IWP Best Of: When, Where, How

As promised here are the airtimes for my Interviews: With People Half Hour Special interviews: with people; perfection in one year – a celebration of the best. I’m sorry that it’s not available outside New Jersey… yet. Give me a year?

(please forgive the video quality – the source I used was compressed multiple times and not deinterlaced. I assure you what airs will be top tier.)

In order to watch this historic event you must be a Cablevision subscriber in the New Jersey area.Or Matamoras, PA for some reason. Please watch and support my campaign to bring the surreal and silly back to cable TV.

NORTH JERSEY

BERGEN – Channel 118 – Sept 18, 24 (12PM, 4PM), Sept 19-23 (12PM, 4, 8PM)
MORRIS – Channel 78 – Sept 19, 21, 22 (12PM, 8PM) Sept 20 (8PM)
OAKLAND – Channel 78 – Sept 19-23 (12PM, 8), Sept 24 (12, 8PM)
PATERSON – Channel 78 – Sept 19-23 (12PM)

SOUTH JERSEY

BAYONNE – Channel 18 – Sept 18 (9:30AM), Sept 19 (9:30AM, 9PM) Sept 20-23 (9:30AM, 9PM, 10:30PM)
ELIZABETH – Channel 18 – Sept 18 (12AM), Sept 19-23 (9:30AM, 2PM, 12AM)
HUDSON – Channel 18 – Sept 19 (9:30AM, 9PM) Sept 20-23 (9AM, 9PM, 10:30)
NEWARK – Channel 18 – Sept 18 (9:30AM, 12AM), Sept 19-23 (9:30, 2PM, 9, 12AM)
HAMILTON – Channel 118 – Sept 18 (3PM, 11PM), Sept 19-23 (3PM, 8:30PM, 11PM)
RARITAN – Channel 118 – Sept 18 (3PM, 11PM), Sept 19-23 (3PM, 8:30, 11)
MONMOUTH – Channel 78 or 118 – Sept 18 (3, 11PM), Sept 19-23 (3PM, 8:30, 11)

Tell your friends!!! Spread the word!

Big love,

-head dog

The Dog of the Day… of Infamy

世界の向こう側の どんな惨劇も
モニター越しの悲劇 そんなこの世の終わり

Atrocities on the other side of the world
are just sad little tragedies through our screens,
such an end of the world

These words are lyrics from a PIERROT song called REBIRTH DAY and they perfectly sum up the bizarre feelings I had while watching America suffer due to the events of September 11th, 2001. I wasn’t in the United States when the attacks on the Twin Towers went down. At that time, I was teaching English in Japan. I didn’t even hear about the attacks until Joe Holley sent me an email. I remember turning on the TV and of course that first image of one flaming tower was striking but as soon as we learned a second plane had hit… well,

terror accomplished.

My first instinct was one of preservation. I’m from the east coast and my family were living in New England at the time, so I feared for their safety. I felt so helpless viewing it all from the opposite side of the globe. Once it became clear that the attacks were over and that my family was safe. There was an eerie calm.

I didn’t know how to feel and I wanted someone to tell me desperately.

[But wait, there’s more!]

A Year in the Life of

My show interviews: with people is turning one year old just as I am turning thirty-four. I’m enormously proud of what me and my crew have accomplished in the margins of Cablevision’s more studious body of work. Interviews: with people is to Neighborhood Journal and Meet the Leaders as doodles are to a high schoolers copy of Sense and Sensibility.

In celebration of our longevity, I was given the go ahead to do a thirty minute special which is sort of a “best of plus alpha.” I’ll be posting the times and channels here when I learn more but expect it to air within September.

I have big news regarding the show but I have to wait until the powers that be get their ducks in order. Suffice to say, we about to blow up. Think of this as the calm before the storm and your chance to say, “I knew him when…

…his face was covered in birthday cake.”

Self Refraction

Self reflection doesn’t cut it.

We look at ourselves in the mirror every day and we’re none the wiser come bedtime. If anything staring at yourself only leads you to doubt and/or cherish everything about your life. It’s too much. It’s too broad and it avoids confrontation. The problem with reflection is that the process can only show us what we bring to it. When I’m feeling vain, I see my face aging. When I’m feeling slighted at work, I will see the reflection of a victim.

That’s not helpful and it leads to “venting” and “self pity.”

Our goal should be to see ourselves for who we are in that moment, and in that context. From both the best seats in the house and from the cheap seats in the nosebleeds.

[But wait, there’s more!]

Save the Date

Time seems to pass differently for those on the inside of a project and those on the outside. For me, Ronson and F were my afterhours life for two years and I’ve felt they were mostly finished for at least one more year but for anyone I told about the project it probably seems like a lifetime ago. So I have good news, everybody…

The Courtship of Ronson Crumb starring yours booly will finally be premiering on October 7th at the world famous Tribecca Cinemas. We will also be showing the full 22 minute long F is for Film pilot either before or after the film. Unfortunately the event is by invitation only. If you’re my crazy stalker fan, the best way to get an invite is to comment on every single post here at utau-inu.com to, you know, get my attention. Anyway, I’m excited.

Secret Sundays

I like waking up early on a Sunday and beating the birds to the worms and the worms to the dirt. There’s something different about the air. I could never explain the science of it but sound seems to pass through it differently. Everything is clearer. It’s the difference between balanced surround sound and hearing everything come out of two dinky speakers. Perhaps my own physiology plays a part as well. I just seem so much more aware. A bee on a flower. Another bee on an almost identical flower. The way people seem like background art as they bussle about. A plane passes overhead. It seems so far away and yet, paradoxically, at the tip of my fingers. When I step out the door I find the detritus of a Saturday Night world. A handkerchief, a shoulderbag even a shoe. These are secrets that usually only custodians are privy to. The world went right on spinning past these lost items but in about 5 hours, some young girl, with mascara face art is going to wake up and wonder why she’s shorter on one side today. I know the answer and now so do you.

I like to have a mission on days like this. Today I’m going to buy bacon. This is ironic because at the same time I’m thinking that I need to exercise like this more I’m going to eat the fatty bacon like a cannibal pig. I buy “miracle bubbles” at the supermarket. I think back on the simple joy of being a kid, when joy came in a cheap plastic bottle for 37 cents. I want Maya to know that joy. I’ve become really good at blowing bubbles. Maya doesn’t understand it yet. She’s under attack from invisible pests that explode in wetness. We’ll try again later. Or maybe she never will. Takako, 32 years deep, is equally unimpressed.

I look at the magazine section in the supermarket. How does Sarah Jessica Parker get the cover of anything. Does any woman wake up and say, “I want to be Sarah Jessica Parker today!” I’ve been watching Mad Men on Netflix. I can’t help but feel that the ads in these magazines would disappoint Don Draper. I strategize. If someone catches me reading Marie Claire I’ll look at a sexy model and pretend she’s my ex and I’m pining for days gone by. Am I writing this way because Don Draper did in the Season 4 episode, Summer Man? Maybe I am. It doesn’t matter. We should all be a little more honest.

I thought about this on the walk back to the apartment. All the witty things I would write swimming in my head drowning in my head. I wanted to go on Facebook and say the perfect thing. Something bite sized. A crowd pleaser. Maybe, “Secret Sundays rule!”

Logjammin’

Now that the first draft is done, and before I embark on the labor intensive cleanup session, it’s time to start thinking of a logline. The logline is what unproven screenwriters use to get the attention of the producers, producer’s assistants and interns off their mojitos and back on the thing they get paid to do: FINDING AND PRODUCING SCRIPTS.

The problem is that reading is hard, and boring. Add in the millions of people, like me, who’ve been told that they could be writers (but probably aren’t) and all you get is 200 digital files in an electronic waste basket. They won’t read just anything. You have to put gravy on that bitch. Aside from sending them a gold plated script… you need a good logline that will make them feel like they’re right there in the theater watching the trailer for your film. Except it can’t be written that way.

So here’s my dilemma. I need a logline to enter my screenplay in the contest. But… how do you write a logline for a story about a teenage girl whose father killed himself and a bunch of kids in a drunk driving accident, bankrupting the family and forcing them to move back to a ghetto part of New Jersey with the mother’s estranged parents, where the girl meets a talking dog and starts trading it meat for stories from its life that happen to share narrative resonance with her own. What genre is that even? Coming of age?? Drama?? Comedy??

Here are my attempts so far:

Circumstances force a Midwest mother and her daughter to move back in with her parents in a seedy part of New Jersey and face the tragedies and misunderstanding that have torn their family apart. Also there’s a talking dog.

Do producerbots understand humor this dry?

When thirteen year old Poe starts trading the neighbor’s talking dog meat for stories of the past, it highlights the rifts in her own dysfunctional family.

I like this one but I’m not sure if it says enough.

Any suggestions… ?

HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT’S DONE

@ 10:50PM on Easter Sunday of 2011. I finished my first screenplay. At 130 Pages, I guarantee there will be some cuts made, but for right now it’s Mardi Gras in here. It’s full of laughter and tears and a whole lot of fucking swearing and it’s done — for the love of all that’s holy — the first draft is done.

I barely made it through those last 10 pages it got so emotional. I need to not be writing at the moment so I bid you good night.

Home Stretch

It’s been a week and the clock is ticking. The first draft currently sits at about 85% completion and 100 pages. I just wrote the climactic scene in the story within a story that, in my mind, is like something out of Hannibal… but with dogs. Actually it’s just the third act break of the story within a story. I did nothing yesterday from 6AM until 5:30PM except write, eat and watch an episode of Fringe’s crazy good Season 3 three part finale. Went to a friend’s birthday party after that and I swear the social interaction and presence of other people made me euphoric. Now I begin the final writing push… Must replenish electrolytes…