No, this isn’t a post about the movie starring Eddie Murphy as a womanizing ad exec, but I did just borrow my friend’s DVD copy of it to watch it again. Instead, this is me reintroducing myself…to my blog.
I know I’ve been a deadbeat blogger. I tried to keep it up during the two years of grad school, but school, internships, and a part-time job weighed me down to the point that I felt I couldn’t keep up with posts. Yeah, I could have posted SOMETHING, but it would’ve probably been a high-volume of absolute bullshit. But now I’ve graduated (yay, me!) and have found myself in a weird place in my writing career. I say “writing” versus “screenwriting” because I don’t want to limit myself, and I want to just tell dope stories no matter the platform. However, my screenwriting career is having a rough start, and I need to create something that I have control over. Something I don’t have to wait for some high authority to give me the golden ticket in order to collect whatever spoils Hollywood decides to cast in my direction.
So, basically, I’m back.
Though people seem fed up with endless Hollywood sequels and remakes, there is one person who is immune from criticism: Jane Austen.
Since her books’ publications in the early 19th century, Austen has enchanted the world. Which is no wonder why there are a variety of adaptations them ranging from literature to film. Her books contain the quintessential basis for any good romance story, or any good story for that matter: conflict, high-risk odds to keep the lovers apart, and a concrete resolution. Continue reading
Let’s start from the beginning.
Or the ending really, but the beginning of me formulating these thoughts. The last image of Terence Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty was of someone hitting the “end” button on a cell phone. The end of a conversation, and the end of a relationship, which share telltale signs. Pauses. Long unbearable pauses. Stutters and sighs. Breathing till its too painful to exert the energy required to take in oxygen and exchange it for carbon dioxide. That’s how its supposed to be according to the movies and television.
Back in the day, when this guy was on a TV show, my friends used to jokingly call UPN “Underpaid Negroes.” Unfortunately for UPN, the network was absorbed into the WB, which became the current CW. Sometimes I think back to that network, where so many black actors and random celebrities with good agents were allowed to thrive, and wish I hadn’t clowned it so much. Nah.
The other day, I saw a list of new pick-ups by film studios to go into production. One is a planned adaptation of the book Calling Me Home, and is described as a cross between Driving Miss Daisy and The Help (ugh). The story follows a road trip taken by an elderly white woman and her Black hairdresser, who helps her come to terms with the secrets of her past. Groundbreaking stuff, right? I thought by now after the likes of Million Dollar Baby, The Legend of Bagger Vance,and of course the classic Gone With The Wind, the Magical Negro trope would be put to rest.
Today, after finishing a run through Prospect Park that no-doubt gave my body another reason to hate me, I came home to an acceptance letter from USC’s Writing for Screen and Television MFA program in the mail. I immediately broke down crying, which scared everyone in my building’s lobby until a stuttered and pointed out the letter.
Never before have I been so overcome by emotion and relief. During the application process, I often worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, nearly having a nervous breakdown on the set of one of the reality shows I worked on, giving in to stress. And despite scheduling, planning, and staying in constant contact with admissions reps, I still turned in my application for USC late. When I saw that letter, I finally knew I hadn’t screwed up.
My sophomore year of college I took an honors class entitled “Writing and Love.” It was taught by a young, smart, charismatic professor named Vikram “Just call me Vikram” Rangala who regaled us with stories of weed-induced poetry-writing sessions and spent two whole weeks analyzing the creation of The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever. He was my favorite-worst professor ever. He never followed a lesson a plan nor seemed to have one. Yet while listening to John Lennon and Paul McCartney talk about random shit while playing piano chords, I learned about the process of being a writer.
When I was around 12 or 13, my father sat my brother and me down at the kitchen table and spread out a deck of cards. “Today,” he said with the look of a man about to perform surgery, “Y’all are gonna learn how to play bid whist.” Continue reading
This is some footage I took of the nor’easter that left a few inches of snow in New York.
Earlier this week, the Disney Channel announced it had begun production on a sequel to the popular 90s TV show Boy Meets World. In case you missed the series the first time around, Boy Meets World follows teenager Corey Matthews (Ben Savage) as he deals with growing up in a working-class family in suburban Philadelphia. The series went through his high school and college years and ended with his marriage to childhood friend and crush Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fischel). The new show, Girl Meets World, will follow Corey and Topanga’s daughter Riley.