The Bad Movie Report

The Extremely Belated Seventh Anniversary Column

Well, let's see - we could certainly skip to the meat of the matter, and just say the usual Sorry I haven't been updating lately and I've been busy and I'll do better, honestly, but you deserve more than that. So prepare yourself for the Grinding Tedium that is my life:

1. I've Actually Been Working For A Living. Yes, the motherlode of the freelancer: I managed to land a contract that pays me a living wage to write. Confidentiality agreements prevent me from going into details, but suffice to say I've been working on an educational game in conjunction with Baylor College of Medicine.

And here's a little glimmer of hope, a crust of bread for all you geeklings out there. When I arrived at the job interview for this position, I sussed out very quickly that I was not what they were looking for in a writer. They were, after all, looking for someone who had more experience in dealing with kids on the 7th and 8th grade levels, and having written several children's plays that took the Jay Ward Fractured Fairy Tales as a model didn't qualify me. But I also realized I was in a roomful of people who were making a video game who had never played a video game and I wound up talking for the better part of an hour about games and game mechanics.

So I didn't get the job. But they did realize they needed somebody like me, and made a position for me. I can't tell you how much of a relief that was, after several years of searching for even a semi-permanent position like this one, only to be turned down again and again, usually on the simple basis that I got sick of college and left before earning a degree.

It's been intense, to say the least. A background in producing industrial film prepared me for the dissection of scripts by a committee of uncreative types (though the head of the research team does have a penchant for truly awful puns), which has put me ahead of the other writer. During the month of October and into November I was producing a full-blown script every three and a half days, and using the money to repair my credit rating. Speaking of which:

2. I've Been Re-Financing My Mortgage. I don't care how easy the TV commercials make it look, this mortgage crap is grueling, especially if you're self-employed. If you've been reading these screeds for any length of time, you'll remember my grousing about the process the first time around. It was a bit easier this time, but only because this time our landlord of ten years didn't crop up on the doorstep and inform us we had 60 days to move out because he was tired of being a landlord.

So that level of desperation was not there. My credit score was better, which meant that although we weren't going to get a rock-bottom rate of 4 or 5 per cent, we would be able to better our current usurious rate of 10.5% (and we were thankful to get that at the time, let me tell you). And so the process began again.

But it was only a bit easier.The first lender suddenly had "a couple of issues" a half-hour before closing, and the current front runner has asked for bizarre things like paperwork from a 1980 business venture I helmed for the thrice-damned Texas Renaissance Festival. Theoretically, we close Monday at 3:30pm. We'll see.

3. Remember That Forever Evil DVD that was advertised back in 2001? Well, it's finally coming out, November 30, 2004. On Saturday, September 11, while everyone was trying to forget what it was the anniversary of, I was in a small room, wearing a Madonna headset and watching a monitor. I was recording the audio commentary track along with director Roger Evans. That was a fairly painless morning. I only had to check my notes once, and then made two gaffes because I allowed myself to get distracted from the movie at hand. I also think I referenced Dracula vs. Frankenstein at least twice. Technical details can be found here, and Amazon has it pretty cheap. It seems to flying under the radar of most online vendors.

4. On Top of That, I Seem to Be Coming Down With Bronchitis. Fall has finally arrived in Texas, and I've had to fire up the central heating system. Sending out a big howdy to my nemesis, hot dry air.

5. I Got A Blog. Oh, joy, oh rapture. One more thing to not update. To my dismay, when I have been moved to post, it is generally political in nature. This makes me despair, because there are so many more well-written political blogs out there. Naturally, I feel that anything I have to say about movies should be over here, since, um, there are actually people reading this. Unlike my blog. Which is here, if you're interested. Ah, well, deleting it forever is apparently a button-press away, if I get too discouraged with it.

So there you have it. I'd like to finish this column up with a hearty "There'll be a new review this week," but everytime I do that, terrible things occur and it never happens. The most brutal phase of The Job is over for the moment, so I'm hoping to finally get that particular rusty mechanism moving again. I actually made a timely post to Attack of the 50 Foot DVD last week, so if this pain in my sides doesn't get any worse, who knows? I may have to change that front page yet again.

- November 13, 2004