Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tiger's Blood

I'm going to address what has happened since Thursday. I get a call from the Big Producer who had promised me that they loved my script and that I was their guy, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now he tells me that unfortunately, the Big Director they attached is leaving the project due to "creative differences". In other words, this "director" wanted to make changes to MY script and because I didn't share the same vision with him, and he told the producers that either I go or he goes. This is a guy, mind you, whose experience up to now was making commercials in Britain! He knows how to make cars driven by CGI robots look pretty. What does he know about 3 act structure, about character arcs, about rising tension, about saving the damn cat?? But suddenly he's an expert on crafting the most meticulously structured story since the Da Vinci Code?

It gets worse.

Yesterday, I get a call from my manager. The producers have decided to replace me with a Big Writer. A guy known for writing comedies!!! They say that his last several scripts attracted A-list talent to those projects, and in order to get the Big Star and Big Money they are going to let this guy come in and CHANGE MY SCRIPT. Tone it down. Make it more accessible. I'll still get co-writing credit of some kind they say. I told them to go, pardon my French, FUCK THEMSELVES.

I put MY draft of the script online. Google it, you'll find it. Get it while you can. The lawyers for the Big Producer have told me to take it down immediately. Well guess what? Charlie Sheen has inspired me. I suspect I've got Tiger's Blood in my veins too. Time for this Warlock to work his magic.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The End

I finally typed those two magical words back in October. That's when I finished the first draft of THE SHROUD. I decided not to come here and crow about it, because writing is rewriting. Which is what I've been doing these past several months. NOW I'm done. The script is finally done. And dammit, it's really good. I don't mean that in an egotistical "look at my shit" kind of way. I mean that as a neutral observer of human accomplishment throughout recorded history. Objectively, without a trace of arrogance, I can die happy, knowing that I've created what is quite possibly the best story in the last 50 years. Those 36 basic stories they say all stories are derived from? Well, they're gonna have to create a 37th category.

Now, you may be wondering: What's next? We live in the era of four-quadrant, transmedia, prepackaged, predigested and regurgitated lowest common denominator cheezwiz. How am I gonna sell this unique, amazing and original story to the bean counting suits? Simple. I'm gonna get a kick-ass producer, who will then package it with a kick-ass movie star. I don't want to jinx anything, but my new manager says that Robert Downey Jr. is interested in the role of Matthew, the Vatican bounty hunter who is tasked with tracking down the stolen Shroud of Turin. Ooops, did I just reveal a plot-point? Relax, I didn't spoil anything you won't know before the opening credits are over.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go take a victory lap.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Return of The Shroud

What a sonofabitch Fate can be. Five pages from finishing and I got hit with THE WORST god-DAMNED writer's Block (emphasis on the capital B) I've ever experienced. You may be wondering where I've been.

Well... they say the best cure is research. And I realized, how can I write a movie about The Shroud without actually viewing it? Touching it? So I've been in Rome for the last few months. Trip was supposed to take a week, but naturally some yo-yo at the airport forgot to stamp my passport so my ass has been stuck in Italy this whole time.

My ex-girlfriend's cousin studied abroad and stayed with this nice family in the countryside, and long story short, hooked me up with a place to live. No electricity. No phones, no where to recharge my laptop. Been milking cows till I have calluses on my palms (don't even think it).

But I'm finally home, and already wrote 1/2 a page on the flight home. Four and a half to go... Back with an update soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Holiday Horror Films

Or... Conversation with a Mindless Development Executive: Part One

"So, John. Loved the script. Loved, loved, loved it. So scary. So smart."

"Thank you."

"We definitely want to find something for you. I have a couple of short stories, and a comic book that we're looking for a writer on, but you seem like you have such a unique voice, maybe we can hire you to write an original for us."

"That would be great."

"Great. Okay then, let me tell you what our mandate is as far as thrillers go. We want to do Holiday Horror. Horror films that are centered around holidays, because there's already so much pre-awareness built in. The marketing practically handles itself. You know, like Halloween, Black Christmas, Mother's Day."


"Was there a Thanksgiving horror movie?"

"Not really. It was a joke. Eli Roth made a fake trailer for a movie called Thanksgiving that was between Death Proof and Planet Terror."

"I didn't see Grindhouse. Like the rest of the country."

"Well, there were a bunch of trailers between the movies, and Eli did one of them. It was for a movie called Thanksgiving. Actually pretty funny."

"It's a good idea for a movie. I wonder if he'd be willing to flesh it out as a feature." (yells at assistant) "Put Eli Roth on my call sheet!"

A moment of uncomfortable silence.

"But so you get it. Holiday Horror. Like Thanksgiving. I was thinking you could do a fun one centered around Graduation Day. You know, all the High School Kids with the caps and gowns, and somebody's like killing them because they picked on him when he was a kid or whatever."

"The Principal says some kid's name to come get his diploma and the kid drops from the ceiling with a noose around his neck?"

"Exactly! You totally get it! So, like, Graduation Day. Or St. Patrick's Day. Like the killer gets you if you don't wear green or something. Stuff like that. Do you think there's one to be done for Easter? If you made the psycho wear a really creepy Easter Bunny suit. Like Donnie Darko?"

"You've definitely got my wheels turning. Let me go home and think about it, see if I can sketch something out for you."

"Great! Great! Thanks so much for coming in, John. So good to meet a horror writer that actually GETS it."

I drive home.
I contemplate various means of suicide.
I turn on the computer.
I start to write a treatment for "Yom Kippur"

J. R. Hax

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Will Not Write Your Fucking Script

So, yeah, like everyone else I read Josh Olson's blog about how he won't read anyone's fucking script. And like everyone else I found it funny, and true and I patted myself on the back because he validated me in sort of an off-handed way. He said that a real writer cannot be dissuaded from writing by anyone. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, that's me in a nutshell. I'm like the Job of Screenwriters. I scream to the Heavens, "Oh Hollywood, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Hollywood doesn't answer. Just gives me more boils or infections or broken generators.

So I've made a decision. If Hollywood is going to forsake me, then I'm going to forsake it right back. I make a pledge right now, with the whole internet as my witness, that I will NEVER write an assignment for a studio. I don't care how big the paycheck is, I don't care who the director is, I don't care how many times those clowns in the Armani suits tell me they want to be in the John Ray Hax business, I will not succumb.

Bite me, Hollywood. I will not write your fucking script.

J. Ray Hax

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Shroud Graphic Novel

Like every other geek in the world, I am heading down to San Diego on Saturday to partake in the Nerd Prom, a.k.a. Comic Con. However, this year is going to be different because I'm not just going as a fan who's hoping to get his picture taken with Jessica Alba. This year I'm going as a bona fide Creator with a capital "C" because I'm going with my new graphic novel, the Shroud!

That's right, boys and ghouls, I figured with all the comics to film hullaballoo that's going on right now, the best way to ensure that the Shroud actually gets made into a film is if I turned it into a comic book first. So, that's what I have decided to do. I will bring the Shroud to life as a prestige format graphic novel. Of course, I don't have an artist, a publisher or even a completed script, but I don't think that matters. What's that old story about how Joe Eszterhas sold the idea for one of his movies on a cocktail napkin? I think that's how it works at Comic Con. I'm just going to go around to all the publishers like Marvel and DC and pitch them the high concept. I have no doubt that the publishers will see the untapped millions in merchandising that the Shroud offers. I've been hearing a lot about this dude, Jeff Katz and his company American Apparel. Maybe I'll try to hook up with him.

Look for me down there, guys. I'm the dude with the goatee and a shaved head to hide my male pattern baldness and I'll be wearing all black. I should be pretty easy to spot.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Polishing the Shroud

I have decided that I'm going to start using the term "Polishing the Shroud" in place of "masturbating".

"What you up to, John?"

"Oh, just Polishing the Shroud."


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