find it hard to believe mine was not one of the best written, most Sacramento-specific in subject matter and potentially entertaining.

The festival has a family-friendly requirement. Just like any body making artistic judgments on the appropriateness of art -- be it the Motion Picture Association of America's rating system  or be they the obscenity police of the 1960s -- there are bound to be problems. As Ron Cooper, Access Sacramento's executive director, attempted to explain the rules, it was apparent quickly there might be issues. While attempting to avoid specifics, such as "don't say fuck," he tried to impress upon people that family-friendliness was a category in the scoring formula.

Giving the PG intentions of festival, maybe a film based on a strip club obscenity trial was a bad idea. The rejection letter encourages flunkies to polish their script and consider bringing it back next year. But if I was tossed because there will be some (tasteful) skin, there is no point. Which leads me to the questions: Is there a better venue for this script? And should I self-produce it anyway?

Here is my tagline: A landmark obscenity trial, set in Sacramento, takes a sexy twist after Judge Earl Warren, Jr. agrees to move the trial to the club where the girls were arrested, the Pink Pussy Kat.  

At least one other rejectee is considering going forward and possibly creating a film festival. Loyal blog readers please offer some sage advise.

P.S. Please point me to a good way to share the PDF of the short script online       

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Now I'm a master video editor

After completing my Final Cut Pro video editing class, I can pretty confidently say the my next computer will be a Mac. I've been more or less a PC guy because they a cheaper. I've long recognized the superiority of the Apple computers, but I've never judged it to be worth the price.
But as I've started dabbling in video editing and online content creation I find more and more reasons to buy a mac. I might go on with the thread later, but the original point of this post was to show you the video I did in my video editing class. The class was funded by the employee union, which I think was a great offer.  It counts as a community college course, but there is so much to learn.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is "Plan B" needed? If so, what is it?

At age 6 Ed wanted to be a doctor, lawyer,
race car driver, fire fighter and a pimp.

It's fair to say I've been in a funk lately. But when your work world is collapsing I think it's OK to be a little off.
This morning, I considered whether to take a personal day. I don't believe in skipping work willy-nilly, but on occasion it's best for you and your employer. Such action is justified for a specific reason. The problem is there is a good chance I could wake up tomorrow and feel the same way.
It's a new feeling for me.
I've loved my career. Since I first started writing for my college paper The Southern Digest, I've never really dreamed of doing anything else.
The life plan was to pay my dues as a reporter, one day become a columnist and eventually go into management. I've never felt a greater sense of purpose, felt more challenged or had more sustained fun than my years running the college paper.
Going into management was a dream I mainly kept to myself.
Now as the newspaper industry hemorrhages jobs and another round of layoffs loom at my newspaper a new dream may be required.
This is new to me.
No need to get too far ahead of myself. Who knows if there will actually be layoffs and/or buyouts. But with several other newspapers within the chain having announced layoffs in the last few days a foreboding malaise hangs over the entire newsroom.
Unknown questions:

  1. Will there be layoffs/buyouts?

  2. Would my neck by on the chopping block?

  3. Is the chopping block really freedom?

At this point, only a fool would not consider their options.

When I was in elementary school I refused to select one job when the "What do you want to do when you grow up." I'd have six jobs. One day I'd be a doctor, another I'd be a lawyer. I think firefighter, police officer and race car driver was in the mix too.
As I spend more and more time contemplating my "Plan B," I still have trouble settling in on one plan. Here is my list of ideas:

  • event promotion/planning

  • screenwriter

  • professor

  • radio personality

  • non-profit director

  • legislative staffer

  • public/media relations consultant

  • advertising creative

  • columnist/free lance journalist

  • television producer

  • lawyer

Undoubtedly, somebody is reading this and thinking "Man I've changed jobs six times and I'm fine." Well, I haven't.
This whole thing would be a lot easier if I could easily sell my house and relocate without the worry of a house worth less than I paid for it.
The upshot is that in preparing for the future, I've enjoyed developing my multimedia skills, am bubbling with television and movie ideas and am examining my talents like never before.
Now, if this funk would just go away.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Walking in Her Painful Shoes

Last Saturday, I walked a mile in some terrible red heels. It was more than a mile, but the point was I did it for charity. The WEAVE event raised money for their important cause.
I was struck by two things: one how painful it was to walk in those damn things and, two how well some of the men did running in serious heals.
Our team raised of five raised $1200. Several of my friends, coworkers and family supported the effort. Being a man of my word below are the visual evidence.

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