Saturday, April 28, 2007

Babble On, Hollywood

As part of this magazine story I've been writing (yes, it has still been in process, now two weeks beyond the original deadline), I tracked down a rather reclusive director. It was an exercise in detective work on my part because certain entities (I promise you will eventually find out what the hell I've been alluding to) said they couldn't find him. It was also because, not only do these entities owe this guy money, he is a legend. It was an excuse to take a walk on the wild side – and tell him of money owed him; certainly a good ice breaker in any situation.

After a bit of searching, I was given his address by someone who said that postal mail was the only way to communicate with him.

Because he has no telephone, this really is the only way to reach him. His mailing address rather than a P.O. box, was an actual address in Hollywood complete with suite number.

I decide to drive to the address. Perhaps I could talk to someone there.

The address led to a seedy hotel in a seedy part of Hollywood. Actually, it was a youth hostel.

The front desk told me that yes, this is where the person I was looking for lived and, after leaving my ID, explained how to find his room.

I entered a tiny elevator, the type where only two people can fit at a time, with the steel cage you close around you; and arrived at his floor with a shaky clang.

I slid the steel door open and then walked down the long, narrow, windy hallway that was painted about four different colors from start to finish until I reached his room.

I stared at the brown painted metal door with the large peephole in the center for a long while. Behind this door possibly was a legend of avant-garde cinema. Then I knocked. I heard the shuffling of feet. Then the door opened slightly and around it peered the annoyed face of the eighty year old director.

"What do you want?" he asked, staring at me with baleful eyes.

I, rather nervously, told him who I was and then, before I had a chance to tell him I had information that would lead to money for him... Kenneth Anger slammed his door in my face.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Night and I'm Ready to Rock

So what am I doing? – GUESS?!! Guess starts with a ‘G’ which is also used in the “GRRRR” sound.

No fault of the editor, it would be so easy to blame dear Audrey – no, a court ruling just (as in merely hours ago) came down in regards to my story. Now, instead of it going to press - to bed, as it were, I’m back to transcribing brand new interviews and amending the story.

Take into consideration, this magazine is a quarterly that comes out on Thursday… not a freakin’ daily paper. It’s supposed to be going to press now, so that it hits the streets across the country on Thursday!


Well, actually, she (Audrey) is amending the story. I haven’t seen it, but evidently, she’s doing quite the “polish”. I hope in “polishing” my story that it:

  1. Still has balls. (not castrated)
  2. Remains balanced. (balls haven’t grown too large)

Okay, no more comparisons to Bulls, or Steers, or whatever might have been conjured in your mind by my rather colorful words. Forgive me.

For the evening, I am stuck in front of the computer, or at least within the earshot distance of the sweet sounds telling me - I have new Email.

Overall, in spite of my laments and GRRR-inding of my teeth at the additional work, this is exciting. The story that I discovered, that little tidbit that I thought would be a nice informational piece for writers and directors turned out to be such a whopper, it boggles my mind.

Soon… soon, dear reader I will tell you what the hell this is all about.

For all you Sherlock types out there, this entry has probably given enough information that you could figure out the story and the magazine.

Or, just wait another couple days.

Ps – anyone know the band that sang the song with the blog title in it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All Quiet…

The article was resubmitted in its final (at least my final) incarnation.

The emails from the editor have stopped. I think now, with the street date basically one week away, they (she and her employees) must be going crazy with fact checking, grammatical checking (I hope), illustrating, proofing, layout and all the other things I know nothing of, that go into printing a magazine.

Or perhaps she decided she hates the story and has decided not to print it. See? There's my insecurity. If you're a professional, you're supposed to do your work, hand it in, fix as required, repeat as required. Personal feelings of competency be damned.

And in the end, it is a darn good, important story… so I know she likes it.

Still, there is that child within that seeks some kind of validation – a "well done" or "good writing" or "WOW". In the end, being printed will be validation aplenty. I'm awaiting the questions from her fact checkers now. As soon as I get confirmation that it's going in the magazine, I'll tell you which magazine and the thesis statement of the article. I'll save the rest for you to read from the pages of the magazine itself.

Okay, enough doubts about writing. Time for more doubts about writing. Screen writing, that is.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

still investigating

As per the editors interest on a part of the story I hadn't really focused on, I am investigating and re-writing part of the story.

Oh the tangled web some people seem to be weaving...

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Old Grind

Two blogs in under twenty four hours. That can mean only one thing. I'm dawdling, not doing what I should be doing.

While I wait for word from the editor regarding the article, I'm walking around in circles. It's time for me to crack open the work from two weeks ago. In that regard, this assignment was perfect for my head – much better than a vacation. My mind was one hundred percent occupied with something besides 'screen' writing. Now, it's back to the real world, which for me is one of intrigue, synthetic diamond smuggling and stolen biplanes.

I have thoughts about seeing Grindhouse this weekend. There are a couple theaters around running it digitally. I wonder though, considering what the movie is supposed to be, would it actually be better to watch it in three months from now at some small dive theater – AFTER the film print has been beaten to hell?

Wow, I bet that went over some people's head; and for you I apologize for being cinematically arcane.


Hello. How are you?

I'm back. I got a good excuse for not blogging.

The March 29th entry (god is it that long ago already) mentioned a story I had stumbled on. Itchy fingers and all.

Well, as I felt would happen, a foreword thinking editor did jump on the story. Boy, and how. Generally you get a three month (or thereabouts) lead with magazine articles. Not this time, not with this story. She wanted to put it right in the next magazine. Boom. Twelve days till press time. Yikes. And this is not a "how to" article or a human interest story. This is dead serious research, investigation, interviewing – trying to pin down people as they run behind their lawyers, and weeding out the real from the fake. As I joked to a friend of mine, I've been Bob Woodward for the last two weeks. Quite a rush.

Twelve days to deliver it all.

So that's what I've been doing. The initial story, the one I thought was good when I mentioned the itchy fingers on March 29th turned out to be a whole lot bigger. Strange how those things happen. It turned out the editors quick decision to go with putting in the next magazine was a good thing too. In the course of some interviews I crossed paths (though I don't think they know) with two other newspapers that were rooting around the same story. One is a little paper that some call the "gray lady", the other the local 'weekly' paper. I think I may be scooping them both, which would be so incredibly, delightfully, comically, surreal'ly cool.

With tomorrow being the deadline, today was to be for last minute interviews, a few double checks on facts, final revising. So, of course, Old Man Murphy came along with a ferocious windstorm that knocked the power out. All day long -- No phone, no Internet, battery power for two hours. Done.

Luckily, unlike the days of old where I would be writing papers at the last minute, the story was pretty well complete – fourteen hour days for a week straight will do that. Around five 'clock, some power came back on the other side of the neighborhood and I took a quick drive to find an internet friendly spot.

Using web based email, I was able to email the story to the editor – officially completing the process in a very strange, and slightly anti-climactic way.

Now, the power has finally returned to the house and an email from the editor tells me that they were without power too. I will have to wait till tomorrow at least to hear what thoughts they may have about it.

Once I know how they feel – and that the story is really going to go to press, I will make sure to alert you to the actual magazine and when it hits the newsstands.

Stay tuned.

Damn, with the internet back, I just see that Kurt Vonnegut died.