Archive for the 'Screenwriting' Category

30
Jul
08

The Most Dangerous Script in Hollywood

The red journal.I spent the first five years of the millennium on a therapist’s couch: a noisy, brown leather one that always left my ass damp from sweat. When I told Dr. S that I’d been molested, survived it sane, vanquished my molester, and written a musical about it, she didn’t bat an eye. “What better way to deal with really difficult material than to soften it with levity and music?” she quipped.

It made perfect sense to her just as it had made perfect sense to me when I wrote it. Happy or sad or angry, or peaceful, we usually choose a soundtrack to help us channel those emotions, or to soften their blow. That’s why there are break up songs and mix tapes.

That’s what I’ve done with Damages. I’ve used the operatic style of 13 mostly lesser-known Queen songs to convey some of the best and worst days of my life. In fact, the bounciest song in the soundtrack is sung at easily the darkest and most crucial moments. It’s not just irony, it is the remedy of light into darkness that placed it there; it’s also that contrast that makes it rightfully disturbing.

Continue reading ‘The Most Dangerous Script in Hollywood’

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04
Apr
08

From the Edge of 17 to the Edge of 40

bphs.jpgI graduated from high school just a month or so after my 17th birthday. I felt as if life would never begin. I have always been impatient that way. I couldn’t imagine 30, much less 40.

In my delusional 20s, I was certain I’d make a dramatic splash of James Dean proportions, somehow leaving a lasting legacy and a beautiful corpse. I stopped dating girls, stopped fooling myself, and stopped lying to my family about being gay. I cheated on a good boyfriend. Mom beat colon cancer and it just seemed like some surreal role she was playing to increase her range. We all knew she’d kick it. Continue reading ‘From the Edge of 17 to the Edge of 40’

15
Mar
08

Universal Truths I Learned from Weeding the Garden

By L.A. standards, we have a lot of land: just over 1/4 of an acre. Anywhere else, it’s a postage stamp.

Last winter, we didn’t get as much rain as we did this year, and so this year’s weed growth is unprecedented. I knew it wouldn’t be a small task, so admittedly I’ve been putting it off, and while I was out there pulling, I learned a few universal truths (yet again). Continue reading ‘Universal Truths I Learned from Weeding the Garden’

19
Feb
08

Lindsay Lohan: Underemployment (un)Dressed as Homage

original.jpgThis whole LiLo as MaMo thing rings a little hollow. Clever PR, but how can this juxtaposition really say anything good if it’s saying anything at all? Similar drug dependencies? Remotely similar cultural significance? Lindsay is the new Marilyn? A foreshadowing? God forbid.

You’re gorgeous. We get it. We’ve been getting it since The Parent Trap had suburban Dads with prurient interests insisting on a trip to the theater. I never thought the girl had chops until Sam and I saw Bobby on the flight back from Spain. Given the right material, she could act her way out of a safe.

Not enough good roles? Damages has a great role for her. Maybe her people should contact my people. Let’s make it happen.

Maybe Billy’s just cranky and it’s just the fantasy come to life of a little girl to walk around in a legend’s scarf, or a quasi-interesting way for her to finally bare it all, but it looks more like young Hollywood has run out of ideas, identities, and images, and regurgitates this kind of sensationalist stuff. And again, this is coming from someone who LIKES Lindsay Lohan.

If this isn’t a good reason to further celebrate the end of the WGA strike, nothing is. Let’s get pen to paper, writers. Talent needs something to do.

13
Feb
08

My Screenplay: Damages, A Rock Opera

The red journal.With the WGA strike ending, the heat is back up on my screenplay, Damages.

For those of you who don’t know, Damages is the story of an actress, her teenage son, and the man who molests him, the damages they inflict upon each other, and the path to justice and redemption… told in the style of Moulin Rouge, through 16 songs by Queen.

Yes, it’s autobiographical, with names changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike.

I am fortunate to have a fantastic team behind this project: Amy Schiffman, Larry Taube, and Stafford Arima. Not only are they keen professionals, but dear friends. We share a deep, heartfelt passion for Damages, as many will, and their guidance and encouragement has been invaluable. I love you guys.

Have a taste: fivepages.pdf

07
Feb
08

Britney Spears: A Little Bit of Tragedy Repeating

Once upon a time there was a hot, young, blonde star in her twenties, captive to her overbearing manager. He controlled her utterly, criminally: what she said, what she did, what she wore, where she appeared, and how thin she was when she did. He drove a wedge between the young woman and her family. She wasn’t allowed any phone calls and weeks would pass without her family knowing her whereabouts, except for what they were able to see on TV. He had dirt on her; compromising photographs to keep her frightened and tractable. He drugged her regularly and abused her with inconceivable cruelty, sexually, physically, and verbally. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and valuables were stolen from her during his occupation. His control was absolute, and soon, so was her hopelessness.

I’m not talking about Britney Spears. I’m talking about my Mom.

connyalmostgone.jpg

Having exhausted every other path to help and solace, she lay in a bed in her home in the Hollywood hills and overdosed with a bottle of Valium.

Continue reading ‘Britney Spears: A Little Bit of Tragedy Repeating’

17
Apr
06

To Hell Tomorrow

The latest news from the Damages front is that SA’s agent has read it and loves it. He wants to move forward. So, we’re going back to the Producer who referred us to SA in the first place to see if he’s interested in producing now that SA is on board. The next step is getting the two partners of the Production company on board, and then we’ll have a deal, or at least I’ll have an option. For those who don’t know what an option is, it’s an agreement that a company has rights to ‘first crack’ at a project for a given period of time. Once the option expires, if the project isn’t made, the rights revert back to the writer and the project can be optioned again or sold.

All of this could go to hell tomorrow, or not. It’s so important to remember that. I’ll just keep repeating it to myself, but hopefully.




Billy’s Sorted Past

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