State of the Marque Address – 3/14/10

My friends and fellow Americans…

Scrap that.

With Lupus Moon in its waning pages (see what I did there? Moon? Waning? Lol. I know…), I’m eagerly looking forward to what’s next. There’s some interesting things brewing…

I’m chomping at the bit to get to work on Sistas Ain’t Havin’ It! – and adaptation of a stage play I wrote that was originally conceived as a screenplay. Talk about coming full circle. Although I’m upgrading the characters to adults with jobs (the original takes place in high school) and drastically changing the story, it will remain a relationship revenge comedy about a womanizer who meets his match. I wrote a screenplay version of Sistas Ain’t… in 2000 and was lucky enough to have it reviewed by DreamWorks (I have the letter from Steven Spielberg’s assistant to prove it – it even says they wanted to read the script PER HIS REQUEST!), but in retrospect, I should’ve never sent that script. It was horrible. Deplorable. Just plain trifling. But hey, I was a baby to this screenwriting thing and I’ve gotten better now. A shitload better. I can’t wait to get reacquainted with my old friends; this is the project I’m currently eyeing as my feature directing debut. There’s been some concern with the title and whether or not folks will discount the quality of the film based on it, but I like the title and I’m willing to bet the fact that it stands out will catch more folks than turn away. We shall see.

On the “write to sell” track, there’s Hardwired, a crime/action joint. There’s already a script written (based on a concept from an actor friend), but I’m going to rewrite it and make some fundamental changes to the protagonist’s life at the start. I ran the ideas by Shaundra and she loved them. It’s gonna add some much-needed heart to the story and make us care about the lead, Harvey, that much more. At least that’s the plan.

Jillted, my slasher piece, is more or less on moth balls for now. I look forward to working on it, but it’s not a part of my immediate plans. Sistas Ain’t Havin’ It! is my independent front-runner. Lupus Moon and Hardwired (which could be an indie joint as well) are my mainstream, commercial attempts. If neither of those do anything on the script market, I’m not going to want to take the time to write Jillted when I could be working on the next project for the “indie track.” Basically, Lupus Moon and Hardwired are my final attempts to sell a screenplay to Hollywood (at least for a while) before I decide to say “fuck it” and focus strictly on projects I’m gonna do myself.

Amidst that, I’m also working on a TV pilot called BRAT with a college friend (I need to get permission before I use his name). The concept is all his, and it sounds like it could be a great show. Using a narrative structure that’s a combination of The Wonder Years and How I Met Your Mother, the show focuses on the life of Mandy Reese, the middle child in a military family in the 90s, coping internally with growing up while externally, the United States prepares for what will become the Gulf War. I’m looking forward to working on this as well, as we’re at the point of writing the pilot. We’re looking at this going to free cable, though I’m sure if the broadcast networks came calling…

There’s other things in the mix as well. A friend of mine is making the leap into directing his first short and I’ll be helping with that any way I can. In addition, after watching last week’s Oscars, a few friends brought up the idea of combining forces to produce something. And in a week and some change one of my scripts, a romantic comedy, comes back to me after the option on it expires. If the new story for Sistas Ain’t Havin’ It! doesn’t work, then this “prodigal script” becomes the odds-on favorite for my directing debut. All in all, there’s a lot on the horizon.

This is gonna be fun.

STAY TUNED…

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