One Thousand Words

A picture is worth, or so they say. I did the math on this recently for an average feature film length of 88 minutes, and it comes to, wait for it, 126,720,000 words to describe a movie, if you were to take each frame separately.  24 frames per second, or fps, and you can do the rest of the math yourself.

The phrase comes from journalism, and if Mrs. Meiners taught me anything, it’s that sometimes, you don’t get a photo to go with your story.  You might have to write the thousand words to describe the 1/24th of a second that you observe at any particular point.

That makes this, an opinion piece. Simply because I have one, and like the other thing that everyone has, yours may be different. Similar, yet different.

Ready, okay!

My goal for this piece of my opinion may or may not be limited to the aforementioned words numbering one thousand.  That’s not the goal.

It’s simply this: to explain away the travesty that is my current state of mind. For those of you that don’t know, the Mind State lies somewhere between CA, NV, AZ, and quite possibly UT.

That’s right, you won’t find it on any map. Ever notice how most sites have a site map? Turns out, all it really is, is an outline of the hierarchy of your web pages. It’s a good thing to have one, so that the appropriate search engines can find things on your site.

Word pictures must be painted.

To continue, as opposed to moving forward in the same direction, it follows that in your average movie, and believe me, most are below average, the picture taken at any point a that is somewhat near point b will contain most if not all of the same information, or data.

Computer Science teaches this, actually.  Everything boils downto zeroes and ones, and Moore’s Law is in full force at any particular time.

If this were to be a picture, at the beginning of this paragraph, I would have had six hundred and seventy seven words left to write.  Fortunately, telling you this fact means that now I have somewhat less left to go.

Here’s some more math for you: A thousand words a day, times 365 in a year give or take, gives us 365,000 words, approximately.  A simple division of 126,720,000/365,000 equals 347.18 years to create the average movie.

I don’t have that kind of time, and probably neither do you.

Of course, this precludes the collaborative process, and if you have roughly 348 people creating the thousand words a day, it may only take one year to bring your vision to the big screen. Or mine for that matter.

Given this fact, and several other variables that may or may not be predicted with any semblance of logic that may or may not be fuzzy, how does anyone get their vision to the big screen?

I’m reminded of an old joke: A guy drives up and asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice!” is the punchline.  I heard that for the first time during the 60’s. Yes, I am that old if you’re a first time reader. Or even, the second time as I didn’t mention it last time, either.

Time is God’s provision for everything not happening at once, and space is His provision so that it doesn’t all happen in the same place.  However, within your own life, or the life of any particular average movie, it may seem like a lot of things are taking place at the same time in the same place.

I sure do hope that last sentence parses.

And it won’t be the last sentence, either.  Why the concern with word count, one may ask. If you don’t already know, this is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those that do.  30 days, and fifty thousand words later, and you have your novel. That averages out to about 1700 words a day, give or take.

As I’m a filmmaker, I choose months that have 30 days in them to write a screenplay instead.  In April, Script Frenzy, or Screnzy as some would call it, is all the rage.  The goal in this case is to write 100 pages of screenplay in a month, and that divides out nicely to three and a third pages of screenplay a day.

I admit, I’m a little behind, as I’ve got 65 dynamite pages of a web series, however, only ten or eleven days left depending on when you read this, in order to get to the finish line, which ticks out to about 3.5 pages a day.

I once wrote on I believe this blog/site whatever it is this week, that it should be possible to write one great page of screenplay a day, at which point in a year you can create 3.65 screenplays if you stay on track.

I’m painfully behind on that one, as I have a life outside of writing as it turns out.  Therefore, it follows that I’ve had to give up most if not all of my social media commitments.  Ironically, you’ll probably see this missive posted about in one of three places first, Twitter, Facebook (or, the book of the face, OR Fakebook as I refer to it), or quite possibly Linked In.

I hope that those that read it out there, will leave comments there, as well as here.  However, I know that most will simply gloss over it, and move on without so much as nary a thought.

So, to review: Word count, page count, and the like are probably not as important as the fact that you’ve read this far, and I’m dangerously close to reaching the artificial word count I established in the title, therefore, I should probably continue to put words in some semblance of order to form sentences to reach it.

The fact that I’m behind may be because I’ve lost my muse. However, that’s probably another post on an entirely different site for another time.

Why, you may ask? It’s, The Law!!!


I’m a Filmmaker, And I’m Okay…

I work all night, and I sleep all day.

If only that were the case. I received an email from the fine folks who press the word, that I’ve been doin’ this for six years. So, HB to me!!!

My problem is, are, was, were, not even grammatically correct. Damn!! Time to go back to English 10AB w/Fred Doucette.

Was @Castle recently, and started playing Fizzbin with random guests, just to pass the time. I have to create a new act that I can film and submit to the entertainment committee in order to qualify to maybe perform Close-up magic @ some point in the distant future, in the only place I truly ever want to perform it.

Life is either performance art, or a broadway musical. Make your choice, and then stick to it. Use stick ’em if you have to. I told my Executive Producer this once. Two years ago. Well, maybe more than that at this point, as the fine folks in the land of 168 have changed the dates since.

I should hold Chip Chalmers personally responsible for my meltdown this season. He was the last director I asked to direct me, before I resigned to doing it myself. But Chip’s a good guy, so, I would never do that.

Others in the land of granola that may or may not be called out during this not so random rant include but are not limited to, the 1st AD, and the 2nd Unit Director.

We lost 3 hours because of this duo, that propagated throughout the rest of the project.

We had a full post production sound facility ready for us at 9a the day before turn in. We didn’t get there ’til noon. Hard out at ten pm, therefore, well, I’ve already done the math for you.   Sol7 did incredible work under the strangest of conditions. Special thanks to them above and beyond the credits they shall receive somewhere. Well, on the finished product itself. Which may be a film, motion picture, or movie.

Wow.  Artificial word count reached!!! You should all know what that means by now.

Well, if you don’t, it means I can type faster. Like this…. Except when getting a phone call from the fine folks @ the E3 after party I just confirmed attendance. For myself, and two guests. You should know who you are, however, if you don’t, then well, it’s not you.

The thoughts in the previous paragraph may be in the proper order, if not the words. Take this into account when you post your comments.

I know I’m missing something this weekend, however, I do have the capability of walking into the LA Wine Fest with my press pass from the fine folks @Soak Magazine. I should give them special thanks, too.

So, have a lost weekend, then play video games? I wonder if that’s how Ray Milland started….

A random closing phrase here, then the directives. If this were a song, it would probably be in four part harmony.

I’ve gone so far off topic in this one….

That’s my story. Hope You Enjoyed It™

And They Stop on Tuesday….

Chris Brogan

Image by BryanPerson via Flickr

This is a response to the last @ChrisBrogan post that I read, and commented on. There’s an outside chance you may read this first, therefore, you should read that, and then come back here, and read my response.

Or not, up to you. I’ll wait in either case.

Back yet? My first reaction can be found in the title. Most people won’t stick with something for more than 24 hours. Those people must learn determination. Set a goal. Don’t stop ’til you achieve your goal. That’s the simplest definition, at least, mine.

My second reaction, was simply, “Why do they HAVE TO start on Monday?” Chris’ analogy does play, that most people start work on Monday, therefore they start other things, too. But the seven day work week may not start the same day for everyone.

There was a game show in the 70’s, not sure of the exact timing, however, that can be looked up at this point…Celebrity Sweepstakes. If you remember seeing this show on more than one occasion, we are contemporaries. Good to meet you.

For the rest of you, here’s how the game worked; 6 Celebrities, 3 contestants,  Standard live studio audience (probably around 300 if I remember my walking around Television City days), and one Game Show Host, Jim McKrell. He’s on IMDb. Growing up, I wanted to BE him. I faked sick, just so I could stay home and watch Celebrity Sweepstakes with my dad, that’s how important it was to me, and ultimately, to my father. More on that part another time, or else this post will go in an entirely different direction.

The point, and I’ll get to it, is that there was a question that goes to what Chris was saying. First you must understand, the rules of the show:

  • Host asks celebrities questions.
  • They have 30 seconds to answer, meanwhile
  • audience votes (places a bet) on which celebrity will get it right
  • odds appear in front of celebrities (1 to 99:1)
  • contestants wager
  • Jim asks celebrity the question again
  • celebrity answers
  • Here’s where it branches…
  • If wrong, Jim asks another celebrity
  • Else, award money to contestant
  • Wash, rinse, repeat
Three rounds of the game, plus the final all or nothing round. More on that one another time too.
Now, as I’m approaching some arbitrary word count set forth by “Those Who Think They Know More Than I Do (TWTTKMTID)” I’ll get to the point. For purposes of illustration, the celebrities at the time were George Hamilton, Don Adams, and Carol Wayne, she of tea time movie fame, if you don’t know who that is. (aside: she fits the model of the actress that plays the dumb blonde, needs to actually be the smartest person on the set.)
The question: What is the first day of the week?
The celebrities lock in their answers.
The three in question all return even money, and as I believe this was indeed the all or nothing round, you could double your money, or go home empty handed if you get it wrong.
The contestants bet on the three celebrities in question, each betting all there money. If you’re a fan of poker, they went all in.
They did the reveal in reverse order, as anyone whose seen a round of Final Jeopardy can tell you.
The first contestant picks Don Adams. Jim asks the question to which Don replies, “It’s so obvious. It’s Monday!”
Next contestant bet all her money on George Hamilton, and achieves the same result.
Two contestants, no winners. Shall we try for three?
The final contestant placed all her money on Carol Wayne, and in her sleekest sultry voice simply says, “Sunday.”
We have a winner!!!
Now, what’s all this got to do with you? I’ll tell you.
You don’t have to use either of these as the first day of the week. The Comic Book Business uses Wednesday, or new comic book day, for those that know. As we know from a previous post, or The Bible if you don’t want to read anymore, God worked for six days, and rested on the seventh. That means that the day of rest for those in the comic book field is Tuesday.
My pastor takes Monday off, so, he starts his work week on Tuesday.
With these few examples, I think I’ve made the point that Chris was making in the original post. Even though you have the opportunity to be connected all the time, and working on being connected all the time, you don’t have to. You’ll feel better.
Especially the next time you play Frontierville 😉
72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

What’s your first day of the week? Let me know in the comments. And let me know how I can break my Frontierville™ addiction, too 😉

In The What’s Wrong with This Picture Department…

What's wrong with this poster?

If you haven’t made plans yet today, and you live in the Glendale, CA area, please stop by and see my film, Blue Blazes, today at the Alex Theatre. As part of The 168 Film Festival, it enjoys its World Premiere on the big screen today. It shows in the early afternoon block, which starts at 120pm. Hope to see you there!!!

Oh, I’m sure y0u’ve figured it out by now….

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

That’s my story. Hope you enjoyed it™