Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Open Mouth. Insert Foot.

Please disregard the previous post. I wrote it having received erronious and incomplete information. As things turn out, The Tell Tale Heart was not, in fact, accepted into the Indie Grits film festival, for reasons unknown to us. You can still go, of course. We just won't be there.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Indie Grits

Exciting stuff.

Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell Tale Heart, the first major short film by us Cognitive Domain guys, just got accepted to the Indie Grits film festival in Columbia SC. You can check it out at The festival will be held From April 15-19. Come out and show your support.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Step 1- Complete!

I'm pleased to announce that (a possible minor change here or there aside) the Artist of the Beautiful screenplay is finished. Judging from what we have on paper, the film, when made, will probably be about a half hour long.

Now that that chunk of work is out of the way, it's time for us to get going on other stuff. The next step is probably going to be to get shot lists made up and some concept art drawn, then to begin working on storyboarding this sucker.

For now though, it's time to celebrate. Huzzah!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Zeroing in...

Several drafts and several phone conversations later, it looks like Aaron and I are finally coming close to a finished version of the screenplay. I've got a couple more edits to make, and I'm also going to be putting what we have neatly into proper screenplay format using Celtx, a free screenwriting/ pre-production software my friend Stu so graciously directed me to.

Once the screenplay is finished, then the real fun can begin.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back in Action

So I've done absolutely no work on the next draft of the AOTB screenplay.

Before you come after me with your torches and pitchforks, though, (all two of you), allow me to say that I have actually been productive these days. I took an extended break from the screenplay to complete my fantasy novel that I've been working on, a Greek Mythology/Wild West hybrid called Pantheon.

Now that that's out of the way and being critiqued, I'm going to get back on the task of tweaking the screenplay. I hope to make it more focused on Owen and his maturing process than on the attitudes and reactions of the people around him. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Second Draft Complete!

That was fast.

I've gone through the screenplay, making a couple minor changes to the dialogue-- stuff that nobody would likely notice except for myself. After much debate with Aaron, who wanted to add a character personifying pompus art critics, I also added a brief new scene, between Owen and his old art teacher.

I've sent the first draft out to several friends, and am still waiting to hear their comments on it (you know who you are. If you're one of them, get busy and critique my work!) As soon as I get their feedback, I plan to impliment as many of their constructive criticisms as I find helpful, and prepare to finalize the screenplay. Once that's finished, then the real fun can begin.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Humble Beginning

It all began with a book. A little book, paperbacked, with a strange picture on the cover of a gravestone-style drawing which depicted several angels, a skull, and (perhaps strangest of all) a palm tree. I got it at a dusty, old, used-book shop, in the dusty, old city of Monroe, NC for 75 cents. It was a book of short stories, some of which I had read before and some which were new to me. The author was Nathanial Hawthorne.

One of the stories was called "The Artist of the Beautiful." It was a strange little tale, about a watchmaker with a passion for art and creativity and a secret project all his own. Although I found it a bit difficult to read (very heady and philosophical), I was drawn to the beautiful imagery in the story, its the interesting characters, and its element of mild science fiction/fantasy. It is at its heart a fable, a commentary on art-- on different people's perceptions of it and on the unique relationship that is shared between an artist and his work. The story began to turn itself over in my mind, and I began to visualise what it would look like as a film.

I called up my good friend, Aaron Jolly. We had recently finished up a short film based on Edgar Allen Poe's classic, "The Tell-Tale Heart," and had been casting around ideas for a new project. He liked the story, but we decided that it would be impossible to do it justice if we attempted to fund it out of our own pockets (as we did for Tell-Tale). The idea was shelved for a number of months, and all but forgotten.

Enter Grant possibility, stage left. We had already decided that we wanted our friend, Frank Ponce (who we knew from Tell-Tale), to act as Producer on our next film project. We found out from him about the possibility of getting a film grant from the South Carolina Commission for the Arts. From that point we tossed around several ideas (including several months of discussing and working on a screenplay based on "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"). After much frustration and deliberation, I again remembered "The Artist of the Beautiful." If we were able to receive the grant, then we would certainly be able to do the story justice in film form.

I wrote the first draft of the screenplay over the course of a couple days, and sent it to Aaron and Frank. Both liked it, and the idea was settled. I am pleased to announce that we are going to move forward with the planning and production of The Artist of the Beautiful.

The three of us met today at No-Name Deli, a little establishment in Columbia, SC to talk about the project. I think I speak for the group when I say that we're excited. There's a lot of potential in this story. A lot of heart. A lot of, well, beauty. We want to do this one right.

The purpose of this blog is to be a chronicle of the process of the creation of this film. I'd like to invite you to join us, as we embark on what could be a fantastic journey. There's no telling what the future holds-- we're going to do our very best, though. Hold on to your hats, folks. This could be a wild ride.

P.S. I'm planning to work out the second draft of the screenplay this week. Yeah.

Here's a link to the original short story.