Posts Tagged ‘Untitled Earthquake Movie’

The Biggest Things to Happen in the Last Two and a Half Weeks

July 27, 2011

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1. I got an iPhone. You weren’t joking. It has taken me to the next level of everything — communicating, productivity, creativity (instagram = insta-artistry), and Scrabble prowess.

2. I delivered draft 3 of Untitled Earthquake Movie. It’s the leanest the script has ever been and I tried something new with the Fake-Out-Love-Story B Plot. I wonder what the guys will say.

3. I got my car washed today. First time in ????? It was a safety precaution because I couldn’t see out the back window so well. See an instagram photo from the lathering in the slideshow above — combo of #1 and #3 awesome happenings!

4. The magical black and white cat that is an harbinger of success has taken to HANGING OUT ON MY FRONT PORCH. Usually he/she enjoys the rugged hillside that’s visible out my kitchen window but these days he/she must have something special brewing or me if he/she is on my doorstep. Success is on my doorstep. It’s black and white.


Hike in Limbo

January 24, 2011

This morning I went on a sunny hike at Runyon with Eric Rosen. Eric’s a food, wine, travel writer and host of GOURMOO COOKOFF, the lactose-free cooking show that I directed for Moovision this winter.

As usual, it was oodles of  fun spending time with Eric and hearing about where his next assignment is taking him (Cancun, Mexico) and where he just was (Barbados, New Zeland, France). It was also great because we’re both eager to work together again and are cooking up ideas of how to do it with a crew of two: him and me. Considering I’m quickly descending into writer-zone, I think it’d be good for me to have a small, fun, do-able project that keeps my directing skills from atrophying. Plus, hanging with Eric on his turf (vineyards, hip hotels, gorgeous destinations) would be a joy.

The hike was also good because it took my mind off UNTITLED EARTHQUAKE PROJECT. I met my morning deadline for turning in a revised outline to Aaron and Gabe, but the outline was accompanied by an honest letter expressing my concerns. This is a step forward — I’m able to communicate what’s nagging me about the project, and, I believe, stopping me from putting my heart into it. Last week was tough with EARTHQUAKE, and it got thornier when personal stuff intimately intwined with the story in a way that hasn’t proven good or bad.


Tomorrow can’t arrive fast enough. I’m incredibly eager to meet with the team because they’ll help stop this lost feeling. They are pros when it comes to having perspective, fresh ideas, patience and defining next steps. Right now, I’m floating around without even a treasure in mind let a lone a map to find it. And I’m naked. This is not how I like to feel when it comes to work.

Of course, a certain amount of uncomfortableness is good; it pushes you and challenges your resolve. I have a feeling all of this is a test by the greater movie/writing gods to make me better. But, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m craving waking up knowing what I’m working towards and being excited about it even if it’s a merciless process (which most writing is). This is the first time in a long time that I’m not creatively enthralled with a project and/or busting ass in pre/post/production. This kind of quiet drives me crazy. I might have to go make a beef stew to stay busy.

Shamu School

November 14, 2010

After my requisite hour plus of work on UNTITLED EARTHQUAKE MOVIE this morning, I got to read WHAT SHAMU TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOVE AND MARRIAGE for work. I loved this column-esque nonfiction book about applying exotic animal training on humans by Amy Sutherland (a fellow Northwestern alum!). The book is the offspring of her NYT column of the same name that was the paper’s most emailed story of 2006.

In the book, Amy offers “a personal story as a kind of Alice who stumbled into a Wonderland where cheetahs walk on leashes, hyenas pirouette on command, and baboons skateboard.” While in her Jungle-Wonderland, Amy realizes that she could use the training techniques in her interpersonal relationships, on her husband and to improve herself. Aptly, chapter one is titled “People are Animals Too.”

Her book is quick (160 pages), funny, joyfully smart, well-written, easy to digest, relatable, has a great character arc and is a happy tear jerker. And it’s not even fiction. Themes of communication, trust, self-examination, the search for balance in our trainer-human lives, and renewed perspective play out without notice or force in this delightful account of how we have a lot to learn from the wild kingdom. Christmas gift alert!

My “Currently Reading” status will change when we pick our next book after discussing FREEDOM in tonight’s book club!

Chipped Tooth ‘Cause Horses

November 9, 2010

The chunk of tooth that I spit out after I face-slammed into my horse's neck.

I’m a chunk of tooth less than I was three hours ago. Tonight at my weekly riding lesson, good old Pennslyvania was spooking himself silly at the fences. However with a solid, deep-seated sitting trot and the acceptance of always being left behind like an event rider (to protect myself), we’d made it over everything, even the scary faux brick wall. We approached a vertical gate, and he balked leftward (always left with him). I made him walk up to the absolutely-not-terrifying fence that was scaring the manure out of him. He eyeballed it from an inch away. And jumped it – from a standstill!

My chin SLAMMED into his neck as he catapulted himself over the jump. I wobbled, lost a stirrup, righted myself from his mane FAST and didn’t fall off. We’re four years running on that accomplishment. As a stablemate said – I’m due. But my fine wasn’t paid tonight in a face full of dirt. Instead, I found myself spitting a chunk of tooth out into my gloved hand. Bad ass.

So, I begin work tonight on:

– reading a short novel of which I already read the script adaptation and for which I’ll be pitching to rewrite. I have a call tomorrow to get some pre-pitch questions out of the way. I love the concept and source material and am already digging the ideas I have to make a rewrite stronger.

– reviewing Moovision Gourmoo Contestants just like our judges will be later this week. FYI – we kick into pre-pro on that web series (that I’m also directing) on 11/22! We shoot December 4 and 5 in Pasadena. I’m very excited for the reality-show styled shoot.

–  transcribing my notes from this morning’s four hour equally brutal and awesome creative meeting Gabe, Aaron and I had on my next original feature screen play: Untitled Earthquake Movie. Because of immediate, higher priority work deadlines on all of our plates, we hadn’t developed this project for about six weeks. Over Gabe’s bagel, my breakfast burrito, and Aaron’s messy sandwich, we found that the time and space gave us valuable perspective. We could now see that the infant project was riddled with weaknesses. Which sucked. We pushed through and by the end of the meeting, our muse was applauding us. We made great new strides and I’m more convinced than ever that this script is going to be a blast to write.

But the coolest thing about all of this? I’m doing it with an intact tongue. I certainly wouldn’t be if I had been sticking it out when Pennsylvania jumped that fence. I’m not forgetting to be grateful for the little but important things.

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