Synchronicity is weird.

I took a break from the book-writing and started to read the latest Tim Powers novel.  Mr. Powers, as noted before, is always worth reading.  But I almost immediately had to stop.

My story’s heroine is a thirteen-year-old girl named Kristin Cross.  His is a fourteen-year-old named Christina Rossetti.  Most unsettling.

Now I must finish mine before taking up his again.  Can’t take the chance that his also has Dracula…

powers

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Thank you. And a question.

Thank you guys who keep checking in despite each lengthy hiatus.

The Doritos ad fell through because flu, or some other bug, swept over my Knoxville babes and prevented the filming.

But.

Writing that ad unlocked something in my head that hasn’t been out in years.  Over the past week or so I have been obsessively writing a Young Adult novel.  I’m talking 20,000 words or more.  It’s crazy.  I probably have an overdue bill or two by now and can’t even care.  Ideas are still building up faster than I can note them.

I call it a YA novel, and it is, but for a very select young audience (cue Spinal Tap joke).  I’m writing it to the thirteen-year-old female version of myself.  Currently it would be a bit challenging for the average adult reader.

Of course, you guys are anything but average.

Since I’m ignoring day-to-day necessities, it’s unlikely I’ll be blogging about the ever-rapidly-increasing destruction of Western society.  As you know, I’ve given up on that mess.  The only surprise left is how insanely rapid is the collapse.  Like this month’s utterly stupid, weak, and immoral students at U. of Missouri and  freakin’ Yale.  As Bill Paxton observed:

“Game over, man!”

But some of you still drop by here.  So…would you like me to start posting material from the project?  Because that’s where my head will be for the next few months.

Current title:  “Every Somewhere:  the Adventures of Kristin Cross”.

I’m not threatening you with rough drafts.  Anything I post here would be relatively polished.  Maybe not a gleaming glossy “sell it on Kindle now!” polish, but it will have passed through at least one edit cycle.

And of course critiques and comments, should you choose to make any, would be warmly appreciated.

Let me know below.  God bless.

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Bonus Material for Begging Purposes

Bloopers, “bloopers”, Publicity Stills, “Behind the Scenes”, and Easter Eggs, oh my.

All of you: “Do you hate us, Marlon?!”  Nope.  Just dreaming up anything that might help you gals break in to the Biz.  Then I ride your coattails.

The full voting period is about a month. People can vote once per day, per device.  All the contestants will be begging for votes on all their media platforms.

But…will they provide extra entertainment when they do?

Obviously this is secondary to the actual shoot. But there will be natural bloopers we’ll automatically capture on camera.  I can ready “ad lib” lines for probable flubs. That makes them funnier and the cast and crew seem amazingly witty.

When “DORY”, “EMMA”, or anyone else on set isn’t busy, they could take pics for publicity stills. Get video clips for off-screen bloopers, “behind the scenes” stuff, etc.

Possible “value-added” material to dribble out over the voting period:

PRE-AND-POST SHOOT PUBLICITY STILLS AND CLIPS:

  • The cast, looking good and having fun, standing behind the huge mound of Doritos bags. (Remember: Frito Lay wants almost all of the flavors to be Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch.)
  • Goofy looks and melodramatic poses.  You gals are great at these.
  • Anything that looks fun, funny, or weird.

BEHIND THE SCENES DURING SHOOT:

  • Everyone flinging Doritos at each other across the room during the Mass Flight shot.
  • Reaction shots to the many, many “chips to the face” that Anna and Beth will take.
  • Likewise when posing them in some of the ridiculous chip-catching positions.
  • Anything fun.

PIXAR “BLOOPERS”: These are the only ones that might not be doable, depending on how the shooting goes.  I came up with this one in about two seconds.  It’s the “dual-wielding” moment:

Anna and Beth clash together. Their Doritos break!  (LAUGHTER)

ANNA:   “Ahhh!  I think I chipped a nail!

BETH: “I nailed a chip!”  (MORE LAUGHTER)

If you can’t or don’t want to, no prob. But if we rank high, industry pros or agents might take a look around.  And there’s very little dialogue in this thing.  Well-delivered “ad libs” will showcase your acting a bit more.

POST-SHOOTING CAST PARTY STILLS AND CLIPS:

‘Nuff said.

Finally,

POST-PRODUCTION “The Making Of” CLIPS:

These could be shot and posted up until the final voting deadline.

Like:  KRIS at computer, video editing, with haunted eyes.

KRIS: “There were so many shots…so many shots…we had more shots than we had Doritos!!”

She breaks down, is comforted by the others.

Or:  KRIS and SARAH at computer, sound mixing program open.

SARAH:   “Here’s what our insane writer wanted.”  (READING) “The sound of 100 gigantic praying mantis brides, married in a mass ceremony, simultaneously consummating their unions with 100 hard-headed husbands.”

Kris hits a key. SFX:  TRULY HORRENDOUS CRUNCHING.

Kris: You see what we have to deal with?!”

And when voting starts on Jan. 5th, we release these “bonus features” on social media as we plead for daily votes.

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Annotated Snack Fu script.

INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

ANNA and BETH, two hot young things, are on the sofa playing a video game(1).  Each has a different bag of Doritos:  Anna has Nacho Cheese, Beth has Cool Ranch(2).

Anna:  “Die!

Beth:  “You die!”

Something drops onto the coffee table:  BAG OF NEWEST DORITO FLAVOR!

ANNA and BETH:   “Ooooh, new flavor!

WIDEN SHOT(3):  CATHY(4) stares at them sternly.  Cathy’s lips move in shapes that don’t match her words, which start a moment later like in a badly-dubbed martial arts flick.

CATHY:  “You will fight for them!”

(Her voice is that of a homicidal-sounding Asian man.)

ANNA:  “How does she do that?”

WIDE SHOT:  Center of living room.  Anna and Beth are back-to-back like duellists.  Each has her bag of Doritos in one hand, a single chip in the other.

Cathy claps twice; the sound definitely doesn’t match her hands.  The duelists stride away, turn…and hurl their Doritos like throwing stars!  Each catches the other’s chip in her mouth(5).  A beat, as they lock gazes.

CLOSE ON:  Anna.  She flings four Nacho Cheese in less than a second.

CLOSE ON: Beth.  Likewise, except three Cool Ranch, one something else.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Middle living room.  Eight chips flash past in opposite directions(6).

EIGHT ALTERNATING QUICK SHOTS:  Beth and Anna making increasingly crazy catches. Such as: simple catch, martial arts crane position, diving horizontally, backflip, somersault, standing on head, etc(7).

CLOSE ON:  Anna, catching the last of the eight chips. Her eyes fly wide, she briefly shudders.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Between Beth and Cathy.  Beth smirks, holding up:

Doritos-Burn3

This, as Cathy mouths several rapid-fire Badly-Dubbed-Asian-Male syllables.

CATHY:  “Burn!”

CLOSE ON:   Anna.  A beat, to admire her furious glare.  Then she throws 8 more Nacho Cheese even faster than before.  She’s gotten so fast she may be changing jewelry, hair clips, and other bling between each throw(8).  It’s hard to tell.

CLOSE ON:  Beth.  Likewise with Cool Ranch.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Center of room.  Swarms of Doritos suddenly dart in both directions.  As increasing numbers fly off-screen,

SFX:  CRUNCHCRUUNCHCRNCRNUNCHUNCHUNCH…you know:  the sound of 100 gigantic preying mantis brides, married in a mass ceremony, simultaneously consummating their unions with 100 hard-headed husbands(9).

WIDE SHOT:  Living room.  Anna and Beth exchange fabulous glares as each does some  weird but awesome Super Saiyan-like maneuver before hurling the Doritos.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Center of living room.  Two Doritos fly in from both sides and hit each other in mid-air.  They instantly disappear and a bag of

doritos collisions

appears, hovering just long enough to be recognized.

BACK AND FORTH:  As Anna’s and Beth’s scowls increase to OVER LEVEL 9000!

WIDE SHOT:  The two warriors rush forward and meet at center-screen, dual-wielding Nacho Cheeses and Cool Ranches!  DOUBLE Blade Lock, edge-perpendicular-to-edge(10)!

ANNA:  “Treasure be mine!”

BETH:  “My booty!”(11)

The gladiators’ struggle forces them into movements and postures as titillating(12) as possible without being obvious about it…

FADE TO BLACK.  A beat.

CUT TO:

INT. – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Apparently the fight lasted for hours.  The house looks like a tank-flattened war zone.  Empty Doritos bags are everywhere.  The household cat has one stuck to her back.(13)

Anna and Beth are slumped on the sofa:  disheveled, spent, but still damn sexy.  The Doritos prize is between them.  Cathy places a hand on the shoulder of each weary warrior.

CATHY:  “Doritos Draw!”

As the weary champions claim their prize, ENTER DORY and EMMA.  One has a Nacho Cheese bag, the other Cool Ranch.  They REACT to the prize Doritos.

DORY and EMMA:   “Ooooh, new flavor!”

CATHY:  “You will fight for them!”

Anna and Beth’s heads sag.

CUT TO:

Dueling position.  Two teams, four babes, back-to-back to back-to-back.  SLOW FADE as they begin to stride.  A Doritos Logo appears onscreen.

SFX:  “KOMBAT KATHY” (off-screen):  “You will fight for them!”

FIN

ANNOTATIONS:

(1) Video games are a perfect segue…but we shouldn’t see the controllers, or at least they’re unrecognizable. REASON: No outside product placement AT ALL. If it’s too much trouble, just have them watching the football game with generic cheering.

Also, we CANNOT have any Warner Brothers or DC Entertainment products visible or we’re disqualified. Which also means we can’t parody Mortal Kombat too closely.

(2) The email from Doritos said they much prefer Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch being featured. So the other flavors just for their punchlines, and no longer than necessary.

(3) WIDEN SHOT: Whatever director wants, of course. It’s just how I see it in my head.

(4) Cathy played by Evelyn or another girl actress? Two reasons: it’s the absolute funniest contrast with the voice. Also, so it doesn’t look like a total pander to the Male Gaze.

(5) This first toss/catch is written in a wide shot, which requires simultaneous catches from a pretty far distance. It’d be awesome if we could get this! It would establish all the rest. But probably awesomely hard unless Anna and Beth are both good throws. Any of you practice card throwing? Like some poor deprived McAvoy boys growing up before there were video games?

(6) Eight chips crossing shot: best with tighest possible grouping?

(7) The crazier the better.   Like the lounging, “Deadpool in front of the fireplace” shot? It’s SNACK FU!

(8) If changing accessories isn’t too distracting, of course.  Or it’s too much trouble getting them into the same exact position for each shot, after moving them around.

(9)  Doritos has a “chip crunch” SFX on their website, part of the contestants’ ToolKit.  If they have rigid requirements of SFX or other, I don’t know yet.  Checking it out ASAP!

(10) If you can’t make this work, Doritos Dinamitas are permitted but discouraged.  But if they turn the regular Doritos at right-angles it seems doable.

(11) “Treasure” and “booty” lines:  feel free to change if too “cheesy”, of course. Don’t pardon the pun.

(12) As (11).

(13) If we use a cat actor, we have an additional form to fill out, affirming that it wasn’t harmed in any way. So if she’s bored or grooming herself, good. It she’s catnipshit-crazy, probably not.

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Mini-and-maxi-Me.

Saw this on YouTube.  Obviously, given my pen name, it had to be posted here as well:

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Snack Fu: “You Will Fight For Them!”

INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

ANNA and BETH, two hot young things, are on the sofa playing a video game.  Each has a different bag of Doritos:  Anna has Nacho Cheese, Beth has Cool Ranch.

Anna:  “Die!

Beth:  “You die!”

Something drops onto the coffee table:  BAG OF NEWEST DORITO FLAVOR!

ANNA and BETH:   “Ooooh, new flavor!

WIDEN SHOT:  CATHY stares at them sternly.  Cathy’s lips move in shapes that don’t match her words, which start a moment later like in a badly-dubbed martial arts flick.

CATHY:  “You will fight for them!”

(Her voice is that of a homicidal-sounding Asian man.)

ANNA:  “How does she do that?”

WIDE SHOT:  Center of living room.  Anna and Beth are back-to-back like duellists.  Each has her bag of Doritos in one hand, a single chip in the other.

Cathy claps twice; the sound definitely doesn’t match her hands.  The duelists stride away, turn…and hurl Doritos like throwing stars!  Each catches the other’s chip in her mouth.  A beat, as they lock gazes.

CLOSE ON:  Anna.  She flings four Nacho Cheese in about a second.

CLOSE ON: Beth.  Likewise, except three Cool Ranch, one something else.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Middle living room.  Eight chips flash past in opposite directions.

EIGHT ALTERNATING QUICK SHOTS:  Beth and Anna making increasingly crazy catches. Such as: simple catch, martial arts crane position, diving horizontally, backflip, somersault, standing on head, etc.  The crazier the better.

CLOSE ON:  Anna, catching the last of the eight chips. Her eyes fly wide, she briefly shudders.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Between Beth and Cathy.  Beth smirks, holding up:

Doritos-Burn3

Meanwhile Cathy mouths several rapid-fire Badly-Dubbed-Asian-Male syllables.

CATHY:  “Burn!”

CLOSE ON:   Anna.  A beat, to admire her furious glare.  Then she throws 8 more Nacho Cheese even faster than before.  She’s gotten so fast she may be changing jewelry, hair clips, and other accessories between each throw.  It’s hard to tell.

CLOSE ON:  Beth.  Likewise with Cool Ranch.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Center of room.  Swarms of Doritos suddenly dart in both directions.  As increasing numbers fly off-screen,

SFX:  CRUNCHCRUUNCHCRNCRNUNCHUNCHUNCH…you know:  the sound of 100 gigantic praying mantis brides, married in a mass ceremony, simultaneously consummating their unions with 100 hard-headed husbands.

WIDE SHOT:  Living room.  Anna and Beth exchange fabulous glares as each does some weird but awesome Super Saiyan-like maneuver before hurling the Doritos.

MEDIUM SHOT:  Center of living room.  Two Doritos fly in from both sides and hit each other in mid-air.  They instantly disappear and a bag of

doritos collisions

appears, hovering just long enough to be recognized.

BACK AND FORTH:  As Anna’s and Beth’s scowls increase to OVER LEVEL 9000!

WIDE SHOT:  The two warriors rush forward and meet at center-screen, dual-wielding Nacho Cheeses and Cool Ranches!  DOUBLE Blade Lock, edge-perpendicular-to-edge!

ANNA:  “Treasure be mine!”

BETH:  “My booty!”

The gladiators’ struggle forces them into movements and postures as titillating as possible without being obvious about it…

FADE TO BLACK.  A beat.

CUT TO:

INT. – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Apparently the fight lasted for hours.  The house looks like a tank-flattened war zone.  Empty Doritos bags are everywhere.  The household cat has one stuck to her back.

Anna and Beth are slumped on the sofa:  disheveled, spent, but still damn sexy.  The Doritos prize is between them.  Cathy places a hand on the shoulder of each weary warrior.

CATHY:  “Doritos Draw!”

As the weary champions claim their prize, ENTER DORY and EMMA.  One has a Nacho Cheese bag, the other Cool Ranch.  They REACT to the prize Doritos.

DORY and EMMA:   “Ooooh, new flavor!”

CATHY:  “You will fight for them!”

Anna and Beth’s heads sag.

CUT TO:

Dueling position.  Two teams, four babes, back-to-back to back-to-back.  SLOW FADE as they begin to stride.  A Doritos Logo appears onscreen.

SFX:  “KOMBAT KATHY” (off-screen):  “You will fight for them!”

FIN

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THE BATTLE—ACTUAL SHOTS AND EFFECTS:

Not trying to do the director’s job by spelling out where the focus is, or calling for wide or narrow shots. I’m just following my mental movie, and why I think certain things should be a certain way to make it as crazy out there as it is in here.

I also realize, when describing how practical effects can be achieved, that you are all more experienced at this than me. I’m working it out to make sure I don’t saddle you with things that can’t be done in our time allowed.  Maybe saving you a little time.

With all this stuff as a reference, I’ll make the script as readable as possible.  That said, here’s what’s bubbling in my brain, and sometimes why:

A few seconds of Dorito-hurling at an insane speed, back-and-forth between Anna and Beth:

Focus is on the hands: one holding each Dorito bag to the camera, one tossing the chip.  The quicker each shot, the better.  I’m talking hopefully using 6 frames per shot (a quarter-second) if that works.  Fewer are even better.  I’m talking the edited shots, of course.  If you can film usable scenes in 6-frame bursts, you really ought to be ruling Hollywood, Barry Allen.

The fewer frames needed for each Dorito toss, the more variety of Doritos and thus the better our sucking up to Frito Lay.   Also we WANT the throwing speed to seem as insanely fast as possible.  THIS IS DORITOS FU!  So ladies, throw those things as fast as you can.

Since the torso will also be in the shot, it’s up to you gals to determine if bosom movement is worth including. As children will be watching, though, we need plausible jiggle/heave deniability.

Widen the shots to include the face? Dunno if it’ll work, you’ll have to try it.  It might look a bit off or it might look fantastic.  If it does work, remember that Screw Reality is totally in play.  So you might change blouses between shots, alter your hairstyle, etc.  Nothing too blatant; we can’t overwhelm people from noticing that every single toss is of a different kind of Dorito.  Because of the suck-uppery.

A few moments of a ridiculous fusillade of chips criss-crossing the room.

The final moment of this should have as many Doritos in Flight as possible. So, a wide enough shot to give room for that, narrow enough to ensure the flights all begin and end off-screen.   Get everyone on set who can throw a chip to Play Ball!  Get as nice assortment of different colors as possible.  I’d say toss some 3Ds into the mix for even more variety, but they probably won’t fly far enough.

We should probably work up to that moment, though. Two chips passing each other, then cut to Anna and Beth catching them.  Then four, and the catches.

A beat, so they can glare at each other. Cut back to the medium shot and then seventeen dozen Doritos in Space!  Or whatever you can manage.  Maybe even a full second of that exchange, with everyone throwing as fast as they can.  Add SFX as the chips fly off-screen, which of course they must.  And pray they don’t hit each other, at least noticeably, because we have an awesome sight gag for when that happens.

Anna and Beth catching the Doritos in their mouths.  

Anyone else think this will be the tricky one? Two of you are gonna take a lot of chips to the face, from presumably close range.  Mind the eyes!

And, it won’t look right if you’re not moving. Maybe tilt the head to the left until you catch one.  Mark that position, then start from there each time in subsequent shots until you catch the next.  And so on.

For the massive artillery barrage we just bang out the SFX “chip crunches” as Doritos go off-screen. If we have different sounding Crunch Sound Files, excellent.  And if the audio permits and it sounds right, overlay them, play with the volume, etc. It’d be awesome if we could get audio that’s as insane as the video.

Doritos Collisions spontaneously forming from Doritos collisions.

After the insane artillery moment,

CUT TO: more staring daggers at each other.  Then another quick throw from each.

CUT TO: The space between them.  The wider the shot, the more awesome the “Shooting a Bullet with another Bullet” shtick.  The narrower, of course, the more likely that you actually pull it off.

Whenever and however you make it happen, be sure to note where the collision occurs. Cut away and cut back to the same setup, only now a bag of Doritos Collisions…

doritos collisions

… hovers in the air.  Hopefully it will be easy to attach to an outstretched rod that’s hidden from the camera by the bag.

If you can make it drop to the ground after a moment, that’s probably perfect. How you can do it without the trick being seen, I have no idea.  Doesn’t matter.  If we have a beat long enough that the audience can read the bag, then cut away, that’ll make an impression.

That gag is so fantastic, it’s probably worth doubling down. After all, the gals haven’t dual-wielded yet:

CUT TO: Wide shot, Anna and Beth glare the glaringest glares that have ever been glared.  Each now has a Dorito in each hand.  They throw them at the same time.

CUT TO: (If it’s too hard to arrange two sets of simultaneous collisions—and it probably is—just cut to two midair Collisions.)

The Lasagna/Garbanzo/Beef Tamale-flavored Doritos.

I’m guessing you’d like to incorporate the LGBT rainbow Doritos. They have to be specially ordered, so they’ll need very fast shipping.  Otherwise we’ll have to ask around or call in favors.

The shout-out to them should be subtle if we’re trying to get as many votes as possible. Sure, a large majority of the folks making and seeing these videos won’t be bothered.  But some will, and it’s also possible that Frito Lay doesn’t want any controversy on Super Sunday.

I’d go with something along these lines–when one of the two battlers is in a “Gotta catch ‘em all! With my mouth!” shot:

CUT TO:

A purple Dorito flies at Anna. She catches it between her teeth, quickly takes it out and admires it.

Anna: “Pretty!”

Then chomp!  And on to the next frenetic shot.

If we do the Third Degree Burn gag on Beth, this also keeps them balanced out. Then again, “balance” means that Anna gets a pretty Dorito and Beth gets a mouthful of Habanero Hell.  So maybe Anna should be the one who has to deep-throat an entire Dorito Locos Taco.

About deep-throating an entire Dorito Locos Taco.

I just think this bit would be hilarious and memorable, because so unexpected. Since we want to keep escalating, I’m not sure yet exactly where it would fit yet.  For now let’s say it’s after the Collisions:

WIDE SHOT– both fighters. If looks could kill.  Beth reaches behind her back, crouching slightly.  Anna’s eyes narrow.

CUT TO:

A Doritos Locos Taco sails majestically through the air and off-screen. SFX:  whatever deep-throating an entire taco sounds like.  I wouldn’t know.

CUT TO:

Anna (cheeks and eyes bulging): “Nod fah!”—i.e., “Not fair!”

“CATHY” (off-screen): “Allowed because funny!”

CUT TO:

A Doritos Locos Tacos rockets across from Anna’s side and off-screen.  SFX:  Like before, only more so.

About the pacing.

If the fight goes 20-seconds, I’m guessing…maybe eight seconds of the crazy insane quarter-second cuts (or less!) and twelve or so seconds of punch lines, the “long” one-to-two second scenes. Yes, this is definitely the director’s job.  I’m just trying to provide plenty of material for the director’s touch.

Yes, I’m boiling all this down into a script over the weekend.  Then it’s on to writing “The Making of DORITOS FU” video.

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