Frisky Friday – The 13th

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Image created using Bitmoji

It’s Friday the 13th.

I can’t remember if I ever saw the first Friday the 13th movie before or not.

So far it seems more about making out and sex than it does about the slasher.

Bum grabs, moaning…

Older movies are always fun because you get to see how much things have changed and how much they haven’t.

To me, it seems the sex is less graphic, but more passionate. I’ve seen way more funny sex scenes in horror films as of late than I have seen serious ones.

Oh, there’s the killing. It was just a semi-slow build up.

In Friday the 13th (1980), it really pulls you in the different directions. One minute it’s a fairly steamy moment and the next it’s horrifying and bloody.

I’m off to enjoy this classic horror film.

Have a good weekend!

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Teeth the Movie: A Review

TuesdaySynopsis: A young woman who grows up near a nuclear power plant develops teeth in an unusual place. Yes, it’s the place you think it is. Because of her unusual situation, she’s a natural-born student abstinence educator in her school. Okay, that’s my take on it. Here is the one from IMDB:

“Still a stranger to her own body, a high school student discovers she has a physical advantage when she becomes the object of male violence.”

teethWriting: The plot is based on real urban legends that the Hindu, the Ainu, the Shinto, and the Maori tell. They all have their own take, but in this film it’s basically a toothed vagina that only the bravest hero can conquer with his penis. The idea is silly, yet the movie is a serious horror that knows it is a bit ridiculous. The writer got the tone right. We see Dawn reacting in silly ways that are completely believable for a teen girl who has to take an unusual path to womanhood. It’s also well-paced. I never felt bored or so over stimulated that it was hard to tell what I just watched. It unfolded perfectly. The ending was a little predictable, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

Acting: The acting was about average for a teen movie except for the protagonist. Jess Weixler played the role of Dawn convincingly. Everyone else was just okay for me.

Effects: There weren’t a lot of effects, mostly blood though it wasn’t overly gory. The soundtrack was decent. The camera shots were well done and I base that on not noticing them. I was never pulled out of the film by problems like too much shaky cam.

Overall: I think this horror was disturbing and a little funny. It’s well worth the watch though some may want to divert their eyes during a couple of scenes, especially if you are phallus-equipped. If you’re looking for a serious scare, this one won’t do it, but if you want something milder, go for it.

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – 5 Faves in Each Genre

TuesdayToday’s number is 5, which is perfect because I’ve been wanting to write this post anyway.

At the beginning of the school year, my teacher had us list our five favourite films. It felt cruel to pick only five and I had a very hard time with it. What did I pick? Well, I tried to go with a mix of the films that impressed me the most and the ones that I’ve watched time and again.

Here they are:

1. Feds
2. The Godfather
3. Gremlins
4. Dead Poet’s Society
5. Edward Scissorhands

But it’s not enough, so I’ve been wanting to do a new list of five per genre ever since. This exercise has taught me that there are so many movies I haven’t seen yet! Based on what I have seen, here they are in no particular order. Yes, some of them are technically rather awful and cheesy, but I love them anyway.

Action/Adventure

– The Long Kiss Goodnight
– The Seven Samurai
– Kill Bill
– Mad Max: Fury Road
– Pretty much anything Jason Statham is in.

Animated

– Spirited Away
– Team America World Police
– Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
– Wall-E
– Kubo and the Two Strings

Christmas

– Die Hard
– The Ref
– Home Alone
– Santa’s Slay
– Miracle on 34th Street

Comedies

– Dogma
– Feds
– Juno
– Coyote Ugly
– Office Space

Crime

– The Godfather
– The Shawshank Redemption
– Hackers
– The Untouchables
– Pulp Fiction

Drama

– Dead Poet’s Society
– Atlas Shrugged
– Fight Club
– The Perks of Being a Wallflower
– Shindler’s List

Fantasy

– Star Wars (Space operas are fantasy, not sci-fi)
– Harry Potter
– LotR
– Edward Scissorhands
– The Neverending Story

Historical

– Braveheart
– The King’s Speech
– Hacksaw Ridge
– La Bamba
– Hidden Figures

Horror

– Gremlins
– Underworld
– Stigmata
– Final Destination
– Jaws

Musicals

– Cannibal the Musical
– Hairspray
– The Sound of Music
– Grease
– Sister Act

Romance

– The Notebook
– 10 Things I Hate About You
– Save the Last Dance
– Dirty Dancing
– Sex and the City

Sci-Fi

– The Matrix
– Terminator 2
– E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
– Jurassic Park
– Aliens

Sports

– The Mighty Ducks
– Whip It
– Rudy
– Rocky
– Any Given Sunday

Superhero

– Wonder Woman
– The Dark Knight
– Deadpool
– Kick-Ass
– The Crow

Thriller

– Psycho
– Silence of the Lambs
– Seven
– The Usual Suspects
– Chinatown (I guess. Really, I need to watch a lot more thrillers)

What are some of your favourite films?

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Entropy

face-66317_640I first learned about entropy from either Blue Planet or Planet Earth. The concept fascinated me immediately.

The idea that things break apart in order to create something better with the pieces later is highly relevant in my life right now.

I think that writers often have to be willing to blow up our work and reassemble it differently.

This is challenging. Probably one of the most challenging things we do. I think this is pretty much how to take draft one and make draft two. You need to be willing to rearrange something so differently that it barely resembles what it was before.

I don’t know where it’s all heading yet, but it’s definitely an interesting time.

R~

Make-It Monday – My Murky Yet Hopeful Future

bitmoji_goalsWhat an experience visiting and pitching to places was! We went to ten places that are key in media in all of Canada. When we first got there, I felt like I definitely knew what my path was going to be. I was planning on getting a job near my house and then write during the hours I wasn’t working. While there, I felt I really wanted to be part of this thing that is media in Canada. I was a little down discovering that I didn’t get that job because it makes me stressed out about money again, but I think it’s ultimately a good thing for my future.

One of the things I learned is how useful I could be as someone with a background in project management. I think that is the right path for me to take. I could end up an Assistant Director or someone who manages programming schedules or nearly anything because time management and getting talent to deliver things on time is one of the areas that is a constant struggle.

But my work life is a little like sand right now. A strong wind can blow a structure apart only to reform elsewhere. Entropy is this week’s theme and it’s quite a fitting one given that I’ve quite a bit to figure out.

I sent in a short film script to the broadcast students, sent a short script to a new contact, did script coverage for a local film maker, and learned my feature could really get made if I can find a producer that would be interested in it. Good things are happening though the future isn’t clear yet.

I’ve also made progress on editing my novel. I’m going to be changing some things based on what I learned about TV. I may even get in touch with one of the companies I really liked and could see my stories being told through. I have some further questions about something they said.

So I’m going to keep working hard and making contacts that could help me get somewhere that makes sense for me in the industry.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Symphonic Saturday – Music and My Trip

L4BB3-67RLK3J_RoyRWhat an incredible week I’ve had! I have so many pages of notes from our Toronto pitching trip. Some things didn’t go so great. Something got overlooked and my first film pitch was to a woman who was upset by the content, but gave great feedback on it anyway. I’m now thinking of it being a mix of live action and animation because that would reduce costs and be different. It would also make use of local talent given how many high quality animation studios exist in Ottawa. At my other film pitch, I was told there is a problem with one of the story elements, so I’ve reached out to a medical science organization in the north to see if they can help me find the information I need to fix that piece. He also said that he could see my film being made! Given he works for a distributor that works with a lot of horror films, I’m super stoked! I got up this morning fired up to get the pieces together to fix some parts and make a plan for the next version.

Last night, we used the bus DVD system to watch a couple of movies that my classmate brought. The first was Kubo and the Two Strings. Knowing my love of music and sword based martial arts, you can guess why I picked it. Also, many in my class love animation, so I thought it would be a good pick. I think most really enjoyed it.

After that, we watched Jurassic World. It’s another with a fantastic soundtrack. It always takes me back to high school because we used to play the theme song in music class. It was a wonderful cap to the week as I feel like my life is finally on the right path and it’s the one I started in grade 9 when I joined drama club in high school.

I may have been lost for a while, but I found my way back. This year has been a fantastic journey. I have so many new ideas, twists for old ones, and more! I learned so very much about the industry and what I can bring to it. I saw places like Temple Street Productions where I felt my kind of stories could definitely fit. They gave the world Orphan Black and have received a ton of awards for it. I have to check out The Killjoys as I heard about that one repeatedly. That’s one of theirs too.

One of the things that came out of this was that many love if there is a source material like a novel to draw from in order to make a TV show. TV is way bigger in Canada than movies are, though we do well with horror and the odd other movie like Maudie. When I started this journey, I was partly thinking that screenplays are faster to write than novels are. Now I’m seeing that it’s not one or the other for me, but both. It means that nearly all of my projects will take longer. I have to figure the book piece out for my other stories. I shouldn’t set things in Ottawa if I hope for them to do well. A fictional place is better or an American city because it’s more portable and appeals to a global audience.

Over the course of 3 days, we met with First Generation Films, Bell Media (CTV, Comedy, Space, HBO), DHX Media, OMDC, The Saint Agency, CBC (Comedy, Drama, and Digital), EOne (TV), Temple Street Productions, Mongrel Media, and Corus (Global/Shaw, Showcase, History, and more). My TV show was pitched to CTV and CBC. My film was pitched to The Saint Agency and Mongrel Media.

I met the Teletubbies at DHX.

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I have a gazillion notes to type up, a guitar story to write, and a guitar I haven’t played in several days, so I’m off.

R~

Make-It Monday/Theatrical Tuesday – Coping with Stress

bringit

I meant to post yesterday.

This is an insane week for me, so posting will be sparse and brief. Actually, maybe even non-existent as television and movie companies don’t allow electronic devices thanks to apps like Facebook listening.

Yesterday was Easter Monday in Canada. To some, it meant a holiday. To others, it was a Monday with sale chocolate.

Classes were running. I felt a bit dizzy and I decided the best thing for me to do was to take some time to prepare for the week ahead. I don’t usually miss, but there is a lot of stress right now and sometimes one needs to practice some self-care.

So I hemmed my jeans and did some folding. I did laundry and planned my outfits for the pitching trip. I also practiced my feature film pitch.

With the hectic week ahead, I didn’t travel home to see my family. I’m hoping to soon as I haven’t seen them since Christmas. I’m going to teach them Skype.

Since it was April Fool’s on Sunday, I tried to have my dad tell my mom that I was flunking everything, I was going to starve, but I found a job dancing, and Bruno says I’m talented. He relayed most of it and judging by his laugh, mom made a good face.

On Monday, I also completed the next stage of a job application. It was an online assessment. I hope I did well! I’m happy to have made it this far.

I didn’t sleep well last night as I was freaking out about thoughts of the transit system not getting me to the school on time for the pitch trip. My local bus is one of the worst in the city for suddenly not existing. And especially so when there is bad weather. We’re expecting freezing rain tonight and maybe some snow. I decided that the sensible thing would be to Uber or Lyft to school early, so I can ensure I won’t miss the bus. It won’t be cheap, but if I order it early enough, I won’t have anything to worry about.

I still have to rewrite my feature film’s cue cards. I’m so happy I got blue cards from my teacher!

Well, I’m off to finish packing. You might not hear from me until Friday or Saturday.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – What Genre Do I Write?

TuesdayI finally remember what I wanted to post about the other week. And this week’s theme is soul, so it’s the perfect time to discuss this.

For a novelist, genre is of key importance. Indeed, it seems you must choose one main genre such as Romance or Horror and forget about writing a children’s book unless you use a pen name for something else you’d like to do. This limitation harkens back to putting your books on a shelf. It’s all about branding yourself as a novelist.

But I’m a free spirit and I don’t want to write a specific genre.

This is what I love about screen writing. If I feel like writing a horror today and a romantic comedy tomorrow, I can.

Now, I mostly write horror, fantasy, and sci-fi anyway, but every now and then I get an idea for a kid’s TV show, an action movie, a thriller, a sports story, or a historical fiction piece and I want to be able to write it all.

My plays tend to be more dramatic works that have a specific goal beyond entertaining. My movies aim to entertain while subtly saying something about life.

I think the whole idea of being shackled to a specific genre is tragic, though I do understand the why. If Stephen King wrote a normal children’s story, most would have in their mind an idea that it is inappropriate for children. Under a pen name, he’s free to explore that idea, but it would be like a brand new writer on the scene instead of an almost prolific and well-known one.

Today I’m pitching a dramedic TV show about retired life and tomorrow I’m pitching a small creature horror film to local industry experts. I’m nervous and excited about it all. We’re getting closer to the end of the year and my future is still murky though it’s filled with positive potential.

In closing, I write just about every genre and I love it!

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Checking

TuesdayThere are a lot of checks that go into making a movie.

There is so much checking actually that each job is often broken down among several people. Assistant Directing, for example, has a First who is on set with the director and they do things like watch how it shows on screen and they also tell everyone over radio to be quiet or that we’re moving on from a scene. The Second one makes call sheets and other paper work. The Third one travels with the actors and relays when they leave or reach a destination.

A lot of people check on the actors from every department. Some check if they’re hungry or thirsty. We checked if they had dry socks, if they needed Hot Paws to warm their hands or feet up, or that they were wearing their clothes properly.

When I wasn’t working in wardrobe, doing things like taking pictures of outfits or making the department binder, which is basically a check list of the items an actor/actress wears on a given day. By day, I mean script day, not necessarily filming day.  In wardrobe, we had the script broken up into days based on what wardrobe they wear. This was for continuity as many times the filming days were quite different. There were scenes all throughout the script that happened at the rapids, for example, and those took place in different parts of the story, but they were all filmed on shooting day one because that’s when the permit was for.

The filming days were broken down into about 10 minute film segments. I think bigger budget films probably do things differently as they take a lot longer to produce. This was a made for TV thriller called Blind at 17. I don’t know when it’s coming out, but I’m going to try to see it because I was involved to a degree and I acted in a musical in high school with one of the main actors.

I saw so many lists this weekend. It was like my old project management life, my new screen writing life, and a dash of my high school life all came together.

My placement hours are done at this point. Another thing off my checklist for the year.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Make-It Monday – Checks and Balances

bitmoji_goalsI’m sorry I dropped off the blog-o-sphere at the end of last week. I couldn’t think of what to write on Friday and had to go to bed around 8 pm, which is about 4-5 hours too early for me.

Why did I have to go to bed so early?

I had a call time to be on a movie set for 6:00 am, which meant that in order to get there on time, I had to wake up at 4:30 am. I’ve rarely ever been awake for that time. Indeed, I’ve seen it so rarely that it could have been a figment of my imagination the other times.

The set work was very cool and I’ll talk more about it tomorrow. I did get to work with some very awesome people, some of whom were from L. A. Maybe I’ll see them again sometime. I did everything I was assigned and helped out other departments when I wasn’t needed in my own. I worked 13 hours the first day and 7 the second. I was originally supposed to work more, but I was no longer covered for insurance because I got the amount of hours I need to graduate.

I spent a lot of time checking and rechecking my work to be sure I did everything I was supposed to. I really didn’t want to screw up.

Also this weekend, I made my first royalties. How much? Forty-five cents. It’s not much, but it’s in the green instead of the red, so it’s exciting.

Tonight, instead of having class this morning, we had Hot House, which is a play series where actors read our plays. Mine will be later this semester, so all I had to do was be there, which was a great thing after such a busy weekend schedule.

When I got home, there was a check for me. I got a bursary!

I’m in a lot of pain after the weekend, but some things are looking hopeful.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~