Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm working on a project from scratch and have hit a bit of a lull in energy. I'm right at the beginning of the Third Act and know exactly where I'm headed, but I took a few days to focus on some non-writing work and lost my momentum.

So I have to get back on Monday. I'll have one full week to get cracking before a week's vacation. I'm tempted to bring my laptop along to write, but won't... sometimes it's healthier to unplug and daydream about my characters, dialogue, scenes... so that when I do return I'll be eager to sit down and finish this first draft.

Then comes the rewrites... and polishing... and eventually the marketing.

BUT, as a little distraction today I revisited a screenplay I wrote two years ago. It's a crime thriller. It's a rough draft but is actually better than I thought. It's workable and the characters are solid. So, after I'm done with my summer project, it's back to work on the crime thriller. Cop stories have big appeal and I find them exciting to write because of their fast pace.

Meryl Streep is getting great press about "Julie/Julia" and the buzz on the movie. That woman is great in anything, but lately she's raking in big dough at the box-office with "The Devil Wears Prada","Mamma Mia" and "Doubt". She's just so likable a person (Did you catch her on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien?) and she consistently chooses appealing projects to attach herself to. Whomever her agent is should get a raise. Miss Streep, who just turned 60, is a testament to fine work still coming out of Hollywood.

I hope she and Nora Ephron hit this one out of the park next month. Here is a clip from YouTube of the B-roll from "Julie/Julia" (BTW, the fruit stand shots at the end and the roof shots with Manhattan in the background were shot in my neighborhood right here in Astoria last year).

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


What screenwriting program do you use?

I use an old Final Draft 6 version that works just fine for what I do. Once I start writing a script, I try not to get too distracted with using all the bells and whistles on my Final Draft program (except for spellcheck, is that a whistle or a bell?).

I think we can get too distracted with some of the gadgets and new things some of these screenwriting software programs offer. I know writers who still bang out their scripts using Word and do just fine. Whatever gets your script done is the most important aspect (which is you, of course, the writer).

Do you have a favorite writing place? A desk? A coffee shop? I sometimes write on my laptop at the kitchen table or at my desk. One of my favorite places to write is at a college library in Union Square. It's a reading room so it's quiet and I usually get a lot of work done there. Writing can be lonesome -- so it's nice to get out and see other people. There are places here in NYC that provide a social, yet private work space for writers.

Do you work better alone or surrounded by others? I like to mix it up.

So, speaking of programs and technology, I'm off today to check out about buying a new Mac. My desktop PC is on its last leg. I have a Mac laptop and I like Apple a lot, so I'm biting the bullet and buying a desktop for video editing and writing. It will be cool to have a new computer (toy) to work on... all the bells and whistles galore... just wish I could find a software program that would write my darn script for me!

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hey Folks,

Just got word about the theatrical release of "Big Fan". This new film opens on August 28th. It's the directorial debut of Robert Siegel, the screenwriter of "The Wrestler". The film was made on a limited budget in only 23 days.

According to insiders, the script for 'Big Fan' generated a lot of buzz in Hollywood, receiving attention from director Darren Aronofsky, who ultimately declined directing 'BigFan' and instead recruited Siegel to write 'The Wrestler'. After the success of 'The Wrestler', Siegel was resolved to make the story he was passionate about into a feature film, working tirelessly to develop and produce 'Big Fan'.

Cool. Always great to see one of us get behind the camera and direct his own work. Way to go, Robert Siegel! This movie looks pretty good. Check out the trailer.

Until next time.

I hope to begin adding some video to my blog regarding screenwriting/playwriting. I've previously used The NY Screenwriting Life for text, but of course, content comes in all shapes and sizes now with technology at our finger tips. Since I live in NYC, I imagine there will be plenty of events or people who may be of interest to all you writers out there.

Please also leave me some comments and suggestions on what you'd like to see on the blog in the months ahead. Feel free to rant or rave or just say hi. This is a two-way street, not just a one-way. Together we can navigate the writer's journey which is definitely a trip.

Thanks, everyone, and enjoy your summer... in between hitting the keyboard.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm averaging around three hours per day to write. That's not a lot when you think about it, but it's becoming more routine, which is great. Sometimes, on a good day, I'll write for four hours, then spend the other time revising or reading about writing to keep motivated. The important thing is to keep at it. If we take too long of a break, we get rusty.

There are some great books out there by the masters about writing and the tricks of the trade. I particularly recommend Stephen King's book "On Writing". It's an excellent read and he gives great insights into style and the basics of getting it done. Also worth checking out (from the library if you don't want to spend money on books) is Norman Mailer's "The Spooky Art". He tells all about his early days of writing and the skills and determination the art takes.

Hope you're enjoying July.
Until next time.