Saturday, June 25, 2005

Houston Glamour Shots

On my several trips racing through Houston on Interstate 10 what I mostly saw was vast tracts of industrial wasteland -- much like Elizabeth, NJ, but not as brief. Naturally, Houston didn't strike me as high on the livability list.

However, Jaru and I explored it a bit yesterday from the southwest -- away from the freeways. And that part was downright gorgeous. Lots of tall trees, some nice bayous, and Houston even has a mid-size (for U.S. cities) Chinatown -- size-wise bigger than central Jersey but smaller than Monterey Park (in LA). She even found some of that revolting tapioca drink that is sweeping the West Coast.

Screenwriting Stuff

I've been plugging through two new screenplays while waiting for other stuff to go through.

I got a chance to talk to the director of The Sound. Apparently he's still tentatively in the loop on the project. The big company has since hired someone else to do a couple rewrites, fired that writer, then hired someone else to do yet more rewrites. From my understanding, this is the way things go sometimes.

The business is all rather odd, since one of the newer drafts left out a bunch of stuff that the director specifically wanted added to the film. That makes me wonder if the writer was just a little lost, or if the higher level producer has his own idea of what the film should look like and wants the director to just do what he's told.

Regardless, it's looking less and less likely that the film will have much in common with my draft if this company makes it, which is a big if since they've now lost a bunch of the co-financing, and might lose the distribution deal, and have to re-submit to actors, and so on.

Hopefully, I'll also get a chance to steal the director away from them for one of my new projects. In an otherwise messy and ego-laden process, he impressed me with his pragmatic and disciplined approach to getting the work done. While there's a fair bit of art in making a movie, much of it is just getting all the logistics in order and that requires getting down to work.


dan said...

that sucks that they are messing with your artistic vision (and may not even make the movie at all)

you still got paid right? so it's not a total disaster i guess


Steve Peterson said...

I've gotten paid for the option -- which means they've got the movie on lease until November and can renew the lease for a year by paying some more money. During this "lease" period they can exercise the option at any time by paying the purchase price.

Fortunately, if they let the option run out I've got another company that wants to make it -- so I'll likely get a sale no matter what. But I'd still rather have it turn out well and get a nice theatrical release; and that actually might be more likely if Velvet Steamroller lets the option run out.

Given the money they've spent so far, I doubt they'll let the option slip away -- so one scenario is they extend the option as long as possible while dithering over the script or various other issues, then make the purchase at the last moment just so that they don't lose everything they've invested.