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Mar 30

at some point all of those notes, cocktail napkin sketches, ideas, pictures stolen from flickr, etc. end up turning into words somewhere.  for the writer, it begins a long time ago, but for everyone else on the production (including your financiers), it all starts with the script.  i have found i don’t feel all that creative locked away in my home office.  whenever i try to write at home, end up getting a lot of laundry done instead.  so i go out among people; i need something to focus against in order to really be productive.  i bought my 17″ MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement over three years ago, and lugging it around often feels like overkill for what is essentially advanced word processing, especially now that i have my iPhone.  but i’m a Final Draft guy, as is a lot of the industry.  i can’t seriously expect to write industry-formatted screenplays on a tiny pocket-sized device can i?  i was surprised to find out…

as i continue my series detailing parabolos portable production, part two of my section on development covers screenwriting for iPhone.

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Mar 26

many people have long compared film to music, primarily to the symphony. i am too lazy today to research and find specific quotes and sources, so i’ll just assume you’ve heard the same and agree with it and work from there.

because of the staggering similarities in the emotional, compressed, symbolic nature of symphony and cinema, i often first approach my directorial vision as if it were a blank musical score… empty staff lines waiting for storyboards and overheads to unfold.  my script is like the poetic lyrics, and the visual music i will compose must convey the deepest intended meanings and nuances of the lyricist.

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Mar 25

the development process is, in my opinion, the most important part of the production process.  i feel way too many take it lightly.  a lot of young filmmakers focus on the finished product.  a polished finished film is critical if you want to be taken seriously, but if people spent as much time in development as they did in after effects, the world of short film would have even more value than it does today.

the development process should really be spent developing story, developing a visual form around that story, and then acquiring the resources they needed to tell that story.  this includes the marketing scheme, release structure, etc.  if you don’t know where your film will play, then you don’t know who your audience is, and you don’t know how to speak to them.

there’s lots of great tools out there to use during the development phase.  i can’t cover all of them, but i can at least point out a few things i’ve found helpful (and free).

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Mar 20

hey LA! i’m headed your way!

alert Roscoe’s, Amoeba, In-N-Out, and the Arclight Theater. oh heck, alert Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, too. let’s face it, i’m totally going.

i’ll be arriving april 27 and heading straight to USC to meet up with my good friend Jim O’Keeffe. i’m starting off my two-week stay by teaching a hands-on workshop to first-year undergrad students about portable production stuff.

then, may 1, i’ll be doing a workshop at the Biola Media Conference (, also about portable production. if you’re in the area and can come, please do! it would be great to see some familiar faces!

I won’t be getting back on a plane (voluntarily) until may 10, so let’s have an old-fashioned NCSA cookout or grab coffee and spend time together!

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Mar 02

principal photography wrapped last night for Sleepwalking.  i feel really good about everything.  i haven’t looked at any dailies yet, but saw most everything over Dan Baker‘s shoulder, and it looked so much like it did in my head.  it was such a great feeling to see these dreamy vision type ideas come out of my head, into Dan’s and the rest of the crew’s, and out onto the screen.

i don’t have time to do a full wrap up just now; the parabolos production core (john boggs, amanda gibson, jessica powers, and myself) are headed to Brother Juniper’s for breakfast.  we’ll decompress a bit, i’m sure, but mainly we’ll eat delicious food and get our caffeine boost for the day before jessica and i head back to the house to clean up.  we wrapped most everything last night, but there’s still a few things remaining.

this is the first production in a while that i kinda hate that it’s over.  i had a lot of fun, learned a ton, and hope everyone else can say the same.  more later…


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