Checking Off the Checklist

It’s been a productive month since getting back to the City of Angels.  I am happy to report that I finished my first draft of MALFUNCTION.  Ah, the supreme joy of typing: “FADE TO BLACK.  THE END.”  Of course, that joy will soon be replaced by the sturm & drang that is the rewriting process.  So, in the spirit of eeking out a few more satisfaction morsels, I’m not looking at the script for another week or two.  A refreshed perspective should enable me to dive into the revisions with renewed focus and enthusiasm, right? (Yeah, riiiiiiiiight…)

I'm already in trouble.

A number of contest deadlines are on the horizon and I’m going to offer up a few scripts for slaughter…er…consideration.  That means I have to do a little polishing on them to make sure there are no misspellings, grammatical errors, or unnecessary use of hey-actor-this-is-how-you-should-deliver-the-line parentheticals.  Two major competitions calling for entries are the Nicholl Fellowship ( and the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards (  These are highly-respected contests, so you writers out there may want to check them out if you haven’t already.  Recognition in either can open many industry doors for a writer eager to get past the gatekeepers.

What's the secret password?

And speaking of those gatekeepers, I’ve recently been targeting my efforts toward finding an agent or manager.  Landing representation is a big goal for me in 2012 – I need some more members working on behalf of Team DLB, right?  I’ve stocked up on martini fixings, so I’m ready to offer some tasty compensation.  Of course, getting an agent isn’t easy – unless you have a script that Harvey Weinstein is ready to shoot tomorrow – so I am turning to my collection of knowledgeable, well-connected friends and former colleagues who may be able to direct me into the welcome arms of a ten-percenter. (That’s what they call agents here in the biz.  Yeah, I’m just a fountain of insider info, huh?)  If it takes a village to raise a child, it’ll take a rolodex to find me some representation.  I do have a few prospects, though, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to cross this “to do” off of my current list.

But enough about DLB and Deliberate Productions…THE OSCARS ARE COMING!!!  THE OSCARS ARE COMING!!!  And like last year, I will be ranking the nine films nominated for Best Picture in my next blog entry.  So tune in Friday for my rundown of the nominees – it will be both reverential and ruthless.  But not too ruthless in case Alexander Payne ever stumbles across my blog one day. <GULP!>

I love ABOUT SCHMIDT, Mr. Payne!!!


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