Ok, so let me just get this out there.... I "googled" myself.... Pix, keep your comments to yourself... I'm at work, what else was I going to do? Anyway, the college I work at has written a couple newspaper articles about my work and I was nominated this past couple of weeks for one of the "most influencial people" at the college. I found the second article that they wrote about me, and I thought you guys would like to see it.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Alum returns to teach screenwriting class Jessica Hagendorn Advertising/Marketing Director No ‘ing’ words or introductions allowed. This is just one rule students learned in a special screenwriting course recently offered at ECC. The classes were taught by Mat Elfring, who also taught a special class on comic books this time last year. Elfring noted the common student’s ignorance to screenwriting practices.
“Most people just know creative writing, novel writing, poetry,” said Elfring.
Originally a short story writer himself, Elfring was encouraged to pursue writing scripts by ECC English instructor Rachel Tecza when he was a student. Now he holds a degree in it as well as in critical film analysis.
The course was spread out over three sessions that covered the basics of screen writing and the industry. The first class focused on pre-writing, the second was about formatting and the last was about revising and selling a script.
“Here’s what a bad script looks like,” Elfring said as the last class started. “It’s one of mine.” Then he let the four students pick his work apart, exercising what they’d already learned.
“I wouldn’t mind it [the course] being a regular class,” student Jake Pauling said. Pauling is also taking a fiction writing class this semester.
Becky Teets, another student in the class, agreed.
“I think he has a lot of good information, more than he can share in three nights, unfortunately,” Teets said.
It is uncertain whether or not the course will be brought back next year, although Elfring is looking into the possibility of creating a critiquing group, not unlike the Creative Writing Club, specifically for script writers.
However, according to Elfring, writing a script and getting it made into a movie are two completely different things. In his opinion, the chances are near zero.
“You have to be amazing at what you do, and have a second job,” Elfring said."
I've been watching bad music videos and I'm about to break one of my blog rules... I usually only put blogs on the board that took me hours to write, that I'm 75-89% proud of, but tonight... I present to you.... AWESOME
May 18th, 1999... 10pm I was almost finished with my junior year of high school... I stood in line at the movie theater that I would work at 10 months into the future.... My friend Joe and I are close to the front of the line, a line going around the block to the century old theater... We have lightsabers and annoyingly whip each other across the heads when the other wasn't looking. We weren't dressed up, just in street clothes.... and my blue mohawk. Numerous people are dressed as Jedis, yet no one dressed as troopers, no Darth Vader, just annoying Jedis. We were about 15th in line, and as the doors opened, the son of the mayor pulls up and cuts in line. They proceed to the balcony, and take the front row.... I'm already pissed. We sit down next to some other friends from school and the lights go down... Everyone starts to cheer, we're ALL exicted. Those oh so familiar opening credits roll up the screen.... I'm glued to my seat. The movie plays and as excited as I am, I'm lost by the time we get to pod-racing...
I sit, watch... Gungans... It seems everything I love about the original series has been watered down. The danger and excitement aren't there as much anymore. My childhood has died.... Ok, not really... But the same thing happened with Parts II & III, sure I think the movies are just "ok", but overall, I was incredibly disappointed. I didn't really 100% figure out why until last year.
One Reason I Hate Star Wars:
The screenplays were written by George Lucas. Not all of them, but... well.. bare with me...
You may say, "IE, what about A New Hope? He wrote the screenplay for that!" Yes, he certainly did, but that film in itself was a rip off of so many other films. No, I'm not ragging on him for ripping off something. To quote one of my old band mates, Eric Hutchins, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." He was refering to music in that instance, but sure, it can apply to movies too. So I have no qualms about A New Hope. When we get to Empire Strikes Back (best out of the series) & Return to the Jedi, no written by Lucas. The story was developed by him, but not the actual screenplay. The prequels were all written by him, and they were awful. The story wasn't god awful, but the dialogue, which leads into character development a lot for his films.... is awful. Point in case: "Hey Anakin, I know you really want to be good, but you have all this angst and I know we've only been friends for like 5 days, but can you.... kill all the younglings?" "um... ok...." Really? That's all it takes for you to not only go against EVERYTHING you've been taught in Jedi Academy, but also to do some dude's bidding you just met? SHENANIGANS! and the dialogue between Portman and Christiansen was sad. Sad in a way where it made me question why I bought a ticket. Was the acting sub-par? At times, overall I say it wasn't... I blame it massivly on Lucas' writing ability. He's amazing with coming up with a story, but falls short when writing it out.
I rented Fanboys with one of my buddies... We turned in on, sat back and watched. Neither of us are psychotic when it comes to the films (Star Wars), we've seen the originals enough times to be able to recite certain areas of dialogue, but we don't know the name of the character in the far background. But, I digress, we watched Fanboys, and while I understood every joke, I laughed at almost none of them. Some of my more obsessive friends assured me the film was hilarious, but I really didn't laugh. And that's when it hit me, I have a soft spot in my heart for the original trilogy, I still love them. But when it comes to all the rest of the hoopla in the Star Wars Universe... I hate it, I can't stand it.... It's over-rated garbage existing ONLY to make money.
So, in Part 1 I discussed my disappointment with Marvel in the aspect of financial responsibility and dealing with our economic crisis. If you didn't read it, click the link. Trust me, it's no where near as smart as I just made it seem.
Part 2 is completely about me and my reading habits. (Close the tab/window now if you don't like reading about how great I am) When I was a kid, I loved Marvel comics, especially X-Men. Late 80s to Mid 90s Marvel books were where it was at for me, and the trading cards were fun too, until I realized I'd be stuck with them just as long as Marvel would be stuck with the stigma of a failing company in 1998. However, I digress, I loved seeing good looking people with awesome powers dealing with real life, then fighting the bad guy and saving the day. On the side, the characters would have relationships, and I really cared....
Cut to 11 years later: I'm 27. I have a full-time job, and numerous part-time jobs. I have trouble paying the bills. I love my job and hate my job. I do the same tedious routine everyday. My creative outlets (blogging on CV is one!) are one of the few things keeping me afloat. I've been in a relationship with an incredibly wonderful woman for 10 years, the woman I'll eventually marry. So, in a sense, life sucks and rules all at the same time. It's like a daily bi-polar roller coaster (Bi-Poller Coaster).
Wednesdays come around, and I'm now reading mainly DC books (about 15), followed by 6 or 7 indy books and 5 Marvel books. That's it. Why the switch? Well, here's the reason. I live in the real world now. I have to do adult things. I know many of you younger CVers are saying, "I live in the real world too!" We live in different worlds though. Independent vs Dependent, and that is a whole other story. Why would I personally want to read about the same things I deal with in my daily life? I don't want to pay $3 a pop to deal with Parker trying to make his photo deadline, I have deadlines of my own. I don't want to see people work. I don't want to see people complain they're not with the ones they love. I don't want to see pretty people with cool super powers complain about any aspect of their life, period.
So then, why DC? Simple. I can't relate to the majority of their characters, which is exactly what I want. They don't spend time on the hero's job or love life, just the crime fighting part, and all-in-all I want to have fun when reading, and not worry about a fictional character's love life. I want to see a compelling story, action, and no whining... DC does that for me in most areas.... Marvel just has too much teen angst which I haven't had in my system since 2001. I think that sums it up, I can never tell. I'm at work so I write some of these blogs in incriments of 5 minutes over a 5 hour... So I may lose my point from time to time, forgetting what I wanted to say in the long run... Questions? then reply, I'll explain myself more in depth.
I know, summer isn't OFFICIALLY until June 21st, but it started for me when this film came out. It was a lot of fun, still fits into canon Star Trek stuff, since it's technically a parallel dimension, and it sets up a new franchise. 4.5 out of 5
Well, considering how much Rise of the Machines sucked, I was a bit skeptic. Nevertheless, this movie looks pretty rad, I'm super excited for it. Don't have much to say other than that.
Harry Potter and the... whatever
I'm not making fun of it by any means, I love the movies. I tried reading one of the books and couldn't have cared less. I'll see it, but I'm not that excited.
Transformers 2: The Quest for More Money
I saw Transformers three times, once in theater and twice at home. I fell asleep at the same time, every time, the giant climatic battle. It was pretty boring, yet I still like it. I'll see it, again, I just don't care that much. However, more Bumblebee makes me a happy boy.
The trailers look awful. I saw the newest one for it during the Star Trek flick and I laughed out loud. Again, I'll see this film, but I plan on bringing tomatoes to throw at the screen.
Land of the Lost
I grew up on this show, mainly because the early 80s ran out of stuff to play so they played stuff from the 70s and 60s ad-nausea. I enjoy Will Ferral and I hope the movie is as cheesy as the original show. Decently excited.
Ali G was my favorite show for all two seasons it was on television. And I've patiently waited through the Ali G film and the Borat film to finally see his final character on the big screen, Bruno. A gay Austrian fashion show host making people feel homophobic all over. I'm giddy.
Night at the Museum 2
Someone answered my prayers and made Ben Stiller funny again. But I guess he's only funny in kids films now. Fine with me. This is the film to see, mainly because I can bring my niece and not hate her fro dragging me along (stupid hannah montana film).
I love Pixar so much, except for that white elephant called "Cars". This film looks great and again, I can bring my niece. The older I get, the more I love kids films.
No thanks. However, the girlfriend wants to see it, so I'll have to not only swallow my pride and go, but also pay $20 for both of us to get in......
Star Trek was the big one for me, and it'll probably be the best out of them. Incredibly well done, lots of fun for everyone, not just Trekkers, and it sets up a new franchise. I was very happy.
Bruno, UP, and Night at the Museum 2 are going to be huge contenders, with Night at the Museum 2 bringing in the most money...
I'll say it again:
Night at the Museum 2 will bring in the most money...... Now that I wrote it twice, I don't believe it. Start the Conversation
I'm pretty sick today, took the day off of work. As I explained it to one of my friends, "I've got the spins like I'm drunk without a drop of alcohol." But I digress. I slept from 11-3 today to avoid being awake and sick and I had the most bizarre dream involving ComicVine members and staff. Now, I didn't take any NyQuill, which can induce weird dreaming... Crap, I just noticed I set this up the be weirder than it was... whatever
I'm at Best Buy with my buddy Rick and his fiance Elana, we're a tight group of cats, especially when my girlfriend is around. We're considered "Power Couples"... at least I think we are. We're checking out some DVDs, and I decide, I'm hungry, I'm going home. I step outside and hop into my sweet-@ss 2009 Mazda 3 (lame plug) and I get a phone call from G-Man saying, "Judas, we've been waiting, come back in" (Judas being a nickname of mine specific only to my friends from Chicago, from when I lived out there). So I stand up quickly, and I head back in. Rick & Elana ask me to come over to them, I walk over, but then I see Hawk, his wife (which my brain made up for this dream) and Babs. We all do the meet you for the first time hug and high five, yes I high five in my dream. And I'm super excited to get a beer with Hawk because Babs doesn't even drink in my dreams. I ask where are we going for lunch? Babs says, "here... our table is ready" Here being the Best Buy.... Which I guess has a Bennigins in it.... A resturant that is now out of business. We sit down and are about to order... And I wake up...
Bizarre... So I met Hawk & Babs in RL at a Bennigins in a Best Buy... lots of "b"s in there..... But G-Man skipped out somehow, but still called me.
When a production company buys the rights to a character, franchise, what have you, it's theirs to mess with. They can do whatever they want, and there is nothing you can do about it. The movie is for a mass audience, not just the fans, but yes, they still keep you in mind. That's why I don't get mad, they could ruin Y: The Last Man (my favorite series) when the film comes out in the next 3 years or so, and I won't be mad, disappointed yes, but why complain? What's done is done... I worked in Chicago's film industry for a few years, mostly on indy projects, and worked almost every job you can think of within the industry. I've had to adapted certain short stories, and even a poem for a short film or two, and it's tough work. You'll never be able to hit the mark and make everyone happy. There is no way.
But, when it boils down to it, they decisions they make are to make the production company more money. They want to get the "bang for their buck". Understanding that, there is no reason to get mad. So they screwed up your favorite character on the big screen? Who cares? Go on with your day...