I’m at a pivotal point in the screenwriting process. I thought for my own piece of mind I’d share the journey it took to get here. I don’t know where this story will end. I certainly hope it has a happy ending. Let’s start from the beginning.
I’ve written a lot of screenplays. Most of them were through my twenties. I burned all my bridges in radio and television, moved back to Michigan and had the first “real” job of my life working in a Toys R Us. Over the next few years I went through my Kevin Smith phase. I first wrote my “Clerks” about a guy who was working in a big box toy store cleverly called We B Toys.
Next when I was in an unhappy relationship and feeling like I was hundreds of miles from where I wanted to be, I wrote my “Dogma” about a couple in an unhappy relationship who die and get stuck in Purgatory…which happens to be a small town in the middle of nowhere.
After that, the unhappy relationship ended so I wrote my “Chasing Amy” about a guy who ends his unhappy relationship and starts a non-romantic relationship. I guess it was also my “When Harry Met Sally”. The main character in that one was a struggling stand up comedian. At the time, I hadn’t stepped foot on the comedy stage yet, so it was just a way for me to get out the material I wrote without having to actually perform it. Coincidentally, the arc of that character kind of mirrored what I ended up doing creatively in real life years later.
So, after those first few attempts at screenwriting I started doing stand up and seemed to have a knack for it. Most of my creative juices flowed into that outlet. Friends asked me if I wanted to partner up with them on scripts, but for one reason or another it never really worked out.
Last year a fellow performer named Lesley Braden and I met with some other performers about starting a sketch comedy group. That didn’t work out, but Lesley and I found that we worked really well together. She pitched me her idea for the story we ended up writing and I loved it. It’s like what they say about love. You find it when you’re not looking for it. I wasn’t looking for the perfect screenwriting partner, I just happened upon her!
Next time, I’ll talk about the story.
There’s a lot that the other dudes already covered that are my favorites (such as Nerdist, or WTF, and Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave) so I won’t talk about those (even though they are ones I listen to religiously)
The Film Vault: This show branched off of the Adam Carolla show (kinda, it’s not really a spinoff, but if podcasts did have spinoffs its kinda like that). It’s a podcast about movies (duh) where they spend the first part talking about the movies they saw throughout the week (which they call Flick-fessions) then they spend the second half counting down the top 5 something in movies (such as top 5 80s action movies, top 5 sex scenes, etc). What makes this show especially great is that the two host are so very different. The one is your more average obsessed movie nerd, while the other is your more artsy hipsterish (and sometimes demented) movie nerd. There answers are wildly different, and it’s a great show.
I Should Be Writing: I actually haven’t listened to this show for a long time, but it’s worth including because it’s what my podcast, Nerd Comic Rising, is loosely based on. In it Mur Lafferty started as a completely unpublished science fiction and fantasy author. She talked about the difficulties and challenges of writing, interviewed pros, and chronicled her experience. If you are an aspiring author, I encourage you to go back in the archives and start listening at episode one. You get to follow an author from an unknown to being a well liked published author and its pretty darn cool.
Radio Free Skaro: It’s no mystery to a lot of you that I’m a huge Who nerd (being that I write Doctor Who Reviews for this site) and this is my favorite Whocast. Three dudes from Canada break down each new episode, talk Who news, and in the off season do commentaries on old episodes. Again what makes this great is the differences in the hosts, since one likes almost everything, one likes almost nothing, and one is in the middle. If you’re a Who fan, you will really dig it.
Doug Loves Movies: This is so awesome! I can’t believe I’m the one who gets to talk about it. I love this show. It’s not quite a movie podcast, more like an entertaining comedy game show led by Doug Benson. All the game show “contestants” are Actors and Comedians. It’s a great show, and if you aren’t listening to it, you should! It’s very entertaining and if you love comedy you’ll love this.
Hollywood Babylon: I used to be a big fan of Kevin Smith’s first podcast Smodcast, but over time it got less funny or interesting to me. One of his 8000000 new podcasts (the dude is the Jude Law of Podcasts) is this one and I love it. He is with the impressionist Ralph Garman, and they talk about Hollywood News and stuff. Their banter can get really really funny and again its the differences between them that make the show great. Kevin Smith is now a big stoner teddy bear who loves everyone and everything. Ralph Garman is an impression doing Hate Machine who throw most his hate at Chelsea Handler (the funniest moment of the show was when Kevin had just come back from being on her show). It’s a great podcast, but one you might want to start at episode one with to make sure you get all the inside jokes.