Friday, August 15, 2014

Burning Year Around

In a little over one week I’ll be heading to the desert for my sixth Burning Man.

The event, in it’s 28th year, is a week long arts, music and cultural festival in the Nevada Blackrock desert. It is characterized by three things: the harsh environment, participation and the feverishness of participants.
 I’m sure my list of three will be debated. Some would say drugs or the clothes or the music. Allow me to retort: The environment dictates the dress and is the main reason most people won’t come. Unlike concert festivals, Burning Man demands that
everyone participate and be part of the show. And that participation leads me to the next point: Burners are obsessed about talking about Burning Man.  
A non-burner co-worker recently compared burners to hovering parents.
But for good reason. There is a whole lot to prepared for: feeding yourself for a week, costumes, travel etc. However, the main reason many burners can’t stop talking about Burning Man is to a certain extent they never left. The random collection of peaceful, art, music and fun-loving tribes is easily more alluring than the work-a-day world with bits a fun sprinkled in between budget meetings.
But also many of us have been in project mode almost since we left. Here’s a sampling of some of the things my campmates have been working on:

- Tractor is the queen of playa clothes gifting. She spent 100s of hours making tutus, miniskirts and booty shorts for the people she’s never met. She enjoys nothing more than helping a new burner out of their khakis.

- Boosh in addition to other projects built the Pantzooka. We’ll playful save those afflicted with the urge to shirtcock. Yes, shirtcockers are men who rocks a t-shirt with their bit exposed. Here is the commercial I made with my non-burner engineer and artist for use on the on-site radio station. The station streams on the Internet at

-Princess Fussy Pants, with Scout and her craftsman, built the Burner Pen Pal Project. The attractive, functional setup allows burners to safely exchange off-playa addresses for letter exchanges and a website for people to share those experiences.  Here is the radio spot.

- Uncle Bob is the king of camp construction. He’s built lamps, expanded the bar, built high-bar tables, redesigned our shower and has generally been working like a mad man to ensure everyone is comfortable and the camp functions.

- Captain America is racing to complete a kegerator for camp.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting script to Hollywood a challenge

Getting a script to Hollywood is harder than one might think.

By Hollywood I mean anyone that matters in the Los Angeles film making industry. Technically, you just mail it or email it there right? Wrong. You first have to get someone to accept it. Sending it unrequested is considered very bad form. So task one is getting someone to agree to read it.

The problem is the people at the big studios don’t accept unsolicited screenplays. So even if you scoop an agent’s email address off IMDBpro you’ll often told to politely to buzz off. At this point, I’ve only sent off a handful of emails to agent types.

The traditional, a-be-it longshot, means to get the script to Hollywood is through an agent or through winning in screenwriting competition. I’ve entered several screenwriting contests and will bring readers up to date on that soon.

In addition to stocking agents, I’m compiling lists directors, producers and actors who might be right for the movie. Of course, I started with people who’ve done stuff I like.

I’m not going after the titans of the industry but people who have done something that was really good but weren’t blockbusters. The thinking is maybe the right project, my film Pink, we could make a blockbuster.

By any respect, I’ve only just begun.

Some screenwriter/bloggers talk about strafing the landscape with hundreds of emails in hopes of nibbles. Am I cocky or arrogant or just dumb for thinking I don’t want some “B” list director messing up my film. Shit, I’m not even a “D” list screenwriter. I should be happy that the team from “Step Up: Volume Six” want to option my screenplay. Not that they do or there is even such a movie yet.

You email and wait. There is lots of waiting at this stage of the game. Part of me want to start writing other projects I have stirring in my brain, but I’m afraid if I stop giving Pink my full attention it will die an unceremonious death.

The waiting is maddening. I try to be cool about it. But it quietly burns at ya. You spent months of your life breathing life into this story now you desperately want someone else to care about it as much as you.

I’m trying to take advantage of whatever personal relationships I have that could help my get it to Hollywood. But even when your script is coming recommended it doesn’t mean that person has time to read it right away. The people in a position to make your movie are already making a movies so they have very little time.

I’m told myself repeatedly to stop worrying about it until after Burning Man. If you’re unfamiliar with Burning Man read this, (I don’t want to get side tracked during this post).

But try as I might I keep thinking there is more to be done. Another seed to plant before the desert. I’ve love to find myself smoking a peace pipe with Wes Anderson or some other big time director, but you can’t approach Burning Man with an agenda. It will provide what it will provide.  

Short of manifesting funding, a cast or a viable director while at Burning Man, my plan once I return to civilization is to seek out the people on the fringe of Hollywood. People who might not be able to greenlight a project, but whom producers with the means of making thing happen listen when they say “you ought to read this.”

I’m open to crowdsourcing the development of this project. If you’ve got connections, strategies of ideas feel free to share them in the comments at email me at majorfletcher (at)