Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

Michael Arndt won the Writers Guild Award for Best Original Screenplay.

An excerpt from his Introduction to his published screenplay of "Little Miss Sunshine" (part of the Writers Guild Awards gift basket):

I wrote Little Miss Sunshine when I was unemployed, living in a small one-bedroom walk-up in Brooklyn, and slowly burning through my hard-earned savings. I had quit my job and given myself a year off, hoping to write a salable script in that time. It was the financial equivalent of jumping off a cliff and trying to build an airplane on the way down. I had never made a dime from creative writing. I had no credits, no agent, no publishing history. I was--in every external--a complete and total loser.

I love stories like this. They make me feel better about what I'm doing.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Members Only

These things can be a drag. Writing about something you know you should write about. Going to the Writers Guild Awards. Especially when nothing particularly notable happened.

Why did you go to the Writers Guild Awards, Malice?

Around this time last year, I went to an award ceremony at my old job, and I thought this would be an interesting contrast.

It's tough going to one of these things alone, though. Alone, unrecognizable, without a body of work to back you up. It's tough being a writer. Hell, even a name-brand writer is hard to spot in a crowd. This one guy looked familiar but I couldn't place him till "The Sopranos" won for best dramatic series and I realized it was David Chase.

Tom Fontana and Rita Moreno totally hate me. They have no reason to coz I barely said boo to them before they ran away from me. Note to self: leave Tom Fontana alone.

Hey, it's hard to talk to people you admire when you're a nobody. I didn't even have anyone to stargaze with. (That's what you're for, blog.)

Rundown of celebrities I saw up close:

Robert Duvall(!)
Tina Fey
Tracy Morgan
John Leguizamo
Meadow Soprano
Matthew Broderick
Sarah Jessica Parker
Lorne Michaels
Gilbert Gottfried
Andy Rooney (the size of a hobbit)
Joe Franklin (the size of a smurf)
Several current SNL cast members
Robert Klein
Alec Baldwin
Christopher Meloni

The two hour open bar was good, as was the food. The actual award ceremony was shockingly long. Gilbert Gottfried was hilarious. Fred Armisen had this terrific bit where he played a guy who won an award for a YOU TUBE video, and he started berating the audience. "I submitted work to all your STUPID SHOWS, but who's laughing now?!?"

But the night lost steam. There were all these specialty awards I didn't have interest in. The audience rapidly thinned out as the ceremony wore on, and the presenters started commenting on it toward the end. Toward the end, it actually felt like that award show that my old day job had: just a bunch of working stiffs trying to make the best of it.

Bit of a dud of a night, I'm afraid. I saw Akiva from The Lonely Island -- he got an award as one of the writers for SNL; I was about to say hello to him but didn't. I should have. What a wash.

I did speak with LaBamba from "The Max Weinberg 7". He and Mark Pender led the band that played the event. LaBamba was incredibly nice. He brought his son, who's about to go to college.

Anyway, I had to go once. Just to get a taste for it. There was a time when I would've been totally into it and the whole celebrity thing, but it turns out that they're just people. And I'm not much of a people person. Not right now, at least. Sporadically.

Wasn't like the celebrities were all pals. They seemed to keep with their own peeps. Tracy Morgan made the effort to say hello to John Leguizamo and Jamie Lynn Sigler, but it's not like Robert Duvall was knocking fists with Gilbert Gottfried. (Though Duvall was sitting behind Gilbert at the awards.)

If I go again, hopefully I'll have more of a reason.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The War Between the Classes

This proves even dead people see more action than me.

Anybody ever read a book called "The War Between the Classes"? I've found a lot of lesson plans for it, but not much more. It was adapted into a CBS Schoolbreak Special, for which it won an Emmy in 1986. The race aspect doesn't interest me as much as the idea of The Color Game: colored armbands representing different socioeconomic strata.

Great title. I wonder who owns the rights.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Honey Blackheart

Punk rock girl. Uncomfortable in her skin. Pretty girl dolled down. Coming into her own. She thinks she's there, but she's not. She's just begun, and it's clear. Those early signs. Sparks of inspiration. Pop. Fizzle. Singe. Scars of it will contribute to the character of her beauty later in life, when you will find her at the end of a trail of broken hearts.

But not quite yet. Not now.

For now, she's buried under thrift store steals. Poorly applied makeup. It's intentional (but it's not). She's getting there. You could see it if you were a futurist...