Sometimes I Wonder

Why? Why not? Okay, here’s the deal. I’m going to rant to fill some sort of arbitrary word count in order to make my point which is simply this; If you’re going to publish a blog, why aren’t you allowing for commentary?

Is your opinion sacrosanct, and not up for debate? Clearly not, as there’s always an opposing position to take.

Maybe you’re afraid of what others might think. Maybe you don’t want your opinion to be drowned out by the noise du jour. However, if you’re effectively keeping your opinions to yourself, why should I bother to read it?

I allow for commentary on all my blogs, including this one. The fact that I don’t get many simply means I don’t have a lot of readers. Is this my choice? No, of course not. I’d prefer the ten thousand fans I’m supposed to have, allowing for about 100 comments based on I believe the Pareto Principle. See also, the 90/9/1 rule. I could also use these mythical ten thousand fans to support me at a dollar a month for the rest of my life.

Yes, I’ve done the math, that’s $120K a year, until I die. However, the business that hasn’t been created yet, is: What to do with your sites after you die? Someone, and it may be you reading this, can start this business, and make some money off of it. And then, I’d like a large donation, and credit on your site. Point to my ministry site when you do. Thanks!

There’s going to be an influx of those that will have written a virtual metric ton of stuff online that are going to eventually die. They may leave the care and feeding of these sites to friends, relatives, etc. A thousand years from now, one of my descendants may reference this particular article.

Hey, it could happen. Note to self, add this to the same list that contains, “When pigs fly.”

So, to review: People post opinions, and don’t allow comments. I don’t have to read these sites anymore.

Have I made my point yet? More importantly, have I made my word count?

72 and Sunny in Redondo Beach. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

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Natural Language Processor

This assumes that language can be processed naturally. On stage, I can say a simple sentence several different ways based on mood, timing, and even the number of syllables can all affect what I say.

Now, for you to interpret that one line out of context changes the meaning or thought behind it, simply because you don’t know what has come before.  Shakespeare has all of these great lines and quotes that are available to you at a moment’s notice, however he was writing to provide entertainment to the unwashed masses.

The fact that his plays and sonnets have survived the centuries means he was able to do it repeatedly, and his stories resonated beyond his grave. We’re still telling most of these stories today, and each actor and actress brings their own interpretation to the various roles.

Of course as we know, back in his day, men played all the parts, as women were beneath such things, or there was some cultural norm that I’m unaware of. Is that why they call it, “A play?” Women must have more important work to do surely.

I’m writing this in what passes for American English, and there’s a chance that it’s not your first language. A simple three word sentence such as, “He fell up,” can be interpreted by a machine, however it doesn’t make sense.

Would not falling up really be flying?

I found a site the other day that asks us to input simple sentences; subject, verb, object; in order to teach the machine either logic or language. Maybe both. Personally, I don’t have time for this type of data entry, however you may.

I walk up to you and say, “I couldn’t get the money.” This prompts several questions that may come to mind in you. We do know that money is how society keeps score, however that’s not what this is about. We may want to ask the question;

Why does society keep score?

Shouldn’t we all be equal? Don’t we have rights? I was once told I had the right to remain silent.  Clearly I’ve given up that right, or else you wouldn’t be reading this….

I haven’t made this one look pretty or anything, so I don’t expect to get any comments, however if you feel so called, please do.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach. Adjust your expectations accordingly.™

Untitled on #WorldTurtleDay

I’m thinking that I might update this list, as a list, when it becomes a stand-up routine, OR, I can simply rant and rave, or more likely, rave about the rant, until I’ve met my artificial word count.

It’s unclear to me at this time what my journey will be along the path I take. Or, do you take the path, and then talk about the resulting journey? We’ve discussed this aspect before, actually. This is not intended to be anything resembling a journalism course, simply because, I don’t remember most of what I was taught back in Ms. Meiner’s 8th grade journalism course that I took, however, I do remember that it led to writing for the school paper the next year….

Who? What? When? Where? Why? and sometimes, How? Are the five W’s. Well, six.  Choose the order, tell your story. Which as you’re supposed to be objective, is actually their story. That makes you, a reporter. At it’s root, a journalist is one who journals. I’m reminded of a rant of a fictionalized newsman. “We are not the news!!!”, he shouts into the camera, as the live feed goes out to the audience, and he confesses his misdeed. The TV version of the Network speech.

My true problem here is that I don’t truly have a title for this particular missive on this particular day. Twitter has infected the ‘net with tags celebrating various days, and today is #WorldTurtleDay.  As you know, you’re not supposed to mock the World Turtle, and there’s a religion that believes we’re on the back of a giant space turtle. See also, The Flat Earth Society.

I could state simply that my title is one of the aforementioned hashtags, but I like calling them octothorpes because that’s what they really are. We’ve discussed that elsewhere too.

I’ve come up with a title. I hope you like it. If you have another suggestion, comments are open….

 

You Are Your Headshot

I know I’ve written about this elsewhere, however it bears repeating. I want to know what you look like. Producer, one of the seven or eight things I do depending on whom you ask makes this relevant.

I don’t want to know what you looked like more than let’s say three years ago. The best version of yourself is who you are live in front of me. If you send me to a site with pictures that make you look significantly younger than what you actually look like, you’ve wasted my time.

Don’t do this.

I get paid a lot of money when I get paid and you probably can’t afford me. I expect that you do as well. The entertainment industry has unions with scale, and they’re purportedly a living wage.  That’s why we got into this in the first place right?

I give you respect, and politely look at your headshot, and then you come in with a look that is radically different. You’ve wasted gas, and your time as well.  Furthermore, this is 2018, and I don’t hide my emotions or my opinions from anyone, therefore if I call you out for an old headshot, you may have lost a job not only with me, but with all of my producer friends as well.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Mike, where’s your headshot?” Well, I could post a current one here, but it’s available elsewhere. It’s an even numbered year, so the mustache is current. I’m willing to shave it for the right price as allegedly it will grow back.

At least, that’s what they tell me at Barber College.

I’m not saying my time is more valuable than yours, however in this instantaneous society in which we currently live, do you really want to take a chance like this? I know I don’t….

I do feel a bit hypocritical however.  I had a really great photographer take headshots of me, and I haven’t posted them yet. I’m faced with too many choices syndrome. Again, 2018, and digital photography are the culprits.

I’ll probably end up posting what I end up with here at some point.

Stay tuned.

If I’m wrong, let me know in the comments, okay?

A Date With Destiny

I didn’t even know she was seeing anyone. Go with me on this, as I’m riffing a pitch that I’m making this Friday for the UMFF in Palos Verdes Peninsula. I’ve been attending this thing since 2013, and this year, I’m also directing a scene for the screenplay showcase Saturday night. Pray for me to whichever God you worship, as I’m still casting.. Thanks!!!

As we all know, Seacoast City attracts all types of heroes, villains, and superheroes. They have relationships, and offspring. Faith is the daughter of Mister Destiny, a superhero that made the ultimate sacrifice saving the city yet again.

She doesn’t know this however. She wakes up from a dream that is actually a vision, as she’s experiencing one of  her inherited powers for the first time.  This vision drives the rest of the story, and as she has foretold, the reality is different. Observing an event necessarily changes its result.

Actively influencing it causes even more ripples, and it’s something her dad struggled with throughout his entire career.  She attempts to intervene in the mayor’s assassination attempt, and succeeds to a point. His wife gets shot, and falls into a coma.

Unknown to Destiny, the mayor is secretly The Black Fox, and protected the city with Mr. Destiny back in the day.  He took time off after he thought he rid the city of the supervillain menace, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Ultimately, the Fearless Assassins In League come to town, and are directly and indirectly involved with the shooting. Mr. Destiny’s ex returns to the life of crime from whence she came, as no heroic influence to be had.

Reverting to type being all the rage. Supervillains that have been caught are released, and the police chief retires. He’s replaced by a corrupt chief that might be mind controlled by one of the members of FAIL!

Destiny has a vision that Mayor Scott Overstreet is secretly The Black Fox, and confronts him. He at first denies, but then the Red Scorpion breaks into the office, and gets thoroughly trashed by both of them. The Black Fox takes on a mentorship role with Destiny, as he feels that’s what her father would’ve wanted. In fact, those were his last words before he died.

There’s a casino in town that is somewhat corrupt as well. One crime family steals from another, and it’s amazing that all the graft going on is somewhat unnoticed by the citizens of Seacoast City that seem to patronize the casino on a more than occasional basis.

Big production values on a small budget, as a 30 day shoot in The South Bay area can be achieved for around 2 Million Dollars!!!

But this can truly be shot anywhere as tax incentives abound. About me: I won Best Screenplay in 2014 with Diamond is a Girl’s Best Friend, and I’m currently writing a script that I can’t talk too much about.

Contact me if interested.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach, which is Palos Verdes Peninsula adjacent….

How To Read a Screenplay in 5 Minutes

Whether you’re a Reader just starting out, or an Executive level Producer deciding on the next greenlight, you’re going to want to read an actual screenplay properly.

Of course, maybe you have a pile on your desk or in your backpack, and you don’t truly want to spend a lot of time reading someone else’s story while actually asking yourself, “Why am I not telling my own?”

So, here’s what you do, or maybe it’s what I do, and your mileage may vary; Take a walk with your current screenplay, and read the first five pages.

Then tear them out. Throw them to the wind. If they blow back, as opposed to blowback, grab them, and tack them to the end of the rest of the screenplay.

Turn to the middle, and tear one out after you read it. If you liked what you read, then crumple it in a ball, and stuff it in your pocket.

Go back into your current domicile, and throw the screenplay to the ceiling. Read only the pages that don’t stick to it.

After that, if you still like what you’ve read, then ask for another undamaged copy from the writer.

It’s at this point he’ll probably ask, “What happened to the copy I gave you?” A terse rejoinder is required here, however telling the truth isn’t truly a good idea.

Go with one of the following:

  • My reader kept it.
  • I misplaced it.
  • It accidentally got put in the reject pile and shredded, or
  • I wanted to discuss a rewrite.

That last one should only be used if you do indeed want a rewrite.

Now I realize this is the 21st century, and these days you don’t get a hard copy, and PDF’s are the norm. This allows an additional reason; my cellphone accidentally deleted it.

Now, you always ultimately want a hard copy. Because you liked aforementioned script, and you do indeed want to discuss it with the writer.

Now, being one myself, I’m going to tell you that he doesn’t believe that he needs a rewrite. Personally, I don’t believe in rewrites, as you’re just doing more writing. Some of the original may not see the light of day, however the writing itself did in fact take place.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

Oscars 2018

The need to make predictions exists, simply because others are already doing the same thing, and there may be a prediction ballot at the event I’m attending tomorrow. Red Carpet at 330p, Oscars themselves at 5p, and we’ll see if there’s any editing like at other faith based events I’ve attended like this….

Bill Murray did this really cool bit on Saturday Night Live all those years ago, about how no one cares about the supporting roles and who wins. He had a diagram and everything. We all watched because it was part of the news segment, and it was funny.

They’re probably dated by now, however we have all these new hashtag movements because Twitter rules the world of entertainment. As we know, entertainment is something that is in a fixed form, as defined by the US Government anyway….

Will The Oscars be entertaining? I hope so, however I have little faith in this regard.  Most of the shall we say slams at all things conservative are going to take place. How to be a red-blooded Merican(sic) male in 2018 without being accused of harassment?

If I harass you, report it. Immediately if not sooner. Not 40 years from now, when more people will know that I’m famous. Better yet, do it posthumously so I’ll never know that you’ve been talking about me behind my back.

Wait! I’m going to heaven, and I get to watch the show. So, I’ll know.

Thanks for playing Oscars. I have a lovely parting gift for you.