Friday, June 30, 2006


Over a year ago one of my scripts was optioned for $500.00 (co-written with Pete Flores).
We each got $250.00 and was excited (Pete said he'd buy a new fishing pole and I needed the cash flow since I had recently left my full-time staff job at a cable news channel in NY.) Well, the option expired. No sale, but some nibbles. Just heard from the young producer again this week. He wants to re-option the script. It's an animation script. But he doesn't want to pay for the option this time (he's well-connected in the biz) so do I or don't I? Hmm. Options. Choices.
Dilemmas. Looks like Pete won't be able to buy any more fishing gear and it's a good thing I have a steady job again.

Isn't the Barbara Walters/Star Jones battle crazy? 9 years of a professional relationship over. Sad. Never cared much for Star but I have to say I like the way she's handling herself these past few days. I've long respected and admired Barbara Walters but I'm disappointed in how she's handled matters. One day she's giving Star a standing ovation and then BOOM she's off the show. I'd of respected her more if Miss Walters addressed the "betrayal" at the moment it happened. Oh well, it's TV. It's business. I have to admit I'm looking forward to Rosie joining "The View" in September. It won't be dull and will be worth TiVo-ing.
Speaking of Rosie, she's got a great website (blog) which has links to benefit kids. Check it out.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Want a great website for screenwriting? Check out written by the enormously successful screenwriting team of Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot. What have they written you ask? Well, just movies like "Pirates of the Caribbean" one, two, and soon to be released three. Oh, they also wrote "Shrek". And "Aladdin" and "Little Monsters" and a bunch of movies.

Their website (and written before the blog craze) is chock full of tips, advice, columns, humor and direction about making it in Hollywood. Check it out. Read the columns. These guys really devote a lot of time to the columns. They tell you as it is.

I also recommend to download or read scripts online. Great resource and they often have current scripts available for free!

I'm really looking forward to seeing "Superman Returns". Great reviews and it just looks like a terrific summer movie. Finally! I saw "The Break-Up" with friends and it got a mixed reaction (the ending is different in the script). One friend loved it, two hated it, another was so-so, and I thought it was okay. I think in some way we expected a happier ending and to retitle it "The Make-Up".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Two years ago a young guy in L.A. called me up. He was interning at a production company and had read one of my scripts "WAR BIRDS", co-written with Pete Flores. It's an animation story about birds at the time of the dawning of man. Steve, the intern, left me a voicemail and said he had no power, no clout, but he was planning on becoming a producer one day in the future and wanted to keep in touch with writers he respected.

That was a cool phone message to get. A few days later I called him back. We chatted about my scripts and I could tell this was no ordinary intern. This guy knew his stuff. He was in his 30s and served in the military (Air Force) and was now in Hollywood. He planned to be in NYC soon and hoped to meet with me. We did. We had coffee for two hours and he gave me all the inside scoop on Hollywood, talent agencies, selling your script, etc. from his perspective. It was two hours well-invested.

Months later he optioned "WAR BIRDS" for a $1,000. He shopped it but wasn't able to sell it. However, Steve remains a great contact. Last week, he now works for a TOP talent agency in L.A., sent me the script for the new movie "The Break-Up" and three "The Sopranos" scripts, two written by its creator David Chase. "The Break-Up" was fun to read, but in places, it seemed too formulaic and I didn't particulary care for the main characters. They were both annoying as a couple. There were some funny laugh-out-loud lines that I could imagine Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston saying. I'm seeing the movie so I'll be able to see how closely they followed the script. It's a good script, but it didn't blow me away.

Now... Mr. Chase is another story. Wow. "The Sopranos" is outstanding on the page alone, not to mention once the actors get these lines. The dialogue is not sparce, but each line fits the characters perfectly and gives deeper meaning usually. Reading Tony and Carmella's lines are priceless. The scenes move (even when just talking heads are involved). I plan to reread "The Sopranos" several times over. There is a lot to learn from David Chase, similar to when I read "DEADWOOD" scripts written by creator/writer/producer David Milch. The talent is on the page in black and white.

So keep writing, people, but more importantly, keep reading great scripts from great movie and TV writers (many more in TV of late).

That intern is now close to becoming a bona fide Hollywood agent. I'm glad I returned his phone call when I did. See, ya never know.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


It's not officially summer yet, but it sure feels like it. It's humid and hot today. Just took my dog for a long walk (with her water bottle) and she's now pooped out in front of the A/C. I don't blame her.

I'm working on a new script and it's coming along well. I've been writing at a PC desktop for years. Just bought a Mac laptop and it's weird to be able to write in every room, sitting, reclining, outdoors in public. The laptop gets warm (a normal occurance Apple says) so last night I was writing on the sofa with the laptop sitting on my lap... and wondered why I was so hot. The laptop was throwing off heat or maybe it was my scene? lol.

Heading to the gym and then to some place to write today. Might wind up at the library on W. 4ndStreet in Manhattan at the Reading Room. It's one of my favorite places to read or write.
They better have air conditioning.

Keep cool and write on.