Friday, November 12, 2010

Behind the scenes of Behind the Scenes of Zombie Hamlet

I don't even know how many levels meta we are in this one.  Here's a clip from a Baton Rouge newscast that came out to visit the set during the early days of the shoot:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Location Photos

I'm uploading some photos from location to a Picasa album:

Click on the photo to go to the album.

They're also shooting the next two Twilight movies down here so we had a bunch of teenaged girls out at the edge of the property screaming.

Go Team Zombie!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Giving the fans what they want

Somebody on the Lifetime website pointed out one of the key failings in Next Stop Murder:

I saw the premiere movie tonight of Next Stop Murder and was not pleased with it. I didn't expect it to be good anyway. There was one scene where a woman gets choked with a chain. A chain? I mean my god you people aren't even trying. I don't know why in god's name you don't air thriller movies with scenes of plastic bag suffocation and pillow smothering. This deeply disturbs me because I watch both networks. I'm never gonna be content with your new moves am I? Sorry for being so blunt, but it does upset me. Sorry.
razael 1:22am Mon Sep 20

And razael takes this stuff seriously!  Here are some of razael's later posts over the next couple weeks:

I would like to apologize if I have offended anyone about my movies comment last night. I just get so worked up sometimes when I wait for a movie on lifetime & LMN and they don't have certain scenes in the movie that I am looking for like say a pillow smother scene for example. But I'm sorry for my angry comments. I read a post that was directed towards my comment from last night and it got me thinking & I felt guilt about it. I'm sorry and I really enjoy lifetime & lmn movies. I really do. I just hope they air more movies with scenes that I am looking for. Anyway, thank you lifetime for accepting my posts and comments. Thank you all. I'm sorry. razael 6:48pm Mon Sep 20

Hi Karliann just got your message. Haven't been online in awhile. Anyway, when I meant I wanted to see more thriller type movies, I meant with pillow smother scenes of a victim being smothered with a pillow. Suffocation scenes. That's what I was referring to. When a victim is smothered with a pillow by the killer in the movie. That's wall I meant. Which probably sounds a bit disturbing. It is even for me, but they rarely show suffocation scenes on lifetime & lmn movies. Mostly it's people getting shot or stabbed or whatever. You weren't being intrusive. Some people just might not get people like me who want scenes of smothering. But we all have our likes in films. I try not to judge. Anyway, see ya.
razael 6:37pm Fri Oct 1

Lifetime & LMN, can you air more thriller movies with pillow suffocation scenes. Victim being smothered with a pillow and scenes like that. I notice you rarely show movies like that. I'm looking for more thriller & mystery movies to add to my collection. Thank you.
razael 3:40pm Sat Oct 9

LIfetime & LMN, I was wondering if you would show more movies to my liking. I watch both networks quite often and with your thrillers, mystery and crime movies, it's always the same: someone getting run down by a car, someone getting shot or stabbed. I'm looking for fictional movies not ones based on true events. I want more scenes of pillow smothering and plastic bag suffocation. Can you air more movies with scenes like that? I'm talking newer movies though. Like your world premiere movies from this year. 2010. Thank you. I apologize to anyone, if my comments are disturbing or offensive. If so, I deeply regret you seeing it. I just want to see more lifetime & lmn movies to my liking is all. The ones I've seen this year just isn't what I've been looking for. Thank you lifetime & lmn.
razael 1:54am Tue Oct 12

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Look for the Crazy

I'm on location for the movie now and the weather is terrific.  First day of shooting is tomorrow.

Which meant that they were casting extras a couple days ago.  They had a general casting call and 350 people showed up.  Who doesn't want to be a zombie?

I'm following the director around trying to learn lessons, and here is one of the early ones:

Various assistants trimmed down the horde to a manageable few and the director starts flipping through their photos.  They're all pretty much right for the part so he focused on their eyes and said "look for the crazy".

You don't want to deal with any more whackos on a set than you're contractually obligated to.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indie Film

It's not officially announced yet so I don't think I can say the title, but I've done another re-write, this time on something more along the lines of an indie film.  The really fun bit is that I'll be on location near Baton Rouge for the entire shoot as a creative advisor!

It's a light comedy -- not quite as arty or quirky as true indie fare, but not bound to TV structure either so a very nice change of pace.  I'm even getting a chance to make suggestions for casting.  If we do it right I think that it's the sort of thing that has a decent shot at a limited theatrical release.

And sorry, Dan.  We're nowhere near high profile enough to get Maggie Gyllenhaal.

One thing about casting at a budget like this is that I'm of the opinion that all the characters in the script can change drastically to fit whoever we find that's best for the movie.

And it's also kind of tricky casting this.  We can't afford the sort of actor that guarantees distribution.  So what I'm looking for is actors who will legitimize the film -- a cast that when judges at film festivals or distributors look at it that they won't immediately dismiss the movie out-of-hand.  Get the external features of the film such that people will give the film a shot, then hopefully the film itself comes together well enough that people are happy they gave it a chance.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Next Stop Murder airs on Lifetime Movie Network

One of the movies I did a re-write on is going to start airing tomorrow (Sept 19th, 8PM EDT and additional showings later) on the Lifetime Movie Network:

Next Stop Murder

Which is not Lifetime, so we don't get the channel on our cable here and there's a fair number of other cable systems that won't carry it either.  LMN might stream it live from their website.

I saw a rough cut of the film and the performances turned out pretty nice and it has some nice noirish lighting (too noirish at times for the market -- France made them lighten it up).

P.S.  I did wind up getting a shared writing credit on this one.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

How All Natural Farm Fresh Eggs Lowered My Cholesterol

Some of Jaru's friends have chicken-raising connections and gave us a dozen fresh eggs of the sort that are supposed to remind you of what it was like back in the day when food tasted like food.

And I have been on a bit of a scrambled eggs and bacon kick lately.  So I crack three open and they come out with yolks so yolky that they've gone past yellow to nearly orange.

They have stopped looking like eggs and started looking an awful lot like unborn chicken fetus reconstitute.  One even had that little spot of red in it.

Perhaps scrambling them would help -- but they don't quite mix with milk the same way as the free-range, organic-diet, Omega-3-mutated, manufactory eggs I prefer.  And they cook up with that intense yolky orange color too.

So, even though it's extremely unlikely that they taste significantly different, all I can think about when eating those eggs is how chicken-fetus-y they taste.  And now I'll be thinking about that when I eat ANY eggs.

Which means I won't be eating any more scrambled eggs and bacon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

This is writing?

Unlike writing a novel where I think it's key to keep putting down words to hit that 100k mark, writing a script requires a whole lot of sitting or walking around and rolling broken ideas over and over in your head until they finally shatter and the jagged pieces come back together in the right way.

It is guilt-inducing.  You are, in fact, doing nothing while doing this.  When I smoked I would go outside and stare at the tip of a cigarette while thinking and it would focus me.  This is what I miss most about smoking.

I wonder why screenplays are different from novels in this.  One reason might be that screenplays must be so focused, whereas novels have room to explore.  It might also be a practical matter.  Novels (and individual scenes in novels) take longer to write so you have more time during the process to do that thinking after you've finished your pages for the day.  In essence, you're spending the same amount of time thinking about the story, but there's more writing required for a novel so your writing doesn't get ahead of your thinking as often.

Monday, May 24, 2010

L.A. Times Botches Lost Finale Review

L.A. Times botches the review.  Spoilers at the link despite many mistakes.  My own discussion follows the break and will include spoilers -- hopefully if you're reading a news feed, it doesn't include stuff after the break.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to get a nerd to exercise

Jaru and I got a Wii last week -- the one video game system Jaru would actually ask for ahead of me!

We also got the Wii Fit+ package which includes the balance board and such.

I've enjoyed it quite a bit since it allows me to exercise in the house in shorts then head straight for a shower.  Driving back from a gym in sweaty clothes always bugged me, plus then I'd need multiple sets of clothes so they'd be clean.

One other benefit (I think) is that when I do the jogging in place for the jogging game I run on my toes since I'm effectively jogging barefoot.  I've read that jogging in shoes causes problems since you tend to hit hard heel-first -- I'm I'm pretty sure that applies to me.  When I tried jogging last I'd develop knee issues after a few months.

What surprises me though is how few exertainment games there are.  Practically no true exercise programs that are game-focused.  I picked up Walk it Out, which allows you to walk around a little virtual island.  There's a slight game aspect in that you click on glowing stars and pellets while walking and build up the island with houses and trees and such.

I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars since it's the only goddamn exergame out there really.  But if there were any competition I'd give it 2 stars or less.  In order to click on things you need to point the remote -- doing this while walking when you should be swinging your arms to get the full effect. 

One plus of the game is that you need to step fairly high when using the remote in pocket method of walking, and at a good pace, so I work up a solid sweat while playing.

But it's frustrating that there are so many simply obvious ways of making a fun or interesting exergame.

Jogging works remarkably well by putting a remote in pocket.  Jaru had the idea of simply laying down various virtual paths through unusual terrains.  Why not jog through the Amazon, or Paris, or Middle Earth?  That'd make jogging a little fun.

Or how about some incentive -- jogging through the amazon with a leopard chasing you.  Or maybe you're a tiger and chasing hapless guys in pith helmets through the jungle.  There's no reason your icon couldn't be an animal or monster.

Or you play as Pac-Man and gobble pellets while running away from ghosts.

You could dash off hundreds of interesting ideas in a few hours and they'd all be remarkably easy to implement -- yet there isn't a single dedicated jogging game on the Wii.

One thing though, using the Wii is making me really look forward to Natal.

I've played a couple sword games using the Wii and it's amazingly fun to swing the controller and hack something up.  The big downside has been that it doesn't track the movements of the rest of your body.  So being able to full body dodge and such will be very cool if the Natal technology works.

One upshot of all this is that there'll be all these pale, extremely wiry nerds in the future who spend 16 hours a day working out to World of Warcraft.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some book ratings

I've had a flurry of reading over the last couple months.  I don't trust my ability to assign quality ratings since I'm influenced by what other people say about books or the opinions I hear about a writer or even just how much the books seems like it ought to be considered good.

So I'm using a more empirical scale:

Q     Quit reading the book.
Q+   Quit reading the book, but might read another book by the author.
R      Read the book, but probably won't read another book by the author.
R+    Read the book, will read more books by the author.

It actually takes me a while to truly quit a book -- usually about page 100 before I get irritated enough to dump it and decide that I'm not picking it up again.  Not sure about the qualitative difference between Q+ and R, thus no real star system.

The Tourist R+
I'm waiting for more modern era spy novels by this guy. I liked finding a modern spy novel that wasn't mired in the wars I can get mired in by turning on the news.

A Spy by Nature R
Up until the ending it's rather slow, but feels like an accurate description of a spy op.  The ending felt like it went a bit Hollywood, which was jarring compared to the rest of it.

Already Dead  and the rest of the series  R+
Was really reticent about this since I'm not big on vampire novels, but really dug the lean and nasty writing.

Closing Arguments  R+
Domestic life complicates theosophy and a mystic assault from beyond.

Magic to the Bone  Q
Our broke heroine spends her last ten bucks on a taxi.  Then her friend later gives her 100 bucks which she promptly blows on on more taxis.  Get a bus pass!  I got a hundred pages in and noticed I was starting to obsess over this taxi business instead of the story, so figured I'd move on.

Daemon  Q
I couldn't get past the killer remote control Humvee that FBI agents apparently didn't realize you could hide behind a thick tree in order to avoid.

The Breach  R+
Fun and fast-moving, one of two new authors from whom I'm definitely getting their second book.

Pandemonium  Q+
Some interesting writing style but I need to be fed regular little plot pellets like the reading rat I am.

Child of Fire  R+
Starts off fast and keeps moving.  What I particularly liked was the lead characters and their complex, evolving relationships. The second author where I'm definitely getting book two.

A Corpse in the Koryo  R  (first eBook read on iPad)
Really cool idea, a detective story set in North Korea where detective also has to navigate complexities of politics.  But the ending felt a little deus ex.

Songs of Innocence  R
This is pretty fucking dark!  Gritty pulp noir updated to today.

Horns  R+
I read and loved Heart-Shaped Box, then discovered this kid's lineage...  Anyway, the first book had already scored an R+ on its own.

Beautiful Lies  R+
Even though not paranormal fantasy, this is what provoked the Urban Fantasy Mary Sues post.  But the story was tense and fast-moving.  Gonna give Black Out a try.

American on Purpose  R
I suppose he'd have to re-incarnate in order to write a second biography.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Urban Fantasy Mary Sues

In Urban Fantasy novels the main characters are typically complex enough, but the love interests... 

Good God!  I've never seen more perfect examples of masculinity.  Olympic athlete physiques.  Nobel Laureate intellects.  Great in bed.  Utterly selfless and devoted to the protagonist.  Any conflict in the relationship arises from a misunderstanding or some secret that's necessary because if not kept the world'll get destroyed or something, or from some failing of the heroine.

To be fair, female love interests in stories written by men are typically idealized too, but there's usually at least some true conflict in the relationship.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

iPad is Awesome for reading comics

And prices for a bunch of them actually match adjusted for inflation numbers I mentioned earlier.  A bunch of indie and older titles sell for 99 cents.

So awesome that now I want to explore how to get a short indie comic series made.  For nerdy sci-fi/horror and fantasy action stuff this is actually how you get companies to make those movies -- comic first, then screenplay.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Does Hollywood Have No Geeks?

Repo Men opened to $6.15M this week.  In the future you buy your organ replacements on credit then repo men come and cut them out of you when you miss your payments.  I know it's supposed to be allegorical, maybe they thought they were making some deep comment on our overuse of credit cards and health care issues.  But how could anyone take the story even remotely serious?

It's the latest in a list of movies released over the last 6 months that just feel to me like what somebody who has never read a comic book or played a video game imagines geeks want to watch.  If they had played it satirical like RoboCop that would've worked, but trying to play it serious?  WTF?

Daybreakers -- the entire world population is vampires but not scary vampires, instead vampires who work at Wal*Mart and are accountants and such.  Then some vampires are working on a cure.

My writing partner and I actually had an idea along these lines -- world taken over by vampires and we follow the efforts of a group of rebels trying to overthrow the vampire empire, sort of RED DAWN, but with vampires instead of Soviets.

I think Daybreakers might be the result of someone thinking that a modern vampire movie MUST have vampires as the protagonists.

Gamer -- seriously, video games where you mind-control prisoners through battles by doing Wii-style cavorting in front of a plasma screen? This is what inspired my theory that the people making the decisions have never played a video game.

on the other hand, there have been a couple solid concepts that haven't done great either --

Surrogates -- didn't do that well either (though significantly better than the others on this list), but it at least had a good premise.  In the future people stay at home and mindlink into robot bodies that go out in the world and do things. Then the hero cop has a malfunction and has to go out in person to do things, which is a lot more dangerous, of course.  A) that's plausible in that if the tech existed I can see people using the hell out of it, and B) good angle for the hero since he's especially vulnerable.

Legion -- not a unique idea in geek circles. There's been I figure at least 4 roleplaying games based on the idea of angels kicking demon ass on modern earth. But it's a good genre that hasn't really been done as a feature.  Might've been better though to make Jensen Ackles the angel and try to work a Supernatural tie-in.

I saw a recent option sale on a short story the premise of which was that in the future overpopulation has gotten so bad that the government has hit teams wander around icing couples who have a second child.  As a short story it was sharp and had some nice twists.  But as a movie it sounds like another Repo Men.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paperback book prices

As a follow-up to the last post -- a paperback from 1970 like Cat's Cradle above went for 95 cents.  Inflation calculator puts that at $5.19 in 2009 money.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Comic Book Price Increases

I noticed an old comic book cover on the web today and was reminded of what the prices used to be.  As in the above cover from 1970 -- 15 cents.  When I first really started reading them in 1976 they were typically 25 cents.

Which, according to the inflation calculator, would be 82 cents today for the 1970 book, or 93 cents for the 1976 book.

But actual comic prices now are much higher -- $2.99 or $3.99. 

No wonder I'm so wary of buying them now! I had considered buying some recently but since I could buy one typical novel for the price of two comics, and the comics get read in about half an hour, I just couldn't justify paying for comics.

Admittedly the paper and color quality is a lot higher now.  But I'm not paying 3 to 4 times as much just so that my fingers can indulge in the silky touch of glossy paper.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

My Top 13 Movies plus extras

Going into Oscar weekend and I'm able to get a list of films off IMDb so here's my top 13 that I've seen:

(500) Days of Summer
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Inglourious Basterds
District 9
Star Trek
The Hurt Locker
The Hangover
Drag Me to Hell

Only the top two are in order of preference.  Also, might be missing some since Hurt Locker didn't show up in my search and I assume that means other good films didn't show up either.

A big part of my voting criteria were I voting for the Oscars would be "how memorable is this film?"  So even though Watchmen has issues, it's really striking.  And it'd be a tough call between (500) Days and Mr. Fox.  500 works really well but Mr Fox is really fun and fresh.

A couple honorable mentions:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
He's Just Not That Into You

Then movies I haven't seen that I think might make the list:

Crazy Heart
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Up in the Air
A Serious Man

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Smoking hiatus reaches five year mark

At seven dollars a pack, this gets easier and easier, but my smoking hiatus -- to be resumed once technology or imminent death changes my reward/penalty structure -- is now at five years.

It hasn't been particularly difficult, but it would be awfully nice for nano-technology to finally pay off in the form of carcinogen and heart disease scrubbing lung-based nano-bots.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Insurance Rate Hikes

WellPoint CEO defends rate hikes as pressure grows

Just chose a recent headline for the above -- but when I saw this sort of stuff occurring just around the time Obama is making his second push for health reform I started wondering.

This is exactly what health reformers should be blazing all over their ads -- along with anecdotal stories about the middle class getting squeezed out of health care.  Don't insurers know that?

And of course they do.  Now, there's no shortage of stupidity running the world, so that's the mostly likely answer.

But a sharp, long-sighted insurance Overlord might realize that health care reform either occurs now -- or it occurs later after the problems have become catastrophic -- since premium increases drive more people out of the insurance pool, pushing them to rely more on the ER, making hospitals shift more of the overage burden to paying customers, driving premiums up further, and thus pushing yet more people out of the insurance pool.

Along the line suddenly some European system polls extremely high and poof -- health insurance industry vanishes.

Obama's system retains the private insurance industry and dumps a lot more payers into it.  How it was in the 90s might be the best alternative -- but that's not possible.  So "helping" the Obama reforms go through rather than watch their business disappear in ten years might be an incentive to do media-attention-grabbing things now.

The iPhone Touch Screen

The presence of a touch screen on a device had previously sounded good in theory but always rather sucked in practice. 

It typically involved stabbing repeatedly at touch screens on bank atms and grocery store card readers until they finally registered the contact and then occasionally decided to register it multiple times.

And the Sony Reader with touch reinforced all that.  Touch, then screen flickers dark.  Then one second later it scrolls -- hopefully not too far.

But the iPhone touch screen rocked.  Did the touch two fingers to the Google map and squeeze or spread to zoom in and out.  Scrolled instantly.  Totally responsive.

Now just put that on a device big enough that I'll find several uses for it and I'll be pleased.

Monday, February 22, 2010

eReader Testing

My big concern with the iPad is if I can read off it for hours at a chunk.  So to test what I did was load up a pdf of Closing Arguments on my laptop, rotate the text so it'd read up and down the long side of the screen, then hold the laptop like an open book.

The image is representative, but it's from my wife's little netbook instead of my laptop.

Reading off the screen was good -- and had the added advantage that I didn't need a booklight.  Not sure if it's as easy on the eyes over the long term as an electronic ink display.  But read through the full 114 page novella in maybe 3 hours, which I think is faster than normal for me.

The netbook is actually more representative of what the iPad would be like since it's screen is almost the same size.  As you can see in the photo, digest-sized or prestige paperback sized books fit the screen almost perfectly.

I also tried Kindle for the PC, but couldn't rotate the text so didn't try reading it on screen.  At any rate, if PDF is available and reasonably close to the right scale, I prefer it to these e-Reader formats.  Changing font size can be handy, but I like reading the book in its designed layout.  For instance, in the Kindle version of Closing Arguments the little post-it section breaks aren't centered.  Layout's not a huge deal for a novel, but I see more books using the occasional layout gimmick inside the text to get across some narrative point.

I also went into a couple stores to check out eInk readers. 

First tried a couple versions of the Sony Reader. The screens seemed to refresh slow (slower that the Nook I tried later).  And this was a real issue on the Reader with a touch screen since some screens have scroll bars and they're pretty worthless if it take 1 to 2 seconds to refresh the screen.

I tried the Nook next and that was actually fairly nice for just reading.  The little LCD bar across the bottom works reasonably well (though I'm not convinced how useful it would really be).  Standard eInk refresh, but the pages flipped pretty clean and it looked good.

The Nook isn't in contention though since I want the larger screen.  And it's odd that Amazon can't get the Kindle DX into any retail outlet so that potential customers could get hands-on experience.  How many people do they expect to drop $500 on a new technology without testing it? 

Also, both the iPad and the Kindle DX are almost exactly the size of a graphic novel trade paperback -- so they'll be easy to carry.

At any rate, so far the iPad looks like the way I'll go.  I haven't read many comic books in a while, but reading them on the iPad should be perfect.  I also had a chance to fiddle around with an iPhone for a bit and that was pretty awesome.  Since I don't need a fancy phone and am looking for an eReader anyway, a large-size version of the iPhone would actually be perfect for me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Weight of Ideas

When we moved from NJ to Florida we boxed up all our books, weighed them, and mailed them so we could just throw the rest of our stuff in the car and drive.  I learned that a box of books averages 25 to 40 pounds.

That was the first of 6 moves over the following seven years.

Subsequent moves averaged 10 boxes of books for me and approximately 30 boxes for Jaru.  That's over half a ton of books.  And that's not including the bookcases.  Each move involves schlepping that half-ton of books twice -- once into the truck, and once up to the apartment.

And it's not just during moves.  You end up with a wall piled with boxes of books that every two months or so need to be re-arranged when you have to get to an outlet or adjust some furniture.

Then just last week I had to drag a 50 pound boxed bookcase up to our apartment and spend four hours punching little plastic bits through holes in cheap press-board to assemble it.

I am fucking ready to see the book as technology vanish into my personal rear-view mirror.

I'll miss the cotton gin more than I'll miss books.  At least the cotton gin hasn't personally tried to kill me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kindle DX or iPad

Getting some assignment windfalls so I'm going to celebrate by buying either a Kindle DX or an iPad (just wireless, no 3G).

I'm not sure how much I buy the idea that reading from an LCD screen is that much harder than reading E-Ink given that I spend most of the day looking at an LCD screen, and I certainly like a color display given that I have a lot of RPG pdfs in color.

On the other hand, reading a 300 page book isn't the same as glancing through web pages and writing.  And I suspect the iPad's 10 hour battery life will turn into 5 hours in practice given my experience with laptop computers. Which is an issue given that one purpose of having the reader is to use it on flights from Newark to Los Angeles, and the added hours waiting for the flight.

And, then again, the other uses of the iPad could also be handy down the line.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The World thanks the supreme court

Finally, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, Toyota, Daimler-Chrysler, and maybe even a few Chinese-funded corporations will be able to directly help decide who wins American elections!

I remember reading a while back where people around the world wished that they could vote in American elections.  Well, now they can if they have enough money!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My first "Somebody in Hollywood is Mad at Me"

And my first gossipy post all in one!

Last summer I sent out a screenplay and it wound up getting a strong response.  Got a number of requests and then two offers came in fairly quickly.

The first offer was from a management company.  They were going to develop it with me then take it to various places where they had connections.  We talked on the phone and then scheduled to talk again down the line about the notes they had and so on.

A few days later a small producer also contacted me wanting to option it.  They had some connections with strong track records and laid out a pretty clear plan.

One of the unfortunate facts of life is that, at least for me, instead of having places come in wanting different scripts, I typically have 2-3 places come in all wanting the same script.  Concept is king.

I've grown nervous over the years about telling companies that other companies are interested in the same screenplay they are.  Some people are mellow about it and professional.  But some places act like this is some kind of personal insult to them.  I suspect they think I'm lying.  No places have ever gotten into a bidding war, so there's really no upside.

But I have to make a decision sooner or later and that means I need to tell everyone involved that I've got another offer and I'm trying to figure out which place I want go with.  The smaller producer just laid out their pitch.

Then I emailed the management company and waited.  A creative executive there got back to me right away, said congrats on the added interest, and said that the bosses would get back to me shortly.  Very professional on their part so I'm figuring this is fine. 

It's still a tense for me because I'm going to have to make a choice and that choice could very well make an over $100,000 difference in my and Jaru's life, not to mention future career prospects.

A couple days pass and management company boss still doesn't get back to me.  I send another email saying that I'll need to make a decision before too long and CE again re-assures me.

I am in fact wrong at this point in time.  I shouldn't tell anyone that I'm out of the market until my attorney has negotiated a contract we're happy with.  So, if I were wiser, I'd have realized I had more time to wait for a response.

But I'm not wise.  And apparently neither is management company boss because a couple more days pass and they still haven't even bothered to send off a couple line email suggesting their strategy.

So I end up going with the smaller producer and email the management co that I'm doing so.  Nobody at management company ever gets back to me.

Well, it's clear they're upset.  And I do feel a little bad because I think I could have given them more time.  But I also think that any professional could've zipped off a quick email in the course of five days.  This is business after all.

Fast forward to November and I've finished a new script that fits management company's profile so I figure I'll take a shot at querying them.  Boss gets back to me and tells me how angry they are that they devoted a bunch of time to thinking about the script then I yanked it out from under them.

At this point in the email I feel a little bad.  The boss screwed up but I think I screwed up a little too.

And if his email had stopped there, I would have walked away feeling a little guilty.  But he couldn't shut up.  He kept typing.  And he said that not only had I yanked this script out from under him, but that I had also cost him his favorite assistant -- the creative executive who had emailed me a couple times and who seemed to be pretty talented.

How the hell would some unknown screenwriter from New Jersey cost him his favorite assistant? 

This dude was so un-self-reflective that he didn't realize that in the second half of his email he just told me that he mishandled that scenario so bad that he made his favorite assistant mad enough to quit working for them, a pretty decently sized management company.

If he had just shut up, I never would have known.

Given all that, I'm not terribly upset that I didn't get to work with them.  But I do feel bad for the CE and hope he ended up in a better job.