Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Cat

My name is Daisy and this is the
story of Christmas Carole and how
she changed our lives. It begins right  
here in Sherman Oaks, California, 
where I was born and raised. 

This is the first piece of dialog in my new spec script, Christmas Carole which I finished last week. So far I have 5 places who are "interested". And being interested doesn't mean any them will buy it.

I hope they will.

The odds are in my corner, if one wanted to entertain that thought. After all, I did The Town the Christmas Forgot in 2010 and it played a several times from November thru to December. As you know, it got a 3.7 mil viewership and the company who made it proudly advertises it in it's inhouse credits.

And they have a few dozen credits for movies so being at the head (or second head), is a nice thing. Better than not being last. 

If you're wondering why I quoted "Daisy" above,  it's because Daisy isn't who you think she is. Or what she is.

And if you think there was a glut of Christmas movies last year, well, wait till this year. And the damndest thing is - people watch them. That much of an audience would have grossed over $30 million. Which means at a cost of $1 million, the studio/network would have a tidy sum.

And if it had Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman in it, it would have grossed $50 million.

But it didn't. It barely will make back it's cost of the original $1 million budget. Because times have changed and now the big 3, Hallmark, Lifetime and ABC Family dictate what they can pay. Ratings for TV have mostly gone down.

Too many damn channels.

Commercial rates are dependent on ratings so the less ratings, the less it costs to advertise. Except that Superbowl thing. And American Idol. AI gets around 21 million viewers on an average.

And speaking of advertising,  if this was a theatrical movie that $30 million would barely cover the cost of the $1 million movie and around $25 million to advertise it. Which means about a $5 million profit.

Okay, enough of the figures, some of you have left to check your tweets. But there's a reason for my rambling, as they say.

Yes, I do have a better chance at selling my script than most of the writers out there. But you never know what they like or don't like.

And that's where Daisy comes in.

The story of Christmas Carole started with the title. I had no story, just a really good title that, amazingly, nobody's ever used. It's registered now so I have a little bit of security.

The logline is this: Unemployed lawyer gets stuck with juvenile delinquent over Christmas. 

Simple. Easy to see. Maybe not as good as someone else might describe it. But good enough.

The rest of the story is a bit more complicated, conflict comes from a tragic past for both people (women, incidentally, they watch  more Hallmark movies), confrontation with major life changes and the consequences of being afraid of life and loneliness.

So now it's a bit "fatter" as a D-Girl I knew used to say to describe the major element of any screenplay. Conflict.

Except that I added a fresh element.


You see, Daisy isn't human. Daisy is a cat.

And I don't know why I added her to the cast. I was about 2/3rds of the way through the screenplay when something flashed in my mind. Daisy was there from the beginning, but she was not talking. In fact she just meowed a lot.

Then that god of weird ideas struck me.

Daisy should talk. She should tell the story.

And I'm not talking about all the way through. Just in the beginning and a few lines here and there and finally at the end.

I wish I could say it was brilliance on my part but it wasn't.

Years ago (and I'm talking 50's) I saw a movie that was somewhat like this, don't even remember the title, but I remember the cat. It spoke. Then there was the Francis the Talking Mule  movies. Don't ask.

Somehow it all collided in my hard drive of a brain, and reconnected with several other movies and anything to do with cats (I have hosted cats several times in my life) and it spit out Daisy, the name of which incidentally is from a real cat who lives in San Clemente. According to quantum physics experts, putting random ideas together is something computers can't do, nor will they ever.

And when I sent out the screenplay on Sunday to a producer, I wrote "the cat says in the picture". And when he asked why, I simply added something that he could not deny...

Imagine who would be Daisy's voice?

Betty White? Julie Newmar (the original Catwoman)?

Get my drift?  They could get a name actor for almost nothing to do the voice of Daisy. And they would put that name prominently in the titles. You know, "and Betty White as Daisy".
I just use Betty as an example. There would be at least 50 or more actresses who would love the job.

As Gweneth Paltrow tells the aspiring country singer anxious to overtake her in Country Strong "that's how it's done, sweetheart".

(Thurs: Daisy demands an agent)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

No blog today, will resume Tuesday May 31. Enjoy the holiday, remember what it's about.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The age of loglines and synopses

 I finally finished my new Christmas screenplay, Christmas Carole. I wrote it on spec as I mentioned before, allowing me more freedom as well as it's almost impossible to get a producer interested.

What's really changed is that most producers want already written screenplays rather than meeting with a writer, having read some of his/her work and then hiring them to write something. The studios still do that to an extent.

But what's happened is a boom in screenwriters, albeit half of them are wannabes. What happens is this; bad scripts written by bad writers.

In the "old days", ending around 2005, it worked like this. You wrote a spec script and then tried to get an agent to rep it. It wasn't hard, there were far more agents then than now. You'd typically start at a smaller agency, maybe one or two agents. They'd pass your work around and someone would say "I'd like to meet Jim" or whomever.

And I'd go to meet the exec, usually at the studio. I was lucky in that I wrote Emperor of Mars, that script that has never been made. It got me meetings at every studio and network and anyone else who had studio deals including Jody Foster, Ridley Scott, Dustin Hoffman, and even Spielberg's Amblin' Entertainment. 

What happens is that you sit with them and toss around ideas. While this sounds great so far, the trick is that you rarely have an idea that they like. Because they tend to like the same thing as everyone else made.

One of my problems is this; I'm not really a genre writer, I realized this not long ago when I met the writer of 127 Hours who said that of himself. And that's not necessarily a good thing. What I mean by that is the stories I tend to tell are difficult to sell, King's Speech would be one.

I tried writing genre material but the execs would always say "it's not Jim". Meaning that they could tell when I was writing for genre. And in spite of the fact they loved my non-genre Emperor of Mars, they didn't really want to make it.

Go figure.

But what I did get was a lot of work, rewrites and some  original screenplays that came from the producers, and a handful of specs.

And as a reward for all those years, now with Christmas Carole, I've been asked to submit a synopsis.

I hate synopsis'. Hate 'em!

A synopsis is never as good as the script, that's sort of like looking at the cover of the movie rather than watching it. A synopsis can be dull and boring and just explaining what happens. 

And this is the "new Hollywood". I've even heard one exec who wanted a 1 1/2 page description of the screenplay that "rocks me and socks me" and he added; "if you can't come up with that, don't bother".

But that's another blog. 

Today I buy myself a great lunch for finishing yet another screenplay, my 35th I think.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Got a comment from Matt about a project, for some reason I couldn't post your comment. However, I assume you were talking about Ghostkeeper, and yes, I am moving forward (at a snail's pace, unfortunately) on that film.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Malware and a completed screenplay

My computer had an invasion last week by one of those malware viruses. It actually stopped me from accessing anything on my computer. Fortunately a friend of mine is pretty good at these things and he managed to wipe it out from his Winnipeg home to my place in Sherman Oaks.

And I have all the good virus hunters, etc. So much for that.

But now I'm back on and much more confident that, even if it happens again, I know what the process is, and it's not the end of the world.

But the good news is that I finished the screenplay for my new Christmas movie and I think its not bad at all. As you know, there are 4 people who want to read it. And that's not saying any of them will buy it as those days of buying specs aren't what they used to be.

I wrote "Christmas Carole"as a spec for several reasons. First and foremost, I get to write what I want and not what "they" want. I've been lucky that way, count only 1 script of mine that had a rewrite not done by me, and that was because the 2nd writer was a friend of the development executive.

So the odds of my script not going through several changes is more in my favor. The first script I ever sold was Betrayal of Silence, which was made for Lifetime. It was a drama about teen abuse in a Catholic foster home and the screenplay was written in 2 weeks with the producer at my side and was handed to the production manager 4 days before production was to start.

Basically it was a first draft with a little tinkering. It was sold to Lifetime and aired sometime in 1990.

I watched it on VHS recently and found it hard to believe I wrote it. It's not bad, in fact it holds up quite well. Unfortunately it's impossible to find anymore and even my VHS copy was made from a copy the Director of Photography had.

It's strange how I find myself not remembering the writing I did and it's not about years, it's just that you forget a lot of the words, especially after working on dozens and dozens of scripts over 30 years.

I talked about this to other writers, both young and old and they all agreed. There are times when I watch an older film of mine and wonder who wrote a specific line or two. When I check the screenplay, the words are mine.

Take my last movie, The Town That Christmas Forgot, I watched a bit of it a few weeks ago and was convinced the actors and someone else changed the dialog. So I took out the script and checked it.

And yes, the words were mine. 

I think maybe it has to do with the actors saying the lines. Good actors add their personality to the dialog and that can confuse a writer because good actors make your dialog better and make you feel a little better.

Bad actors can make a writer depressed. Okay, and bad writers can make an actor depressed too. A good actor.

But onward.

Now that my Christmas script is done, I can focus more on Ghostkeeper 2 as I still want to film it in November 2011.

And my computer is still working fine.  So far.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dropping out and reinventing

This blog began in August of 2009 and seems to still be going. In that time I failed to raise funding for Travel Day, the title of this blog and talked about my adventures in television episodic. I also started to get a no-budget  movie going, Casualties of Love but put it aside as I was not comfortable with the screenplay, even after a reading with 5 actors who gave of their time and did a great job.

Now I'm working on trying to fund Ghostkeeper 2, which started as a joke and is now being seriously considered. The idea of a sequel to a movie that was at best, "obscure" in the first place was a crazy idea, but as the distribution of the original 1980 version continues with commentary to be recorded June 4th, the potential became very real.

Could that be "reinvention" as a lot of experts suggest people do now. Or is it the reluctance of a baby-boomer who refuses to quit.

I'm often asked by friends not in "the business" when will I retire as I am of that age. My usual answer is that I'll retire when I drop dead over my laptop keyboard. And I usually add that I want my laptop buried with me.

In case I get a good idea. 

Writers have  a double-edged sword of sorts beginning with the fact that I've stressed over 2 years of this blog; writers don't have to have a job in order to work. I have 34 spec scripts yet unmade and as of today, am writing #35, the Christmas script called "Christmas Carole". It should be finished by next week.

I have a bit of an advantage as there are 4 producers, all of whom make TV movies, who want to read it when it's done. Hopefully one will bite. Even though I had good ratings with Town That Christmas Forgot, none of them would pay me to write it. 

That seems the norm now, which itself is worth a blog, maybe next week.

So, am I taking away from some young wannabe writer? Maybe, but around 85% of the WGA is unemployed in any given month so it comes out to "you're only as good as your next script."  

And I keep getting ideas.

Truth is that most of the producers I've worked for have gone; either retired or left the business. One passed away. But writing is different, you don't really retire from it as it's one of the few jobs a person does alone.

Excusing series TV where anywhere from a handful to 10-15 writers work, or David Kelly who writes ALL of his scripts alone, writers like me keep going. As of now I've heard that Quinn Redeker, who wrote the original version of The Deerhunter, is working on a new movie, and he's 76.

And James A Michenor was 90.

So I got a few years.

And a few more stories you haven't heard.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Just Slimey

Not much happening on Ghostkeeper and Christmas script is rolling along so I'm taking a bit of departure.

I've noticed a disturbing trend in writer-land, meaning screenwriting, novels and journalism and probably a dozen other writing worlds. But they say you should write what you know so I'll stick with the above, all of which I've done.

A lot of you have probably heard of the Huffiington Post, run by Arianna Huffington, and who offers a liberal view from her blog. She recently sold her blogsite to AOl for $315 million.

Not bad, huh? 

A lot of writers worked for Arianna, turning out liberal blogs every day for a few years. But most of them weren't paid a dime. The word Arianna likes is "intern". Meaning no pay.

Her history, as I know it, was this; Greek nobody arrives in America, marries Republican Michael Huffington who's worth big bucks, he loses Governor campaign, is outed as bi-sexual and she ends up with a bit of cash.

Now I don't mind anyone who becomes successful in America. But I don't like it when it's on the backs of young and even experienced writers who work for  nothing to "get experience and exposure" while she pays others a modest fee. This makes her a carpetbagger in my book.

I don't think I can count the number of times I was asked to work for free, maybe a hundred or even two hundred if I count friends. With friends like that I should be careful.

There is, inherently something about writers that suggests "use me" or "use me for free". This goes back to the Greeks, I'm sure. It sure was evident in Shakespeare's day too. I've always wondered why "they" think we should work for free.

And maybe some of you think that too.

If you remember, The Town That Christmas Forgot, the movie I wrote for Hallmark last year, they even forgot to pay me.

Once again, they forgot to pay me.

 The movie was filmed and being edited when I discovered, by accident, that it had been made. Normally and contractually, the writer is paid on the 1st day of principal photography. This is in WGA and WGC rules. Not suggestions -- rules.

It took me and WGC 2 weeks to get my money and a few times, they even thought they couldn't send money from Canada to USA. They really said that.

And in the end, it took an accountant who was smart and experienced, to say that it was all ridiculous and went over everyone' s head and paid me within 2 days.

Now I knew I would be paid, since the company is a signatory to WGC and it was quite funny as well, I kept all the emails and would be happy to send you them. Or I can post it if you ask.

But the question is raised; why do "they" not like writers? Yes, it doesn't happen all the time but it does happen. Often.

I always thought it was 2 things;

1. They never really see us work.  For all they know, a neighbor does it, or my friend's cat.

2. We're the first ones they have to pay.  We get paid even before they know if they'll get the money to make the movie. Before the crew, before the director, even before the actors. 

And they must really hate that. 

The money they pay is the option, 10% of the purchase price. And if they want rewrites they have to pay us for that. It is work after all. Even though most people don't know why writers should get paid. After all, everyone writes. A note, email, a check.

So what's the big deal about writers. Anyone can do it, can't they?

Once I pitched a story at the request of 2 producers and found out in the middle that I was to work for free. A complete surprise to me because they said I would be paid. They just meant "afterwards".

The job was relatively easy so I said ok, and wrote it in 3 weeks and handed it in. They liked it but a few weeks later the production company didn't. They wanted to hold onto it. And that's when I said they had to pay me.

They didn't understand. Didn't we have an agreement?

No, we didn't. I said I would write it for free, but if it wasn't going to be made then the script became mine. And I never signed any of the 4 contracts they sent me. And since the production company wanted to make it... we were in the classic Mexican stand-off.

So they paid me. Not the full amount but an option, a couple of thousand dollars. Certainly enough for the 3 weeks it took. It wasn't my greatest script but it was a good script.

Another time an exec at Granada, a big prodco, wouldn't pay me the full amount of a screenplay until WGA said either they pay or WGA comes after them. Fearing WGA they paid but said "this leaves a sour taste in our mouth for future work with Jim".

My agent said he'd pass it along to me.

One year later, that same exec met me at a party and praised my script and how well the production went. And that we have to work together again.

My agent reminded me of another Hollywood saying; "you'll never work in this town again -- or at least until we need you."

I've got more stories, but you get the idea.

So Arianna, give your hardworking and talented writers a few bucks out of your $315 million. Or a pizza.

And I won't even mention the new ads you have for your AOL/Huffington post -- which I saw in a local trade. 

Interns wanted.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

One of those days...

I am attempting to get two of the original 1980 Ghostkeeper actors together with me to do commentary on the Ghostkeeper DVD. But the world today isn't as simple as that may sound. Murray Ord, the lead male actor lives in Calgary and we finally found a date in mid-May.

But then he had one of his two daughters who was performing in a concert and Murray had to stay for a few of the shows. So we pushed it ahead to June 3, a Saturday but he called today to say he couldn't arrive until Friday as another daughter was graduating from something.

Back to the flights. I managed to find one, but needed some information from him. However he was driving on the wide open Alberta prairie. But I got him by cell and almost had everything. Now he arrives 2pm Friday (June 3rd), the day before.

Settled. At least for now.

Now Riva, the lead actress in the 1980 film. Riva lives here in Los Angeles so the travel part is much easier... sort of. Riva has a class till 12:30 and since the distrib booked the recording studio from 12pm-2pm, I had to call and change the hours, to 1:30 which meant pushing against another job the studio had later that day.

So, at least Murray and I will be there, Riva will also be there, I hope, but maybe a few minutes late.

I guess you can see by now that I am an on-time kind of person, I am always early for everything and it drives me crazy. I know, my problem.

And I also haven't heard from two producers about financing Ghostkeeper 2, one is still in a jury trial (not his, he's one of the jury) and the other is leaving for Cannes.

Wish I could leave for Cannes.

Wish I had a movie to show there.

Did I mention a company turned down a screenplay yesterday? And they turned it down not from the script, but the "pitch". The pitch in this case was a logline and a short synopsis. They never even asked to read the screenplay.

Now I am one of the worst "pitchers" ever. Because my writing tends to be non-genre, rather than "4 friends get drunk in Las Vegas". I wish I could write or deliver good pitches but I can't.

And one of the things I've learned over 30 years of writing is this;

You can either pitch good or write good, but seldom do both.

I've heard a lot of pitches and much of them were by writers who were never able to deliver the pitch in a screenplay. In fact I took a small poll of writers I know and they almost all agreed their pitches were awful.

Of course, some of them might have lied.

I guess I just hate being judged on the surface, rather than in depth. Kind of like a fashion model.

Hey, how about this; a brainy girl mocks a beautiful girl but wakes up as the beautiful girl and has to go through a day of being regarded as dumb.

Or whatever the politically correct word is.

Let's see, who could we cast...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Got a story for a movie Part 2

Further to my blog Friday, once again, a friend of mine, Ted Bauman is looking for good ideas. Ted does movies for Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. You can imdb his credits at: 

This is a departure from my regular blog but I thought maybe some of you might want to look at this. It's open to anyone, writers, non-writers, anyone who reads this blog. You might want to pass it on to others you think might be interested. 

And no, I don't get anything for this, just helping out a friend.

So here's what he's looking for.

What kind of stories:

Stories that are interesting and that could hold audience interest. Lifetime wants true stories "ripped from the headlines" and usually a woman in the lead role (but not always). They can come from books but not bestsellers as they are too expensive to buy. More obscure books and even out-of-print books are better. 

Holiday-themed stories are welcome, heart-felt themes and characters are in demand. 

The Main Character:

The main character usually has experienced some terrible event in her life, death, crime, infidelity, anything that allows her to overcome adversity to become a stronger individual. Teenagers or young adults can add to the story.

Finders Fee
A finder's fee of $3500 will be paid on 1st day of principal photography for true-life stories from newspapers or other sources and best efforts to give you an Associate Producer credit. Note that networks have ultimate veto power over screen credits.

A finder's fee  of $2000 for books and/or suggestions that lead to a movie. Credit can't be offered on these.

Keep in mind that TV movies for Lifetime and Hallmark are made for very little money, my Christmas movie was made for just under $1 million which 10 years ago would have been made for around $3.5 million. Networks pay anywhere from $350,000 to $750,000 for movies with occasional higher budgets.

You can email newspaper articles or links to stories directly to Ted at:


Friday, May 6, 2011

Got a story for a movie?

A producer friend of mine is looking for good ideas for TV movies, he's a real producer, currently in pre-production.  He's looking for movies that would be suitable for the big three, Lifetime, Hallmark and ABC Family. Canada has similar channels.

I'll post his blog Monday with more details.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stealing Characters

                   "My own little postage stamp of native soil"
                                                         - William Faulkner

Since last Thursday, I came out of my "writer's block" by following the rules I set down for my students when I taught screenwriting at UCLA extension (that's another blog, somewhere in the past).

If I would have followed it earlier I wouldn't have wasted 2 weeks in fumbling around looking for a story for the Christmas script. So what was my great discovery? 

I was making the mistake of making it up. Making up the characters and the situations. Very hard to do. At least for me. So I went back to the drawing board and realized what I had done in the past and what I had to do now.

I had to steal characters. 

And I don't mean from other movies. What I mean is that I have found, and this works great for me,  that using real people helps me create a story around them as well as subplots. It serves as a launching pad for a rich and 3-dimensional character.

Nice words to say, but doesn't every writer do that? I don't know, some writers are very secretive about their process. Not only do I not keep any secrets, I spelled out in my classes and in this blog how I write, what I write and why I write.

So what do I mean when I say I steal characters and real stories? I look around me and find real people, friends, strangers, anyone that might be interesting at that moment. Or someone from the past. Lots of people in the past. Way better than making them up.

Take Ghostkeeper 2, besides the characters from the first movie, I "created" two new characters, the Australian girl and a Metis  native Indian. The Australian girl was actually based on someone who worked at the hotel and was traveling the world. Although I never met her I had the beginning of a good character, even used the same name.

Then I added pieces of other mountain girls I have known when I lived in the Rockies. And in short time I had a great 3-dimensional character. 

The young Metis was actually based on a Native Indian I know in Canada, and it was a she not a he. I combined her personality with another Native Indian I knew who was a man and now had the makings of a real character.

Naturally the actors will hopefully add their own take but at least they are getting descriptions of parts of real live people, not pale made-up characters.

Ironically it took me years to learn this; I didn't know it when I made Ghostkeeper, that was my second ever screenplay. The first was awful. I have it but never show it to anyone.

It was all because of Syd Field. Most of you know who he is, arguably the first screenwriting guru who found a way to make tons of money by giving seminars. Syd always said you created a character by creating a map of interior and exterior forces including a biography and internal conflicts.

But doing all this I never really got a real character. I got a technical character. Boring as hell.

Who cares. Pretty lame stuff.

One of my first real screenplays was about a woman who was  a recovering druggie who goes back to her hometown to confront her father. I based the character on three real people. First was a development executive I knew who was an alcoholic but who gave me the best notes on a screenplay I ever had. And then I added a bit of another female film exec and her particular traits.

And the third person was me.

Yep. Me. My part was to provide the last bit of character to the other two, someone who wants to basically confront their father. I didn't have the baggage that the screenplay character had, just arguments with my dad. Father and son stuff.

And it worked.

The expression at the beginning from Faulkner, one of America's best novelists, refers to the fact that all  he wrote were stories based on the combinations of people in his little town of Oxford in Mississippi. In short, he didn't need to travel anywhere in order to find stories. He lived and died in the town.

And his books sold all over the world.

So much for Syd. Read Faulkner instead. Or even better, look around your town, or your block or your street. They're all there.

Every type of human being.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ghostkeeper and it's audience

Things are moving on two fronts, both Ghostkeeper and Christmas story. First Ghostkeeper, you should go back to Thursday's posting where one of you posted a good point. Basically, put young people in to attract an audience.

As I said in the post, I had thought of this especially after watching a screening of a really awful 16mm print, magenta-tinted and scratchy as hell. The audience was 80 people in a small screening room called Trash Palace in Toronto and only 5 were over 25. I toke a hands up poll.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that my audience would be19 upwards to maybe 25 and that they would be single urbanites with some film knowledge and who enjoyed movies that were obscure and the older the better. I didn't think younger teens would be interested as Scream 4 was a flop, after 3 weeks it still hasn't made it's cost. So much for that coveted teen audience.

 So I added two characters in that age group, 21-ish. One is an Australian girl who is traveling around the world, taking odd jobs for a few months here and there. This is actually based on one such girl who revealed that a lot of Australians are doing that. So staying five minutes ahead of the trend, I added the Australian girl to the cast.

One of the recurring notes in imdb.com (somewhere between "it's a classic movie to it's the worst movie ever made") was that I failed to really utilize the Indian mythology of the "Windigo", the creature that "preys on human flesh". While there are several spellings of the word, Windigo is the accepted Cree Indian tribes.

This time I added a lot of mythology, as you probably saw in the posting of two storyboard frames on March 28, 2011. You'll notice it's mostly about a creature, a Windigo, that was based on some old crude drawings, but more on descriptions by Indians.

By the way I use the term Indians for the American readers. In Canada they are referred to as First Nations.

In reality, there actually is a "Windigo psychosis" that occurs with some people, mostly isolated and in winter, become cannibalistic and probably helped create the myth. So to this I added another younger character, a male, same age, 21, who was half white, half Indian.

These people are often called "Metis", defining themselves as half Indian and half French-Canadian. One of the most famous Metis was Louis Riel, who in 1885 rebelled against the Canadian government in a short war that had maybe 100 casualties. Not much compared to the US Civil War casualties, but hey, we did our best.

Both the Australian girl and the Metis are considered the leads, thus having a connection with the audience of the same age. And since this isn't a slasher nor a torture horror film (Saw), I considered I would probably lose some of the audience.

I'm taking a chance on not being tremendously explicit in horror, again that was one of the things the positive reviews mentioned. In their own words it was creepy, not gory. It was a combination of the isolation, the cold and the terror inside them as well as a real threat from a crazy woman and her brood. The horror is as much in the atmosphere as it is in the characters. The hotel smells evil.

Ultimately nobody can really predict the audience, I feel certain that my audience is that age span starting at 19 to 25. I also changed the genre to "supernatural thriller", rather than horror, again maybe splitting the audience but my expectations are more realistic. 

I don't see this as making millions of dollars, in fact I would be happy if it gets a good audience from DVD, pay-for-view and cable sale to someone like HBO. If it does get a theatrical... well, lets not get ahead of ourselves.

I really am doing it for those kids who discovered my 1980 movie, something I forgot about to some extent, and never expected that fan base, small but growing each week by the looks of the Ghostkeeper clip on Youtube. It's in the Materials section of this blog.

And of course, it gives me a good gig of writing and directing and also leading to next year when I want to make Emperor of Mars, my final movie.

Or at least until I write another screenplay.