Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's in a Name? - Choosing a TItle

I envy writers who have the talent to just come up with story titles. Do they partake in secret night classes where the syllabus largely consists of title breakdowns? Or maybe they throw a bunch of words on a page and hope for the best. To be honest, I’m convinced the guy who came up w/ Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was high on crack because nobody of a sound nature can be that genius.

While writing this screenplay, my self-diagnosed “title blockage” caused me just as much frustration. Initially, I worked w/ Untitled Monster Project (Untitled… If that doesn’t deserve the Pulitzer, I don’t know what does.) However, my obsession with Steven Spielberg not only inspired the story, but also its title.

For the past year, I’ve been soaking in as much Spielberg as humanly possible – collecting all his movies, watching special features, and I’m finally circling the corner on his Biography.

Through this research, I learned while making E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial he and his crew conjured up a working title for confidentiality purposes.

“Fearing a TV movie rip-off, Spielberg shot E.T. under a false title, A Boy’s Life. Deliberately causing confusion with Spielberg’s announced project Growing Up, the company simply described A Boy’s Life as a ‘Comedy about antics and lifestyles of boys living in southern California today’”.

After reading this passage, I switched out my Untitled w/ this new one and it’s grown on me since. Is it the most thought-provoking? Maybe not. However, I’m a firm believer of fate, and as I sat at my desk writing a hugely inspired Spielberg short, I owed it to myself (and the film) not to ignore the signs.

A Boy’s Life it is.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Boy's Life - Another Film Journey

Ladies. Gentlemen. Monsters. Let me begin my very first blog by welcoming you on yet another filmmaking adventure. About a year ago, I (and many talented people) created my first 16mm film beyond graduation (a French drama entitled A Note to Etienne that you can learn more about here). A year later, I'm back in gear and ready to conquer another short -- this time, less subtitles... more slobber.

With the help of many amazing donors (which primarily consist of family, friends, and proud parents), we were able to make our budget and get A Note To Etienne made. Collaborators ranging from an awesome crew and amazing cast all worked together to create something we all could be proud of. I'm hoping this next short will be just as successful.

A bit about me. Since last year, I’ve moved from my job at a film agency, and onto an actual film set! I’m currently working as an office PA on the Jon Favreau film Cowboys & Aliens. I know what you’re thinking... that sounds made up. It’s real, I promise! The film stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, takes place in the “Old West”, and is being filmed on the Universal back lot.

A bit about the project. Planned for around 10 minutes, A Boy’s Life is a drama about a boy named Max and the monster in his bedroom. Through his father’s absence, Max attempts to prove to his disbelieving mother that the monster beneath his bed is real.

Through a few contacts, I was able to get the screenplay read by the former Vice President of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment with positive feedback. In fact, she described it as an homage to the Twilight Zone. Yes, Twilight Zone! I'm a huge fan of the series and watch The Twilight Zone Movie often (I mean, hello! It's SPIELBERG!).

Anyway, before I write a novel, I invite you to check back periodically, kick off your shoes, and follow alongisde me during this cinematic journey. Though, a word of advice... be sure to leave a night light on...