21 January 2008 - 22:28Winning a Nicholl, and Script Frenzy

I work at a college. It’s rewarding, flexible, reasonably-paid part-time work that is ideal for a writer’s day job. (Except when the entire college goes all dysfunctional for several years, and one gets involved in battles with Psycho-Bosses, Sneaky Sidekicks, and Back-stabbing Co-workers. Think “Dilbert” meets “24.”) And, you know, it’s seasonal. With seasons that change radically from month to month. The Beginning of the Semester Rush has completely flooded me.

So I’m a couple of weeks behind on my goal of winning a Nicholl. (140 weeks to go.)

This is also why I haven’t started posting much here.

But I’m still on track to have at least one new script ready well before the deadline. My plan is this: get the script roughed in before Spring Break in early March. During Spring Break I hope to set the current script aside and do a serious planning session on the next one. Then a couple of weeks rewriting, and then, End Of Semester Panic Season willing, I hope to do another script for Script Frenzy in April.

Script Frenzy is a kind of “writer’s dare” where everybody tries to write a complete script during the month of April. (It’s from the same people who run NaNoWriMo - the yearly effort to write most of a novel during the month of November.)

Since the Nicholl deadline is the first of May, this may not be soon enough to actually have a second script ready in time, but you never know. (And the Austin Film Festival deadline is a couple of weeks later.)

In the meantime, I’m shutting down the Synopsis Service until May, so I can concentrate on writing. Also, I’ve got to rethink the movie breakdowns I planned to post here. While I have been learning a lot, they are really BORING when it comes to writing them up and reading them, so I have to rethink how to use them better. I’ll probably start with a “lessons learned” approach.

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13 January 2008 - 9:34Comcast, Apple and 1984

Just reading an article in Forbes Magazine about the CEO of Comcast. Here’s a guy who has made a fortune out of Getting His Way. He insists on controlling everything, from customer choice to prices to congressional regulation.

And that’s being shaken by … the internet. No the alternative streams are not quite there yet, but I know I gave up cable two years ago, and haven’t missed it. (Other than Alton Brown. And Iron Chef, especially the origial Japanese one.) Between DVDs, iTunes and the internet, I get to watch all I want, and at my own convenience.

The thing about Getting Your Way is that if it doesn’t benefit others, it won’t last. Edison tried it in the early days of movies, and failed because a million shopgirls with nickels can’t be denied.

While reading that article, I couldn’t help thinking about Apple’s classic 1984 “Big Brother” ad. Apple ought to trot that one out again in support of the new Apple TV. (Sure, Apple TV is too controlled itself right now — but it just got started.)

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