On Thom Yorke

I heard a bit ago that Thom Yorke of Radiohead has given up on creating complete albums, citing “death to the band” as a major reason for the decision. He went on to complain that the creative process is just too painful for a full-length album and that they are better served by just making singles from now on. As someone who struggles to be creative day in and day out and who is diligent despite the void, all I have to say to that is, “SOMEBODY CALL THE GOD DAMN WAAAAHMBULANCE!”

Every OTHER band can make albums without too much trouble, so what’s the big deal here? Furthermore, what about everyone else in the creative field who has to continually produce content for the public? What if THEY reduced their workload just because they didn’t want to “hurt themselves?” Would their audience stand for that? Probably not.

I’m calling shenanigans on this. Thom York is just a lazy bastard. I don’t care if his music is good or not. I can’t respect someone who whines about their lavish career, which nets them millions in a year, when others in the same field work even harder and get hardly the same recognition.

Fucking shit or get off the pot, dude.

On DRM and Controlling Your Shit

From Techgeist:

You know what happens to authorized machines? They get reformatted and break over time. Yet the people who sell is software and digital media expect that when we need to reinstall Windows on our only computer so that we can get work done and meet deadlines, we’re thinking “oh, of course I have to go through EVERY PROGRAM I HAVE INSTALLED AND DEAUTHORIZE IT.” Screw that.

I feel bad for anybody who bought music back in the itunes DRM days, because there’s not really much you can do with the music unless you unauthorize / reauthorize or go through the pain of breaking the DRM through other means. But to stop buying from the itunes store because you disagree with policies that they disclosed early on and have since fixed (for the most part) seems a little rash.

I’m not really trying to defend Apple or their store here, but I would like to point out that keeping up to date with these companies’ policies is critical as a consumer and if you don’t agree with what they do, don’t patronize them. Case in point, I didn’t agree with the whole DRM thing, so I patronized Amazon. I don’t agree with Apple’s way of handling apps, so I bought an Android phone.

Not really going anywhere with this rather than just airing some initial thoughts from reading this article.

On Resume Typos

From The Consumerist:

Sorry, kids, but humor has no place in a cover letter, and unfunny humor has no place anywhere.

Don’t depend on a spell checker – print your resume out and look it over, read it out loud to yourself, and have another person look at it for you.

So far my most egregious mistake on a resume has been of the grammatical nature, something that I hope never changes. But if I want to be realistic about things, I’d have to say that this could very well happen to me. Even worse, sometimes I feel inclined to throw some humor into my resume to make it lighter or just DO SOMETHING new and fresh with it. After reading this article though, I know better.

Still, the joke about the wallpaper was hilarious. I actually giggled like an idiot.

On Premium Television and Cable

Have you seen True Blood? Have you seen Weeds? How about Dexter? Hung? Sopranos? Dead Like Me? Six Feet Under? Really, have you had the pleasure of watching anything on the premium channels? Unless you’ve been living under or rock or lack an internet connection, you probably have. Chances are, you’ve raved about at least one of these shows to your friends. Makes sense. Want to know why? These shows all share one thing in common:  they know how to create damn good stories. Can you say that about regular cable?

Let’s do some comparison between shows on the premium networks and your basic cable.

Hit or Miss Factor

On your basic cable channels (including ABC, NBC, and CBS) there’s a higher chance of “miss” versus “hit.” Granted, these channels produce a lot more content than the premium channels, but most of them are just garbage. NBC and TNT are great examples of this as they surround their flagship shows with forgettable tripe. Really, what show was worth staying to see after Chuck on Mondays? Heroes? Maybe back in season one. How about The Office? Does anyone recall what shows surrounded that hit?

With TNT, were ANY of their “originals” any good? It seems like every week they put out ads for some new, bland show that rocks a tired premise. HawthoRNe? Gimme a break. I think we had enough of the nurse with a heart of gold story line. ER, anyone? A few shows had some promise, but then faded due to lack of viewership, which brings up an issue I talked about awhile back with the way that TNT advertises their shows versus USA. Point being that these channels flop way more often than they succeed.

And then there’s TBS. The only show worth watching on that channel is the syndicated episodes of The Office and Family Guy that they air.

With the premium channels, the chance for hit or miss is skewed more toward hit as they put more “oomf” into their marketing and have much better storylines in general. It’s almost worth the infrequency of new shows when each season of their flagship shows are continually solid and entertaining. Dexter’s second season, although not my favorite, is still leaps and bounds superior to a lot of the regular cable fare.

Freedom of Subject Matter

The basic cable networks are limited out of the gate in what they can put into their shows in terms of adult content and graphic violence. If you know me at all, you’ll know that those are the two things I’m a huge fan of. I like that my shows are gritty, and I like it when my favorite television characters swear like real adults do. I like when two characters cut the flirtatious bullshit and get to the sex. Witty, flirtatious dialogue and camera suggestion are all that the basic cable channels have (to protect THE CHILDREN) which oftentimes leads to some HORRIBLE exchanges.

GUY: Hey there.

GIRL: Hey.

GUY: Are you a thief? Because you stole my heart!

GIRL: I have an apartment.

Next Day


Granted, the more successful basic cable shows can work around these limits and still produce engaging content (see: anything Joss Whedon does). But oftentimes I find myself wishing that the characters in a show weren’t so damn bound to the rules of basic cable. With premium channels, anything goes. Kind of liberating, ain’t it?

Story Arcs

Premium cable shows have the benefit of having a better handle on their story arcs than that of their regular cable counterparts. You ever find yourself wishing that something more significant would happen to the characters of The Office ala Jim’s transfer? Ever wish that someone in Heroes would JUST FREAKIN’ DIE ALREADY? *cough*claire*cough*sylar*cough*peter*cough* Again, the point is that a majority of these regular cable shows need to keep going if they’re successful, so any major changes that get rid of favorite characters or dramatically alters the formula just can’t happen. It’s not really the writer’s fault for this, since it’s a mandate from above, but it really hurts the show’s ability to grow and evolve with the characters. The only shows that I know of that can escape this issue are the procedurals, which aren’t necessarily about the characters themselves.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts on the matter. Agree? Disagree?

On Cheap Asses And Pandora

From the blog of Pandora:

The revised royalties are quite high – higher in fact than any other form of radio. As a consequence, we will have to make an adjustment that will affect about 10% of our users who are our heaviest listeners. Specifically, we are going to begin limiting listening to 40 hours per month on the free version of Pandora. In any given month, a listener who hits this limit can then opt for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month for just $0.99. In essence, we’re asking our heaviest users to put a dollar (well, almost a dollar) in the tip jar in any month in which they listen over 40 hours. We hope this is relatively painless and affordable–the same price as a single song download. (Alternatively, they can upgrade to “Pandora One”, our premium version which offers unlimited monthly listening in addition to its other benefits).

As someone who hopes to one day make a living out of being creative, I tend to side with the people making the content when it comes to issues of compensation. These people need to get paid for what they’ve created just like people who work in any other job deserve to get paid for the job they’ve done. There’s nothing that makes a “creative’s” work less deserving of financial compensation than that of a waiter, an office exec, or a city worker. At the end of the day, we all need to get paid so we can continue to live. In the case of Pandora, they should at least be able to make back some of the ridiculous royalties they have to pay the music industry, right?

Not if you’re a cheap bastard. I can’t count on my hands how many times I’ve heard people state that Pandora charging for extended use is wrong. These people come at it with a sense of entitlement, with the idea that they shouldn’t have to pay to listen to what is essentially “a radio.” When confronted, they backpedal and explain that they’re cheap and can’t afford the fees.

$.99 is hardly expensive in my book. And if you’re a power user, $.99 for the month is ridiculously cheap. Why not pay the small fee and help out a company that provides such an amazing service? Or you know, maybe buy your music for a change?

The big mistake any of us can make is to assume that we deserve ANYTHING for free. These services come to us cheap as a convenience, not as a requirement. These companies certainly aren’t breaking the bank by giving away their content and / or services so we should take a step back and be grateful we only have to pay a dollar for unlimited internet radio.

But…cheap bastards will be cheap bastards.

On Tumblr

HAY GUISE! I made a tumblr. Actually, I’ve had one for quite some time but dismissed it fairly early on as stupid and kind of redundant. After all, I’ve got my own blog, so why would I want another one? Well, I clearly wasn’t thinking straight as there’s a whole social aspect to it and you can follow your friends and just post random shit. You can even re-share things blatantly with nothing more than a quick link back to the original poster, who took the thing from someone else and so on and so forth.

You got a tumblr? Let me know. I’d like to follow you. You can find mine by clicking on “Tumblr” on the menu above.

On Writing Despite The Void

Writer’s block is a terrible tragedy that befalls even the best of writers. How they get through this debacle varies. Some take a walk to clear their mind, some eat a bunch of junk food, some watch movies, some take drugs, and so on and so forth. I’ve written a few blog posts about this before and thought I would do so again. Truth is, I’ve been in a bit of a “void” these past few weeks, and really haven’t had that much to write about be it for the blog or for my own script. The question then is, do I “write despite the void?”

The short answer: yes.

The less-short answer: yes, but it sure is a bitch and a half.

See, when you’re in the “void,” you’re fighting an uphill battle. The ideas are all gone, and the inspiration that you may have once had decided to go on that Vegas vacation it has been talking about all these years and not leave you a contact number. You still have to write, though, which brings up the obvious question: How? Here’s some things that have helped me get something onto the page, despite having nothing up there in my noggin.


Sounds cheesy, but I reward myself for writing. I reward myself MORE for writing in the void. Ice cream, sweets, coffee, anything that might encourage me to get a few words out. Hell, I’ve even used social engagements as a reward for writing. Oftentimes, the stuff I write under these conditions aren’t all that great, but at least it’s something.

White Noise Method

Sometimes I’ve been able to crank out a page or two of something through what I call the “White Noise Method.” It’s a really simple method involving having the television on, the itunes playing on random, and having my cats racing each other around the room. Somehow through all the chaos I can get myself to focus. If you don’t have a cat, I’m sure you can substitute with a second tv.

Internet Removal Method

This is perhaps the most effective, but the hardest to initiate. It involves halting your access to the internet while you try to write.

Writing Groups

Another method that I’m always keen on trying to get myself writing more is one in which I gather with one or more people and just write. Sometimes, being amongst others is all it takes to get the creative juices flowing. You can step away from the page briefly to chat, and then just as quickly return. You also run the good chance of gaining some insight to what you’re writing as well as some useful brainstorming for future projects.

Anyway, just a few thoughts on what you can do to write while you’re in the “void.” It might be tough as hell, but eventually you’ll find that you have a lot of stuff written that you can go back and re-write. Oh yeah…re-writing. That’s a different story altogether.

On The Things I Do

I’ve been kind of a busy bee these past few weeks with various projects and just trying to get things moving in a forward momentum. I thought I would let you know how those things are going, in case you….you know…actually cared!

Technicolor Commentary

The film commentary podcast I started awhile back is still going strong. In fact, we’re going to be releasing our 24th episode this friday. We’ve also starting tinkering with methods of live-streaming when we record and various other things to spruce up the overall experience for our listeners. This month we started a new gimmick where we let our listeners decide what we do commentary on for the month of August. So far, we’ve seen Top Gun and will be watching True Lies on Saturday. I’ve also been experimenting with streaming old episodes with the commentary attached like you were actually watching commentary from the DVD. We’ll see if that sticks.

The Disgruntled Screenwriter

I decided that I couldn’t get enough of the whole podcasting thing so I decided to start my own. It’s about the ins and outs of screenwriting that I learned while in film school as well as just going through general knowledge and questioning the rules and why they exist. As of the release of this blog post I’m at 2 episodes, so this venture is a fairly young one. I have high hopes for this and think that I can perhaps become a better speaker by talking into a microphone to no one in particular for a half an hour at a time each week. I might also incorporate my struggles as a screenwriter in the episode for flavor. We’ll see.

Hilarious Henry

I’ve been doodling my alter-ego again recently and have decided to bring back my webcomic from it’s lengthy hiatus. So far I’ve done the rough sketch of three new strips and I plan on doing more in the next day or so. As for when I’m going to be re-debuting this little comic, I’m not quite sure yet. I was thinking next week, but I might go the route of building up a buffer and taking an extra week to do so.


Yeah, I’m working on finishing a really dorky screenplay. I’ve also got another script I need to decide what to do with as well as a garbage rough draft of another that I need to get back to. It’s just a matter of actually getting off my ass and doing this, though. Or on my ass, as I don’t really do any writing while standing.

On the Differences Between TNT and USA

TNT and USA have a distinct way of marketing their television shows. When I watch these television spots, I feel a very distinct way about each and I wonder if anyone else feels the same way. For the TNT ads, I feel dismissive and jaded when the ads cross the screen. This “meh” reaction turns to scorn and then I end up making some kind of insulting quip to the television show. Case in point, HawthoRNe. We see sweeps and zooms of Jada Pinkett-Smith standing all dramatically with voiceover about how she’s the nurse who’s got EVERYTHING and stands up for the little guys. The commercials just bleed stupid and I hate them.

And then there are the USA ads, which feature similar sweeps and zooms, but have the opposite effect on me. I think “aw damn. I gotta see that!” or “Ooooh, this is kind of cool. I gotta see that!” or even “OH SNAP I GOTTA SEE THAT!” It might be that the production value on these commercials are much better and feature the characters doing interesting things. It could also help that they really work at teasing you as opposed to hitting you over the head with how awesome the show is.

Anyone else notice this?

On Crossovers (Hint: They’re Bad)

The short answer: Crossovers in television are bad news.

The lengthier answer: Crossovers in television are generally bad news.

I was directed to an article about the future season of Fox’s flagship series BONES and how they were considering a crossover from LIE TO ME, another procedural detective show. After reading the article, I thought about it for all of a minute and came to the conclusion you see above. Seriously, there’s a reason why we don’t get many crossovers in this day and age of television: they DON’T WORK. First, the writers from one show would need to co-ordinate with the writers from the other show and they would need to come up with a logical explanation for why the two heroes would meet. And then you would have to deal with the problem that arises that the two shows share the same universe. What this does, from a logical standpoint, is require that future crossovers happen and that Brennan and Lightman eventually become a team.

Really, who wouldn’t want to see Lightman and Brennan solve cases? Brennan could accuse the bad guys and Lightman could call their bluffs. You could probably cut the show down to a half an hour, since their team-up would be quite epic. And hey, Booth could shack up with Lightman’s spunky protege and calamity could ensue!

Oh, what am I talking about. This shit is retarded. Fox, don’t do it. The end.