Saturday, June 30, 2012

TED - My Review! (Spoiler Alert!!!)

Do you like Family Guy?

If you answered yes, that's reason enough to see Ted.

Lucky for me, I live in a town where I can see movies for five bucks. :)

This movie is about a little boy named John (Mark Wahlberg) who wishes his teddy bear could talk. Of course, John gets his wish and he spends many fun-filled years with Ted. Later, John is 35 and four years into his relationship with Laurie (Mila Kunis) and she's fed up with John's pot smoking and irresponsibility. She gives him an ultimatum: Their relationship or Ted.

I was drawn in from the start because Ted is SO CUTE! I'm a such a girl; liking fluffy things! But don't think this is a kid's movie. Seth MacFarlane doesn't skimp on the raunch and bad language. As a matter of fact, the theater was filled with 13-year olds who didn't "get" any of the 80s pop culture jokes but roared every time there was cussing or sex. 

The only scene in this movie that threw me for a loop was the fight between Ted and John. The sound effects were stupid and the fight wasn't as funny to the audience because it looked like an inside joke between the cast. 

Other than that, I was pleased. I knew this movie would be good because of the trailer. You can't always trust trailers because they lie, but I love Family Guy and I knew this movie would be funny.

Stop reading this and go see for yourself. :)



Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Wall of Fear

I really don't know why it's called "writer's block." Isn't it really just fear? Writer's block comes off as this giant monster that won't let you advance your plot, but really it's just being scared.

I'm scared right now. I'm writing my second draft and it's even harder than the first. During the first, I gave my all. I wrote even when I didn't think I could. Now I have to turn right around and do that all over again? How? Yeah, I have a bunch of notes jotted on my first draft, but the notes just look like scribbles now. Ideas that I had that I thought were good now look stupid.

I'm trying to let the story unfold without a lot of manipulation. I'm trying to listen to my characters and let them tell me who they are instead of making up their minds for them. I'm trying to realize what needs to be changed and what can stay. 

I can have a million outlines and a million notes, but nothing is going to help me when I finally sit down and tackle the beast. Writing is lonely. Even with my boyfriend,  John, sitting less than 10 feet away, I'm alone with my story. 

He asked me a question a few minutes ago that I hadn't really thought about. He said, "Do you ever worry that a scene you wrote that's full of emotion won't come across to the average reader?"

And I was like, "Whatever, no." Or maybe I said, "Sometimes." But 'sometimes' is my stock answer for when I don't really know. But then it hit me, yes. I'm worried. I worry about everything. I'm the QUEEN of worry. I'm worried this blog post is going to come off crazy.

This is the time when writing isn't enough. I want greatness. Is that too much to ask? Greatness comes at a price. You can't just put words together and call it great. It has to evoke emotion in the people who are exposed to it. I want to do that.

I want my words to mean something. Whatever that means.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guess what! The edits for my first draft of Undead Again are complete. All I have to do is get started on my second draft. 

The ending was by far the worst part of the entire story. It was jumbled and messy and completely awkward. 

I never write a second draft of anything so I'm excited to see how it turns out. I found that I repeat myself a lot. I also write things in the action that would be impossible for the audience to know. Most of the characters talk too much about the wrong things. They just come out and say who they are within seconds of meeting each other and it's stupid. No one talks like that.

The official entry date of Script-A-Thon is June 30 and I'm hoping that I'm done with my second draft by then. I want to spend all of July perfecting it and making it great. I've already made a lot of progress with John's help. He's the best. :)


I shouldn't be writing this. I should be grabbing my backpack and coffee and heading off to my 8am summer math class. Instead, I wanted to jot down really quickly about The Script-A-Thon. I'm entering. 

I've always been pretty hard to beat when it came to writing in grade school, but now I get to play with the big dogs. I'm excited and surprisingly not scared at all for this. I've wanted to enter for a year but I never had any material.

Coming this June 30th, I can enter and get well on my way to re-writing Undead Again. The script needs a ton of work. I have to take a character out and put one back in and all kinds of other things. After class and homework, I'm going to be writing like a maniac!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Top Ten Movies

In response to my boyfriend, John, here is a list of my top ten movies.

10.) I love this movie because it's cute and it leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy. It has a good moral about appreciating what you've got and realizing when you have something special right in front of you.

9.) Seriously, who doesn't love this movie? Even on cable with the expletives deleted, it's still scary. No exorcism movie will ever compare to this one.

8.) Some of my favorite things about this one is the non linear storytelling, over the top characters, and the wacky situations they get into. The movie leaves a lot to interpretation which I happen to like. Just Google some of the weird explanations people have come up with. It also features some of my favorite actors like John Travolta and Bruce Willis!

7.) Bruce Willis again. Yes. But what I like about this movie is the funky take it has on the future. Music is weird, people dress insane and aliens on earth is normal. Besides, any movie where earth gets saved leaves me feeling happy. :)

6.) I'm not big on sequels but the first Resident Evil movie is one of my favorite zombie movies. I think I'm starting to notice a it the movies or the actors I like? Whatever! Although there's no "Alice" in the video game, I appreciate Milla Jovovich in this role. The suspense builds incredibly well and doesn't lose you. Even at the last scene when she's standing in the bare ruins of what's left of the city, you're in the moment with her.
5.) Halfway through and I was so torn what to put here but Pleasantville wins. Why? Because it's direct commentary on American society. Views on women's roles, race, relationships and sex all get neatly stacked into this movie. Plus, Fiona Apple covered "Across the Universe" for this movie which is a huge plus.

4.) If Freaky Friday grew up to be a twister murderer, you'd get Face/Off. The idea of switching bodies with someone always seemed like it would be cool...until I saw this movie. What sells it is that John Travolta's character actually starts to feel sympathy for his enemy after being forced to live with his face. 

3.) I usually hate being tricked by movies but when you find out the "bad guy" is actually trying to save the world, it makes you go, "OMG, BRILLIANT!" I was told this movie wasn't worth the disc it was burned to but I was pleasantly surprised after watching it! The only thing that gets me is the weird background scene where a blimp or plane-like object is headed straight for the Twin Towers.

2.) I've loved this movie since I was a kid! What is it with me and violence? I had a crush on Ray Liotta too. I knew the story was good even back then. 

1.) I pledge allegiance to Jurassic Park. When this movie came out on VHS, my mom bought me a copy and I watched it every single day without fail. I have this movie memorized. I could recite it to you complete with dinosaur sound effects. I love dinosaurs and I love this movie. Fuck the sequels though. :)


Do You Want To Write A Screenplay?

The verdict is in. My script is crap. In fact, it's what crap wants to be when it grows up!

Just kidding, it's not that bad. However, I do have a lot of things going on that just don't seem to mesh well together. My boyfriend gave me some sound advice on Undead Again. I have ways of making it better that won't cause me to tear my hair out. I've never done this before, so it's a little weird for me.

If anybody wants to join me on this little screenwriting adventure of mine, feel free! Here's some stuff I learned as I went along.

1.) Keep Writing.

Sometimes the story gets weird. Sometimes you veer off on some road that you didn't mean to. Sometimes you add in characters or change people's names halfway through. Don't worry. No matter how gruesome it gets coming out, you can always go back and shape it later. I learned this lesson the hard way when I would always try to go back and polish the first half of an unwritten story. I ended up never finishing. Every good story used to be crap. The difference is the writer took the time to finish and then edit.

2.) Try to write everyday.

This one sucks because everyone is busy. We have lives and jobs and some people have kids and life gets hectic. Sometimes I would go home tired after work and only get a page out. I can usually pound out about 12 or 13 pages of anything a night if I'm not tired. But don't beat yourself up over it. One sentence is better than no sentence at all.

3.) Ask someone known for brutal honesty to read it and give you feedback.

I don't feel like I need to pay hundreds of dollars to some writer at a workshop to tell me my writing is trash. I'm pretty sure you've seen movies that could have been improved "If only they had done [INSERT MODIFICATION HERE]." My point is, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what a good story is. Pick someone honest to read your script. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

4.) Print out a copy of your script and make your notes directly on it.

Reading it from your computer screen does nothing for you. You need the actual pages in your hand so you can feel their weight. No matter what shape your script is in, you've created something and you should be proud. Accomplishing something so big makes you feel confident, at least I do. Write in the margins, highlight, cross-out, add and subtract whatever you need to make your story shine.

5.) Most importantly...

If you don't remember anything else I've written here, please remember this:

This is YOUR story and no one can tell it except YOU and no one can tell it the way YOU can. Don't get all caught up in comparing yourself to other people. You exist for a reason!



Saturday, June 23, 2012

There's No Such Thing...Supposedly

According to various sources like the Bible and my college drama professor, there is no new idea. Everything you can ever think of has already been thought of. This is because humans are smart.

Anyway, I want to make new videos for my channel because I truly miss it. I was thinking about things I could do like little skits and things but everything seems so overdone. 

Is anyone else sick of parodies of songs? I am. If I hear one more, "Call Me Maybe," parody, I'm going to scream! I could just my weird self, but I feel like I can do more than just be my weird self. I was thinking about reciting monologues that I've memorized, trying different accents and even doing scenes...with myself. That almost sounds dirty, haha.

Aside from writing, waiting around to finish school and work, there isn't a whole lot of constructive things for me to do. I could easily waste an entire day (and night) watching Desperate Housewives...but I'll try not to do that.

One idea that I've been toying around with is filming a documentary. I would call it, "When Fame Costs A Fortune." It would be about scam artists who are out to take advantage of people who are trying to make it in entertainment. How do you know someone is for real? Everyone says, "A real agent will never ask for money up front." Yes, we KNOW that. But I feel like it's one of those things that people say to try and cover up the fact that they're liars. If you have to pay for audition, that's just insane and plain wrong but I've heard of people doing this.

What if you wanted to apply for a job at McDonald's and they said, "In order to get the application, you have to pay $25." People would shit themselves and McDonald's would end up in the national news!

It's just a thought. I have no idea what it takes to make a documentary. Perhaps I should research it... :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lessons in Being Ballsy!

This picture has nothing to do with anything, but I like putting pictures on my posts. :P

We just finished day 8 of Chronicles of the Dead and I can't believe how far we've come. I learned a lot about my writing. I learned a lot about the importance of having a good team. 

If there's anyone out there who wants to start a webseries, I say: DO IT! But go forth with caution. Limit your locations and actors. Limit your episodes. Start small. Unless you're rich, don't go big. You can get big later, and I hope we do!

There are going to be a lot of great things to come. In the meantime, I hope we can raise enough money to fund season two. Paying for everything ourselves has been INSANE but totally worth it. We just can't do it by ourselves anymore. Season one is definitely our "practice" season. We're going to have a lot more knowledge moving forward.

I guess the point I'm getting at is you don't really know what it takes to film something until you actually get off your ass and do it. I watched some videos about film and listened to people talk and I wrote scripts...but NOTHING beats hands-on experience. 

Even if I make a complete idiot out of myself, at least I'll know I had to the balls to put myself out there. Come what may, I tried, and I'm going to keep on trying. This is what keeps me going everyday. I'm sticking to the belief that it is better to try and fail than never to try. I don't want to wonder, "what if?" I hate those words unless trying to come up with a new story.

Speaking of new stories, my boyfriend and best friend are reading Undead Again and I'm expecting some good feedback because they both know their shit!

In closing, (haha) please check out Chronicles of the Dead. Like us on Facebook and watch our Pilot and Teaser. We're going to have more cast interviews and trailers coming before the BIG premiere of season one. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All The Hairy Details

Let me start by saying I might not be in the best position to be writing a post with a strong opinion because I'm tired. We just finished an 8 hour shoot for the seventh day of Chronicles of the Dead. Or as my boyfriend likes to call it, "your second job that doesn't pay."

Even though there's no monetary value (yet) I get paid in experience. I get constant lessons in humility and gratitude.  It is exactly this reason why I can't stand the way success stories are told. I hate the abridged versions. I hate it when the story says, "He went to Hollywood." And the next sentence says, "he was discovered." What the FUCK does that even mean? You can't just waltz into Hollywood and "get discovered." It takes time and effort. You have to pay your dues.

And LOTS of famous people busted their asses to get where they are now but those stories are rarely told. We always hear the censored versions that have all the hard work taken out. We're sold a beautiful lie. They try to make us believe that you can just go sip a latte at Starbucks and "get discovered."

I'm certainly not going to sugar-coat my life story when I make it. People are going to know that I struggled. They're going to know that I was broke and that I wanted to kill myself and cry myself to sleep at night. None of this, "I got discovered," crap. And the Kartrashian's are no exception. Since when does having rich parents or making a sex tape make you someone fucking special? They're pretty much the butt of every joke about "famous" people. I don't want fame if it means losing sight of what's right.

Now I've constructed a decent rant about this, I can be quiet now. I'll leave you with one of my favorite inspirational videos. And to all the dreamers out there, never give up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


With the first draft of my spec done and the first season of Chronicles of the Dead nearing post-production, I'm wondering what I should do next. 

There are millions of things I could be doing with my time like reading, looking for a "real" job, making videos, writing second drafts of all my first drafts, looking for writing jobs and going to bed at a decent hour. 

I have trouble keeping up with a strict schedule. I have trouble making plans and sticking to said plans. I'm the kind of girl who sets her alarm for 6am but pushes the snooze button until 8am. I have to get my butt in gear!

I doubt my script will be polished enough for the Script-A-Thon in July so I'm going to save myself 50 bucks and wait until next time. I've been looking for other contests and it seems like there aren't really any good ones.

Right now, I think I should just worry about getting more sleep.


Monday, June 18, 2012

I Finished My First Draft!

I finished the first draft of my spec script, Undead Again. As you've probably already guessed, it's shit.

I don't mean it's shit in the, "I shouldn't have written this," way. I mean it in the, "OMG I need to rewrite this before it can see the light of day," kind of way.

Luckily, my awesome boyfriend volunteered to be the first to read it and he has a good eye for horrible plot and stupid characters. I've never written a feature length screenplay before but I have a feeling this won't be the last time. Here's a little bit about Undead Again just so you know.

This is my logline: Phoebe Sullivan, a 185 year old vampire, gets an unexpected second chance at being human after a cocky slayer kills Dracula.

Think of it as a threesome between Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Uptown Girls and True Blood.

The hardest part of writing this was deciding what format to choose. It could work as a novel and maybe even a short story, but I do those all the time. I chose to write a spec because I had never done it. Honestly, I didn't think I could!

After my boyfriend has read it and ripped me a new one, I'll report back with the dirty details. In the meantime, I have to get ready for tomorrow's Chronicles of the Dead shoot. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm Writing A Spec Script

I've never written a spec script before. It's turning out to be one of the hardest things I've ever written. 

This is the point in time when you're really putting yourself out there as a writer. No longer are you sheltered from the world of rejection. You're standing on a busy street corner wearing neon reflectors with a target painted on your back.

Congratulations. You've volunteered at the firing range. Now publishers and agents get to practice the art of rejection on you first hand. Some will flat out say no. Some will probably just ignore you completely. The chances of someone saying yes is slim to none. 

But, the more I query, the better my chances. Maybe I should enter contests and join writing groups like others before me have done. There's no telling what will come of it if I just try. I have a million stories in me and this is just one of them. It's just the tip of the iceberg.

It's time for me to dust off my creativity and give it another whirl. If I can write like I did in high school, it would be a dream come true. I'm not talking about the stories I used to make up (because they were awful) but the need that I felt. I was hungry and getting a story out of me and into the nearest notebook was my way of eating. I had to write so bad that I would finish all my homework at school just so I could spend the night writing. 

I want to be that girl again. And with 74 pages of my first draft complete, I think I'm well on my way.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Writing Prompt #1

The truth about the Greendale murders is that Martin and Timothy took their own lives. I know this because they told me they were going to do it.

Everybody has a friend or two that they share all their secrets with. Martin and Timothy shared their secrets with me. Two brothers, they were, and fed up with living their privileged lives. They had a strict father who was the CEO of a marketing company and an alcoholic mother who sucked at hiding her addiction.

"What can we do that would piss them off the most?" Timothy asked. I sat quietly because I would never dream of making my parents angry on purpose.

"Lets kills ourselves," Martin beamed. "It will be the ultimate 'fuck you!'"

Everyone was quiet now. I thought Martin was kidding. He was always big on making jokes. Had I known he was serious, I would have said something - anything at all. But I thought he was playing around. It's hard to remember not to blame myself for it all.

When the police found their bodies, they were still warm. At least they didn't have to rot and start smelling before someone found them. I always imagined that they were just sleeping and playing a terrible joke.

I miss my friends a lot but they had to make a statement. Their deaths pretty much ruined their parent's lives. Their dad isn't the CEO of that company anymore. He stopped working and left his wife. She still drinks too but she doesn't even try to hide it anymore.

Know how in the beginning I said these were murders? That's because people in our town didn't want to believe that two boys who had the world handed to them on silver platter would kill themselves. They kept on trying to say that Martin and timothy were murdered. I think they knew the truth the whole time but just said that to try and make his parents feel better. It worked somewhat. I guess people just like believing in a cozy lie.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

3 Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner...

Soooooooooo, I haven't written here in forever...about six months to be exact. Why? Because writing is scary business! You're putting yourself out there for the world to see and it's not always a positive experience.

Chronicles of the Dead is proving to be a HUGE project which is bigger and scarier than I thought it would be. Oh well. Challenge accepted! I have great people behind me and I love them dearly - couldn't ask for a better bunch.

However, when you do things by yourself on your own time and money, it helps to have a little knowledge and research done. I have learned a FEW things along the way that I wish I had known ahead of time. Some things I was just plain naive about because I'm such a noob. Anyway, here goes...


This may seem like a no-brainer to most people, but for some reason, I assumed that I had the most unique "of the dead" title I could come up with. Little to my knowledge, another "Chronicles of the Dead" would appear just a measly five days after we sealed our title in stone. I've been working on COTD since 2009 and when I checked, I couldn't find any others. Boo to the other guys for not doing the same. They may have more cash and better equipment, but do they have a better story? Maybe...I'm hoping not! It just blows that I'll never own the dot com because I was a week too late.

Another no-brainer to most people but not me. I've been writing stories with characters named after my friends since high school - no one ever got offended before. I quickly learned...there's a first time for everything. Even though I meant no harm whatsoever, my motives were questioned, I was accused, belittled, unfriended, reprimanded and everything short of burned at the stake. All I do is write and make up stories based on the crazy ideas that come from my own brain. Oh well, you can't please everyone.

I tend to worry a lot, I get this trait from my mom. When things don't go as planned, I freak out and sometimes for no reason at all. Perfect strangers have come to our rescue so many times with this project that it's enough to make me cry tears of joy. You know those moments when friends let you down and you're left going, "OH MY GOD! What do I do now?" I hate those moments, but out of nowhere, someone will come along and help out and you get the opportunity to network and meet new people - it's awesome! Add to that the fact that I LOVE meeting new people and it equals a recipe for success.

There's also a few things I was glad to learn like film gives you room to cheat and take shortcuts. We can make one house look like three different ones. Also, you don't need a bunch of money. If you're broke, don't get discouraged. Lots of successful people started with nothing. And last, never underestimate the power of saying please and thank you.