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. Read more
[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: Read more
Here’s how long the new Harry Potter movie is:
- Long enough for me to think I saw Diane Keaton and create a story in my head where the woman she was talking to that looked sort of like Diane Keaton had to have been Diane Keaton’s sister, and I imagined they took their kids to movies on Saturday afternoons all the time.
- Lone enough for me to then crane my neck around to see where the Keaton family likes to sit when they watch movies, prompting Jessica to ask, “You really have no shame, do you?” Which caused me to respond, “You should have seen me when I sat behind Winona Ryder during The Good Girl.” Which prompted her to say, “I did. Because I was there.” After I did the fumbling, “I know,” and sat in the appropriate silent shame corner, the only thing I could come up with was, “We’ve seen a lot of movies together.” She scoffed and I began polishing the shoe I had so recently jammed into my mouth.
- Long enough for me to run into “Diane Keaton” later in the aisle. Not Diane Keaton.
- Long enough for me to crane my neck around to show my friend Fake Diane Keaton. “Just stop,” Jessica said to me.
- Long enough for one person’s cell phone to go off. Twice. I’m sure it’s the same person, as it was one of those really annoying seven-minute song rings where they let the song play on and on because they’re really proud that they downloaded “Mexican Radio” or whatever.
- Long enough for the cell phone offender to get into a verbal spar with another theater patron. “Why don’t you just go the hell home!” she shouted in a dark room full of children.
- Long enough for the man next to me to laugh seconds after every time I laughed, making my poor paranoid brain think that the man was laughing at me and not with me.
- Long enough for me to think, “He just found the book? There’s so much movie left. Oh, my God.”
- Long enough for me to marvel at the bladder control skills of the kids in the audience.
- Long enough for me to like Kenneth Branaughagugh for the first time ever.
- Long enough for the man next to me to gallantly retrieve my water bottle when I dropped it and it rolled between his feet. He practically got down on one knee to give it back to me (it’s possible at this theater — the spaces between the rows are really big because they shoot movies in there sometimes (True Romance)).
- Long enough for me to think, “That third movie better come in two installments.”
- Long enough for a different crowd on the other side of the room to get so rowdy that they want us to clap as an audience for the end of every scene. There was a strange smattering of applause for every one of those long shots where someone’s staring at nothing (which happens all the time in this movie. It takes forever for these people to process information).
- Long enough that I had questions about the last scene of the film, because there was still stuff they had to remove from the book.
As I’m asking Jessica about some particular thing, the man next to me said, “Please!” So, I think he’s trying to answer my question, or make some kind of small talk banter, so I turn to him and ask, “What?”
And he says, “This was really nice. Can I go out with you again sometime?” So I think he’s making a joke about the length of the film, that it was so long it was like we dated. So I laugh, which I think is the appropriate response. “Please?” he asks again.
“What’s going on?” Jessica asks.
“Can I see you again sometime?” he asks me. I stare at Jessica. I don’t know what to say. “It’s time for us to go,” Jessica says.
He held out his hand. “Nice meeting you,” he says. “Good-bye!”
He walked off. “What the hell?” Jessica asked. “Did I interrupt something?”
“I think the movie was so long that I started dating someone.”
“And I think you broke up!”
“That’s one long movie.”
“I wish that cell phone fight had broken out. That would have been awesome.”
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.