Saturday, September 29, 2007

End of an Era

Sunday, September 30, 2007, will mark the end of an era -- Atlanta Braves baseball will no longer appear on TBS. The network will abandon the one thing that helped build its reputation in order to begin broadcasting a package of games from around the league.

It's a sad day for Braves fans, especially those of us you live outside of Atlanta. I grew up there as a Braves fan in the "lean" years, when they were one of the worst teams in the league, and I was in college in Tennessee (a mere two hours away, and they still rooted for the Braves there) when they went from "worst to first" and began their run of fourteen consecutive division titles.

And now that I live in Texas, I continue to follow the Braves from afar by watching them on TBS. But that will officially end after tomorrow's telecast, and I'm ticked off. TBS is the only network that airs Braves games with any regularity. I'll hardly be able to see them at all now.

As for ESPN's coverage of their games, I can barely stand to watch. Or, more to the point, to listen. Joe Morgan, the ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame player, clearly can't stand the Braves and constantly finds reasons to criticize the team. And, of course, he's also just one of the worst baseball commentators on TV. If you don't believe me, just check out Fire Joe Morgan for plenty of proof.

And lest I seem like I'm picking on ESPN, Fox's Saturday baseball telecast features an equally inept former player turned broadcaster -- Tim McCarver, another Braves-hater.

LIke I said, it's a sad day. I'll be watching the Braves tomorrow, even though they're out of the postseason race and not playing very well at the moment. As I tried to explain to my nine year old daughter last week, when she asked why I rooted for a team that lost a lot (we were talking about the Atlanta Falcons; don't get me started on that subject), "Honey, that's just what you do when you're a fan."

Latest Slamdance News

Just got word last night that ENDINGS is a semi-finalist in the Slamdance screenplay competition, which puts it in the top 50 of 2200 original entries.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Enjoying the Process

I've been editing Clean Freak as it's shot. The process is a little different than what I did on American Messiah. That shoot was over before we really got into the meat of editing.

But -- even though the shooting style for Clean Freak comes from necessity (I don't have time to shoot the entire thing in one long shoot) -- one of the things I like about this way of doing it is the energy it gives me.

I'm "caught up" editing all the footage I've shot so far, and I've really been enjoying the process of laying the shots on the timeline and watching it all come together. And as I complete the editing on whatever footage I've shot to that point, I get anxious to shoot some more. So the whole shoot/edit/shoot/edit process is feeding my desire to keep going.

Part of my joy is just getting down to business on a new creative project and finally seeing it come together. There's still a lot of work to do, but I'm feeling more confident that Clean Freak will be done by the end of 2007. In fact, I think it's likely that it'll be done way before that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

DVD Images

I got my shipment of copies of the film today...

Kind of cool to see all those DVDs with the distribution company's logo. I'm also pleased because the cover design for the DVD is substantially the same one designed by Josh, the film's editor and jack-of-all-trades, who worked on the film longer and harder than anyone else, with the possible exception of me.

This label was on the outside of the box:

That just struck me as interesting -- the box marked with the title of the film.

It has started to show up on DVD sales sites (I mentioned DVD Empire, and of course it's now on Amazon as well).

In other news, I had a great time showing the film at my alma mater, Lee University, and speaking to students there about the film, the making of the film, and the film business in general. I think the experience will actually open up the door for future visits, which is great, because I still love Lee, and I always look forward to seeing friends and colleagues there. Next time, I hope the whole family can go. My wife is an alum, too, and people want to see her as much as (if not more than) me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Change in Plans

I mentioned recently that I would be speaking at my alma mater about jobs for English majors as part of a conference they were planning to introduce their majors to all sorts of job possibilities that they might not have considered.

Well, the plans have changed. I'm still going to speak. But now it's just me.

Seems that they were concerned about turnout because they had planned, I suppose, too many sessions. So they canceled the whole thing, and they're bringing me in as the sole speaker, to speak about creative writing as a career choice.

Which is flattering (though it did occur to me that they had already paid for the airline ticket).

What's weird is that, while I relish the opportunity to speak at my old school, I sometimes wonder if I have anything at all to offer. What have I accomplished, really?

Buying my movie

Maybe it's just me -- but it's pretty cool to find your movie for sale on DVD Empire.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Ridiculously Good Movie

The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah screened this weekend at the Southern Winds Film Festival in Oklahoma, where it picked up the feature comedy award -- "A Ridiculously Good Movie."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Slamdance script news

I just found out that my script, ENDINGS, is a quarterfinalist in the Slamdance Film Festival's screenplay competition. That means that it's in the top 200 of about 2200 total entries (or top 10%).

The next cut will be for the top 50 scripts (the semifinalists).

I admit I"m a little concerned about jinxing this. But the news pleased me, so I felt like posting it. I haven't entered as many contests in the past couple of years because I've been focused on the film festival circuit with my film.

And, in fact, because I am planning on making ENDINGS myself, I haven't really focused on script competitions too much. I did enter it in a few, with some mixed results (in part because I entered earlier drafts in some competitions and later ones in others).

I entered it in Slamdance because the script is a little on the edgy side, and Slamdance sort of likes edgier stuff (know your audience). And one of my previous scripts was a semifinalist and in the top 20 overall several years ago, so I have a soft spot for any competition that has liked my stuff in the past (actually, it's more like "accolade crack" -- once you get a little, you keep wanting more).

Anyway, here's hoping ENDINGS makes it to the top 50 and beyond...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sell Sheet

Just for the sake of continuing to tell the unfolding story of the distribution process for my film, I have an update.

The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah has been added to the distributor's website (see it at the bottom of the page HERE). You'll also find, when you click on the link for the film, that you can download the "Sell Sheet" that Reel Indies will use to sell the film to retailers (you can see a mini-picture of it in this post).

I find this process interesting. I'm aware that it's my film, so it might be of more interest to me than any of you, but I thought that you -- my many readers -- would enjoy getting a look at it.

In other news: I did not get one of the grants I was hoping to get for ENDINGS, so I'm still on the hunt for some funding. But we're moving forward regardless. And shooting continues, sporadically, for Clean Freak, now that producer Brian Elliott has kicked my butt into high gear with some creative and motivational assistance.