Monday, July 03, 2006

Enter The Shocker

Five weeks into the job and the seesaw journey continues. For some reason I feel like I turned some sort of corner this week and have started feeling pretty good about the job and where it might lead me. The way it's been going out here, I feel pretty good for awhile, then pretty shitty for awhile, then good, etc. etc. Sometimes the swings take days and sometimes they take hours. But this week I've been feeling pretty positive all week, which is in sharp contrast to last week, which was probably the hardest week I've had yet out here. Not sure why, but everything just seemed so hard and I was wondering what I was doing here, why I gave up a good job and lots of friends who I care deeply about, and why should I stay out here? There were a couple of moments when I actually considered the idea of leaving and heading back to Columbus, but something about that move seems premature to me. I've promised myself two years, and I'm going to stick it out, and then I'll know I gave it a fair shake. Parker MacDonell, my good friend from 320 Medick Way in Worthington, was out here this week and he had some sage advice. Parker lived in LA for seven years and eventually moved back to Ohio. He said I'll always feel that magnetic attraction to Ohio until I find a counterbalance out here - friends, lovers, career, etc. That's wise and true, but I'm not sure I want the pull of home to ever go away completely.

There are many good things about working this job. First is having a routine, which I think is a good thing for me. Granted my routine is get home from work around 4:00, go to sleep at 6:00, wake up at 1:10, work on various things until 5:30, then get showered up and go to work at 6:00, but it is a routine. Rinse and repeat. For some reason this routine has me eating less crap and drinking less beer, the net result being I've lost some weight and I feel pretty good. Before leaving Columbus I believe I was tipping the scales at around 205 at my porkiest, and now I'm down to about 190. I feel like my fighting weight is about 180, so I'll see what I look and feel like when I get there. If I look unhealthy I'll pack a few pounds back on which shouldn't be hard to do. Another part of my routine is doing push-ups and sit-ups from 4:00-5:00 while watching Star Trek: The New Generation. This to offset the drop in weight so I won't look too much like a wet noodle. I've also had a crush on Dr. Beverly Crusher since the show came on the air so if I do run into Gates McFadden out here I want to look my best. Granted she's got 20 years on me, but I've always had that thing for redheads.

Career-wise, here's what's happening outside of the job. I finished the Rescue Me script and sent it off to the ABC/Disney Fellowship in writing. If I am one of the 50 people selected from the 15,000 applicants, Disney will pay me $50,000 for a one-year intensive program that helps develop writing talent. I'm also trying to track down some leads that would help me get that script in the hands of some agents. I haven't looked at it for a week or so, but I think I'll take one more pass at it and then go back to the Whimbeldon White script. Other projects that are kicking around in my head: turning Flytown into a feature script, turning my short story "Hernando De Soto Has Never Been Here" into a feature script, and a new, very commercial, idea I've been playing with that is basically "3:10 to Yuma" meets "Collateral." It would be very action-y. It's all very rough at this stage but here's the basic set-up: An LA cop and his partner are undercover to bust the biggest supplier of Meth in the city. Nobody knows who this guy is, they just know he exists. They give him a code name, something like The Shocker (he was always my favorite bad guy from Marvel comics - a street thug who, through his technical brilliance, develops a suit that allows him to shoot bolts of electricity from his arms). They get close, set up a buy, and things go bad. The cop's partner gets killed, other cop left for dead. The reason they don't know anything about The Shocker is because he's not from the city. He's hunkered down out in his compound in the desert in some small town where he runs everything. The cop, an African-American, recovers and tracks The Shocker down to his desert compound and discovers a scary world of tatooted white power freaks making meth and selling it all over the west coast. These guys are scary and bad, but the cop is badder. He finds The Shocker, whose real name is something like Ed Jablonksi, and battles his way through his army to get him. His car is destroyed, his cell phone is destroyed, so he marches the The Shocker through the desert at night to the sheriff's station in the little desert town. Problem is, the sheriff is bought and paid for, so he has to go in the cell too, but not before he tips the white power freaks to what's up. The phones have been cut, he has no car, and the army of tatooted white power freaks is outside waiting to take their man back and exact some revenge. The only way the cop can get the guy back is on the Greyhound Bus that departs the little desert town at 3:10, bound for LA. So the waiting and the strategizing begin, and all the while The Shocker, who is actually a very intelligent and articulate guy, is trying to talk the cop out of bringing him. Bribes, appeals to his street sense, offers he can't refuse. Can the cop survive, can he find justice for his fallen partner, and can he resist the temptations thrown at him?

So there's that.

Inside the job I've already started making inquiries about how I can move from the editing department to the story department. I'm not sure how long that would take, but I firmly believe I am capable of doing that job and I'm starting to get to know some people who work up there. I've also heard that if you make it known that you can operate a camera and are willing to go out on shoots, the company may throw some of that work your way on the weekends. That would be fun.

The voice-over demo is almost done, so I'll send that out as well. Just one more potential road out of the wage slave game.

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