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February 24, 2017:

SCREENWRITING 101

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, did you know the imdb took down its message boards? I, for one, was and am glad to see them go, as they were a cesspool of idiot teens making with the smart remarks as if they actually knew something. Now, before anyone gets all high and mighty, yes, there are MANY teens who do know things and are very smart, and one of the ways those many teens are smart is that they don’t go on the imdb and look stupid. Every time I’d look at a thread there it made me want to vomit on the ground. Someone would ask a question and then all the smart-alecks would show up to belittle that person or just be nasty in general. However, we are still left with the user reviews, which, in my opinion, are frequently just as bad. Of course, you have shills paid by the studios to go on and ramp up the ten-star reviews. Then you have the idiots who give everything one star. And very occasionally you have an actual well-written thing – not a review, but someone’s thoughts. Why the HELL am I talking about the message boards at the imdb? Don’t I have notes to write? I do and I shall. But there’s a reason I was talking about the imdb and that has to do with the motion picture I watched on the Flix of Net last night, said motion picture entitled Knowing. Now, were I a betting man, I would bet money that the novelist who went to the producers with the idea of the film, probably pitched the basic concept of the film. I would also bet money that each successive writing team then took that basic concept and kept adding to it, everything from the Screenwriting 101 handbook, adding this cliché, tacking on this hoary device, until they’d taken that interesting concept and turned it into an amalgam of every other movie they could think of.

I was hooked instantly and I thought to myself, “Myself, this could actually be a really interesting movie and I’m anxious to see where it goes.” That lasted for about thirty minutes and then the movie began to go to HELL, by the hour mark it had become hopeless, and by the end, simply ridiculous and mind numbing. So, from that interesting premise they add a little X Files, they add a little Close Encounters, they add some big special effects crashes so no one will get bored, and it becomes a classic case in how a lot of really untalented people take an interesting notion and try to have it be all things to all audiences, which is, of course, the kiss of death. That said, these people would have you believe that this film made close to two hundred million dollars, to which I say, prove it, because I don’t think it did. I think this film was also proof that by 2009 Roger Ebert was completely out of his mind – yes, he gave this film four stars (out of four) and called it the sixth best picture of that year. Other critics were not so kind. It stars Nicolas Cage (who else), and I didn’t really know any of the other actors, and there were some especially bad supporting performances. As I watched it, I began to think if anyone buys Thrill Ride for the screen, I’d bet money that they would do exactly what I purposely did not do in the book – give it a lot of arbitrary adventure and “big” moments, rather than just let it be what it is, which I can’t really tell you because I don’t want you to really know anything about it.

The rest of yesterday was okay. I got over eight hours of sleep, I answered e-mails, and then did a necessary Costco run, basically just getting more of my preventatives (Airborne and that kind of thing), waters and Diet Cokes. I got another bottle of Pepcid, too, since I was running out and that has turned out to be a real problem solve in terms of acid reflux. I guess I’d forgotten how expensive Pepcid is – for 100 tablets it’s 23.98, which is more than double the price of at 260-tablet bottle of Tums. Then again, Tums doesn’t work for me and Pepcid does.

I came home, ate the rest of the tuna pasta salad, whilst doing some work on the computer, including finishing my part of the new liner notes (the majority of them are not by me) and listening to that CD master and oh do I love this music. Then I watched that movie, took a hot shower, had some shrimp cocktail shrimp (no real calories there), and that was that.

Today, I have a work session with John Boswell for the Kritzerland show, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then I’m seeing Sandy Bainum’s show.

Tomorrow will probably be a ME day, Sunday will be our annual Oscar Bash here at haineshisway.com, and then come Monday we begin the busy Kritzerland rehearsal week, culminating in the stumble-through, sound check, and show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a work session, hopefully pick up packages, sup, and see Sandy Bainum’s show. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, two new Kritzerland projects. Blu-ray, not sure what’s up next. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that I never really go to Screenwriting 101 land.

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