HOW TO CHANGE HOLLYWOOD

May 28, 2009

I’ve recently been reading a great screenwriting blog hosted by John August, writer of Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Go, among others.

Recently he sent his assistant Matt to a Writers Guild Foundation event in Beverly Hills featuring Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman who wrote Star Trek.  Matt took notes and wrote a lovely little blogpost highlighting much of what he learned from the interview.

The comments on this blog post were also an entertaining read and I was motivated to respond to a commenter named Kevin who basically lambasted Orci and Kurtzman for making what he called “crap movies” that were “garbage” and “forgettable.”  Admittedly an old and tired complaint.

Kevin wondered “why just being a writer-for-hire is enough for most screenwriters” and hoped that the internet and the development of a new distribution structure would make it possible for “intelligent” films to reach the masses.

There was some debate about the “system” of Hollywood and my comment (#62) came after many others had tackled the issue.  Here are my thoughts: Read the rest of this entry »

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MAY 27

May 27, 2009

Here’s a little update about life at Club Fritch.

WRITING

I’ve been writing!  And I just completed the first draft on a screenplay that I’ve been writing for a producer in San Diego.  Woot!  I’m gonna get notes tonight and then I’ll start revisions.  It feels good to complete the first draft of another screenplay.  It feels like having climbed to the top of one end of a mountain range.  Woohoo!  I’m at the top!  But now I know that I have a whole mountain range (of revisions) to travel to get to the end -a script that’s ready for production.

But this process so far has been a real joy.  Why?  Other than the fact that I’ve really jived with this producer and he gives good notes, I’ve enjoyed it because it’s been an organized process.  We started with a story idea and fleshed it out into the 8-point story structure.  Then I fleshed that out into a 30-beat outline.  Then he had notes.  Then I fleshed it out into a step outline (about 67 “scenes”).  Then he had notes.  And a few others had notes.

And we talked about those notes.  Then I took that outline and wrote the script!

It was just a healthy rewarding writing process!  And in case I haven’t mentioned it before, I love the re-writing process.  So I’m even looking forward to that.  Yay!

…DUNCAN CHRISTOPHER

Club Fritch has a third member these days.  Justin Monroe has been our half-time resident.  He shows up in the morning with cappuccinos (yum!) and stays all day.  I make them (Ryan and Justin) lunch and I make them dinner (most days).  I have to make it for myself so I might as well make it for them too, eh?

The film is coming together.  They’re very close to a director’s cut.  Exciting!  Then the rest of the producers will weigh in and we’ll start the refining process.  But it’s looking good!

VACATION!

Ryan and I are leaving on Saturday morning for a whole week at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with Ryan’s family!!  We are so excited!  It’s my first time there since I was seven years old!  Ryan was there last in 1999 I think.  It’s going to a fun, relaxing time.  We’ve got a park-hopper pass and we’ve paid for our meals up front and all that jazz.  I’m even thinking about not bringing my laptop for the sake of relaxation.  But I’ll have my iPhone.  So I can still blog and facebook and email.  I’m not that free from technology.

THE FUTURE?

When Ryan and I get back from Florida, he’ll have more work to do on the film.  And I’ll have more writing waiting for me as well as some headshots to take (of other people).  At some point soon I’ll get my own headshots taken.  But that’s future-stuff.

After that, we don’t know!  More editing for Ryan?  More writing for me?  More producing for both of us!?  Exciting times!


FALL DOWN GO BOOM

May 23, 2009

…need anti-inflammatory.

Today I was out for a quick run (20 minutes, 2 miles) and about 1/4 of the way, I hit a crack and went flying, tumbling and rolling across the pavement.  I was okay.  My hip hurt a little and my shoulder was scratched up, but I finished my run and felt fine.  However, about halfway through the afternoon my hip started aching.

I knew from my time spent with a great physiotherapist in Glendale that while inflammation serves a purpose, it also can hinder the healing process.

So I went lookin’ on one of my favourite food/health websites for some answers.

  • Here’s a post on the great effects of olives on the body, one of which is as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Here’s one about tea and its anti-inflammatory properties (among others).
  • Here’s list of foods that help reduce inflammation in the short term.
  • Here’s a list of ways in which to reduce inflammation over the long term.
  • And here’s a list of medication alternatives.

So after reading quickly through these posts, I promptly went to the kitchen and downed two aged garlic pills and four green olives stuffed with jalapeño peppers.  Yum!

I’d rather eat olives than down some nsaids any day!


COFFEE HOUSE – Nicholasville, KY

May 17, 2009

I haven’t been here, but I found it online and I thought I’d highlight it as a place I’d like to visit.

Main and Maple Coffee House in Nicholasville, Kentucky

I’m admittedly a coffee-snob thanks to my training at Peets and as such I find it hard to recommend a place that doesn’t understand and serve good espresso and real fresh coffee.  However, I’ve read through this website and I think that aside from serving coffee (the basics) they just seem to be doing everything else right as a “coffee shop”.

Their mission is “to be a safe place for people from all walks of life to come and enjoy not only great food and drink, but also friendship and fellowship.”  What a great mission for a coffee place!  A safe place.  I like that.  If you scroll down even further on the main page you’ll see that they offer free wifi all the time!  I love them already.  And if I visit their establishment before 8 AM on Monday through Friday, I GET A FREE SCONE!  Are you kidding me?  They’re giving away pastries!  That’s insane!

I also love that customers can get a free fill of coffee on a specialty drink purchase.  I always thought that was something that coffee shops should be doing and I love that these people are doing it.

Just like a local LA coffee shop owner, Chuck Jones, who says “life’s too short for bad coffee”, the owner of this Nicholasville, KY coffee shop, a guy named Jim, says “life is too short to be difficult.”  I like that too.

A look at their drink selection suggests to the educated barista that they might not truly understand good espresso, but they seem to have a wide selection of syrups to satisfy the mid-westerners palate.  That’s nice.  And while they don’t serve loose-leaf, I do appreciate their tea selection.

And no great coffee shop would be complete without a great selection of breakfast items, tasty sandwiches and healthy wraps.  These guys even have flatbread pizzas!

Finally, they have live musicians every Friday and Saturday night.  They’re getting almost all As!

Now if only I could be sure that they don’t serve a dead shot.


CAFE BEAUJOLAIS

May 12, 2009

Ryan and I had dinner recently at Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock.  It was delightful.

This place used to have a reputation for rude waiters and slow service.  But it seems to have improved in the past few months.  Indeed, the current Yelp! reviews attest to its popularity:

“…on a Friday evening, in a sleepy little section of Eagle Rock, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a young urban hipster.”

And the place was truly full when we arrived (about 9 PM); but with only one group ahead of us, we only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.  We were prepared for slow service and some attitude, but the waiters seemed to be going out of their way to be nice.  Seems they have successfully adapted to American sensitivities.

They boast real French everything.  The waiters, who are French, wear t-shirts that say, “Everything French, even the attitude.”  Each of them look like some famous actor, which was odd.  There was French Jake Gyllenhaul, French Michael Cera, French Karl Urban, and French Johnny Depp.

While we were waiting, one couple left and I noticed French Karl Urban, who seemed to be the Head Waiter, asked them if they enjoyed their experience.  Their response was something like, “It wasn’t quite horrible before, but it was much better tonight.  And as always, the food was amazing.”  It seemed like those two were regulars to whom French Karl Urban attributes much taste.

My favourite was cute little French Michael Cera, who brought us bread and water.  He bustled around that place doing lap after lap, topping off everyone’s water, bussing dishes and resetting tables.  He was ridiculously cute and focused.  I wanted to pinch his cheeks.

I had asparagus soup (the best I’ve ever tasted).  I appreciated that our waiter, French Johnny Depp, went out of his way to ensure that I was aware there was no dairy or sugar in the soup – just the veggies, chicken stock and some spice.  Very thoughtful.  Ryan had the French Onion Soup.  It was the best French Onion Soup that I’ve had anywhere.  And I’ve had French Onion Soup all over North America.

For our entrees, Ryan had the rack of lamb.  It was perfect.  I had filet of beef flambe.  It was awesome.  Cooked just like I’d asked for – medium.  Tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.  Great flavour!  It came with scalloped potatoes au gratin and perfectly cooked asparagus and carrots.  Lovely.

We didn’t have dessert but I was watching the waiters, especially French Jake Gyllenhaul, bring some excellent-looking desserts out from the kitchen.  Most obvious was the plethora of empty crème brûlée dishes distributed throughout the restaurant.

Our waiter, French Johnny Depp, said, “bonjour,” when we arrived and “cava?” when asking how our food was.  I took great delight in answering, “Salut!” and “Cava bien!”  And “bonne soir!” as we excited, while he hollared after us, “Merci, Bonne soir, au revoir.”  Truly delightful.


FOOD BLOGS

May 8, 2009

I have a blogroll of food blogs (and healthy living) that I check daily.  I love the ideas and encouragement as well as challenges that that I get from the women (and men) that host these blogs.  Here’s the list:

Here are a few more resources:

The internet can help us become healthier?  Who knew!?


ORU LAWSUIT: ECFA ACCREDITATION!

May 6, 2009

I missed posting this in March.  So sorry!

Apparently, ORU has recieved their Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) accreditation!  Those following the news about the lawsuit since 2007 will know that this was a huge part of the problem at the time – that ORU had a history and a reputation for being massively non-transparent.  That ORU has recieved this accreditation, is a huge sign that things are certainly changing for the better under Mart’s leadership.

Thanks to the kids at SaveORU.com for the heads up!