Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Bite

Everyone loves the idea of living in an old farmhouse. OK, maybe not everyone. It's a romantic ideal for some people. All the old wood, high ceilings, beautiful views of fields and forests.

Then there's the reality. I've had wasps in the house, snakes stuck to the wall by the back door (a real eye opener when you reach for the door knob!) and the various creepy crawlies.

This past weekend I was snoozing in the sack when I felt a bite on my leg. Thought it was a mosquito that had somehow found me. Went back to sleep.

When I got up a couple of hours later, it was obvious that I was wrong.

A brown recluse spider bite is something you can't ignore.

I've been treating it now for the past 5 days and it's getting pretty ugly.

My neighbor has been bitten twice by a brown recluse. The first time she spent three days in the hospital and they cut out an infected mass bigger than a golf ball. She got bit again last year, treated it herself and it still took 6 weeks to heal.

She told me what to do and I'm taking care of it.

You got to love living in the country, but sometimes it puts the bite on you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Day, New Blog

I've started another blog. This one will cover, "Glitch", the novel that I've written and am now reworking into a screenplay.

Cyberwar is beginning to get coverage in the mainstream media, but most people are either ignoring it or don't seem to care. Yeah, it's tough with all the unemployment, bad economy, etc.

A cyberwar would make our current situation look like a nice place to live.

Consider how your life would change without running water, electricity and transportation. That's just the necessities. Many of you consider the internet, your cellphones and other media-devices to be something you 'couldn't live without'.

Believe me, you can do without them. I have and it hasn't destroyed my life.

In fact, I probably live a less stressful, more enjoyable life than you can imagine.

Enjoy your toys while you can.

Before someone turns out the lights.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trials and Errors of a Video Pitch

I've been sending out a video query to agents in New York, friends in Hollywood and overseas. The response has been interesting, to say the least.

Some liked it, some didn't. The main thing is feedback.

Now I know what it needs and will go to work on revising it.

A video takes longer to create than an email or letter, but I feel it has more impact.

What I like is that they give the agent/producer/publisher, etc. a chance to see and hear about my work.

The scary part is that they have to look at me.

Maybe I'll just do audio queries instead.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Agents, continued

I might have sounded a bit gruff, rough or been tough on agents in my last post.

Didn't mean to upset anyone. Just want some answers to the simple question of using videos as a method to query agents, publishers and for those of us who write screenplays, production companies.

Doing a video isn't easy. Most people have a hard enough time writing a query letter or a pitch for their work. I've been shooting film or video for decades, so it's a something I'm used to.

It's the video age. Everyone was raised on TV. OK, I've got a few gaps there, where I've gone for years at a time without owning one and didn't watch too many hours of programming. That can be explained and no, I wasn't in jail.

Gives me more time to write and shoot photos.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Are Agents REALLY Needed Now?

I'm not going to make any friends with this, but the question must be asked. After all, I've seen how the internet has changed the music business. Why should the publishing biz be immune?

Now that all of us can communicate one on one, who needs a salesperson to tout your wares?

Sure, the agent is 'in place', whether that be NY, LA, London, etc. depending on whether you're selling a screenplay or novel. Yes, they have the contacts which you haven't developed, but did they grow up with these people or just hang out in the right colleges and bars?

Are the proper places to 'hang out' now Facebook, Twitter, or? I ask this, since the internet landscape changes quickly. Does anyone remember Myspace?

Does all the tweeting, blogging, etc. really get you published? Or is it who you know?

My personal experience with agents hasn't been good. I've driven across country to LA to hear a sales pitch about how my screenplay would be promoted to producers and directors. All I needed to do was come up with $2500. This was in 1992, so things have changed since then. Yet, isn't an agent really just another salesperson?

Now, you have to jump through hoops, apply all your skills to being a good pitch/query writer and hope that they like your blog. Sorry, I'm not here to spend half my time being a lap dog. If you don't like me or my work, OK. Get in line, there' s a long one. There are people who don't like Shakespeare either.

Yes, I know a good agent can help develop your work. They can find you a good editor or the people with special skills to help you.

A relevant story, short and pointed. I moved to Europe ten years ago, was told by a real estate agent that I couldn't buy a house until I rented an apartment for a year. This sounded like they wanted to control the situation and get a year's rent from me.

I hopped in the rental car, drove around town, found houses for sale. Called the listing agent, even though I didn't speak Dutch (still don't). They showed me their houses. I found one I liked and contacted a real estate lawyer. Got the contract written up, reviewed it, signed it and moved into the house.

So, no offense to the agents out there. I would LOVE to give you my business. My catalog of work grows each day. I write, but I don't spend hours on the internet, blogging, tweeting and generally getting nothing done. I leave that to those thrive on it.

Myself? I'm going to videos.

After all, if you get to be a published author, you have to make those personal appearances.

Just as long as they photograph me from my good side.