Three Things

April 1, 2014

1. Last weekend was the final weekend at Sherwood Forest Faire, where I play François le Foutre, the “most fearsome fruit in all of France.” As the character, I’ve talked about my “gay pirate romance novel” for two years. This year I finally wrote and published it. Altogether, 339 books sold this season, not including the thirty-odd books that were given out as rewards for the Indiegogo campaign.

François will be re-appearing this fall at the Texas Renaissance Festival, in a brand new period-appropriate costume made (at least partially) of bubble-gum pink velvet. With the larger crowds, my goal is to sell 650 books so I can break the 1,000 barrier by the end of the year. That money would then get used to bankroll the sequel, whose title is still being brainstormed. (Leading contendors so far are “Yank the Plank”, “The Rear Gunner of Gaios” and “Look at the Size of that Cockboat”.)

2. Kind of humbling to think about how big some of the things I’m participating in are starting to get. Found Footage 3D is now 7 weeks away from production, and thanks to the right resources and a great team, our fan base is growing rapidly. The Kristen Stewart April Fool’s prank was seen by 2,000 people in just a few hours. That’s something I (at least partially) wrote, that’s been seen by thousands of people. Hundreds of people have read my book (far more than the 300-odd copies I’ve sold, as it’s been passed around the campgrounds). A screenplay I co-wrote has gathered 2.5 million in funding, en route to $5 million. When you actually stop to think about how significant that actually is, influencing something that thousands, if not millions of people will enjoy—and getting paid for it—it’s a pretty awesome feeling.

3. Want to give a shout out to Evelyn Talmadge of Goalsmiths. Over the last few years I’ve gone to see her a couple of times for a few sessions, and was reminded this week of the long-term benefits of the work she does. One of the thing she helped me with was an addiction I was dealing with, and this week I used the same tools to manage a diet change that I’ve been struggling with—and just like that, I cured myself. If you’ve got an addiction, trauma, or anything else you’ve been wrestling with consciously that would be better altered at the subconscious level, you should talk to her.

Why Would You Pay $3.2 Million for a Script and then Ruin It?

June 11, 2012

Saw Snow White and the Huntsman yesterday. This after listening to the interview with the original writer, Evan Daugherty. In the interview, the guy sounds real down-to-earth, and I was really hoping the movie would be good, because it’s always great to see nice guys succeed.

Unfortunately, no dice. Of course, no movie is better for having Kristen Stewart in it, but surprisingly she wasn’t the worst thing about this one. The script was just awful, to the point where I had to stifle my laughter more and more as the film went on at the ludicrous attempts to evoke some kind of empathy. I cared about none of the characters (maybe half of one of them). And to top it all off, the art direction was just plain disappointing. Although they had this great effect of watching the queen get older and younger constantly, the scenes when she sucks the life out of people and leaves them old and haggard were simply anticlimactic. Charlize Theron, bless her heart, did her best with what she was given, but she was given a stereotype with no subtext, so it wasn’t much to go on.

Which all brings me back to the title of this post: The concept wasn’t decent, but not $3.2 million decent, so the original script must have been better that the bile they eventually put on screen. So why would you pay $3.2 million for a script if you’re just going to tweak it to death?

You hear horror stories about this all the time: studio buys script, and then director wants to change it and A-list actor wants to change it and producer wants to change it and before you know it it’s a shell of what it once was. And this was no different. They spent several months working with the author and then replaced him with two other writers with “industry cred” so that if the movie tanked they couldn’t blame it on overpaying for a script from an unproduced writer.

Well guess what? If you have to rewrite it, it’s not worth $3.2 million. At that point you’re buying a concept, or maybe a concept and an outline, but not a script. And if it is worth $3.2 million, you might consider leaving it the f*** alone.

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