Monday, April 27, 2015

new script-samples

Well, I've gone and posted two new script-samples to my script-samples website: a few pages from my script GINSENG (which just went to the Nashville Film Festival as a finalist), and a few more from my script ONLY THE GOOD.

Feel free to mosey on over, read a bit, and forward that link to your high-powered Hollywood-executive buddies.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

festival gems

A good part of going to a film festival is to sit there wondering how the heck that thing got made, and why anyone in their right mind would put an insomnia-cure like that on the big screen.

But as fun as it is to laugh at the emperor's-new-clothes-domino-effect obviously happening amongst film festival programmers, there are also plenty of ammonia-crystal-diamonds to be found sparkling atop the heaps of brown stuff.

To Wit:

In this past week spent at the RiverRun and Nashville Film Festivals, I've seen a number of grand films about which I'd like to give you a heads-up...

Saturday, April 25, 2015


For the zillionth time cuz it's practically a cliche:

The only real failure is when you don't even try.

He said. 
Totally believing it.
For reals. 

So, yesterday I didn't win best screenplay at the Nashville Film Festival screenplay competition, which isn't a big deal because, hey, it's a small competition and competitions are crapshoots and all judges and critics of any kind are obviously insane. 

[kicks imaginary dog. snorts imaginary cocaine. doesn't feel better]

But seriously: failure-to-win is really no big deal. In this case, it was a much earlier version of my GINSENG script they were judging. So if they'd actually picked my script to win, I'd have had to seriously question their taste in screenplays. It was a nice vote of confidence to be chosen as a finalist, though, and I'm actually quite optimistic about my future in screenwriting (a.k.a. wildly delusional). 

Nonetheless, every time someone doesn't single me at as being The Most Awesomest, I still start doubting myself. I start to think that the sentences I string together are all stupid and dumb and poorly constructed and also boring—especially this one, and all the ones before it, too. 

But failure is normal, and also doesn't exist because I tried. I tried, and I will keep trying. 

And one day, I'm a-gonna win.

[cues eye of the tiger. dances off into the sunset, fist-pumping]

Saturday, April 18, 2015

vicarious living

Yesterday my dad, my son and I went up to Charlotte to pick up my brother, who lives in Miami but was in town for the day on business.

As we drove back home doing that thing where you share what you've been up to since you were last together, I realized suddenly that I have this disconnect where I feel like my life is super-exciting-crazy-balls because of the worlds I live in while I'm writing... but that when I go to convey that excitement by actually talking about what I've been up to, it's just "I hunched over a computer screen and damaged my spine and got out of shape and all twitch-eyed."

It's weird.

I mean, yesterday I was on the beach and this crazy tatted-up Latino drug dealer was beating up this line cook guy while this surfer-kid I know watched, and then this ailing gay guy watching from his wheelchair on his back patio came out and...

You see?!?

My life is CRAZY.

Except it's also not. It's me and a computer and a whole lot of peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches.

But today, I'm driving up to the RiverRun festival with my buddy Ben Joyner to watch our short film play on the big screen to, I dunno, possibly as many as fifty film-festivalgoers! We're talking real-life, communal film-watching! How exciting is that!?

It's nice, from time to time, to step away from this desk and actually have a real experience.

Sort of.

Two for Tea - Teaser Trailer from Ben Joyner on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

black mirror and you

This isn't so much a review as a recommendation that you check out the British series BLACK MIRROR, a television anthology that explores some of the more troubling aspects of our tech-infused, brave new world.

For example, the recent episode "White Christmas" stars Jon Hamm (of MAD MEN fame), and takes us into a world where everybody's got computers directly installed into their eye-and-brain—forcing us to think about what we sacrifice when we place digital intermediaries between ourselves and other people.

The show is often dark, disturbed, and uncomfortablebut also an eerily prescient bit of artistic-prophesy. So if you're up for a little world-perturbation... Check it out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TWO FOR TEA screening...

Join me for the TWO FOR TEA screening tomorrow night, April 15, at the Charlotte Film Community meeting. The meeting takes place at Dilworth Neighborhood Grill / 911 East Morehead Street / Charlotte, NC. Actor Kevin Johnson (who plays Officer Collins) is rumored to be attending, as well.

Doors open at 6pm. 

There is a $10 cover charge for the event for CFC non-members.

Two for Tea - Teaser Trailer from Ben Joyner on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Josh, the Manipulator

On a scale of "One" to "Manipulative Psychopath," I'd say I score a little higher than average. Take, for example, this photograph I made of a couple kids playing on opposite ends of a stringa moment I captured on November 27th of 2005, in Huaraz, Peru.

Pretty cool picture, right? A moment of childhood innocence, presided over by a statue of Saint Matthewwhich might be said to represent age, history, art, or even the Catholic Church. 

There's a beauty to the picture, and a power to this fraction-of-a-moment. 

The only problem is that this moment didn't actually ever exist. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Walter Scott and the Big, White Lie

The day before the video of the murder of Walter Scott came out, the headline for an article about the event in the local Charleston paper read "Attorney: North Charleston police officer felt threatened before fatal shooting."

Under that headline was the grinning face of the (white) writer, Andrew Knapp. And blown up big under Knapp's picture was an official photograph of police officer Michael Slager, clean cut and smiling in front of an American flag. 

Then came the first words of the article. The lead. The thing-being-presented-as-the-takeaway: 

"A North Charleston police officer felt threatened last weekend when the driver he had stopped for a broken brake light tried to overpower him and take his Taser. That's why Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager, a former Coast Guardsman, fatally shot the man, the officer's attorney said Monday."

Listen up, people, and listen good: IT MATTERS WHAT YOU LEAD WITH. 

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