My 3 Act Map

As I write, I look over old materials and review the many ways of building a story. Here is one of my old diagrams that I made compiling some things I’ve learned. It’s labeled Aristotelian Arc only in that it has 3 acts, and it is designed to tell a story where the protagonist becomes whole through the plot. I look at this map when I write a script or a video game. By all means this is only a framework and not created as an absolute.

Screenwriting Expo 5

Lots of things happening; got a new camera; outlining my Fuel & Fire graphic novel, and I just got back from 3 days of the Screenwriting Expo.

I have gone to Expo 3 and found it a pretty fun event. This year Pixar had a full day of speaking, and it was amazing. A list of what of talks I attended:

  • Creating Worlds, Not Just Stories – Rockne S. O’Bannon
  • Lunch Speaker – David Rambo
  • Marketing Yourself and Your Script – Philippa Burgess
  • Writing Horror – Dan O’Bannon
  • Guest of Honor – Oliver Stone
  • Beyond the Hero’s Journey – Pamela Jaye Smith
  • Pixar Storytelling – Andrew Stanton
  • Endings: The Good, The Bad, & The Insanely Great – Michael Arndt
  • The Writer/Director Relationship at Pixar – Stanton, Gerson, Reynolds, Unkrich, Arndt, Chapman, Mecchi, Murray, Rydstrom.
  • Trust the Process – Andrews, Capobianco, Del Carmen, Katz
  • Creating the Incredibles – Brad Bird, Mark Andrews
  • Picture the Deal – Philippa Burgess
  • Personal, Passionate Pitch – Coleman, Murray
  • Saleable & Commercial Scripts – Victoria Wisdom

Except for a few items all of the talks were a amazing. I managed to avoid all the speakers that had a book to sell and only use the event to say, “It’s all in my book, buy it and find out.” My primary focus was to find the speakers that had done the work of writing, not just writing books, and were not script consultants. No offense to the consultants, they can provide a valuable service, but I wanted to hear from the front lines. I picked some great ones. Worth every penny.

I didn’t do any pitches this year; that’s something I plan on next year.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to write since I should do more writing; rather than writing about writing.

The Top Gun of Racing Films

I never thought I’d do a post like this…

But I was in Best Buy the other day I saw, an HD-DVD version of “Grand Prix” in their new, “Next Generation DVD” section. Holy Cow, I now know the first disc I’m getting when I pick up the HD-DVD drive for my 360. This film totally rocks.

Hot Rod Reunion Pictures

Finally posted these pictures from the 2006 Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield. I just bought an awesome new tripod with a pistol grip head. It worked out really well for the long exposures I had to take during the cacklefest. Now all I need is to get a full frame digital SLR. I’m thinking about the Canon EOS 5D now. Body, lens, and 4g compact flash should all total around $3300… reasonable.

[FAG id=4058]

F&F another WIP

A quick post before I head off to the Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield.

Jimmy Chan’s truck:


Lots of work needs to be happen to finish this truck up.

  • Finish up the Flat-Head.
  • Complete the front end, grill, light rig, suspension, and brakes.
  • Interior shell and dash.
  • Gas tank.
  • Tow platform and platform mechanism.
  • Rear end suspension.
  • Rear lights, bumper, tow package and wheelie bar.

Here’s also another car I’m working on. The first issue of the comic will focus on the driver of this car.

F&F James Chan

I’ve been building and tinkering around with various cars in SketchUp and showing them to Gary, and John for some time now. Each time they kept asking, “Do you have any characters yet?”

My response to this was always a cool, “No, I have some ideas. I know what they do, but I’m not sure who they are. Don’t worry, it’s all up here,” as I tap on my hairy skull, “I just have to pry them out.”

This story has been taking shape for a while now, but mostly in archetypal forms. I know there’s going to be a tow truck guy, an ape, plenty of wandering robots and the whole world is filled with hot rods of all types (see some of the first glimpses in this post). The world’s shape and origins are pretty clear in my head. The tone and the look is pretty embedded as well. When I decided on this project right after Comic Con I started building the hot rods because frankly, those where the most fun to toy with.

The fun’s gotta end sometime, and last weekend prying this guy out of my head. Luckily it wasn’t too painful.


The quick drawing I made. This is Jimmy Chan, tow trucker.


A picture of the sculpt – his face (the tip of his fu-manchu is singed from the sculpey baking process). I am by no means a sculpting genius. I should have made the hat a separate item, so I could really get into the face and polish it up. Now that it’s baked up, I can sand it smooth with some tiny files. I’ll probably remove the whiskers and make an entirely new set with wire support. Or just make the whiskers completely out of wire.


The sculpt – his back. The neck looks too long in the photo, but it looks fine in real life.

I’m definitely happier with the sculpt more than the drawing itself. That’s good news since I’ve got to build him in 3D. In the book he’ll be in a wife-beater, Dickie work pants, steel toed boots, and fully sleeved with tattoos. Now the question is, what does he drive? The guy’s a genius with a blow torch and a wrench, and a tow jockey. My next post will have a preview of his car.