Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sublet Surrealism

Last year I got a screenwriting gig - a project that I actually want to write - and headed out of town for a month to get started. The cavalcade coming through to sublet the apartment was the usual motley lot, mostly film production people in their spring migration to NYC.

I had three of them in the living room at once, including a gigantic African-American man who made the apartment seem like a doll house.

'Most hipsters are scrawny and small,' I said, watching him closely in fear that he would turn too quickly and smash a hole in the wall.

So why are you going? the slender camerawoman sitting on the couch said.

I need to be somewhere quiet to write the first draft of a screenplay, I said.

You will write the screenplay in one month? said the black guy's friend, a short, bald man with a heavy mitteleuropa accent.

A first draft, I said.

It took me five years to write my screenplay, he said.

I felt guilty.

Well, I said, Your screenplay must be good.

When Miramax calls you back in four hours, he said, You know it is good.

What's it called, the camerawoman asked.

It is called, 'Twin Souls', he said.

Oh, she said, There hasn't been any good twin things in a while. Now is a great time to pitch twins.

No, he said, They are not twins. It is about two people with shared souls who manage to find each other across the world.

That does sound wonderful, I said.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Ramble on the Internet

So I'm listening to jazz on (what a great invention), when a soloing pianist starts to riff on the Flintstones theme. Quite charming. The listing says it's Ornette Coleman's Congeniality off the Ken Burns jazz set. I want to find out who the pianist is so I start poking around but can't find a Congeniality that's 13:59. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if it's Ornette at all. I wasn't paying that much attention when the song was playing but Ornette didn't pop into my head. So I ramble a little further and come to a much more likely candidate - 'The Egg' by Herbie Hancock. What does it mean though, when music is being so casually mislabeled in the Interverse?

I did discover that the composer of the Flintstones theme was a man named Hoyt Curtin, a commercial jingle composer before his big breakthrough with Hanna Barbara - and that musicians often riff on the tune.