Well, after a long, sometimes arduous, journey beginning way back in the summer of 2015, my vessel of a short film LEAVE – based upon my short story of the same name – has found its homeport at Amazon Prime and is now available to be viewed for free by all… provided you are either a U.S. or U.K. Prime subscriber. If not, then it will cost you a mere buck/pound or two to watch it.
The entire cast and crew, which includes yours truly, is very proud and honored to be able to show our film for the first time to the world at such a prestigious event.
We are also proud and honored to finally be able to share with you a short teaser of the film right now.
It’s been over a three-year process but Leave is finally completed and I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am of it. I especially can’t wait until you can see it.
But first it has to go to the film festivals and we have already begun the submittal process. I will send out updates of the (many (hopefully)) festivals that pick it up.
Continue reading “Leave Is In The Can!”
This is just one example of the many intriguing and intellectually stimulating videos you can enjoy from the Nerdwriter’s youtube channel.
That, my friends, was a good time, indeed.
Time sure does go fast…
And, frustratingly enough, it, concurrently, goes so frakkin’ (any BSG/Caprica fans out there?) slow when one’s breath is bated in anticipation, such as mine is for the film’s completion.
Movie making is not as easy as it looks from the theater seats, that’s for sure.
Yes, I know, I know… I haven’t talked about it for a long time…
But my movie is still very much a thing.
A very big thing.
And the cast and crew is – to use a word The Donald used more than too many times in last night’s insufferable “presidential” debate – beautiful!
And all will be revealed soon (coincidentally, just about the time our IndieGoGo campaign goes live).
But for now, to get an idea of where our leading actors are coming from, I strongly recommend you become familiar with the CBS show “Limitless” and the TNT show “The Last Ship.”
Yeah, those shows…
Which means my show is gonna be. . . (wait for it). . . huuuge!
That’s the rule, right?
Books rule over movies.
Before I got involved with this whole short film thing, I always would get indignant after watching yet another failed movie adaptation of a book I liked. And I would always wonder to myself why in the heck could they never get it write/right.
Until on a whim I decided to try my hand at adapting my short story LEAVE into a screenplay.
Right away I realized that this was going to be no easy feat.
Introspection and contemplation that serve a short story or a novel so well is basically useless in a screenplay where just about everything must be represented as action and dialogue so it can be seen and heard by the audience.
Of course LEAVE as a short story is mostly introspection and contemplation by the protagonist so right off the bat the whole structure would have to change in order to be able to show his shift of character from beginning to end.
To do this, new scenes had to be invented and new characters had to be developed and within the first writing of the story of LEAVE as a screenplay, it was already hugely different from the story of LEAVE the short story. And that was only by my own efforts.
After I showed it to an actor friend for his feedback, from his guidance it went from 33 pages down to fifteen. And yes, to whittle it down that much there had to be a significant change in story and tempo.
But really, the biggest changes to the story didn’t occur until once the screenplay was accepted by a studio and a director was found and she got ahold of it… and then several of the lead actors got ahold of it…
Talk about feedback overload. It took much effort and persuasion to maintain it as a story I recognized.
And, while we are scheduled to begin filming in two months, we haven’t yet cast the lead actor so I can only wonder what changes still might occur to it.
But you know what… the story as it is now as a near fully developed screenplay is really not that far from what it is as a short story.
It is just different.
And much, much better in my opinion.
Still, I guarantee it if you read the short story and then see the film, you will be significantly surprised by the differences that there are between the two.
I just hope you are not significantly disappointed.
But I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be because we have an awesome crew and the cast is going to be first rate and impressive.
And I can also guarantee that from now on whenever I watch a movie that has been poorly adapted from a book that I like I will certainly be less critical and more understanding of the differences between the two and the winding and somewhat weary course that had to be traveled to get the story to the screen.
Because now I know.
And now I have only one rule regarding movies and books.
Both of them do.
Rule, that is…
Have you heard about our private Facebook Writers & Readers Group?
NOW ON AMAZON FOR KINDLE!
Made for Me, a Sci-fi romance novella by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, takes the awkward first date story to the extreme! What happens when an indecisive girl uses a 100% guaranteed website to find the man of her dreams? How can they truly guarantee happiness for Abrielle, who can’t even decide what she wants for dinner? Meet Sampson, open-minded, spontaneous, and financially stable. All of the elements seem to come together for a perfect match. Yet, it becomes apparent there’s been a website glitch! Sampson is even more unique than Abrielle could ever guess. For this to work, Abrielle must accept the truth behind Sampson’s perfect skin, buff physique, and welcoming smile.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pamela Schloesser Canepa lives in the Southeast with her small family and her dog. She has been writing since childhood, and has just started publishing recently. She considers herself an avid sci-fi movie fan and loves authors such as Stephen King, James Patterson, Phillip K. Dick, Suzanne Collins, and Laurie Notaro, among others. Pamela’s genres include science fiction, realistic fiction, and poetry of all types. Made for Me is Pamela’s first published work of fiction. A sequel is in the works, and Pamela is working on editing a full length time travel novel for publication in e-book and print, hopefully in the next year!
PAMELA HAS DONATED MONEY TO SUPPORT KURT’S FILM
PLEASE SUPPORT PAMELA
With pleasure and gratitude, it is my honor to share with you a Guest Post by Author Sherrie Cronin. As April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Sherrie’s post, and her books, are timely, important, and educational, as, sadly, the exploitation and abuse of women only seems to be worsening. Obviously, we must do more to prevent this; for this is not a problem only found in countries far and distinct from our own, it is a problem that just may be found not too far from our very own doorstep. On the sidebar, you will find her novel c3 and a link to where you can learn more about Sherrie and her books. I strongly encourage you to support Sherrie and her efforts.
INSPIRATION IN THE WORST OF PLACES
by Sherrie Cronin
When I first outlined the stories for 46. Ascending, I knew that c3 would be about a group of young women who would thwart a sex trafficking ring, because I wanted a venue to explore the extreme edges of the way we as a society pretend not to see the many ways in which young women are exploited. I fully expected that my research would take me to some horrifying places, and it did. An internet connection is all one needs to visit ping pong shows in Bangkok and to peruse ads for “sexy and willing” Russian women. I still get the ads — I need to wash out my browser with soap.
What I did not expect, however, were how many inspirational stories and websites I would encounter as well. I stared my research with Somaly Mam’s book The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine and I highly recommend it.
My browsing then took me to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, a group of Catholic Nun’s who have spent the last couple of centuries reaching out to women in unfortunate circumstances. I liked what I read so much that an imaginary nun worked herself into my story even though she wasn’t even in the outline. I hope that members of the order would not be offended by my spunky Sister Teresa-Marie, as she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in the book. Please read about this fine group and their efforts to help victims of human trafficking at goodshepherdsisters.org/trafficking.htm.
Next I found several non-profit organizations dedicated to stopping human trafficking, each one with an inspiring story. I will likely blog about them all individually here over time. One of the first that I encountered was an organization called Shared Hope International, founded by U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith after she traveled into the heart of the brothel district in Mumbai, India where “she witnessed the brutal exploitation and sexual slavery of women and children.” She has been trying to do something about it ever since. This group also has a Facebook page well worth visiting and liking.
I expected to be disgusted at some of what I found, and I was. I expected to believe that this was a problem with no solution. Instead, I found brave women and men of all nations, ages, and belief systems working for positive change. I did not expect to walk away from my research marveling at those who fight every day to shine a bright light into the darkest of corners. But I did, and I am marveling at them still.
To find out how you, too, can promote your book or project, please visit here.
Hey what’s up?!
We’re going to be promoting our first Reward Package on Friday. If you would like to help me help you then please consider donating to help me make a movie and I will help you promote your book or other project. Huh?
So… I’m not going to be posting much for the next few months so please submit your work to one of the Relating to Humans features so I can post it to the blog in stead of my rambles and blather.
Can ya dig?
Anyway, here is some music that will make your toes tap and ears wiggle.
I guarantee it.
AND WILL YOU…
- Moral Issues
- Religious Issues
- Philosophical Issues
- Political Issues
- Criminal Justice Issues
- Health Issues
- Mental Health Issues
- Relationship Issues
- Race Issues
- Women’s Issues
- LGBT Issues
- Flash Fiction
Well, as grand, collaborative endeavors often do… we’ve run into a few delays in our effort to launch our Indigogo campaign to raise funds for our short film LEAVE.
Fortunately for us the delays are good problems to have because it may allow us to have an even stronger team and announcement once we do go live.
But I got to thinking (I know, I know…), that even though the Indigogo campaign may be delayed, why can’t I begin seeking funding support now right here at my website?
In fact, here I can offer unique donation incentives that I won’t be able to offer at Indigogo.
Seeing how a great majority of you all out there are Indie Authors and Indie Creators of other sorts, why cannot I offer you an opportunity to promote your imaginative wares here for a few dollars in donation to help me pre-fund my film?
And by “pre-funding” I mean funds that I can use to hire someone to make killer graphics (as opposed to my black-and-white snoozers) and a killer trailer; and funds I can use to promote and market the Indigogo campaign as it is running.
Twitter and Facebook ads are expensive. And while I have a large Facebook following at my Author Page, Facebook throttles every post I make there so hardly anyone sees it unless I pay to promote the post.
So what do you think? Would you be willing to support my film if I were willing to promote your work here?
For example, the campaign incentives would look something like this:
1. $5 = I will list your name with a link back to your site on a special Donors page.
2. $10 = #1 plus I reblog a post of your choosing
3. $25 = #1 plus you publish a Guest Post about your book or whatever you wish to write about
4. $50 = #1, 2, 3, plus I advertise your book, etc. on the sidebar for a week
5. $75 = 1, 2, 3, plus I advertise your book, etc. on the site scrolling header for a week
6. $100 = 1, 2, 3, plus I advertise your book, etc. on the header and sidebar for a week
7. $500 = 1, 2, 3, and 6 for the duration of the campaign, plus you will receive Executive Producer credits on the film
Or, if you have ideas for additional incentives, I’d love to hear them.
During the campaign, I would take down all the advertisements I now run to supplement my disability payment (yes, I just took a blatant tug at your tender heart string) to create a better environment.
All of the sidebar promotion would be at the top above all of my work.
And I would have a link directly to Paypal where you could donate all easy-peazy like.
Of course all donations would NOT be tax deductible. However, unless you intend to donate more than the present $14,000 gift exemption for the 2016 tax season, your donation will not be taxed as a gift. Because I am not a lawyer, for more information, please see the IRS GIFT TAX FAQ.
This all is just a rough of what the campaign would look like… but what do you think?
Would you help me help you by donating to support my film?
Of course, submissions to the Relating to Humans feature will remain open throughout the campaign so all can continue to freely share and promote their creative expressions and ideas regardless one’s level of support.
All votes are anonymous to Kurt
You know, I did. I really did.
I had always believed that eventually the US Congress would open up all combat-related assignments to females.
But I didn’t really think it would happen this soon…
And it was never within the realm of my imagination that it and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell could have happened in the matter of one presidency.
Damn… I sure am going to miss President Obama.
G.I. JANE was released in 1997.
Our short film LEAVE is set in 1995, when Congress first opened up some combat-related assignments to females, including assignments to warships, and it is about one warship’s all-male crew’s reaction to the arrival of its first female sailors.
I’m sure you can just imagine exactly what their reaction will be…
Hopefully the brave service women now accepting the first combat and special warfare assignments will receive a much better reaction and reception…
What a night at the Oscars, eh?
Big night for diversity and sexual assault awareness.
While it’s no longer cool for us to say “boys will be boys”… I believe it’s still within the legal PC bounds of good taste to say “Chris will be Chris.”
He did a pretty good job of calling out all the major inequality themes re: Hollywood that’s been on everyone’s minds and tongues for the past few months. Though he did go a little easier on the Establishment and a lot harder on Jada than I expected.
I thought his most pointed call-out wasn’t a race issue but a gender equality issue when discussing the absurdity of having both a Best Actor and a Best Actress category. “It’s not as if they are running a track and field event and Robert De Niro has to say, ‘Whoa, I better slow down my acting so Meryl Streep can catch up…” It’s worth your time to search for and watch Rock’s opening monologue. It should be easy enough to find.
I was pretty bummed when Lady Gaga didn’t win the award for Best Song (or whatever the official nomenclature is) after her highly emotional and powerful performance of “Till It Happens To You.” But when Sam Smith gave his amazing acceptance speech calling on for equality and encouragement for the LGBT community I was like, okay… he’s cool.
But to me, Lady Gaga’s performance was definitely the highlight of the night and one of the most moving performances I’ve seen in a while. At least since her performance of the US National Anthem at the Super Bowl… which was also quite impressive. She’s quite the talent, that’s for sure.
As far as the movie stuff goes, I can’t really comment much because until I see the Oscars I never realize how many movies I haven’t seen throughout the year.
I’m happy and unsurprised that Leo won for Best Actor. Pretty impressive speech he gave re: The Environment. Of course it was a given he would speak about environmental issues knowing how passionate he is about the subject. And it also makes sense to discuss it seeing how critical Nature was to the success of his film. [See: The Revenent: It’s Really Good (for a laugh)]
I’m less happy that Tom Hardy did not win Best Supporting Actor and very surprised that, if Tom didn’t win it, they didn’t just give it to Sly Stallone for sentimental reasons (it certainly wouldn’t be for any acting reasons). As a former Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) guy, I have been meaning to see The Bridge of Spies so I cannot judge the dude who did win. I cannot even judge him based on his past performances because I don’t even have clue who he is (although there is a tinge of familiarity so I’m sure I’ve seen him in this or that).
As for Best Actress… didn’t see “The Room” or is it just “Room,” but just based on the clips shown Brie Larson looks like a worthy winner. As for Best Supporting Actress… didn’t see “The Danish Girl” but Alicia Vikander is definitely the “It Gal” of the moment so I assumed she would win.
While Mad Max swept all the technical and nitnoid whatnot awards, I thought for sure The Revenent would sweep the Big Three. It got two with Alejandro González Iñárritu winning Best Director (two years running now), and Leo’s win, but missed on the biggest of all.
Haven’t seen Spotlight, the winner, yet. I’m still waiting on it to hit Redbox and then I’ll have to wait until Redbox texts me a free movie night before I do. Yeah, I’m cheap like that.
As far as the presenters go… it seems that there is a budding bromance between Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. They were quite funny together and could make a pretty good living as a comedic duo.
And did anyone else get confused between Kate Winslet and Patricia Arquette? Did they look like copies of each other because they were sharing the same pair of glasses? Or are they secretly Pond Crossing Twins?
Speaking of Patty Arquette, you should check her out on twitter and see the work she’s doing with the #EqualMeansEqual documentary that is in the works. As you probably know she’s a major, outspoken proponent for Women’s and Gender Equality Issues. She believes because she called out Hollywood last year in its poor record of equality in pay between men and women that she has lost several potential acting gigs from it. Check out the good stuff she has going on at @PattyArquette at the tweet machine.
As typical, Sasha Baron Cohen provided the most cringe-worthy moment. His “Ali G” skit is no longer fun(ny), as it now comes off to me only as being stale and rather desperate.
Still, all in all I thought The Oscars overall was a great show. One of the most entertaining in a long while.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what impact all the awareness to diversity this year will have on next year’s nominees.
Aaand… that’s a wrap.
They say, Write what you know…
And in response I say, Okay…
So when I began in earnest to write stuff for people to read way back in the early Nineties – what a great decade that was – about all I knew about life outside of my personal life which I didn’t and still don’t have the guts yet to truly explore, was all pretty much navy-related.
Hence, the stories I wrote at the time were all pretty much, well… navy-related.
And therein lies the primary challenge I have when it comes to convincing and conniving folks who look a lot like you to read my writing… and now, to support a film based upon my writing: that even though the stories may be navy-related, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are stories just about the navy.
Some of you, many of you, are probably new to this site so understandably there may be a few things about me that you just aren’t aware of:
Like, even though my undergraduate degree is in English – which probably explains my nerd obsession with arranging and amalgamating morphemes into new and creative and interesting ways for you to read stuff, my graduate degree is in a completely unrelated field (well, maybe it’s a little related) of Human Relations – which probably explains my obsession with trying to understand why it is you think and behave the crazy and unpredictable way you do.
To satisfy my morpheme amalgamating obsession, I began to write; to satisfy my relating-to-humans obsession, I took a few years off from my primary career field in the Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) while in the navy, to become a certified Equal Opportunity Advisor, where I spent much of my time providing counseling and training in diversity management.
And it is this relating to humans-related stuff that I would like to think is what my stories, while even though they may be set in a navy-related world, are all really about…
Like, as explored in my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, how do our perceptions and stereotypes influence our decisions when confronted with situations like homophobia and harassment and abuse?
Or, as explored in the short story and soon to be short film LEAVE, what was the environment really like for that courageous female sailor who took that first assignment to a warship with an all-male crew?
While these stories are set on navy ships during the Nineties, it is my belief their underlying themes and messages are relevant even, and especially, today.
Just recently Congress has authorized women to serve in all combat-related duties, not just some of them like back in the Nineties.
Right now there are courageous, pioneering females all throughout the US military – and throughout society in general – who are opening doors that have previously always been closed to them, and setting off on a course that clears the way for many more courageous females to forever follow.
So, yeah, we writers have always been told to Write what you know…
Just as you readers have always been told to Never judge a book by its cover…
I invite you to pass the time checking out the short film funding campaign for a good friend of mine, Jeffrey Stackhouse.
Jeffrey – an award-winning screenwriter and all around talented/good guy – and the rest of his cast and crew, have just launched a fundraising campaign to produce “I Am The Doorway,” a film adaption of a Stephen King short story that is endorsed and encouraged by King, himself.
Already there is discussion that Jeff’s film has the makings to be the best cinematic adaptation of King’s work yet.
If you’re a fan of King, horror, independent film-making, or all of the above, please check out Jeff’s work and support him – monetarily and/or socially – if you are able by clicking here.
P.s. – In facebook’s never-ending effort to make money (nothing wrong with that, btw) they make it very hard for public pages to be seen unless they pay to promote their posts. It gets very expensive so please share this as both an act of kindness and as an easy, inexpensive way to support The Arts.
Here’s their pitch video from the film’s director:
To sign up to be notified when the funding campaign for my short film begins, please click here.
As you may already know, a short film is going to be made of a screenplay I adapted from LEAVE, one of my short, dramatic stories about what it may have been like for the first females sailors assigned to warships back in the Nineties.
It probably isn’t much of a spoiler to say that in both the story’s and the film’s interpretation, it is quite a challenge for those courageous women, seeing how the all-male crew of the ship they’re reporting to would rather go to war than have their ship be invaded by female sailors.
So… I’ll be going out to Los Angeles in April to begin work on the production, but first we have a small detail of raising the funds.
Yes, I’m looking at you…
We plan to film on the battleship USS Iowa, which is now a museum ship out in LA. Unfortunately, even though the Iowa staff are willing to significantly cut the price because I’m an old salt of a retired sailor, it still costs a pretty penny nonetheless. And there of course will be other production costs to factor in, as well.
We’ll be kicking off an Indigogo campaign to raise the funds at the beginning of March but I just wanted to give you all a heads up that we now have a “Coming Soon” page where you can sign up to stay informed on project updates and be advised when the campaign is live.
Our vision for the film is to:
Create a Cinematic Work of Art that both Entertains and Promotes a Discussion for Positive Change
Needless to say, your support of our efforts, not just through donations, but also through your outreach to all your family and friends on our behalf, will be key in helping us turn our vision into a reality.
We’ll be introducing our award-winning cast [it’s not 100% yet but if cast assignments firm up as it looks like they will we are going to have a stellar cast] and highly accomplished crew very soon so please check it out and join our team at:
Okay, I have taken off my PT Barnum wannabe Promoter’s Hat and have now put on my wannabe highly esteemed and influential Author’s Hat…
First off, I would like to report that building a campaign to raise the funds to produce a short film is taking a lot of my very limited brain power.
We have decided to go with Indigogo to raise our funds instead of Kickstarter. The main reason for this decision is that you get to keep the funds you raise with Indigogo even if you do not meet your goal. With Kickstarter it’s all or nothing – if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get the dough. Indigogo does however/of course, charge higher percentages for their service and transfer fees.
So once our funding site was decided, one of the first challenges I had to confront was the “tag line,” one of the first blocks that has to be filled out when building the pitch for the campaign.
One of the toughest things for me to do as a writer is to condense big meaning, metaphorical concepts with a lot of words into a synopsis of a paragraph or two. Having to condense down even further into a tag line that allows only 100 characters, such as Indigogo’s, is close to self-inflicted murder.
Fortunately, I had already gone through the painful process of coming up with a logline, which was needed for pitching the screenplay.
A sailor’s desire to be with his sick mother is complicated by the unwanted influx of his ship’s first female sailors and a looming war
But the problem is that logline is 133 characters and Indigogo’s “tag line” only allows for 100 characters. So, after more painful paring, this is what I came up with:
A sailor can’t be with his sick mother due to an influx of despised female sailors and a looming war
With war looming and despised females sailors arriving, a sailor strives to be with his dying mother
I’m still not 100% loving it but my head hurts after all that editing out and then having second thoughts and editing in and then having third thoughts and editing out again and on and on…
But, it’ll do for now as I now have to continue on with the rest of the pitch development which, hopefully, won’t hurt my head quite as much.
Stay tuned! The campaign will be kicking off at the beginning of the month.
TTFN and Write On! my friends.
Article updated to reflect new tag line and that cast assignments are close but not yet completely firm
…I am knee deep (I’m pretty tall dude so that’s pretty darn deep) into so much stuff* — stuff being formatting my two latest books HOW NOT TO DIE and SHORT VERSES & OTHER CURSES into print editions; setting up the logistics for the film adaptation of my short story “Leave” (fundraiser announcement soon – that’s right, I’m looking at you); adapting my novel THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR into a screenplay (so that I’ll have it to shop around when I go out to LA to work on “Leave”); and of course the latest WIP — that I’v given up on it.
If it matters, I do feel quite guilty about it…
In fact, I feel quite guilty about not publishing much at all around here lately.
Publish or perish, an all that…
But, as a consolation for my quitting on this review, I recently read this interesting read from the Paris Review, which kind of (but far from exactly) reflects my thoughts on my relationship with Hemingway, and I offer it as a very nice, if not nicer, substitute.
In addition to discussing things such as my relationship with the Big Papa, I also had good intention (and we all know what the path to hell is paved with) to compare and contrast Hemingway’s view of Fitzgerald and Paris in the Twenties as found in his memoir with the beat up protagonist in Fitzgerald’s short story (perhaps a view similar to one he had of himself) “Babylon Revisited” (one of the best short stories ever put to paper).
I probably would have giddily gushed a bit about Woody’s “Midnight In Paris,” too…
However, because of all the stuff presented above and the nice PR essay, I lost my head of steam for it all and this is as far as I got/am getting with it…
The Romance versus the Reality of Hemingway’s Paris of the “Lost Generation”
BOOK | NON-FICTION | MEMOIR
A MOVEABLE FEAST
by Ernest Hemingway
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★
★ = Unreadable
★ ★ = Poor Read
★ ★ ★ = Average Read
★ ★ ★ ★ = Outstanding Read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Exceptional Read
That’s it. That’s alls I gots…
Pretty lame, I know; but what can say other than that the offer I presented in my “Hey Reader, What’s Your Angle?” post still stands. I’m still looking for good reviews to read, and perhaps reblog, that illustrate your reading and critiquing strategy… a bonus now for me would be ones that discuss Hemingway and/or Fitzgerald.
Can a brother get a link or two to a review, or what?
*Isn’t it funny how I’m always whining about how much I have to do, yet I somehow still found the time to
promote inform you about all the stuff I have to do? Weird.