“You’ve Got Skills”

I’ve just watched Season 1: Ep. 11 of Luke Cage and I need to talk about this scene between these two awesome powerful women.

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After handcuffing Shades to the pipe, Claire collapses onto the barrel. Misty turns.

Misty Knight: You’ve got skills.

Claire Temple: You too.

Misty Knight: My father.

Claire Temple: My uncle.

They laugh together.

Now, ordinarily, I’d be delighted at a scene like this. The two women just worked together with some scrappy but skilled fighting to take down one of the baddest men around. He was in prime condition, and they were both at the end of their ropes, with Misty even having lost so much blood she’d nearly passed out. So I can forgive that it was two on one.

But the thing that bothers me is that they reference two male figures that taught them to fight. Why not their mothers, or aunts, or older sisters? Why not, “High school wrestling team.”? Perhaps it’s a generational thing. Perhaps in twenty years we’ll have female characters that fight well and cite their mothers’ teaching. For now, I suppose I should be pleased enough that these women are sensibly clothed and fighting at all.

Even so, I think they missed a great opportunity. Misty could have said, “My father.” And Claire could have replied, “My mother!” Which would be neat, because we, as an audience, have met her mother, who, while she’s on the small side, is certainly a spitfire. So it would’ve been a nice reference that made sense.

But enough complaining; I’m off to teach my daughter how to punch.

Manger Things

This past summer, I wrote a Christmas short film, a spoof called Manger Things, and in the Fall, I produced it with Elisa Booker, the Children’s Director of my church here in Brooklyn, Trinity Grace Church Park Slope. The young guys over at Infinity Finite on YouTube, Ethan and Christian Locy, directed and shot it. Ethan directed. Christian shot it.

Check it out, right now!

If you’d like to read more about how this was put together, then read on!

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Jerry & Diane

Chris Domig and Margaret Copeland Hunter star in my not-so-romantic comedy short about a guitar lesson gone wrong, Jerry & Diane, which premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival at the Tribeca Cinemas on November 9th, 2014.

Jerry is a desperate ‘guitar teacher’ hoping to ‘take it to the next level’ with his favorite student, Diane. Diane is planning to quit her lessons because she’s discovered a dirty little secret.

I wrote and directed it. More credits here: http://imdb.com/title/tt2597142

Design by Marilee Sweeney. Photography by Lonnie Urven.

My Short Film Is Hitting The Festival Circuit!

I’m so excited and proud to announce that my short film, SONNY, will have it’s world premiere on March 22nd at a film festival in Los Angeles. Then it will hit a festival in Austin, TX in April. Then it will return to California for a screening at a festival in Burbank!  And more Fests after that!

Here’s the details!

Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival
Beverly Hills, CA
March 21, 2013 to March 24, 2013
March 22, 12:00 at Leammle’s Music Hall

The ATTIC Film Festival
Austin, TX
April 19, 2013 to April 20th, 2013
***Nominated for Best Screenplay Award 2013

Newport Beach Film Festival
Newport Beach, CA
April 25, 2013 to May 2, 2013
April 30th, 3:30 pm at Island Cinemas 7

International Family Film Festival 
Burbank, CA
May 1, 2013 to May 5, 2013
May 4th, 5:30 at Raleigh Studios – Hollywood, CA
Pickford Theatre
May 5th, 4:30 at Raleigh Studios – Hollywood, CA
Pickford Theatre

The United Fest – New York City
Brooklyn, NY
May 10th, 2013 to May 16th, 2013
May 12th, 12:00 pm at Cobble Hill Cinemas – Brooklyn, NY

NY Shorts Fest
New York, NY
May 29th, 2013 at 7:30 PM at Landmark Sunshine Cinema – New York, NY

Excited to see everyone in LA and NYC!

How To Write A Screenplay!

A friend of mine asked via email how one goes about writing a screenplay. I answered his question with this silly little list:

  1. Start with an idea. Often this sounds like: “What if this happened?” Where “this” is the crazy idea.
  2. Give the idea a hero.
  3. Give the hero a goal.
  4. Set up obstacles to that goal.
  5. Write an outline (which is basically just a list of “things that happen”).
  6. Flesh out the outline with more details in for each of the “things that happen.”
  7. Run the outline by someone who understands story. Revise accordingly.
  8. Repeat Step #7 until the outline is really good.
  9. Imagine the “things than happen” in your head and then write down what you “see” and “hear” in proper script format.
  10. Run the script by someone who understands story. Revise accordingly.
  11. Repeat Step #10 until the script is really good.

Then what? Well, then the real work begins.

Is this how you go about writing? What would your list look like?