Cut the Deck

23 Mar

Back from ten days in LA. Breaking a sweat trying to rent a car with Ann’s credit card, zipping around the freeways, hooking up with Michael and nailing one meeting after another.

Promark wants us to write The Chain and to rewrite Snakehead Cat using bio-engineered glowfish as the predator. They’ll take two-page treatments to the Sci-Fi Channel in March.

We met with J.J and Beverly, two black woman producers, and they love Drum. Beverly is well acquainted with the script; when I mentioned a minor change to a scene she knew what I was talking about. They’ll send the package to Tribeca Film Festival and ALL ACCESS. They’re talking feature film rather than cable.

Delusion Factor – three young producers from Denmark, Puerto Rico and Mexico – want to read Demon Wall. If they like it they’ll show it to various execs at studios. We gave them two weeks to make up their mind. Delusion Factor has absolutely no money, but they do have contacts.

Thierry is back from Europe. Kormakur has the 40-page contract to direct African in Greenland and will sign in a couple of weeks. It seems Michael and I will be flying toIceland this summer to spend a few weeks at Kormakur’s estate putting the finishing touches on the shooting script. Our lunch meeting with Thierry was the usual mixed bag of tricks; with him complimenting us on our writing, saying Kormakur is hesitant to even give notes to writers of our caliber.

Thierry was so hyper I couldn’t get a word in until I physically grabbed him by the shoulder and said, “Here’s a direct question: Are the writers going to be on the set during the shoot?” He paused and then said, “No.” He cites budget issues, but I think he’s afraid of losing control if Michael is on the scene. Michael is a co-producer on the project and a much bigger personality than Thierry. It’s obvious Thierry is trying to bundle up as much power as possible in an effort to become “Mr. African in Greenland.”

Thierry said, “How can I tell the key grip he can’t have a second man if there are two writers on the set?” This is utter bullshit. This issue of being on set will play out later in the development of the script, and the decision will ultimately be Kormakur’s. It’s very simple: Greenland is in a completely different time zone than California, and telecommunications may be difficult out on the ice. They either bring us on set or pay a hefty fee to keep us on call for re-writes 24 hours a day.

The best part is we’re on track to receive the full screenwriting payment for African sometime this summer, probably in July. It’s almost too good to believe, and part of me says believe it when you see it.

(2004)

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