Category Archives: Business As Usual

The standard, run-of-the-mill posts that go with running a blog.

FlitterWeb – The Index of the Internet

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Hey, folks! I have some exciting news for you today, an announcement that hopefully will help both me and you in the years to come!

Last week, I launched a brand new website business. The site is called FlitterWeb, and it’s a website-review site where users can share, review, and discover new websites, webseries, webcomics, and other online content. So if you’re looking for a rare bookstore online, or a writer’s group for your new screenplay, you can read some reviews and find the right one.

I’m really aiming to make this site into a “going operation,” so to speak, and as such I am trying to build the userbase as much as possible. I already have dozens of websites in the system and ready to be reviewed, ranging from reddit to Netflix to xkcd, but I need people to sign up and write reviews. It doesn’t matter for what, you can feel free to focus on Edgeworks-related sites like Rooster Teeth or Machinima.com, or you can branch off toward Epic Rap Battles of History or Pinterest.

You can even review Edgeworks Entertainment!

Every review will be appreciated, and if you share the link to the site on FB and Twitter, even better! And, as an added bonus, if you have a website yourself (or a friend does), writing three reviews unlocks the ability to submit sites to the database, so go get the word out about your own projects! Thank you all, and good luck with everything you’re working on!

Brainstorm

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Last month I started a strange, confusing, intimidating and oftentimes thrilling process: I started looking for an agent.

Not an Agent, the malevolent bureaucrats from The Matrix (although that would be awesome, and probably even more thrilling, intimidating, confusing and strange). Nor am I looking for a secret agent, though when I enter my apartment late at night I sometimes like to pretend I’m infiltrating a government installation. You didn’t hear that from me.

No, I’m looking for a literary agent.

And I started my search the only way I knew how: by pounding the pavement. Or in this case, by sending out 88 letters to 88 agencies pitching them on my two best scripts, Wyrm and Magneto. One of those projects I’ve been working on intermittently for eight years, the other I wrote in two days a couple of months ago. Between them, I think they represent my best work in screenplays so far. I spent weeks editing my query letter, and I worked on the list of agencies for months leading up to my big push. (You ought to see the spreadsheet I compiled, it’s like a stalker’s dreamscape.) And then, just before Christmas, I printed them all, packaged them all, and cast them all to the wind.

By which I mean I mailed them. All of them. In, like, two days, while watching Justice League cartoons on Netflix.

I got really good at licking envelopes that week. And fighting evil.

So now we wait. I’ve gotten a couple of positive responses so far, though not anything definitive yet, and then the usual batches of “no unsolicited material” form letters, especially from the major agencies. William Morris Endeavor was even kind enough to make me go down to the post office and wait for 45 minutes just to pick up my own letter, which they had not opened. So gracious.

And so, to fill the intervening time, I’m turning the question over to you. What steps would you take to get an agent in Hollywood? Have you heard any good ideas, or come up with any out-of-the-box notions? Where would you start, what might you try? What lunch might you pack for the journey?

Post your ideas in the comments below.

Anyone who doesn’t is chicken.

The Exquisite Dilemma

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There’s something about organizing your ideas, gathering them together into lists and outlines and structures and hierarchies, that is absolutely fantastic. That left-brain prep before the right-brain party, like Data ticking through the checklist before Picard says “Engage,” just cannot be beat.

Except, you know, by all the parts that come after. Those are awesome too.

Really, the whole process is just tops. It’s the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow. The cream in my coffee at the start of my day.

It’s the central experience around which I’ve built my life.

My father once told me about his todo list at work, a Sisyphean battle that was characterized by a peculiar cycle. He would make a list of the most important things he had to do, but he was so busy that it would quickly become a cumbersome mess. So he’d start bolding the really important items, but soon everything would be bold. Then he’d start highlighting the really really important stuff, but soon he’d have three pages solidly highlighted. So he’d start underlining the really, really SUPER-important stuff… and so on.

That’s kind of how I feel about sorting through my ideas, except that the whole experience is dipped in liquid awesome. It’s like walking through a toy store where everything is free. Do I want to revisit this world of adventure and romance? Or maybe explore this quest of personal redemption? Get into the head of this deliciously evil villain, or play around with this weirdly abstract way of telling a familiar tale?

Movies and books and websites and apps, scripts and shorts and products and plays. Comedies, dramas, mysteries, adventures; glorious romances and unspeakable catastrophes. Sometimes I’m tempted just to spend all day skipping from one to the other, flipping channels like a patriarch with a TV remote, sampling each in turn but never settling on just one.

Sometimes I give in to that temptation.

But then I remember: the trailer isn’t the best part, even if it seems that way at first. The full movie is even better. And so I buckle down and make the hard choices: scripts before novels this time, websites before apps. Three weeks for prose, then two for code. This script before that one, because that third act still needs work, but knock this one out fully before moving on, because the day will never come that there isn’t another cool idea waiting further down the list. If you ever plan to finish, it has to be now.

Done. Check. Scratch it off, bump them up. What was next? Oh yeah! Love that one, starting now.

I’m quivering with anticipation, a greyhound at the gate, waiting for the left brain to finish so the right brain can run. The list is important, but oh what a bother! So many options, so many interests, so many stories and worlds and experiences and characters all clamoring to exist at once.

The only question left to answer is…

What do I work on first?

Out With The Old

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They say that before you can get started on something new, you have to get rid of something old.  I’m not really sure I buy that, but today it certainly seems to be true.

On my last night in Dallas, I helped my mom clear out a bunch of electronics and equipment that have been lying around the house for the last few years. Among them were the televisions, VCRs, routers and cords used to make The Codex. I hadn’t used any of that stuff in years, almost a decade, but a lot of very powerful memories were made in and around and by those devices, and they were very hard to let go of. The Codex still looms as the biggest event in my career to date, like Everest towering over gently rolling hills, and its presence in my mind cannot be overstated.

The love of my life recently told me that she felt like she was entering a “cleaning house” phase, removing the clutter and confusion from her life in order to more efficiently move forward. Maybe the same is happening for me. In a way, The Codex has been both my biggest motivator and my biggest obstacle over the subsequent years, simultaneously serving as proof of the attainability of my dreams but also of their daunting difficulty. I don’t know if getting rid of that equipment will have any effect on me in the long term, but for a bunch of machines I haven’t turned on in eight years, they were surprisingly hard to let go of.

But in the end, The Codex is over and the equipment is gone.

It’s time to fill that shelf with something new.

Hello, World

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It’s just minutes after midnight on January 1st, 2014, I just finished re-watching Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing on BluRay, and now I’m starting a blog. I have yet to pick a theme, I don’t know how to use WordPress, my new laptop doesn’t have even my standard web design tools on it yet, and I don’t really know what I’m going to write here yet.

What I do know is this: last year I finished a feature screenplay, wrote an hour-long pilot script, began editing my first full-length novel, began selling DVDs of my first live-action webseries, learned how to code iPhone apps in a month, released 12 apps on the App Store in two months, quit one job and started another, completely redesigned my professional website, gained over 10,000 fans on Facebook, and began the search for a literary agent by sending out 88 query letters in three days.  All that on top of finding the girl of my dreams, making a whole new set of very dear friends and, for the first time since finishing The Codex in 2005, finally rediscovering that feeling of boundless creativity and decisive ambition that I’ve always thought is what makes life worth living.

Last year was big.  It was powerful, it was exciting, and it accelerated straight through to the end, like an Apollo booster rocket strapped onto a shopping cart in the dairy aisle.

And by all indications, 2014 is going to beat it flat-out.

So strap yourselves in, folks, and don’t touch that dial: there will be art, there will be business, there will be the glamour of Hollywood and the grit of trying to get into it.  Who knows, there might even be blood, (though there will certainly be milkshakes).  But most of all there will be ambition, and a single-minded, razor-sharp, laser-targeted-orbital-strike-to-within-a-fraction-of-a-micron focus to get this show on the goddamn road.

My career has been “on the horizon” for long enough.

Now it’s time to get there.