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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Eternal Debate: Why Fan Scripts are not Fan Fiction

There has been a long standing debate between myself and fans who do supposed “fan fiction”.  The main sore spot between me and these supposed fan authors is on the subject of what they consider fan fiction and what I consider fan fiction. When I think of fan fiction I think short stories and novels. Hell, I’ll even include fan poetry as fan fiction. But, the one thing I will not includes as fan fiction; and this causes screams of rage and foul in most forums and groups I’ve talked about this subject, is fan scripts. Give me a fucking break people they are scripts. They are meant for filmmakers to use as a blueprint for a film production and for actors to give them a quick and easy way to learn their lines. It is not intended to be used as literature.  Scripts are written in a short hand, rather than in pros and don’t even require full sentences. They lack description and only give a hint at characterization. Therefore, it takes next to no writing skill to create them.

On the other hand, short stories and novels require great amounts of descriptive skill and understanding of characterization, because they need to work with the reader’s own imagination to bring the scenes and character to life.

For the writer of novels and short stories it is a long and tedious process filling a blank pages, building locations, and creating completely life-like people with nothing but words. That kind of writing is a craft that only a few very talented people can achieve. On the other hand, writing a script takes next to no descriptive skill. In most script scenes there is a very basic description. Characters are handled mostly through dialogues and gesture notes. For example, here is a scene the way a fan script writer would write it…: We open on a boiler room with pipes snaking out of the rusty boiler. Steam  is shooting all over the place.  A blond girl (Ashley) stumbles forward and looks around. She is in a sweat soaked nightshirt. We see a sheep runs down the aisle. ….

Ok, let’s see what an actual writer would do with this scene….:  Steam shot out in every direction. There was clanking sound of metal as  the rusty, battered boiler expanded and retracted with heat. Ashley stumbled forward and looked around in shock. Her nightgown was soaked with sweat and stuck to her slender form. Her butt length blond hair was slick and stuck to her back. Beads of salty liquid slid down her face and touched her lips.

Where was she? She asked herself. How did she get here? She looked around and a sudden movement caught her eye. She jumped back. Then she heard a scream echo through the boiler room. It sounded like the scream of a child. Then, the source of the movement and clomped into view. It was a white and black dotted sheep. The animal bayed and ran down the row of pipes that fed into the boiler. What the hell, she thought to herself……

See the difference?

A writer must craft the description to the character and their perception, where as the script writer need only give basic information for the set designers to get ideas and perform their art.

It is said that writing is bleeding. A writer must go into every that he is and knows in order to build believable worlds round his characters. This takes hours of writing and rewriting scenes until they come together and flow. It is not so with a script writer. Not to say his craft doesn’t have its challenges. I know those challenges because I’ve written scripts myself. But as people have noted I can quickly knock out a scene in a script in less than an hour, where as the same scene will take me hours if I’m writing a novel.

So, I gather the ever increasing horde of fan script writers are exclaiming “Who gives a shit!” It doesn’t answer why they can’t be called fan fiction. Ok, here is the reason…because fan scripts are too easy. Fan script writers don’t bleed. They are too lazy to actually write stories, yet they have the gall to expect to be lumped together with artists that do bleed and have the privilege to call themselves authors. They expect to get the credit and admiration without putting in the work. Sorry, my mentor Harlan Ellison would have a heart attack…and don’t go there. You don’t want to suffer the wrath of Harlan. I’m a Care Bear in comparison to him.

Also, these so called “fan fiction writers” seem to think that because their scripts are so easy to write,  then writing is easy and so published authors are a joke.  Thus, we have come to the situation where convention organizers, who are mostly former fan script writers themselves, think that authors deserve no respect because they, themselves, were considered authors by their peers  and it wasn’t a big deal, so therefore these ego case, big shot, authors are no big deal ,and are a ridiculous for expecting to be treated with any kind of respect.

I recall when I was being harassed on From Dusk Till Con, a number of my harassers called me a fan fiction writer, because they were too ignorant to know the difference between a published writer and a fan fiction writer.  No matter how many times I explained they refused to see the difference.

So, in summation, remember this kiddies, an author is a craftsman who takes years of pain and bleeding to learn his art. On the other hand, writing fan scripts are for lazy lumps who want to wow their buddies with their genus, yet don’t want to have to put in the time and effort to actually use pros and write an actual short story or novel. Writing is an art form as is poetry, thus they go together. Script writing is a building tool. It is in essence an outline, that is part of an art called filmmaking. Unlike, poetry, short stories, and writing, script writing is not literature, because it is not meant to be read unless you are going to use it to create a movie. If it is not going to be used to make a movie it is a waste of time and effort. Sorry, guys but that is the truth in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Promises, Promises....

Recently I went to three people I know asking them if they would have me on their podcast shows. Yes, well if I waited for people to put out the invitation to me I’d be laying in a pine box six foot under before I got an interview. Anyway, all three “friends” of mine said an excited “YES!” Out of those three interview opportunities two interviews were recorded. Of those two recorded interviews only one was broadcast. The other recorded interview was held back twice by my “friend” and tossed, because they didn’t like the fact that I got pissed having my interview tossed to the side for an interview with Josh Gates. Real class act, Mike. Then of course the other person who was supposed to interview me live kept rescheduling me. I would continuously promote and repromote  the show only to be made to look like an idiot because suddenly he would cancel the show. Now, finally, the third and final podcast I ask actually broadcast the interview.I love these guys.

The thing is people I’ve gotten criticized about not being very professional because I get honestly pissed and publically make the horror community aware of the fact. Well, for those who criticize me I got to ask you something. How am I supposed to feel when people promise, and I do mean promise, me opportunities and then fuck me over.  Then of course, and this really gets my ire, they act like I’m being totally unfair to them because I don’t like being screwed over. Excuse me? Oh, I’m this complete asshole and they are the innocent victim. Oh, and I’m totally unprofessional because I don’t bow down and accept that they, because they are so professional, have some kind of right to do shit like this and get away with it without a word. Sorry, fucktard, I don’t kiss ass and if you fuck me over be prepared for me to be the wrath of god and bring the hammer down on your head. Get that straight!

Well, why do you feel you have the right to do that? After all this is the horror community and you fuck with one person you fuck with their clique. Well, for one thing I’m the VICTIM. I’m the one who has actually been WRONGED. Also, after being fucked over as much as I have I’ve come to the realization that these people are complete and utter assholes and need a good  kick in the ass. As far as their cliques, I don’t sweat them. I’ve dealt with cliques in the past and what I’ve found are that they are composed of cowards and ego cases. When an actual strong person confronts them they crumble like the weak assed bitches they are.

Honestly, people if you actually had to deal with the complete and utter bullshit I’ve had to deal with you’d go on the warpath yourself.

Shit, people, like any other artist in horror I have the need to put myself out there and promote myself, but for some fucked up reason people cop the attitude that I’m  a poser, because no matter what I’ve done, am doing, or have achieved, I’m a complete and utter outsider and a nobody. Excuse me. I’m the author of five original novels in the Friday the 13th franchise. My books changed the genre and opened up the doors for other original novels based on horror franchises. But, that doesn’t matter to these people? I’m the head man of an extremely popular grindhouse horror internet radio show (we average 4,000 listeners). Oh, but who gives a shit? And, I’ve written and acted in a number of horror films. Who the fuck cares? Yeah, that is the attitude I get.  Recently, I contacted Rebekah McKendry from Fangoria Magazine and asked her about getting a write up about me and my books. The answer I got from Rebekah as representative of Fangoria was “Oh, I’ll throw your bio to my editors and see if they care.” Real professional way to treat a six time published author, internet radio personality, actor, and screenwriter  by a major horror publication. But guess what? This is the typical response I get. Oh, yeah, independent filmmakers who have only done two films, like my friends The Soska Sisters, get the covers and articles after articles with Fangoria, Rue Morgue, and other horror publications, but the author of The Camp Crystal Lake novels gets treated like total dog shit. And you wonder why I get pissed and lash out. I wonder why?

And, of course, this discussion wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning conventions. Well, since the convention drama I’ve had a number of friends tell me “ I know such and such from such and such convention and I’ll talk to him/ her and they will assuredly have you at their convention. Hell, I’m sure they will even pay your travel expenses.” Yeah, you know how many times I’ve heard this shit? Then of course I ask them about it and they get snappy and tell me “I’m working on it.” Then months later I ask about it and they get silent and start acting like I’m an asshole. Either that or they say “What you don’t trust me?” and that will be the last word on the subject.

So, in conclusion here is something I want to remind people, When I make promises I keep my promises. You ask me for an interview on my show you get your interview. You ask me for help, you get help. I keep my promises. Why is it that I shouldn’t expect the same consideration in return? If you can’t get me into a convention don’t waste my time by saying you can. I don’t need boasting, I need to be in a convention.  Also, if you promise me an interview (especially if it gets to the point the fucking thing is recorded) don’t fucking play games, follow through. I would follow through if it was the reverse, and I wouldn’t insult you with bullshit excuses. It’s called respect  and consideration people. It’s not some impossible task.

Also, to the people who question how professional I act, I think they should look in the mirror and assess how professional they are acting toward me. I tend to return respect and consideration when it is given to me. Ask Reyna Young. We've actually started talking and are on friendly terms because she has been treating me with respect and consideration. Something to think about.

And for those who screw me over just remember that karma is a bitch and my family has a special relationship with her. People who screw over members of my family tend to find their worlds crumble around them. We don't have to lift a finger it just seems to happen.... So here is a little song to remind you....