Does swearing mean you’re unintelligent?

I don’t typically think about how often I swear. However, recently a friend of mine commented on it. “You’re better than that,” he said. It bothered me. While he didn’t know it, he basically just said, “I’m better than you. Be more like me.” Dick move. I don’t begrudge my friend. He didn’t really think about what he was saying. In fact, it turns out he was repeating something someone had told him. I’m sure it was meant to be a pep talk. A motivator for me to strive to be a better person. But it wasn’t. It was a judgment.

Not more than a week later I was engaged in a conversation in which someone told me that he or she viewed people who swear as less intelligent. This flipped my pancake. Once again, with a smidgen of subtlety, someone insulted me to my face.

“I swear. Do you think I’m unintelligent?” Turns out she did. The finer point was that cursing makes you sound unintelligent. It doesn’t matter whether you are; the perception is there.

To me, this judgment is narrow-minded. Swearing should have no bearing on the perception of one’s intelligence. But it does. I realize I can do little to influence people’s perception of this. But since there are dozens of blogs out there telling us to stop swearing, it only seemed fitting to have a counterpoint.

Read More

Happiness is a Warm Gun


On the set of my second movie, Victim’s Song, we had a gun. It was a prop gun. It only fired blanks. That being said it was loud as hell and had a muzzle flash. So I wanted to make sure people didn’t play with it.

I should back up. Read More

Kickstarter: there goes the neighborhood


There’s been a lot of flack over Veronica Mars and Zach Braff using Kickstarter to fund their movies. But they’re not the first. Last year Charlie Kaufman raised over $400,000 for his animated film Anomalisa. Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi raised nearly $137,000. David Fincher raised $442,000 to start production on an animated project, The Goon. Colin Hanks raised over $50,000 for a documentary about Tower Records. The internet is a buzz with condemnation, and yet they reached their goals. Is our rage misplaced? Read More

Pan vs Tilt

I’ve heard far too many filmmakers and supposed screenwriters say things like:

“… and then it pans up and you see …”

“… the camera pans in on her face and …”

Here’s the thing: you can only pan left and right. That’s it. If you’re talking about movies, writing screenplays, or anywhere near me, please use the correct terminology.

Pretend your head is the camera. Look left. Look right. That’s panning.

Now look up. Look down. That’s tilting.

Both are from a fixed position.

The camera does not pan in on anything. If you’re describing the frame “moving in” on a subject it either zooms or physically moves (dolly/steadycam/crane/etc). But I wouldn’t bother referencing a zoom or dolly in a screenplay. It will only detract from the read. Find a creative way to paint a mental picture for the reader without need of technical specificity.


Angry Birds and Pirates: An examination of NFL logos

Hello, gay pirate.

Since the NFL formed in 1920 there’s been a long history of fantastic logos. Like this musketeer with carotenosis who caught a dagger in his mouth and got sand in his eye. Or whatever it’s supposed to be.

Read More

What will the Los Angeles NFL team be?

Right now there are two groups trying to bring Los Angeles an NFL team. I can’t wait. Like many, I’m a transplant here. And also, like many, my love for my hometown team runs deep. For me it’s Philadelphia Eagles. Seriously, my house has Eagles shirts, jackets, jerseys, signs, trash cans, beer cozies, and inflatable furniture. But I live in Los Angeles now and I need a Los Angeles team to cheer for. The Chargers left us when they were still in pampers; we dated the Raiders in high school but they just wouldn’t put out; we married the Rams and had a couple of kids, but one night we came home and caught the bitch in bed with St. Louis. So we moved to a studio apartment in Silverlake and took up pottery.

Nearly two decades later we could have a new Los Angeles NFL football team! Chances are good we’ll inherit an existing team name. While the Los Angeles Chargers doesn’t sound bad the Los Angeles Bills makes no sense. And just in case they do decide to rename the team I feel compelled to offer my suggestions. Before we end up with the Los Angeles Mucky-Fucks of Anaheim, presented by Verizon.

I present my suggestions for an NFL Los Angeles franchise.

Read More