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.
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.