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adventures in the screen trade

Just finished William Goldman’s screenwriting memoir, and it was amazing to see just how many times even he got rewritten, retooled, fired, etc. Nobody seems to survive the knife in film. I mean, Bernstein wrote his OWN draft of “All the President’s Men” with Nora Ephron (his wife) in secret and tried to upend Goldman’s draft. He includes the entire text of “Butch Cassidy…” into the book and I was surprised at how much screenwriting has evolved formally since the 70s. I wonder if the spec-market of the 80s created a certain grammar and stylistic evolution (the disappearance of “cut to” for example and camera moves), or if Goldman just got away with things because he’d written so successfully for so long.

UKS

Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely sold by the pilot — it was trying and trying hard — but then did we ever spend so much time thinking about and scrutinizing “pilots” more than now? They seem to have the currency of what a debut novel used to have — and a far better return on investment. But now that Kimmy’s out and exploring, the show just keeps the jokes coming and coming in a torrent and the sensibility is loving and humane in a way that I really appreciate. The other thing I’ll say is that I’m enjoying formal experimentation and play happening in the half-hour/24 minute format. In a way, “Kimmy” is the most network of any of them — Broad City, The Kroll Show, Transparent… We’re lucky enough to have Allison Silverman, the co-executive producer and super awesome person, “visiting” campus by Skype Wednesday. So back to the viewing…

 

updating, undating

Holy wow, “installing” a new “theme” for my “site” is like taking the faceplate off Yul Brynner. I thought these free website templates were supposed to come with full technical support and documentation? I changed the rugs on the floor and suddenly the house was gone. My widgets got all up in my dongle. Also: I think I toasted my laptop, but that had to do with beer. It’s all back now, you’re welcome Internet.

conjurings: in the hollow

What I’ve been working on since August — a short “hybrid doc” about a shooting that took place on the Appalachian Trail in 1988. The week it took to shoot on the trail — sleeping in a cabin without electricity or running water or bathroom or that nice, humanizing glass of wine after a hard day — feels like it took half a year from my life. But finally we’re angling in on a final cut and I’m excited to share the trailer. Thanks to Bob, our awesome cinematographer Spencer Gillis, a terrific cast (Julia, Miasarah, and Ian!), and a whole bunch of underpaid crew (ahem, Jesse, Lizzie, Colin…) sleeping in that cabin with me.

Finders Keepers

How is it that a doc about an amputated leg — stored in a BBQ grill — could be so emotional? Oh right, father issues.