Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I'm so honored. Thank you, John. Rock on, Kung Fu Monkey.

The most unexpected result of all my blathering blogs has been this community of screenwriters. And to be read by "working" screenwriters is the greatest compliment of all.

Since I took down my screenplay progress bars, I promised I'd keep you all updated. Still slugging through my rewrite of my fictional script about twentysomethings taking care of parents with cancer. Yes, Billy Mernit, the Cancer Rom-Com. :)

It's continued to get amazing responses from people, and I do think it's my best script. But polishing it right now while Mom is at the lowest point she's been at medically is tearing me up inside. I feel physically ill working on it. Guess I need to turn it around in my mind. Think about it honoring her...then I can get happy about the work.

Thank the gods Wendall Thomas is right beside me through this rewrite process. I've definitely learned it is the biggest skill in the craft. I'm trying to think about it with the detachment I had when I programmed...just look at each page and find the code that isn't working.

The most important element I've learned from her is how to create integrated sequences (something the UCLA Professional Program didn't touch on at all). I'm also looking at how each scene flows into the next; if there is a sound or visual transition. And does each scene have a beginning/middle/end as if it were its own play. Does each scene perform at least three functions? And because I have five subplots, does each scene advance at least three of my plots? Does each character have an individual voice, and are there key phrases/words that repeat at least three times in plot points?

Oh right. THAT'S why I'm tired. I can't wait until September when this draft is done. It's going to be ready to send out. Which is good, because I'm running out of time. But before then I have to come up with a new name. While "Probationary Period" is a theme that is repeated in the script three times and really sums it up, it isn't reader or matinee-friendly.

So I'm thinking "Garden Station Agent."


Anonymous said...

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Kid Sis said...

Huh. Look at that. John links to me, and I get my first non-porn spam comment. Don't click on it. I'm just leaving it up becuase it's interesting.

Love how they used shitty spelling for authenticity.

Anonymous said...

Hello? Pages, please?


Kid Sis said...


When I'm done.

Anonymous said...

Fair 'nuff. Anxiously awaiting the opus.


John Donald Carlucci said...

Hey Sis

Pop over to my site and take a look at the strip you and your brother inspired me to start doing.


Neil said...

I think it's amazing that you have enough focus to keep on writing in the midst of everything going on.

Anonymous said...

Why "Garden Station Agent"? Did you add something to the script that I don't know about? I think it sounds too much like "Garden State" (or another Jersey flick, "The Station Agent").

Why not something that relates to love, cancer, family, home?


Kid Sis said...

JDC, Grovers looks cool. Really like the meteor rock pic. BTW, email me your just might take me a while to get to it :(

Neil, thanks. Nice to hear, cuz I feel like a loser.

NN, awwww honey you must be itchy. That was a joke, because those are the two movies mine are compared to most (other than Terms of Endearment, natch). But I'd love to run some new title ideas by you. "Craptastic" and "Quarterlife Suckfest" are right up there.

Anonymous said...

Your script gets compared to "The Station Agent"? I thought that was about a dwarf or something. Man, your script must've really changed since I read it.

(If I were itchy, and I am, I'd suggest "Romancing the Tumor" or "Kirsti the Cancer Slayer.")

On my end, hive-watch 2005: had severe outbreak and was hospitalized recently. Spent the night. Was injected with high-powered stuff. Sadly, the staff at our hospital is not even remotely hot. And they sure a f*ck don't know how to administer an IV. Plus, it appears today that whatever they did, it didn't work, as the lesions have spread again. The suckfest continues.


Kid Sis said...

NN, that sucks!!!!!!! Sooooo sorry.

No, no dwarfs. It was the character humor that was compared to it. Really, you'd love Station Agent. Check it out. Sadly, I finally saw I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and did not love it. Oh well. We can't be twinsies on everything.

Like the title suggestions.

Ironically, a friend of mine is writing a movie we dubbed "romancing the stoner."

mernitman said...

Hmmm... It's too bad "Love Hurts" has been used... "Cancer Sucks" doesn't quite have the right ring to it... "Craptastic Voyage," no... I'll keep thinking on this, but in the meantime, it's so great that you're working with Wendall! She's wonderful.

Kid Sis said...

Thank you Billy! Yes, Wendall is fabulous. She's gently guided me to so many light bulb moments.

I like "Craptastic Voyage", but probably because it makes me think of "Now, Voyager." Evoking Bette Davis' spirit feels right to me. My lead is also a grumpy, verbose outsider with a switchblade wit.

TA said...

Glad you're learning lots from Wendall. She's great. You must have missed the week we discussed second acts and sequences spring quarter:-)...

Kid Sis said...

TA, That's all you have to say? :)Must have been the week I took Mom for the brainscan at Stanford. Too bad I missed it; I enjoyed your other lecture. Like I wrote earlier, I wish we'd voted to have more instead of all the page reading. :)

Wendall has lectured twice just about sequences in the UCLA PP rewrite class and done a full day on it at her house, so it has been incredibly helpful. For those of you who didn't get any info from your seminar leaders (I know there wasn't a Monday night lecture on the topic), contact Wendall and request the Sequence seminar for the fall (or take her rewrite course, bien sur!). Seriously amazing info, and dozens of movie examples to get you permanently thinking about structure that way.

It works best in the rewrite stage, but it's still another tool you want under your scribe belt. It also helps fill in those confusions about the second act, which seems to be the most often complained about grey area from PP graduates who want more info.