Thursday, May 25, 2006

Apple & Final Draft.7

It was about that time to update and upgrade my writing technology.

So I went out a purchased a new Apple G4 laptop for writing scripts primarily in great NYC locations. I don't think I'll be writing much in Starbucks like other screenwriters (maybe in the winter months), but right now there are too many terrific places to write outdoors. I passed a Tibetan tea house recently with an outdoor back garden area. Now that sounds like the perfect place to write.

I also upgraded to Final Draft.7 I just started using it last night so I'm not sure what the differences will be from Version 6, but Final Draft is a great screenwriting program. I won my first version back in 2000 (Version 5). I had entered their screenwriting trivia contest online and WON (I never win anything). So I have special fondness for Final Draft although there are a ton of writing programs out there for you to choose from.

Can we talk pre-summer movies? I haven't seen one. I'm terrible, aren't I? I'm not contributing to the movie economy at all. And I LOVE movies. Nothing interests me. I may check out The DiVinci Code (enjoyed the book), but I'm not running to the movie theater. Tom Cruise? Usually love his movies too (the early ones "Jerry MaGuire", "A Few Good Men", "The Firm", "Born of the Fourth of July", "The Color of Money"). I'm not into Action-Tom (that includes sofa jumping). Oh wait, I will rush to see Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn in "The Breakup" (looks hilarious) and did you catch VV on "Oprah"? I'd say Jen hit the jackpot with that tall, charming guy.

Ok, time to take my laptop out and get busy writing. Now the dilemma isn't what do I write, but where to write? There is always an excuse to procrastinate. I love technology.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


The festival is almost over. It was a great run. I enjoyed volunteering. I met lots of enthusiastic, great folks in and out of the film business. One woman is a therapist, another guy a brand-spanking new attorney maybe interested in entertainment law, and lots of students and people from all walks of life -- we all had one thing in common -- we love movies.

So everyone asks "Did you see any stars?"? I was so busy working (and I do mean WORKING) that I only saw a few familiar faces (some I didn't know their names). I did see the guy who plays Larry David's agent on "Curb Your Enthusiasm". We exchanged a few words at the lunch buffet line. He seemed like a nice guy.

I missed seeing one of my faves John Travolta by a day!

Okay, let me explain -- I was madly madly in love with JT growing up -- I mean, "Welcome Back, Kotter", "Saturday Night Fever", "Grease", "Urban Cowboy" and "Pulp Fiction" are all soundtracks to my life. I adore that man and always thought he was tall and sexy and that someday I'd meet him.

I heard the bartenders say that Travolta "lost all that weight and looked great, man." Now you know when bartenders say you look cool -- you do. They're a jaded bunch (especially at a celebrity filled hotel) and don't hesitate to speak their minds.

Leaving the Tribeca Grand Hotel, I saw Paul Giamanti of "Cinderella Man" and "Sideways". He was strolling along looking in shop windows. Great actor.

Tom Cruise invaded our city yesterday for "Mission Impossible III". Word at the festival was that he might swing by, but he never did -- he had bigger fish to fry uptown. The closest I came to TC was his security men. One security guy I talked to was part of the team to watch over Tom while in NYC. Security guys are a lot like bartenders -- jaded, not starstruck and speak their minds.

So, I never got to meet John Travolta... but I will someday. It would be a thrill to look into those blue eyes and shake the hand of Vinny Barbarino, Tony Manero, Danny Zucko, Bud, and Vincent Vega. John, long and lean in his heydey, will always be sexy to me -- heavier and over 50 now -- he'll always be my man.

Monday, May 01, 2006


May is my favorite month of the year. I guess it has something to do with me being born in May. It's just a beautiful sounding month -- like April. April and May make you happy to be alive -- when everything is reborn. You can see it in the flowers, the birds, the happiness on the faces of New Yorkers (even on their way to work). No more heavy coats and sweaters -- out come the flip-flops and Tees.

So, I'm still volunteering at the Tribeca Film Festival. I saw two free films today. Documentaries. One being "The Saint of 9/11" about NYC Fire Chaplain Mikyl Judge who was killed while administering last rites to the injured on September 11th. This documentary is a must see, especially if you're Catholic. Father Mike lived the true message of Jesus -- be a tad radical, ignore the arrogance of power, and always serve the less fortunate.

The second film (documentary) I saw was "Dorothy Day". It's a terrific one hour documentary about the life of NYC activist, author and co-founder of The Catholic Worker. Ms. Day was quite radical and a pacifist who went so far as to openly not pay her federal income tax because she said a large portion of federal taxes goes to the military -- which supports violence and war. She was arrested on several occasions for civil disobedience, started hospitality homes for the poor, wrote numerous books and newspaper articles, and felt close to her faith even if she didn't always agree with the heirarchy of the Catholic Church. While leaving the film, I wondered what she would think of today's times (the war in Iraq, the poor suffering after Katrina, the class differences). Nothing has changed since her passionate heydey.

The woman, Claudia Larson, who directed, wrote and produced "Dorothy Day" had never been a filmmaker before this movie. She had a pamplet of Dorothy Day on her desk and could never seem to give it away, file it or toss it. Dorothy Day's photo haunted her and the result is a great documentary that took 14 years to finish. Check out for more info.

NYC, the month of May ahead, the Tribeca Film Festival, and possible sainthood... what more can you ask for?