Monday, February 25, 2013

"Block" Buster: Fill in the blank and be wrong fast.

"You can fix anything but a blank page."~Nora Roberts

I agree with that to a point, but actually, you can fix a blank page by getting started.

Which brings me to...

“The first draft is nothing more than a starting point, so be wrong as fast as you can.” ~Andrew Stanton

Friday, February 22, 2013

Comic Relief: Academy Award Humor

Yesterday I posted about the Academy Awards, well, another reason I watch the program is for the jokes!

Here are some of my favorite witty quotes from last year:

"Nothing can take the sting out of world economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues." (Billy Crystal)

"I was genuinely star-struck when I met Kermit the Frog.  But once you get to know him, he's just a normal frog.  Like many stars here tonight, he's a lot shorter in real life."  (Bret McKenzie, wrote the songs from The Muppets.)

"In the world of animation, you can be anything you wanna be.  If you're a fat woman, you can play a skinny princess.  If you're  a short wimpy guy, you can play a tall gladiator.  If you're a white man, you can play an Arabian prince.  And if you're a black man, you can play a donkey or a zebra." (Chris Rock)

"She's either the most dedicated actress of our time or the most dedicated hoarder." (Billy Crystal about Meryl Streep's award wins.)

"When they called my name, I had this feeling… I could hear half of America going, 'Oh come on. Her. Again.' But whatever." (Meryl Streep)

"'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.'  That's how my relatives are watching this show." (Billy Crystal)

"I'm here to get you the 18 to 24 demographic." (Justin Bieber in the opening montage.)

"When I came out of 'The Help,' I wanted to hug the first black woman I saw. Which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive."  (Billy Crystal)

Seth MacFarlane hosts the Awards this year.  I am unfamiliar with his work, let alone his comedy style.  Hopefully I can glean some fun lines for next Friday's post.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reflections: The Academy Awards

At age eight, I watched the Academy Awards for the first time. I cannot recall any of the nominees or winners, but I can vividly recall the feelings of excitement and fascination of the movies. Later, my second grade teacher asked each of her students to tell what we wanted to be when we grew up. I announced, "I want to be a movie star!" Everyone laughed, and the teacher made a snide remark while the blush of shame burned my face.

For years I fantasized about winning an Oscar and thumbing my nose at the Walla Walla Green Park Elementary Second Grade of 1964/65.

When I married and started a family, I realized a career in acting would require too much sacrifice of time from my family. It wasn't worth it to me, and I'm fine with that decision. Besides, the writing bug had a bigger grip because although I was scoffed at for my movie-star dreams, that same teacher gave high praise for my writing skills. (see: Bitten by the bug.)

I am still fascinated with the Academy Awards and plan to record it this Sunday to watch on Monday. I will plant myself in front of the screen to savor the moments, fast-forwarding through commercials and dull thank-yous.

Awards for Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay interest me the most nowadays; and watching the awards show helps me keep tabs on movie and story trends.

On a side note, this year George Clooney sets a record for the first person nominated in six different categories over the years. That's a well-rounded film career!

2013: Best Picture (producer, Argo)
2011: Best Adapted Screenplay (The Ides of March)
2011: Best Actor (Matt King in The Descendants)
2009: Best Actor (Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air)
2007: Best Actor (Michael Clayton in Michael Clayton)
2006: Best Original Screenplay (Good Night and Good Luck)
2006: Best Director (Good Night and Good Luck)
2006: Best Supporting Actor (Bob Barnes in Syriana)

Too bad when I was little I only linked the Academy Awards with movie stars. Someday, if I win an Oscar for screenwriting, can I still thumb my nose at my second grade class?

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Block" Buster: Fail better.

"Fail, fail again, fail better." ~Samuel Beckett

I let Resistance push me down, and counted myself a failure for a while. Now I am back in the artistic battle. Yeah, I might fail again, but I learn each time. Real failure comes only if I quit trying.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Comic Relief: Here Comes the Boom

Last week I saw Here Comes the Boom (2012). Kevin James (also one of the screenwriters for the film) plays the role of Scott Voss, a high school biology teacher who wants to raise $48,000 to save the job of his friend, Marty (Henry Winkler) who teaches music... a program about to get axed due to lack of funds. The avenue he chooses to raise the money? Mixed-martial arts fighting. He used to wrestle in college, but is ill-prepared for his first fight. Hopeful to gain an edge with intimidation, he chooses a theme song of "Here Comes the Boom." Here's the clip (be sure to scroll down for follow-up commentary):

In a later fight, the opponent uses Scott's theme song, so Marty hurriedly selects another one. Scott enters the fight to the tune of "Holly Holy" by Neil Diamond. That's supposed to intimidate?? Marty assures him, "Don't worry, it picks up."

So many funny (and heartfelt) moments in this film. I want to see it again!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Motivation: Create, and lose the crank.

"Mortals must do what they are here to do creatively or they will become cranky." ~Jill Badonsky


Monday, February 4, 2013

Motivation: The will (and choice) to act.

I've been sick for two weeks. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that I allowed negative thoughts to take up residency. My internal negative critic was kicking the snot out of me several days before I became sick, and then it took over full time.

Now I feel physically better but mentally beat up and need to oust the negativity. I searched for quotes that could help with motivation and these fit for me:

"The biggest wall you've gotta climb is the one you build in your mind, you don't need a hammer to knock it down, just the will to act."  (from Jonathan Fields', Good Life Project: Living Creed)

And somewhere in my surfing I came across this thought...

"It's your choice. Which do you want to do, criticize yourself or create?"

I want to create.

Today I will act... I will create.