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Just Saw [Insert Movie Title Here]...

...or how my MFA in screenwriting ruined any chance of enjoying a movie like a normal person. If I apply what I've learned to existing films, would it have made a better film?

SPOILER WARNING: Please be advised, I plan to discuss plot points in detail so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want the surprise ruined, stop here.

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Location: California, United States

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Things I Learned in Grad School

Sushi and sunlight are a bad combination. Hard liquor before 10am is generally a bad idea (tomato beer is the exception).

Your life is your best source material.

When your life is your source material, there is no more need for regrets.

Don't bring the laptop to bed with you unless you like playing chicken with power cords.

After three weeks, research becomes another word for procrastination.

Try to have a variety of canned foods available at all times.

Seeing your script from other people's point of view is useful only if you have a strong sense of your own.

Most writers want an honest critique of their writing. Most everyone else doesn't.

Don't write something you wouldn't pay money to see yourself.

It's better to turn in something late than turn in something bad.

If you're enjoying complete artistic freedom, you're either at the beginning of your career or at the end.

Make sure the hole isn't over the seam before you sip your coffee.

If "The History of Fried Chicken" on the Food Network sounds interesting, you're probably procrastinating.

Keep an extra jacket and umbrella in your car at all times.

Don't park on the top level of a parking garage if you need to nap in your car.

Don't nap in the driver's seat of your car. It's a bad habit to get into.

Nothing is more valuable than knowing where there are clean places to crap.

If you have an opportunity to pee, pee.

In your car you should keep Tums or cigarettes but not both.

If you have to take Tums, that's probably a sign to stop eating. There's no shame in asking for a take out box for the rest of your fried chicken.

If you do take Tums, don't finish your soda.

Ex-girlfriends don't like to talk about writers' block at 4am (especially if you're drunk).

Everything seems like a good idea at 4am.

When your life is your source material, there is no more need for regrets (sigh).

If it doesn't come with a belt clip, don't buy it.

The best commentary tracks on DVDs are the ones where they're drinking while commenting (you really can tell).

If you're trying to figure out if DVD commentators are drunk, you're probably procrastinating.

If you can't figure out what you're good at, no one else will.

Keep track of your time. It'll help you keep track of what's hard to do.

If you think about anything long enough, it won't make sense.

If you sprinkled bacon over it, it's probably not good for your diet. If you're doing it with a cigar in your mouth, it's probably not exercise.

It's worth the effort to heat your leftovers before you eat.

If you're eating straight from the can, it's time to wash the dishes and buy paper plates.

If it sounds right, then you probably heard it from someone else. If if feels right, then you probably lived it.

If you don't believe in your own ability, no one else will.

You really don't know until you try. However, there are some things you really don't need to know.

If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

Prevaricators fear death.

If you can't be funny, be gross. If you can't be gross, be sick. If you can't be sick, be pithy. If you can't be pithy, then something's wrong.

You are your best source material, just don't let anyone know that unless you like explaining embarrassing things.

When your life is your source material, there is no more need for regrets (please be true, please be true, please be true).

I write like I fuck. I start with the climax and spend the rest of the scene explaining what just happened.

If you're blogging, then you're probably procrastinating.


Blogger odo coileus said...

When your life is your source material, there is no more need for regrets (please be true, please be true, please be true).

You're the first guy I'm calling from jail.

July 25, 2006 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you're blogging, then you're probably procrastinating."

Finally, a screenwriting blogger that hits it on the head. If I see one more 1,000 word post from some unproduced writer about how "This Is Going To Be The Month I Finish My Screenplay" I am going to puke. How's this for an idea? Quit blogging!

I am totally serious, man. People spend waaaaaaay to much time blogging. I get the communal aspects of it, but if you don't think that you're using up gas on these things, you are completely mistaken.

Bottom line? Those who can, do ... those who can't, blog.

July 31, 2006 12:05 PM  

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