Welcome Back

I’d like to give myself an official welcome back!  I’ve been gone for quite awhile but now I’m back in the saddle.  I’m also pleased to announce the reason for my long stay away:  my new bundle of joy, my first born, the fruit of my loins:

CALEB COLDWELL WAHL

That’s right! Having carried to term and birthed forth my darling baby boy, I am now ready to dive back, headfirst, into my writing.

As anyone with children can imagine the pregnancy and getting ready for baby quickly took over my life.  I had little time for anything else, let alone time enough time to sit down at the computer and blog out my thoughts on writing and the film industry.  While I doubt I’ll ever have the time I did, life has returned to a semblance of normal.  The baby is sleeping through the nights finally, and I have a bit of extra time that I can dedicate to weekly (hopefully) posts.

That all being said I will be making a few changes.  I will not be reserving this blog for only writing related thoughts – going forward I will use it to write about whatever I think is interesting, but admittedly it will most likely focus on film.

Finally, I’d like to introduce a second blog that I write.  This one is not a personal blog, it’s company that I write for, but it’s another aspect of life I’m passionate about: health.  The company: BoneBlast, is new and the  flagship product will soon be officially released. The website is not 100% complete yet, but my blogs are being posted with some regularity.  Once BoneBlast gets it’s feet under it you will see two health related blog posts a week from yours truly.

Check it out here: (the posts with my name are the ones I wrote!)

BoneBlast Health Blog

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Z v G & Writers v Amazon Studios

There are few things that I like more then zombie flicks; wait, let me rephrase:  good zombie flicks, which is why I always have my ear to the ground in search of the next great flesh-eating entertainment buzz.  Lately there has been a lot of this buzz surrounding the new film-to-be Zombies Vs. Gladiators.  I even saw an article about it in one of my go-to horror mags: Fangoria.  But, what sounds like great fun on the screen may actually be a real life nightmare and cautionary tale for writers.

Amazon Studios has well been on my “possibly a scam” list since they first tried to reinvent the metaphorical studio wheel.  What in theory seemed like a great way to circumvent the nepotism in the studio system and get a movie made, in actuality may be a great way to take advantage of writers (it’s all in the fine print baby). This thought seems to be underscored in this week’s goings-ons with Zombies Vs. Gladiators.

The original script for this movie was originally shopped around town by writers Gregg Ostrin & Michael Weiss.  Now, I have not read the script myself, which is available to read here if you are so inclined, but it was turned down by every studio and the word is, it was for good reason.  Fast forward a bit and the script was submitted in 2010 to Amazon Studios in a last ditch effort to get it made.

Once the script was uploaded it was contractually obligated to grant Amazon a free 18 month option period, among other things.  At the end of this option period Amazon had the provision to renew for another 18 month at a $10,000 price tag.  If the script were to win the monthly or yearly script contests the writers would be paid a $200k prize purchase price.  Zombies Vs. Gladiators did not win either.  Now I’m no lawyer but this pretty much leaves Amazon exempt from paying the $200k purchase price, while legally allowing them to develop and shoot the scripts, potentially distributing and profiting from a movie they barely paid for.

Amazon put the script out for their public rewrite contest.  Ultimately this contest was won by writer Lauri, who was one of several writers that did a free page one rewrite.  Assumable Laura was paid the $10,000 prize for her rewrite, and now Amazon has signed on horror legend Clive Barker to do yet another rewrite, and to direct the flick.  You can be sure he signed on for REAL money, not prize money.

If you look over the press releases for Z vs G you will not find one mention of the original writers, whether on Amazon’s page or on third party pages such as Ain’t It Cool News.  Not only this, but you have to wonder, will the original writers ever be paid a purchase price, and moreover, will they, at the very least receive a “Story By” credit?   They certainly aren’t receiving any credit now.

This all makes me very nervous.  A big conglomerate like Amazon has a heck of a lot of power, and lawyers to back it up.  Many question loom in my mind but maybe the biggest is, what if the original script, and the final script are nothing alike with the exception that gladiators fight zombies.  We could make twenty movies like this and they would all be completely, and more importantly, LEGALLY different.  If this happens, do Gregg Ostrin and Michael Weiss get any credit or pay?  As a writer THIS is what I find truly bone-chilling…. And I write horror movies!

Now, I wonder, what do Gregg and Michael think about all this?  It seems as though they are hoping (or praying) for the best.  On the Amazon Z vs G forum Michael posted this: “We are excited and hope (that) Clive (takes) it to the next level.”

Overall I think this situation should be closely watched and used as a cautionary tale to anyone thinking of submitting to Amazon Studios.  The only bonus I can see is that Gregg and Michael may be getting more exposure then they would have otherwise, especially if the original script is as awful as everyone says it is.  I guess the true question is, is this the exposure they want?  “Our script was so awful every studio turned it down and it needed several page one rewrites?”  Maybe… there are a lot of hack writers with careers.  I ask you though, is it worth the risk if you’re not a hack?

 

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Dr. Who – Script to Screen

One of my favorite series on TV right now is Doctor Who.  It plays on BBC America and if you haven’t watched an episode you are certainly missing out.   I remember when I was young and my parents would watch Doctor Who; but back then I could not truly appreciate the complex characters and the labyrinth of story lines (not to mention that I really didn’t dig the whole phone booth thing).  Now-a-days I find the show to be highly entertaining and intriguing; it has come a long way from my first experiences with the Doctor.

The show is now in it fifth version of the series with the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor (bye David Tennant, I’ll miss you, helllllo Matt Smith!).  Don’t let this confuse you if you’ve never seen it.  The Doctor, is a time/parallel universe traveling alien in human form that regenerates if he is killed (hence the different actors).  The show is also the longest running Sci-fi show in history (it’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records) and it has racked up an enormous amount of awards for both it special effects and outstanding programming.

What is really fun about the show is that the current version is not a remake of the original but a continuation.  This means new and old fans can enjoy it alike.   Whilst I could not appreciate it in my formative years, I think now that my favorite part of the current show is its campy over the top acting, awesome (and sometimes cheesy) special effects, and makeup ingenuity.  I also love the fact that the show does not take itself too seriously, and that it is one of the few shows I feel has true heart.

I am very excited to see the new season but a little bummed the show runners decided to hold off awhile on it.  The only reason?  Why to build anticipation of course.

To whet the appetite even more a short film was released recently as part of the Script to Screen children’s contest.  It’s fun, a plug for the 2012 Olympics, and a great way to introduce a new generation to the overwhelming awesomeness of Dr. Who (even if this short is a little goofy, even for the Doctor) and I think a contest like this is great!

Congratulations Rebecca, Emily, and Libby (no last names given because they’re kids for gosh-sakes!) from Ashdene Primary School in Wilmslow.  You’ve done a great job!

Rebecca, Emily, and Libby with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan
Rebecca, Emily, and Libby with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan

 

Awwww… how cute!  I’d probably count myself as lucky if I could get a job working for these fine young ladies one day!

If you’d like to see the script they wrote in action check out the awesome Dr. Who short below.  Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkP8W4D2k68

 

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MY HUSBAND ON THE PRESS CIRCUIT

To promote Webdultey’s Toronto premier Charles has been hitting the radio and TV circuit.  Check out all these fun interviews!

Newstalk 1010 – Charles talks movies with Bern Eulerk & Richard Crouse.   If you didn’t catch the broadcast a podcast is available.  Their segment comes in at about 18:30.

Charles @ Innerspace
Charles @ Innerspace

Innerspace – See Charles be interviewed by @SPACEchannel to promote Webdultery as a part of a feature to promote the Canadian Film Fest.  Airs tomorrow on Space.  Don’t worry I’ll post a video as soon as it’s available!

102.1 THE EDGE – Charles goes on the air live to talk about Webdultery at 3pm this Wednesday.  Don’t forget to tune in!

I’LL KEEP YOU UPDATED WITH MORE TO COME!

 

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NAKED GAMES

Generally I reserve my blog for writing related topics only, but today I will bend that somewhat flexible rule.

I would like to present to you the “Naked Games” video promo for Dirty Deeds.  Directed by my husband Charles Wahl, they are already getting massive attention, and were even the top feature in Shots magazine.

Charles Wahl - featured in Shots
Shots magazine

 

Amazing!  And this is only the first set.  For the next little while a new video will come out every Monday.  There is a censored version and uncensored version for each video, and both versions are great and have their own merits.  The catch is, enough people have to share the censored version to unlock the uncensored version.

Lucky for you I have access to both versions of the first video.  Enjoy!

Dirty Deeds – Uncensored

Dirty Deeds – Censored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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