The More-Than-Complete Story of Roadtrip 2007 & Waffles pt. 3

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I’m a very lucky fucker. I moved to L.A. and I get to travel back to Chicago to hang out with my good friends and partners, write a screenplay, do two college shows, party like a rock star, and then come back to sunny L.A. to edit tits. In January I got to go back to write the Phudie Mart screenplay, we wrote an 80 page first draft in a week. This time it was for our annual college tour…of two colleges. Allright, not much of a tour, but we’ve been doing shows at Macalestar for seven years and this years added the wonderful Carlton College. Hopefully we impressed the students there and will be returning next year. It was a hell of a show. But first, I made it past airport security and spent several hours on a plane next to a guy with tragic facial hair picking out fascist elements in Skymall.

I hopped off the plane Wednesday afternoon and boom, there I was back in Chicago. What a great city, if only it housed every single movie and tv production company, it would be perfect…

PhudiStill002.jpg

I’m a very lucky fucker. I moved to L.A. and I get to travel back to Chicago to hang out with my good friends and partners, write a screenplay, do two college shows, party like a rock star, and then come back to sunny L.A. to edit tits. In January I got to go back to write the Phudie Mart screenplay, we wrote an 80 page first draft in a week. This time it was for our annual college tour…of two colleges. Allright, not much of a tour, but we’ve been doing shows at Macalestar for seven years and this years added the wonderful Carlton College. Hopefully we impressed the students there and will be returning next year. It was a hell of a show. But first, I made it past airport security and spent several hours on a plane next to a guy with tragic facial hair picking out fascist elements in Skymall.

I hopped off the plane Wednesday afternoon and boom, there I was back in Chicago. What a great city, if only it housed every single movie and tv production company, it would be perfect…

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It’s unbelievable how dirty Chicago’s public transit is. They must scrub the city train in L.A. with a cotton swab at night. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that it never rains or snows there, or the fact that most people don’t take the train. I’m sure that’s a factor. In fairness most Chicago neighborhoods don’t look like someone threw up on them and then set that throwup on fire.

So I made it back to the Schadenfreude office. Office-sweet-office. It was great to see everyone again, we have a relationship and a repore that all reading this should be envious of. When I was a kid and watched MASH I always wished I could be like Hawkeye and BJ, funny and always playing off each other. Schadenfreude, on a social level, is a well scripted sitcom. We have fun.

We had worked on the second draft of Phudie Mart over email and on the phone the previous week and made some headway, getting some good discussion going on what was missing in the first draft. Communicating like that is a huge pain-in-the-ass, particularly for five people who, for ten years, have never NOT seen each other on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until I moved. Initially the script was modeled on the movie Casino but now all the direct ties to that movie were actually holding it back, so we worked on the opening monologue which was long and pedantic…just like Casino!…but “shitty” is a hard joke to pull off in a screenplay, it never comes off as fake-bad, but rather just…bad. Like parodying a boring movie by being boring…yeah, that just doesn’t work.

The next morning Justin took the day off of work and he and I got together to work on the script. THIS is living the life. In January, Justin and I did the same thing for the better part of a week. Getting up early, treating screenwriting like a job, putting in a tough day at the office, and really cranking the script out. This is like playing pretend for the life you want to live. All that ran through my mind was…”someday…” over and over and over.

Taking the day off to write with Justin is a tradition we’ve had since we first met. Even before we really had any big projects to work on, Justin and I had started a tradition of taking a day off of work and writing. We would be sure to do it a couple times a year during our run at the Heartland, and usually prior to writing retreats on the radio show. Someday…

We got through 25 pages of the script with a really solid vision of what the script will ultimately look like. It’s a phase in screenwriting that you just have to get to. First, figure out what the movie’s about. Second, write what happens. Third, make that stuff happen to people. Fourth, figure out what your movie’s REALLY about.

Then something happened that RARELY happens in Schadenfreude. We quit. We were supposed to write from 9am to 10pm with two breaks (a schedule we kept for a week and a half in January). But after the first break Justin and I didn’t have it in us. Kate and Sandy joined us at 6:30 and we tried to hit it…and decided to watch Idiocracy. Oh well, 8 hours off before a 48 hour road trip and two shows probably won’t dent our reputation for hardwork too badly.

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