02/29/08 | My Writings | 0 Comments
It’s now the end of February, and ONCE AGAIN I have missed one of my own personal writing deadlines. I was on a real kick for a while there, but it seems to have fallen off again as of late. I haven’t done anything for Simon in about two weeks.
What happened? It was going so well! I don’t really know, but I need a recharge. Maybe it’s the monotony of life anymore, just waiting for school to be over so life can begin. Who knows.
In an attempt to break up the drudgery of life, I have decided a change of scenery is in order to reinvigorate my mojo (since Dawn won’t share him!). So, I’m hopping the pond to Simon’s hometown, actually… a little place called London. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
I will be there for about nine days, with a day trip to Edinburgh (maybe I’ll see Jo Rowling!). Guys, I’m SO excited! I love London. I’ve only been there once before, and only for a couple of days, but it was so wonderful that it has been engrained into my very being. The moment I have some extra income, the first thing I’m going to do (after doing the responsible things and paying down my school loans and other debt… boo) is buying a flat in London. It’s always been a dream of mine!
Anyway, that aside… I am going to spend the next nine days relaxing in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and concentrating on my writing. Hopefully, Simon will come to me more naturally in his home town than ever before. He’s got a lot to tell me, that boy has. I’m the only one that’ll listen to him right now, and his story needs to be told to the world. With any luck, a good chunk of it will be ready when I get back, and the book can be finished not too long after.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
I don’t know if I’m going to be able to update while I’m away… I’m sure I’ll find an internet connection somewhere. But, if I don’t, I’ll see you all in a couple weeks!
Kyle W. Kerr
The 80th Annual Academy Awards was on last night, and it was… okay. You could tell that the show was kind of thrown together at the last minute. Almost every few minutes, it felt like they were showing another clips montage. I can’t imagine how awful that would have been if the writers HADN’T been there! Clips galore! PLUS, they showed these awful montages, yet they were rushing the winners off the stage! Poor Marketa Irglova (who won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once with Glen Hansard) got cut off right as she was about to speak! Thankfully, host Jon Stewart was kind enough to bring her back out after the commercial break and let her give her Thank Yous… which was very kind of him!
Also, did anyone notice some things...? Like, recently deceased actor Brad Renfro was mysteriously absent from the In Memory Of montage? Also, they seemed to snub Whoopi Goldberg, who they only showed as an Oscar winner… but excluded her from the hosts’ clips, even though she was the first woman host, the first black host, and the first host who was also an Oscar winner… Not cool, guys!
But, in case you missed the show, here are the nominees and winners for each category (*’s are next to the nominees who I THOUGHT should have won!):
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno*
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd*
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age*
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War*
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement*
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Diablo Cody, Juno*
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
Christopher Hampton, Atonement*
Sarah Polley, Away from Her
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Counterfeiters, Austria
Dario Marianelli, Atonement*
Alberto Iglesias, The Kite Runner
James Newton Howard, Michael Clayton
Michael Giacchino, Ratatouille
Marco Beltrami, 3:10 to Yuma
“Falling Slowly,” Once*
“Happy Working Song,” Enchanted
“Raise It Up,” August Rush
“So Close,” Enchanted
“That’s How You Know,” Enchanted
Arthur Max, Beth A. Rubino, American Gangster
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Atonement*
Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock, The Golden Compass
Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo, Sweeney Todd
Jack Fisk, Jim Erickson, There Will Be Blood
Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Seamus McGarvey, Atonement*
Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood
Albert Wolsky, Across the Universe
Jacqueline Durran, Atonement*
Alexandra Byrne, Elizabeth: The Golden Age*
Marit Allen, La Vie en Rose
Colleen Atwood, Sweeney Todd*
(This one was a major tie for me… They all did a great job!)
Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald, La Vie en Rose
Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji, Norbit
Ve Neill and Martin Samuel, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End*
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Taxi to the Dark Side
Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis, The Bourne Ultimatum*
Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland, No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane, Ratatouille
Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe, 3:10 to Yuma
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin, Transformers*
(Both had really great sound mixing.)
Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg, The Bourne Ultimatum*
Skip Lievsay, No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom and Michael Silvers, Ratatouille
Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood, There Will Be Blood
Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, Transformers*
(Same as above.)
Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood, The Golden Compass
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier, Transformers*
Christopher Rouse, The Bourne Ultimatum
Juliette Welfling, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jay Cassidy, Into the Wild
Roderick Jaynes, No Country for Old Men
Dylan Tichenor, There Will Be Blood
SHORT FILM - ANIMATED
“I Met the Walrus”
“Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)”
“My Love (Moya Lyubov)”
“Peter & the Wolf”
SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION
“Il Supplente (The Substitute)”
“Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)”
“The Tonto Woman”
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
“La Corona (The Crown)”
I was not happy with most of the winners, actually. I’m sure No Country for Old Men was a good movie, but I didn’t see it. My vote has always been for Atonement, and they all got gypped. The movie lost Best Picture, Saoirse lost Best Supporting Actress, Christopher Hampton lost Best Adapted Screenplay, they lost Best Set and Costume Design, and Kiera, James, and director Joe Wright weren’t even nominated for Oscars! What is wrong with these people? I swear, when I’m finally part of the Academy, I’m going to make sure the GOOD movies win. Seriously.
Kyle W. Kerr
I am really starting to love Focus Features. Not only have they produced my most recent favorite movie, Atonement, but they have also brought us such movies as Brokeback Mountain, Lost in Translation, Pride and Prejudice, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Constant Gardner, The Pianist, Billy Elliot, and Eastern Promises, just to name a few. To add to that list of amazing movies (and cult classics), they now bring us In Bruges.
This movie is not for the conservative at heart. In fact, it takes a really good sense of humor and a very un-politically correct mindset… both of which I have. Not only is every other work ‘fuck’, but they manage to throw in the C word about 10 times, and they make fun of blacks, gays, fat people, midgets, Belgians, and just about everything you can think of, while throwing in a mixture of sex (almost), drugs, violence and crudity. They were able to get away with a LOT in this movie. And I couldn’t have loved it more.
Behind everything listed above is some truly remarkable acting, a incredibly witty and well written script, and some surprisingly serious moral undertones. I’m not really a Colin Farrell fan, but he really won me over in this movie. He’s a hired hit man, he’s just killed a priest, and yet you’re pulling for him almost from the word go.
Here are some examples of the witty (and crude) dialogue in the movie (not work appropriate):
Ray (Colin Farrell): If I’d grown up on a farm and was retarded, Bruges might impress me. But I didn’t, so… it doesn’t.
Ray: They’re filming midgets!
Ken (Brendan Gleeson): Harry, let’s face it. You’ve always been a cunt. The only thing that’s gonna change, is that you’re gonna be an even bigger cunt. Maybe have some more cunt kids.
Harry (Ralph Fiennes): You fuckin’ retract that bit about my cunt fucking kids!
Ken: I retract that bit about your cunt fucking kids.
Harry: Insulting my fucking kids?! That’s goin’ overboard man!
Ken: I retracted it, didn’t I?
In the context of the movie, it really isn’t offensive at all. By the time you reach the conversation between Ken and Harry, the language of the movie is already well established, and it only adds to the humor of the moment.
Definitely worth a watch (if you meet the above mentioned requirements for viewing, that is!)...!
I was actually somewhat disappointed with this movie. It has a really great premise (people who can jump through space and can pretty much go anywhere they want to go), some phenomenal actors had signed on (Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell), and some great special effects to back the sci-fi themes of the movie.
Yet, somewhere it fell short. Yes, the special effects were really great, and some of the action was thrilling… and, there was a semi-good twist at the end, though most people could probably have guessed it. But, there were a lot of things that were off-putting about the storyline, such as characters not being surprised to see someone they thought had been dead for eight or so years, and the main character’s flippantly nonchalant attitude to being attacked by a man who was able to keep him from jumping with some strange electronic device. Not to mention the girl who gets on a plane to Rome with the guy she thought had been dead for eight years without even a second thought. It also had some really cheesy dialogue at times (to the point where audience members were laughing during “serious” moments).
I don’t know; I’m all about suspension of disbelief in the name of moving the storyline forward. I mean, you can’t really have twenty minute exposition scenes where you explain everything that’s happening, but there has to be a sense of realism to what you’re doing, too. I was able to believe the jumping, and the circumstances behind how his first jump happens, and even the war that’s brewing between the Jumpers and the religious zealots who think that no one but God should be able to do what they are able to do (though, I would have liked a little more back-story on them, too…). But you need to back it up with something, and that something was definitely missing.
See it in theatres if you want, but only for the cool special effects. This one is probably better left for your Netflix queue.
Kyle W. Kerr
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Cyrstal Skull is set for release on May 22. As my Valentine’s treat to you, here’s your first look at the movie:
Looks sooo good you guys! And Cate Blanchett looks FIERCE.
What do you think?
Kyle W. Kerr
Members of WGA Vote by 92.5% to Lift Strike
To Our Fellow Members:
On Tuesday, members of the Writers Guilds East and West voted by a 92.5% margin to lift the restraining order that was invoked on November 5th. The strike is over.
Writing can resume immediately. If you were employed when the strike began, you should plan to report to work on Wednesday. If you’re not employed at an office or other work site, call or e-mail your employer that you are resuming work. If you have been told not to report to work or resume your services, we recommend that you still notify your employer in writing of your availability to do so. Questions concerning return-to-work issues should be directed to [...].
The decision to begin this strike was not taken lightly and was only made after no other reasonable alternative was possible. We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these fourteen weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future.
We hope to build upon the extraordinary energy, ingenuity, and solidarity that were generated by your hard work during the strike.
Over the next weeks and months, we will be in touch with you to discuss and develop ways we can use our unprecedented unity to make our two guilds stronger and more effective than ever.
Now that the strike has ended, there remains the vote to ratify the new contract. Ballots and information on the new deal, both pro and con, will be mailed to you shortly. You will be able to return those ballots via mail or at a membership meeting to be held Monday, February 25th, 2008, at times and locations to be determined.
Thank you for making it possible. As ever, we are all in this together.
Writers Guild of America, East
Patric M. Verrone
Writers Guild of America, West
Thank GOD that’s finally over and done with! Writers prevail!
Kyle W. Kerr
According to an article from CNBC.com, a deal has finally been reached between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
According to Disney CEO Michael Eisner: “A deal had been made, and [the writers] will be back to work very soon. I know a deal’s been made. I know it’s over.”
The proposed deal will be revealed to WGA members on Saturday, with both coasts holding conferences for their regional members: one in NYC, and the other in LA.
If the deal is approved over the weekend, the writers may be back to work as early as Monday.
What does this mean for us?
New episodes of all of our favorite TV shows, and a less likely chance that the Fall 2008 TV season and 2009 movie season will be affected! This is GREAT news.
And, according to sources, the two groups were able to come to amicable terms over such hot button issues as New Media and online advertising revenue royalties! This means more money for the writers, who, as we’ve seen, are the backbone of the industry!
Kyle W. Kerr
02/5/08 | Genius Mode, My Writings | 2 Comments
So, I had a new Journal entry all prepared to post the other day establishing my failure as a writer… meaning, I was lacking some serious motivation.
I knew exactly where the story needed to go, how I was going to get there, and what I needed to do to get it done… yet, for the life of me I couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t working for some reason. I would open a file and just stare at it, get frustrated, and end up closing it without making any progress (unless you count the frustration… I had succeeded at that!).
A lot of people were telling me how promising the story was, how promising I was as a writer… and I had an agent interested in the book! What was wrong with me?!
Well, the only thing I can think of to account for my lack of motivation is that fact that I’m sort of stuck in a place I really don’t want to be anymore. Over the years, writing has become more and more of a driving force in my life, yet here I am, trying to finish my business degree. I don’t want to be in business anymore, but, with only four months until I graduate, it would be a grade-A stupid decision to drop out, or even to switch my major. So, I’ve trekked on. But I think it took a serious mental toll; it was sucking the soul right out of me, and it got to be a cold and frightening place.
Yet, I realize now that it’s all going to be over VERY SOON. I won’t have to deal with business classes anymore, and hopefully I’ll be heading straight into the Creative Writing Graduate Program at Emerson College in the Fall.
Plus, I also realized… I just love to write. That seems like such a DUH statement, but it really hadn’t occurred to me to think of it like that. Yes, I’m stuck in these business classes right now, but there’s an escape! When I don’t want to be in that mindset, I can switch to Writer-Kyle, and everything is okay again.
So, I’m happy to say that, in the last week alone, I have finalized three more chapters of my novel, and I’m in the process of getting the fourth one going. It has been going REALLY well, and I think Simon is once again talking through me, as he was doing in the beginning. Now, I just have to be there and be ready for when he starts talking.
All-in-all, it’s been a good week. Let’s hope that the momentum (and the motivation, for GOD sakes!) keeps on the up and up.
With any luck, Love, Simon will be done by the end of February, and be ready to send out to agents.
Keep me in your prayers!
Kyle W. Kerr
Don’t you love hearing amazing success stories? Here’s one for you:
This is the independent movie to beat all other independents. It was made for a measly $150,000 (no, I didn’t forget any zeroes), and went on to make $10M in limited release in the Unites States alone…
Numbers aside, this movie is incredible. It’s pegged as a modern day musical, but I wouldn’t go that far. No one breaks out into random song and choreographed dance, but there is a lot of singing in the movie; about 60% of screen time, as a matter of fact!
This is the story of an Irish Guy, stuck in a rut and wanting nothing more than to earn a living as a musician. Enter an immigrant Girl with an affinity for the piano and a voice to match. Together, they make stunning music, and make you fall in love with them all at the same time.
I have watched this movie three times in the last two weeks, downloaded its soundtrack about ten minutes after watching it for the first time (and listened to it a minimum of 60 times since then, some songs more than others), and plan to watch and sing along to it for years to come.
What’s really extraordinary about this movie is that these are not actors, but real musicians. The director (John Carney) was setting up to make this movie and asked his friend, Glen Hansard, to write some music for it. After John heard the music, he realized that no one was going to be able to pull those songs off like Glen; he’d rather have a great musician who was an okay actor, than a great actor who was an okay singer. And it really paid off. After that came Marketa Irglova, a friend of Glen’s, and a fellow musician. Together, they are able to wend one of the most heartwarming and beautiful movies I have seen in a long time.
Here is the song Falling Slowly, sung by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova:
Definitely worth a watch… and believe me, once you hear the soundtrack, you’ll never get it out of your head...!
Kyle W. Kerr