I was driving home from a features meeting yesterday listening to Scriptnotes, a podcast by Craig Mazin and John August. If you are an aspiring screenwriter and you haven’t found Scriptnotes yet, I highly encourage it. Craig plays the cranky rich guy who grumbles when a screenwriter finds this job hard while John soothes with his kind voice and gentle encouragement. I think it’s the kind of balance you need inside your brain if screenwriting is the kind of thing you want to do to your life. (“Oh, just shut up and write, you whiny baby! …and good luck, you can do it!”)
Lately Craig and John have been taking a few minutes out of their podcast to ponder why there are so few women in this industry. As a woman who had just taken two general meetings that day in features, slammed in the middle a week of no less than five TV sitcom pitches, I wanted to shout back, “I’M TRYING, GUYS.” Craig and John gave some stats based off their own recent inquiry for submissions — only 12% of the writers who sent them pages were female — and with less than a third of Nicholl submissions coming from women and only around a quarter of working screenwriters with the Guild being female, they eventually somewhat concluded: “I guess they just aren’t as interested.” And then I got really bummed out.
[warning: the tiniest bit spoilery, but not really.]
TILDA leaves at the end of a scene where Channing Tatum is asking for a loan. She is gone less than five minutes before she slinks back into her seat.
Okay. What’d I miss?
Okay, you’re not going to believe this, but while you were gone you missed Channing Tatum in a Marilyn Monroe dress and wig, dipping his balls on someone’s head.
What?! Are you serious?
Dammit! I was gone for a second!
I know. I’m sorry!
…But did he get the loan?
Today’s Weekly Procrastination came from an email out of last week’s comments section, and is a little out of my wheelhouse. So I enlisted the help of my longtime friend Kat Candler. Kat and I met at the Kansas City Film Festival what feels like six million years ago, and I’ve watched her grow into a breathtaking badass.
It also speaks to the caliber of person she is that when I asked if she would help me answer this week’s question, she took time out of her hectic schedule not to just jot off a quick line or two, but go the extra mile like the teacher she is. She’s amazing like that.
First, our question:
As a nation, it is time we did something about Brittany Murphy. I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to laugh my ass off during Saturday Night Live anymore a while ago, but I wasn’t prepared to be near tears, screaming, “Look at her arms! Oh, my God! No! No! Somebody help her!”
I put up with her dancing skeleton during 8 Mile, but once I saw her in that snakeskin pants sketch, and saw the flesh dangling from her underarm, begging for something to attach itself to, I realized that we must all do something, together, to help her out. If you see Brittany Murphy, please, somebody give her a hug. And some Cheetos.
Sorry. Didn’t mean to abandon you, there.
Let’s see. Well, I was pretty busy recapping my butt off for Boomtown and Gilmore Girls. I’m also diving back into my new novel, and I’ll allow myself to be sidetracked in a second to stop working on it, so I’ve been forcing myself to go to coffee shops to keep my head in the game.
Now so much has piled up that I haven’t discussed that I’ll have to just line-item them.
I’d never held a newborn baby before. Maybe that was my first mistake. I didn’t know what I was going to be up against. I didn’t know what I was in for. It wasn’t like I thought this would happen. It wasn’t as if I expected to feel this way. We all know where my head is at as far as babies are concerned.
So I went to see the baby on her second day of life. And I held her. She’s very soft and very small, two things one knows about babies but can’t really understand until you hold one. She has a full head of black hair, and her arms are constantly moving around, conducting a tiny song, wondering what happened to the walls of her house. Her legs kick out strong. She has a wicked naval piercing — a large plastic stick that’s bigger than most of her body parts. She’s still trying to figure out what her tongue is for.
I probably only held her for fifteen minutes or so. I was pretty nervous, as the only other time I’ve held something even close to being that young I dropped the baby on her head. Now, I was six and the baby was one, but I dropped the baby on her head and I’ve never forgotten that, so I stayed pretty still as this newborn was placed into my arms.
It’s like I’m coming up for air.
I’ve been going non-stop for a couple of weeks now, and I think right now at this moment I’m having my first second of silent, spare time. The fact that I’m filling it with writing an entry instead of finishing my book (I’m reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, a wonderful story that I wouldn’t have appreciated if I’d read it when I was younger), or practicing piano (A life-long goal of mine is to learn the piano. I am just now getting a chance to fulfill it. Yesterday I earned a gold star when I completed “Old Woman” without having to look at my hands), shows that I’m filled with guilt over neglecting this site this month. It’s just been pretty crazy around here.
So, the site’s moved, the nameserver’s been changed, and as soon as your ISP updates, you’ll be looking at the new pamie.com. Can’t tell a difference? Then it’s perfect. Can’t see a damn thing, can’t email me and everything’s gone to hell? Well, then… I’ll be working on it. But let me know if a link’s broken or you see something amiss over the next week or so as I’m “unpacking.”
Last night I saw the best movie I’ve seen in a while. Secretary. So good. Sexy, funny, smart, exciting and deliciously tense. Really, I can’t say enough about it. It explores self-empowerment, humility, the need for control, the need to be controlled, power struggles in relationships, and the give and take of sex and temping. I really wish I wrote this script. I was kicking myself for not thinking of it, particularly after my strange Pseudojob experience last year. I haven’t grinned through a movie like this since Amelie. I can’t wait to see it again, and I can’t wait for the DVD. Mom, don’t go see this movie. You will not like it at all.
It’s almost one in the morning. I’ve now given up on the theory that I could get a tiny bit of sleep. I’m on an airplane, you see, headed towards New York City. We took off close to an hour ago. We land in not too long — about four hours. Will I get a second’s rest before it’s eight in the morning on the East Coast? Probably not. You see, for some reason this red eye’s the worst damn red eye ever made.
I should say right here that I’m not good on a packed flight. I hate a crowded row. We’re all fighting for arm rests and seat space, our asses and elbows flirting with each other when all we want to do is seal ourselves up in individual bubbles. I’m a wiggler. I’ll just come right out and admit it. Sitting still like this makes my skin crawl. I get itchy and I’m always uncomfortable. I feel like I’m sliding off the seat. My neck hurts. I can’t get comfortable for more than fifteen minutes, which makes it even more difficult to fall asleep. But if the Radiohead is set at just the right volume and the guy next to me doesn’t mind that I’m fidgeting for a good thirty minutes before I settle down and the flight attendant doesn’t slam into my shoulder every fifteen minutes as she passes by, then sometimes… sometimes I can fall asleep. But not usually.
And boy am I not falling asleep tonight. It seems they’ve decided one in the morning is a good time to start a movie. They think that we want to watch Life, or Something Like It, starring Ed Burns and Angelina Jolie. I’m on a one-way flight to Hell, obviously.