Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dying on the Vine

Hey love. It's been a while, I know. Lots going on lately, so you may as pull up a rock and sit down. Grab a glass and pour a finger or two of your favorite poison in it. You'll probably want to sip and savor as we go.

For years I've been posting on New Year's Eve that there was change coming. Ka like the wind, to steal a phrase from King. Until last year when I stopped mentioning it.

Which is exactly why it all happened.

My life has taken on a surreal sort of quality... most times I walk around in a dreamy sort of state, floating along... little whispers in the back of my head chanting David Byrne's chorus from Once in a Lifetime.

Yes love, a lot's been going on.

Over the past months, my wife and I have separated and will be getting divorced. I share almost everything with you, but there's some things that are too raw and bloody for me to talk about. All I can say is that I truly don't wish the emotional pain on any of you. It doesn't matter if you come to the realization you've drifted apart, or your heart's not in it or you simply don't have enough energy to try. It's agonizing and brutal no matter which side you're on... making the decision to end a marriage with someone you love and care about and in many cases, still do. There's nothing else that compares.

Would I have done things differently, knowing what I know now? Yep... you bet. But sometimes life catches you when you least expect it and things just... are the way they are.

I'm finding a happier place in life though. I've lost things I didn't know i had and found things I didn't know I was looking for. My muse is back and she's got a bullwhip at the ready. I'm afraid of her for the first time because she's full of faith and fire like I've never seen her before. I don't know if I'm ready for her to unleash her rage but I suppose I'd better find a way because it's time. It's long past time and she's got a lot to tell me since I've seen her last.

Now on to other news... you'll want to take a sip out of that glass... maybe refresh with some more.

Anyone who's been paying attention has learned about a screenplay of mine - The Pink Room - getting picked up by a production company called Saints and Sinners our of Philadelphia.

It started off fast and furious. I saw an online post from S & S seeking gritty city screenplays. They were an indie production company looking for something different than the mainstream crap Hollywood has been pumping out. They were looking for a calling card to build to bigger and better things.

All right, I thought to myself. I've got nothing to lose here. I'll send them a synopsis of The Pink Room. It's gritty all right. Story was based in Philly. Was a rock star of a script for HBO's Project Greenlight competition a few years ago but because of the topic matter I knew damn well would never make it to the finals.

(See, The Pink Room centers around a porn shop and it's owner, Smooth. It's got murder in it, a few of them actually, along with the first ever appearance of my character Free Ride Angie. It's also got a pair of home made Siamese twins and a lady seeking a vibrator for her dog, an old man ordering a sex doll so he can relive his last moments with his wife (no, you perverts.. not that. It's much worse, believe me) and all sorts of other chewy goodness.)

So... I sent the synopsis.

And got an email ten minutes later. The email was polite and professional and asked with lots of excitement to read the script, which I promptly sent.

The script was met with as much excitement about a project as I've ever seen. This was PERFECT for their calling card project. They'd read a few hundred scripts and hadn't read anything close to this. There were laugh out loud moments and phone calls from the two producers asking "Have you gotten to the old lady with the dog yet? Oh my God! Who writes like this?"

The following week they drove down from Philly to my Harrisburg office to meet and review. It was an incredible meeting. In the week since, the girl had done her homework. She knew the script inside and out. Knew the characters, and by that, I don't just mean she knew their names. She KNEW the characters. She got them. She'd investigated head shots for actors and actresses and nailed every damn one of them. She asked about the "baby of the script... Free Ride Angie."

Holy shit, I thought. She's really the person for this. She gets this script, big time. Her partner had designed a poster for the script - not too shabby - and was already laying out ideas for a web site.

She'd lightly contacted venues for filming, and Adult World out of Philly wanted us to film in their location. Condom Nation was on board to donate giveaways for a pre-shoot fundraising event. Bands were donating music for the score.

A young up and coming director with a great eye had pushed away another project because he loved the idea of working on this script.

She was creating an investment package to send out to raise funds - which... according to her... was her area of expertise.

They left full of enthusiasm and excitement and it was contagious.

It appeared they really had their shit together. This... as I found out... couldn't be farther from the truth.

Two weeks went by and I hadn't heard anything at all. She was probably tied up discussing things with investors. All right. No sweat.

Then an email: She and her partner had a falling out and were done. He'd sent out an email without her approval and had possibly screwed up a big investor. Not good, but okay. She was hard nosed and a perfectionist and did what she felt was right as Executive Producer. Business is business. Moving on.

Another two weeks without anything and I was twitchy. I shot off an email with no response. Hmmmm.

Three more days and I received a call that her mother had passed away. I spoke with her and gave her my sympathies and explained that I couldn't begin to understand what she was going through. I told her to take some time to do what she needed to do and let me know when she was ready to proceed.

Another month. Nothing.

I shot an email off and... got a bounceback. Her email account no longer existed.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!

The following weeks consisted of repeated calls to her psychotic boyfriend trying to get hold of her. Things were falling apart on this project and I reached a point where I just decided the hell with it... if it was falling apart, I was going to throw gas on the fire to make the flames sky high.

Except I needed a few things. I needed them to remove the artwork and my name and any association with me from their online presence. This simply wouldn't do.

I was ignored and then yelled at by the psychotic boyfriend. I had fun with him and kept calling back until I reached his boss and had a great conversation with him explaining how he'd though the girl was a... crack pot.

I was going to call on the full resources of Keene's F.U.K.U. army. I was going to post psycho boy's cell number online and ask them all to repeatedly call his number at all hours of the night until the artwork and any association with me was removed online.

This was going to be fun for me and the F.U.K.U.

But at the last minute, a response from their My Space page... not with words, but with action. All manner of association with me was removed.

War was averted by seconds and part of me was disappointed.

I learned a lot of lessons through all of this.

Don't believe anything until cameras actually start rolling. And even then... be damned suspect.

Re-learned my most important life lesson... some of life's biggest disappointments are caused by you thinking someone will act as if you'd react in the same situation.

And no matter how attractive and lovely and exciting some things look... they can still die on the vine right in front of you, no matter how much you don't want them to.



Have a happy sunday, kids. Finish your glass. The fire's dying out and there are only embers left. Gotta go have some fun. Gotta to listen to the muse before she pulls that damned bullwhip out on me.

Gotta listen to ka.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Qweequeg said...

Wow. Just... wow. Glad the flame was quelled before the war broke out... well, sort of glad, it would have been fun to be part of that war. I remember vague references offering up the power of the FUKU Army, though I did not know what the details were or the why. And, yes, we would have come at them full force. The crushing would have been legendary. Sounds like an awesome script, and I hope you find a home for it soon so that we may enjoy it. ~Qwee

12:27 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thanks dear... and oh yes... the crushing certainly would have been legendary. =)

Yeah, The Pink Room is a fun script. I'll just package it on up, slap it's ass, and send it back out. It'll find a home eventually. Until then... the Muse beckons. =)

Thanks for reading Qweequeg... it was a pleasure finally meeting you!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Heimbuch said...

It's sad that things like this are usually par for the course in the movie biz. People talk a big game and then don't back it up with anything.

I would have loved to see this movie get made, as I'm sure it would have kicked the indie scene on its ass.

Hopefully someone else will come along and really take it to the next level!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thanks Jeff... and yeah, unfortunately you're right about the movie biz. Tom Monteleone and JF Gonzalez have told me some real nightmares about Hollywood. Ahh well... like I said, many lessons learned. BUT... good lessons if I'm gonna be hanging around for a bit. And I sure as hell plan to. =)

8:30 PM  
Blogger Joseph Mulak said...

Sorry things didn't work out this time around. But it sounds like a kick-ass movie. When you finally get it optioned and it's made, I definitely want to see it. BTW, anymore Bob Ford short stories coming out anytime soon? I love your stories, but I don't get to read your work nearly as often as I'd like to.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

You need to sit down with a big bowl of shrimp dip and some Scream Cheese chips. They soothe all sorts of worries. ;-)

7:12 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Joseph!! Hope you're doing well m' friend, and thanks. I've got a bunch of stories out on submission right now and after The Pink Room roller coaster, am getting back in line with some things I'd been working on. Going to be giving a reading at HorrorFind Weekend next month - schedule unannounced yet - and am focusing pretty much on prose at the moment instead of scripts... though they tend to raise an itch when I least expect it. Good thing they take less time for me to crank out though. =)

And Ron... oh I have, brotha... I have. =)

9:35 AM  
Anonymous graveyardwalker said...

Not just movie biz lessons, my friend, but life lessons. My the chord you struck here...

9:50 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Graveyard Walker... you've got that right, dear. ;)

10:34 AM  

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