MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Some of my favorites

The AFI “TOP 100 U.S. Films” list contains some of my all-time favorites:

The Godfather
Gone with the Wind
On the Waterfront
It’s a Wonderful Life
Some Like It Hot
To Kill a Mockingbird
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Philadelphia Story
It Happened One Night
West Side Story
M-A-S-H
Jaws
Rocky
Tootsie
The Shawshank Redemption
The Silence of the Lambs
In the Heat of the Night
Forrest Gump
The Apartment
The Sixth Sense
Pulp Fiction

But here are some of my favorites that didn’t make the list, in no particular order:

Casino Royale
Il Postino
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
Babe
Romeo + Juliet
Evita
The People vs Larry Flynt
Mighty Aphrodite
Fargo
Marathon Man
Cold Comfort Farm
Trainspotting
A Walk on the Moon
American Pie
South Park
American Beauty
Pi
Life Is Beautiful
Shakespeare in Love
The Spanish Prisoner
Sliding Doors
The Opposite of Sex
Galaxy Quest
Shall We Dance?
Being John Malkovich
My Left Foot
The Pianist
Terminator
Moulin Rouge
Nurse Betty
Almost Famous
The Full Monty
Spiderman
Emma
The Lady from Shanghai
Amelie
Lord of the Rings
Legally Blonde
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
The Last Waltz
Roman Holiday
The Big Lebowski
The Guru
Moonstruck
Intolerable Cruelty
Love Actually
Four Weddings & A Funeral
Secretary
Down with Love
Whale Rider
The Italian Job
Patton
Finding Nemo
Kill Bill
Shrek
The House of Flying Daggers
My Secret Cache
Innocent Voices
Before Suset
Napoleon Dynamite
Face/Off
Sideways
School of Rock
The Bourne Supremacy
The Notebook
Garden State
Bubba Ho-Tep
East Is East
Bride and Prejudice
The Devil Wears Prada
3-Iron
The Illusionist
Brief Encounter
Kiss Me, Stupid
Walk the Line
Love in the Afternoon
Old School
Pride & Prejudice
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wedding Crashers
The Machinist
The King of Masks
Wild Things
Burnt by the Sun
Closely Watched Trains
Mad Hot Ballroom
Batman Begins
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down
Gentleman’s Agreement
Speed
Michael Collins
Notes on a Scandal
The Odd Couple
Big Deal on Madonna Street
Heavenly Creatures
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
How to Steal a Million Dollars
Little Miss Sunshine
Dog Day Afternoon
Ricochet
Respiro
Bullworth

Refusing to close our doors to “unsolicited manuscripts,” I read through stacks of scripts every week hoping to find one of these!

Don’t have a heart attack!

I heard a noted New York publicist the other day advising writers that if an agent doesn’t hear back from the publishers he’s sent your manuscript to within 2-3 weeks, it’s probably not going to sell.

What he failed to add to this statement is “NON FICTION.” This timetable isn’t true for fiction at all, because it takes time to read novels and it’s the reading experience that matters with fiction, not just the concept. So if you hear this advice and you’re a novelist, don’t have a heart attack!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Universal treks with 'Monsters'

{Hollywood Reporter}

By Borys Kit

March 8, 2007
Universal Pictures has found "Three Men Seeking Monsters," a cryptozoological travelogue by Nick Redfern. Jon, Doug and Dan Heder are producing through their Universal-based Greasy Entertainment as is Ken Atchity via his Atchity Entertainment International.

Published in 2004 by Paraview, "Three Men Seeking Monsters: Six Weeks in Pursuit of Werewolves, Lake Monsters, Giant Cats, Ghostly Devil Dogs, and Ape-Men" tells how the author, a baldheaded punker, and his two friends -- a goth herpetologist who dresses like a pirate and a 6-foot-6-inch, 400-pound behemoth who wears a Sherlock Holmes cap -- set off on a six-week, alcohol-infused road trip investigating monster myths around Great Britain.

Scott Bernstein is overseeing for Universal.

AEI's Chi-li Wong will act as executive producer, while Mike Kuciak, who found the book for Atchity, will be co-producer.

AEI has a slew of adventure-themed projects set up around town, including "Demon Keeper" at Fox 2000; "Ripley's Believe It or Not" at Paramount, with Jim Carrey attached to star and Tim Burton attached to direct; and "Meg" at New Line.

Greasy is developing "Mr. Machine," a high-concept family comedy it is producing with Imagine.