For them what is new. This is that place where I record what happened so that when I’m old and stupid I can look back and giggle about what I had to go through. I’ve been doing this since 2001. That’s why it’s called “journal” rather than blog. Cuz I’m oldschool. But since MBV3D came out, I got behind. Busy, behind, lazy. Lots of words will do. So I’m trying to play catch up. I do this by tearing through old emails and chats and notes scrawled on napkins.
September was a big month. Lots of drama. October was more normal. But that’s Hollywood. High highs. Low lows. September had us get and lose a job. October was about catching up on sleep and licking wounds.
Oct 1 Patrick informed our team that he would be out of town Oct 3 thru 11th.
Oct 2 TWC said they would send paperwork and that they didn’t “anticipate a problem as to the first step which you delivered.” We figured this meant they would ask to defer the second step and where everyone else pays in full when they defer TWC would try to defer and pay when they later needed to use the step which could be never. We would wait and see what they proposed but if we got the first step money then that would be a great starting point.
Oct 3 Patrick to Vancouver. We head to McDonald’s.
My on again off again partner, Tom Jane, screens Dark Country in 3D to Long Beach Comicon and apparently it was a huge hit. After the screening our gang (excluding me) passed out free cast and crew T’s to the crowd and there was a Q&A with Tom, Ray (3D) Zone, and my on again off again partner, Tim Bradstreet.
Oct 5 An email thread begins. Monkey’s Paw rose from either dead or sleep. So hard to tell the diff these days. Javier Gutierrez was in negotiations to direct. Over the next week we set and postpone and reset multiple meetings until we finally settle on the 15th. Quick Background: In Dec of 08 RKO commenced my optional polish. We are talking retire to Fiji money. 10k. I was paid 5k and thus technically commenced although they asked me not to actually start until they got their ducks in a row. They didn’t say ducks in a row. They said something about finding a director and getting his/her notes. It was an accounting thing. I just go with what I’m told. So, nearly a year later they had their director. Our meeting would determine both his and RKO’s latest notes.
We prove that Child Labor is still in.
Oct 7 (At some point preceding the 7th a producer approached me about adapting the video game “Twisted Metal”. I said I’d only do it with Patrick, which thrilled said producer. I recall watching and reading and researching. Not sure when this started as I never recorded it via email or chat but a good bit of work was done. Then we learned that the Twisted Metal thing was never a go. The rights were tied up at Sony Pictures. The research was a waste of time. Sigh. This is actually kind of typical. Well, typical to do alot of work then not get the job. The rights issue should have been cleared in advance. That was the screw up.
Also on the 7th the Heavenly Sword deal closed. This gig has been around for… two years if I had to guess. Likely longer. I have more drafts of it than ALL the scripts I wrote in 08 and 09. It started as a 30 minute animated series so there was a pilot script written. Several drafts. Then, if memories serves SciFi (this was before the funny spelling) got involved and it was completely rewritten. Then I think it was gonna be a 1 hour backdoor pilot. More rewriting. And as of Oct 7th 09 I’m told the deal closed as a direct to DVD. The money wasn’t great but I’d already done sooooo much work, would be nice to get some form of return. Granted I was owned money on other projects but it was yet to arrive and I had a daughter and her momma and a mother-in-law to feed. And a cat.
Oct 8 I speak with one of my agents about Monkey’s Paw. Just want to make sure all involved were aware of the difference between and polish and a rewrite.
Oct 9th we see the teaser poster for Drive angry.
Oct 10 Get an awesome email from my New Zealand brother Andrew McKenzie who wrote this fantastic script called Sweetwater. He forwards a letter from Sergio Donati praising his script. That is something you frame, my friends.
Oct 11 Google Alerts about H3D still trickle in. It’s actually pretty funny. The horror sites collectively read between the lines. Based on Bob’s announcement we figured everyone would just assume that we screwed up. But beyond the random forum lurker no one was attacking us. But we were being bombarded with questions. Why? Was this a sequel or a reboot? I think I replied to every single email, text, message, tweet, FB, Myspace…if I missed a couple… apologies. But I gave zero details. Wasn’t my place.
Oct 11 Patrick returns.
Oct 12 Since I’m about to do this whole RKO Monkey’s Paw thing, I figure I better play catch up. I recalled RKO had been working on this courtroom drama with Michael Douglass called Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. I look it up. Holy Cow…it came out already. It had 22 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. 22 of those were rotten.
With Patrick’s return we were full steam ahead on Drive Angry. We determined how many days we had Nick. How many days we had to shoot. We discussed should we get names for the other three? Just two? Just one? Or rely on Nick’s name alone? All this is back forth with De Luca and all fascinating to me. I keep my mouth shut and just watch, listen, learn.
Patrick and I schedule a lunch with Jaime King before my RKO meeting.
Oct 13 is the first day that Google Alerts does not report someone talking about how we lost H3D. Although MBV3D returns multiple hits every day. Any time a movie announces that it’s going 3D we get mentioned. Sometimes in a great light. Sometimes with venom. Sobeit.
Got on the phone with Kevin to hear his notes before the big meeting the following day. I like Kevin because he thinks outside the box. But we rarely see eye to eye on our definition of what is commercial.
Oct 15 was an early morning drive to LA. Met with Kevin and Javier. We discuss and debate. We all agree that the script needs one major shift which will empower our lead and give the story a slightly more commercial feel. Javier is going to put his thoughts on paper based on our meeting then we’ll go from there. Long drive home.
Oct 19 chat with Patrick about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal. He’s going. Tunnicliffe and his wife as well as Brian and Melanie would likely all merge and take part in whatever MBV3D magic would be there. I pass because I cannot afford the 100 dollar ticket. Nor the 100 bucks in round trip gas. Hollywood. As glamourous as you thought, yes?
So while things were mostly quiet, that’s because I was actually writing. Or getting ready too. I was working on Devil’s Commandos as well as reading all drafts and pre-drafting for Monkey’s Paw. Patrick and I also had a few pitches and specs were were bouncing back and forth on but it tends to be disheartening to talk about that stuff since they’re so smoke-and-mirrors until someone writes a check.
Oct 25th, Adam and Jace send an email suggesting another Myth Hacks dinner. This email thread consisting of 30 or 40 professional genre writers quickly disintegrates into disgusting filth consisting of sex with the corpses and goats. Some people will read this and think I’m kidding.
Oct 26th I get an email from a writer at Creative Screenwriting Magazine via my agent. The writer is doing a story about revenge movies and wants to talk about Drive Angry. I check with Patrick and tell the guy sure.
I talk with Javier and we set a meeting for early November which gives me two reasons to go to LA since the Myth Hack dinner is that night.
Oct 30, sent an email to the team to see what what up with TWC and our H3D money. I offered to send the following pic to informing them that my daughter was hungry but agents and lawyers stayed silent and hoped I was kidding.
Oct 31, after a month it was clear that we would need to defer that last step for H3D. Just to be clear. We had a two step deal. We would write a draft for x amount. Later we would write a rewrite for y amount. When a studio pulls the plug like this, when it is their burden, you normally get paid in full. But it had become clear that this would not be the case. So, on the 31st we officially went back to TWC and said that we would not go after that last step money.
Now here’s the thing. Neither Patrick nor I really cared about that last step money. We were (and sometimes still are) hopeful that after Drive Angry egos would be put aside and we’d all make the script that everyone (except Bob assuming he still hasn’t read it) loved. We wanted to be paid for the work we did. That was fair. We didn’t want to get in a pissing match that might jeopardize all of us coming together later to make a good movie.
And that brings us to the rather tame end of October 09.