Monday, June 29, 2009

LangAlert: "Presenteeism"

Reading a corporate Request For Proposal today brought back a flood of unwanted corporate-speak memories: talk of "messaging" to employees, pointing to the need for a "versioned" one-page sales sheet, among others.

But you might say that one line broke new ground. Shifted paradigms. Stood on the cutting-edge of state-of-the-art revolutionarian innovationosity:

" ... [the presentation should show how the service] increases productivity and decreases presenteeism and absenteeism ..."

That's right, "presenteeism." According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia (you know the link; I don't have to provide it), presenteeism is " ... the opposite of absenteeism. In contrast to absenteeism, when employees are absent from work, presenteeism discusses the problems faced when employees come to work in spite of illness, which can have similar negative repercussions on business performance."

BBS/LangAlert Prediction: Within five years, political pundits will coin the term "presentee voters" to refer to those who actually go to the polls.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Of Mouths & Men: The Movie

As produced by Kicked Off the Roof Entertainment, my 48 Hour Film Project team.
Genre: Western or Musical
Required Character: Kevin Schnabel, an expert of some kind
Required Prop: a sandwich
Required Line of Dialogue: "I hope they decide soon."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Official Trailer...

... for my team's 48 Hour Film Project flick, "Of Mouths & Men."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let the Insanity Begin

It's time for another 48 Hour Film Project, starting in four hours. Stay tuned (showing is next Wednesday at the Riverview, 9:15 p.m.).

To relive the glories, the passions, the forks ... of last year's entry from Kicked Off the Roof Entertainment, see below:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

P.S. from the SCSFe

I kept a running list of "learnings" from the Screenwriting Conference at Santa Fe (SCSFe) on a left-hand page in my large black notebook. These are the top 8:

1. Don't write a TV spec.
It's harder to break in, TV writers have to live in L.A., and if you're lucky enough to get an assignment, you get worked to death.

2. Don't be afraid to set something in the Twin Cities.
I've always avoided this, because some annoying voice always tells me that no one wants to buy or see a film shot in the Midwest. Problem is, I love the Midwest and I've lived 95 percent of my life there.

3. You have no choice but to do a passion project that's fun for you to write.
I'll start this in the fall after a final Deadbeat Boyfriends rewrite. I define "passion project" as something you do with no commercial aspirations. I have a basic plot for this that I developed at the conference. In keeping with #2, it's called "Twin Cities."

4. "If you don't love it without the money, you won't love it with the money."
A quote from one of the mentors. It isn't just relevant to writing; it basically applies to everything.

5. You haven't worked nearly hard enough to expect success.
Meeting working screenwriters who have written more than 100 scripts and didn't break in until #10 or so is both inspiring and humbling.

6. Put your main character where they would least like to be.
That's what forces you to figure out who this person is. (Question: What's the place I would least like to be?)

7. Conferences are a great way to break your patterns.
This is a huge realization. Perhaps no force is more powerful or harder to break than the tyranny of day-to-day inertia. If you have an interest in something, give yourself a chance to get totally immersed in it. It's a wonderful feeling.

8. You're a writer.
Sometimes I need to be reminded of this.