Free Script Coverage? Abbot Management?

January 30, 2008

Interesting… very interesting. Saw this on a blog a couple of days ago:

Abbot Management is currently accepting Film and Television Screenplays for consideration.

The Producers and Production Companies that accept our submissions expect a professional quality product. That being said, most of our Screenplay submissions will be rejected, some will be placed in our Development Library, and few will be selected for representation and sent out for Producer / Production Company consideration. Regardless of our decision, in most cases our coverages are forwarded onto our writers so they understand what works / does not work with their Screenplay – free of cost.

Free coverage? Nice. Usually writers pay services $60+ for “industry-quality” coverage of their scripts. Intrigued, I surfed on:

Our team includes an East Coast Manager, a West Coast Manager, an Entertainment Lawyer, a Development Manager, and fifteen Script Readers.

We currently represent 13 screenwriters and are developing the works of 28 Screenwriters in our Development Library. In our short history we have received over 500 submissions, and represent only the highest quality in film and television Screenplays.

[Note 12/15/09: The above info was accurate as of January 2008. It is my understanding that Abbot has now received over 2,000 script submissions, and I’m sure their staff/infrastructure has changed dramatically.]

Sounds great: best case = management, worst case = free coverage. I googled and found another blog mention, with an apparent quote from Tim Lambert, the guy who runs Abbot. Read the rest of this entry »


Non-Random Question

January 29, 2008

How would you describe the direct experience of falling in love? What does the “falling” really, truly feel like? The actual physical experience, the “hot flashes” and “weightlessness” below. From Dead Guy (page 29):

[Note: Hooker is Pete’s best friend, NOT a prostitute.]

                Look, I know you guys love each
                other, but…                   
                        (he shakes his head)
                Are you seriously telling me that
                you will NEVER fall in love again?
                For the rest of your life? Is that
                what you’re saying?


                You’ll NEVER get that feeling
                again? That newness and the hot
                flashes and the, you know, feeling
                weightless, being lifted up out of
                yourself, like bunny hills on a
                roller coaster? You’re never gonna
                feel that again? You can’t turn
                that off, that’s just not how it
                works. Why would you want to,
                anyway? That feeling, like when you
                discover your new favorite song,
                that’s what life is…

     As he speaks, Hooker reaches under his seat, pulls out a
     record store bag full of new CDs, and shakes it for effect.

                             HOOKER (CONT’D)
                …being totally surprised. Finding
                your new favorite song and loving
                the hell out of it before you get
                to find another one. That’s what 
                life is.

                Your life, maybe.

                Damn straight.

It’s still way too long and speechy, but I think I’m getting closer. Suggestions? How would you describe it?

Read a Random Scene

January 25, 2008

Yesterday was a good day – my first new scene in quite a while. Dead Guy is now up to 27 pages (38 with outline). Anyway…

Despite my euphoria and energy to put the scene out there for immediate feedback, I know this is a bad idea – the scene probably sucks, and will change a thousand times before anybody else needs to look at it. I want the scene to be done, but of course it’s not even close. So, to fulfill this excitement and my need to be read, I’ve added a new section to the blog: Random Scene, visible in the buttons/menu above. Although the new Dead Guy scene has no business being read, I have plenty of others that are ready. This way I can get attention and privacy at the same time. The inaugural page is a scene I randomly thought about this morning, taken from a script that has gained lately in my own estimation.

One scene is posted now, but it won’t be there for long – I will change out the scene at random intervals with other scenes from other scripts. This new section is designated a “page” and not a “post,” so I don’t think there will be any emails/notices of new blog content generated when the scene does change,  so check back in and select that menu button whenever if you’re looking for a quick read. Enjoy.

Back At It/The Challenge 2.008

January 23, 2008

2 things:

(1) I’m writing again, which is good – very good. After the move to the house took up all my time from September – November, the holidays came along. Between those and the endless puttering and fixing and buying new stuff for a 50-year-old house, I had really been out of commission for a while there. But this past weekend Michelle took both boys off my hands for a few hours for a birthday party, so I had 2 or 3 hours of good, quality time with Dead Guy.

Yes, Dead Guy. After being banished to the back burner since at least last summer, Dead Guy is forefront in my mind again. Which leads to the complications with

(2) The Challenge 2.008. As I suggested in an earlier post, I had really meant to come out guns blazing in early January with a New Year’s Resolution/Big Bold Statement about what the new challenge would look like. A schedule of milestones, deadlines to live up to, all that, to get both scripts completed in 2008. While the final goal – both scripts done and showable and uploaded to by the end of 2008 – is still unshakeably in place, the interim deadlines and timetables keep changing. Why? Because I had assumed that I would resume work on Psycho Ex first, finish a draft of that by April or so, get that polished and uploaded by the summer, and then keep right on trucking into Dead Guy for fall and winter deadlines. But now it appears that the two scripts are more entangled in my mind than that. Instead of writing one script and then the next, they have become interconnected, alternately as 2 sides of the same coin (the premises are mirror images of each other) or as serving as release valves – when I get stuck on one, the other one is always there waiting, a breath of fresh air. Therefore, it’s looking like I’ll continue with both at the same time, as two big chunks moving forward in semi-parallel fashion. So who knows which one I’ll finish first, or when? How should I assign deadlines or progress requirements when working like this? I don’t know, but I’m working on it. The whole point of this is to force myself to get productive again, not to devise a system with giant loopholes that I can simply walk out of.

It seems like there should be big milestones met by the end of each quarter, whether through a total page count of both scripts combined or otherwise. I’ll keep thinking about it, and if anybody gets any bright ideas by all means send them this way.

As for Dead Guy – I’ve gotten my head back in the game, but no new flow of pages yet. Mostly working on my outline, more concentration on The Line, character arcs, things like that. But specific work has been done too – the nearly-complete Act One has been tweaked and refocused, the first present-day scene is getting mapped out and taking shape, more details about Pete’s life and business trip are getting nailed down. More forward progress than we’ve seen in a long time, so stay tuned.

Now if I could just figure out how to get the boys invited to birthday parties EVERY weekend…

Quote of the Day

January 22, 2008

It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological….

[A]voidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioral disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life which was not entirely, or even chiefly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships.

– Anthony Storr, Solitude: A Return to the Self, 1989

Why I Didn’t Love Sweeney Todd

January 18, 2008

Last time I mentioned my opinion that Sweeney Todd was a good movie, but not a great one. It is probably Tim Burton’s most accomplished film. I liked it, respected it, admired it… but I didn’t love it.

Why not? Just like with Steely Dan, I didn’t find anything there to get attached to emotionally. I didn’t fall in love. And because of that, the ending, while inevitable and satisfying and ironic, pretty much failed. Why? Because it didn’t feel tragic – it didn’t emotionally devastate me, and I doubt it devastated anyone else in the theater either.

And this time I think I have some answers why. They don’t unlock the writing secrets to emotional involvement or anything, but they are helpful (at least for me).

Sweeney Todd is an obsessive protagonist. His all-encompassing obsession to exact revenge is Read the rest of this entry »

Helicopter Anderson

January 15, 2008

Mudflap prism
Standing shoes
Snowmobile rot conceal
Bleach(ed) white blues

Lipstick machete
Skullcap soil
Curtain rod confetti
Birdhouse boil

Easy-bake urinal cake
Switchback smug
Simon sand hand in gland
Rank reek rug

One day you will come around
Knock upon my door
Step lightly now stop show me how
Leave me on the floor

Telescopic mouthfeel
Limousine crow
Subtle stretch and softly retch and
I don’t know