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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2018 TO-DO LIST Extravaganza!


2017 is almost in the books.


So let’s take a gander at last year’s to-do list and see how I rated as far as completion. Hold onto your butts...

1) The Costume People: Again, it’s that script I began early last year. first reading has been scheduled for early February, and thus I am planning for all of the bells and whistles to get it completed very early in the year. So, complete the current third draft, a fourth draft, send it out for notes, complete a fifth draft (pre-reading) and then post-reading; a sixth draft and a seventh (and potentially final) draft.

HOW DID IT GO?

This can be marked as DONE. The reading was wonderful. I got tons of notes from that group of folks as well as from several smart readers elsewhere. When all was said and done, I completed NINE total drafts. Not too shabby. The piece was sent to several producers who expressed some interest. One particular production company is very interested… details (hopefully great news) to come when I can release such things.

2) The Costume People: To at least 5 festivals (highest priorities: Nicholls Fellowship, Screamfest, Filmquest, Shriekfest).

HOW DID IT GO?
All four of the listed festival/competitions… I did it. Submitted to them, and ended up being a TOP TEN finalist for both Filmquest and NOLA Horror Film Festival. I was a quarter-finalist in Shriekfest. The script didn’t do anything at Nicholls or Screamfest. Other festivals where the script did nothing: Bluecat and Austin Film Festival, although I received very positive feedback from Bluecat… hmmm. The script is still out to one festival, to be announced in July of 2018 – Script Pipeline. So I can for sure mark this as DONE!

3) Brand new feature script idea I had while on a recent vacation to Vegas – currently titled Dead-On. I would like a first draft of this piece by year’s end.

HOW DID IT GO?

Not so much as a looky-loo on this baby. So this is a big ol’ FAIL!

4) And since I seem to find other projects to work on, which never were on my initial list at the beginning of the year, I’ll simply state this – another feature script first draft by the end of the year – but in order to find success, it’ll remain unnamed. One script – doesn’t matter what – needs a first draft. Make sense? And there are plenty of properties to choose from – Harsh Critic, Clare, This is Julia, Lindsay’s Locker and The French Toast Nine are great options.

HOW DID IT GO?

See below for all the stuff not on the list which got some serious facetime in 2017. But I didn’t actually complete a first draft of any script. Currently, two scripts are in the works. One of them has about 80 pages on the first draft, but it’s certainly not complete. So sadly, even with plenty of work throughout the year, this is a FAIL.

5) I am setting myself up with a goal for Horror Freak News. I want to complete (at least) 10 articles per month. Very reasonable, and once so many of the festivals come back around on the calendar – it’ll be a cinch!

HOW DID IT GO?

I’m quite pleased with my progress on this one. It’s not yet the end of December, but I’ve already completed 8 reviews/articles, so no doubt I’ll make my quota for this month. As for February and March, I didn’t make my quota. Apparently not a lot of titles out there for review, or I was particularly lazy those months. November, I also didn’t make it. But that was post festival season (Filmquest, Shriekfest, Screamfest, Horror Haus). In September and October, I did close to 40 reviews, so November was a “I just can’t month” for reviews. I ended up doing 4 total.

Now, I am going to mark this one with a “conditional” DONE. Reason being, with all of the extras I did in the busy months, I surely made up for the slower/less productive months. And since this is my list – by God, I’ll do what I want.

I was truly debating if I should mark this in the positive column. And with the addition of Dances with Films to my festival schedule this year, I worked very hard during June, September and October for the fests. I feel I can justify this choice. So for last year’s #5 chore, I’m gonna call it DONE!

6) Complete a new/updated and shiny draft of Tonight I Shall Lease Your Soul. It’s been sitting on the shelf for 5+ years, but I think there’s plenty of goodness there, and potential for festival love if I can get it back in order. This is the script I wrote w/ my buddy Chris McCaleb. He’s already agreed to let me take on the rewrite and then we’ll pow-wow after that. At a daunting 125 pages, this script needs some serious trimming!

HOW DID IT GO?

I did a few piddly bits of work on this – nothing notable. But the biggie news on this front – an interested producer. So I have to mark chore #6 as a FAIL, but there is definitely movement (in an unexpected direction) on this script. So a “fail” doesn’t necessarily mean a total failure, right?

7) I’m gonna go ahead and put Scratcher (my first novel) back on this list. But instead of saying I’ll have a first draft by year’s end, I’ll make it more feasible. How about 40,000 words by years end? Let’s see how it goes.

HOW DID IT GO?

Ha. Ha ha. Not so much as a re-opening of the file itself. Wish I could find a way to move ahead on this one. We’ll see if it makes the list for 2018. Verdict: FAIL!

8) The short film, A Great Yard is also back on the list. Pre-production, production and post. It’s gonna happen this year

HOW DID IT GO?

It’s gonna happen this year.” Yeah, not so much. I think there was some brief brainstorming on this, but absolutely nothing else. Sigh. Call it as it is. FAIL!

9) A Great Yard: To at least 5 festivals – top priorities are Screamfest, Filmquest, Shriekfest.

HOW DID IT GO?

Hmmm… let’s examine the response to the last one. That’s right. No film, no festivals. FAIL!

10) Travel back home to SD! I didn’t make it last year, and that was on my list for 2016. But with reservations already set for the summer, it seems more likely that this will come to pass! It will be almost exactly 10 years since I was back in the Black Hills!

HOW DID IT GO?

DONE! As part of an epic road trip which included The Black Hills of SD, Yellowstone and many more amazing spots along the way, we had time to see family (after this 10 year hiatus). I spent time with my two nieces, whom I’d not seen since they were toddlers (they’re teenagers now for goodness sake). Connected with so many fun folks of my past. We drove our brand new vehicle, which we purchased in April.

And SD wasn’t the only big trip. Lots and lots of glorious travel this year! Love, love, love being on the open road! So yes, this one can be marked DONE!

11) I’m gonna put some more acting wishes on this year’s list. Let’s shoot for 5 films – short or feature (to audition, be hired and shot). I mean, why not!

HOW DID IT GO?

Sadly, this one will be marked with a FAIL. Out of the five projects I would have liked to do, I only ended up doing some work on one short film for my buddy Monte. It was a lot of fun. But only one out of five potential acting gigs, = a big nope. :(

12) I am also going to put out there a possible return to the stage. If something presents itself and the timing works out, I say yes!

HOW DID IT GO?

While I didn’t get back on stage per se, I did take up with a new friend, actress and producer Arielle. She’s got an acting workshop/class and I joined up with the group in June. Sure, I’ve missed several classes while out of town, but I’m totally committed to being a full time face there. Amazing people from all acting levels and some exciting scene work. It’s become a necessary therapy which I constantly look forward to each and every week. And since my chore is listed as “a possible return to the stage”, not specifying that I’m “in a show” on stage, I think I can interpret it (again, this is my list) as a DONE. Yes. I’m back on stage and that’s that. :)

13) Continue to put Spider Eaters out there. Whether it’s through adt’l competitions or query letters or bothering potential producers, I feel that this is the most marketable piece I have, and with the many kudos it’s received, it seems wise to continue to tout the wares of this busload of tourists out to have a spidery-snack!

HOW DID IT GO?

I can certainly mark this as a DONE. I don’t know how many folks I sent this out to this year, but it’s a respectable amount for sure. There’s definitely interest, but with the high budget price tag – it’s scaring some folks off. However, it’s obviously a good example of my writing, for some of these producers who have passed on it have asked if there are other properties. So, there’s that. #13 is DONE!

14) On the home-front, we’ve got a brand new mattress arriving soon (our current one is 13 year’s old, folks!) and with that, I’ve been discussing w/ the other half about re-painting/redecorating our entire bedroom. Some updates and re-organization – just some changes to spiff it up! Therefore, a complete bedroom re-do is now added to my list.

HOW DID IT GO?

While we didn’t actually repaint the bedroom, we did get a brand new set of bookshelves to display knick-knacks and of course, books. There are also several drawers for easy and out-of-sight storage. So the room was definitely “spiffed” up. So I am going to mark this one as DONE.

15) Although it’s now some sort of depressing, running joke, I’m still putting The 53 Zombie Moods: A book for your coffee table– back on the list for 2017. One of these days, everything will align and this project will be off the ground – finally!

HOW DID IT GO?

FAIL. While I still hold out hope that this will eventually find completion, I also believe I just need to let it happen organically. So this may make it to the 2018 to-do list as well. But it certainly didn’t happen in 2017. :(

16) I’ve never truly used this “To-do List Extravaganza” as a real list of resolutions, ‘cause, let’s face it, life changes are much more difficult than a monumental to-do list, right? However, I am going to add on here – somehow, some way – that I need to lose about 30 lbs. It’s not a joke. Since I stopped working my day job (well over a year ago), the pounds have been coming fast and furious and I don’t like the way I look. A little pudge, whatever, but a full-on beer belly, no thanks! So whether I get back on a hiking regiment or return to running (as I so often dream of doing), something has to change about my health and my weight. I’m not getting any younger, friends… We’ll see how it goes.

HOW DID IT GO?

Not 30 lbs., but about 20 lbs. Not too shabby, but not the total goal I was hoping for. So despite some definite progress in this arena, I have to mark it as a partial FAIL. Poo...

17) I’m gonna throw this out there as well. I have another short script which I’d love to produce. If I can get A Great Yard completed, then the short film I wrote a few years ago –Valet – might have a chance. So I’m putting pre-pro/production/post for Valet on the list. I’ll leave festival possibilities for next year!

HOW DID IT GO?

While I discussed this project with my friend Monte (asking him if he’d like to direct), not much headway on this piece. He has already done some prep work, so I’m thinking I’ll put this one back on the list for 2018. It’ll be a lot easier to tackle than A Great Yard, so fingers crossed. But for 2017: FAIL.

18) With dreaming and pre-planning for some longer and more involved travel (we love our road trips, but I want to go bigger), the other half and I need to get our passports updated, in order to be ready for some world travel in the near future. I’ve truly been nowhere and the other half has been everywhere. It’s time he showed me around, right?

HOW DID IT GO?

At press, we didn’t get this done. However, there’s still some time left in December. Right now, FAIL. But we’ll see...

19) Putting this back on the list, because I am absolutely ready for it. I want to move into a house. A home. Something other than communal living. Its novelty has worn off – did a long time ago. Again, more of a wish than a number on a “to-do” list, but this wish for a happy, single family home is making a comeback!

HOW DID IT GO?

We’re still in the same place. So this is an easy mark of FAIL. But I might put this back on the list for next year.

20) And finally – the other half will hate this one – along with a new house, I want a dog. Hello universe? You hearing what I’m throwing out at you? A house and a dog. There. And no more excuses from the other half.

HOW DID IT GO?

No dog to go with the no house. FAIL.

As is the norm on my lists, I have to negate some of the neuroses all of the above “fails” create in my brain, by advising of the many things which weren’t on the list, but which got some face-time as far a productive work throughout the year.

In February, I was inspired to start a new script. Christian Demons has gotten plenty of work throughout the year. It’s another feature length piece. While I didn’t quite make a completed first draft, it does have almost 80 total pages at the moment. This will be a big project on next year’s list.

In early July, a fun project fell into my lap. While I can’t discuss any details, it’s consumed a lot of my brain power and writing time in the second half of the year. I’m hoping this will find completion throughout 2018. So while it will remain “unnamed”, it’ll find plenty of spots on next year’s to-do list.

A buddy of mine is putting together a book of essays on horror films. He’ll serve as editor. I got to submit an essay on one of my faves. I’m done with that, but you’ll still need to stay tuned for release info. :)

We traveled on a total of 9 road trips this year. The longest one was 36 days away from LA. So simply enjoying the open road, seeing friends and family and visiting numerous national parks/monuments – took a lot of time this year. But I wouldn’t change it in any way. Wonderful experiences all.

I’m now set for next year, with the addition of some new festivals this year, to cover a total of seven film festivals in 2018. It think that’s right. Dances with Films, LA Film Festival, Filmquest, Shriekfest, Screamfest, Horror Haus and AFI. 2017 was a busy year for festival screenings.

Also on the film critic front, this year found me contributing a few reviews to the good folks over at Tom Holland’s Terror Time. We’ll see how that relationship expands in 2018!

But enough of looking back on 2017 – personally a good year for me, but with all of the craziness in the world, I’m certainly ready to put this year into the rearview mirror.

So without further ado, here’s my TO DO LIST EXTRAVAGANZA for 2018!

1) 8 (EIGHT) REVIEWS/ARTICLES for HORROR FREAK NEWS or TOM HOLLAND’S TERROR TIME (or any other potential outlets) per month.

Since there were a few months in 2017 where my 10-article self-imposed quota seemed to be too much, and based on the fact that I truly believe 2018 will be a very busy year for screenwriting, I’m going to keep my article/review quota in place for each month. But instead of a daunting 10 articles, I’m going to expect only 8 reviews/articles per month. It feels like something of a cop-out, but I’m willing to make the attempt to keep my sanity. Believe me when I say that having the 10 articles over my head every month, and then not making a couple of those months – I was beating myself up… and good. It’s not worth the neurotic flare-up.

2) Complete Christian Demons.

As always, this will require many, many steps to achieve. So before the end of 2018, I need a 1st draft, 2nd draft, 3rd draft, send to readers, 4th draft (with reader notes), 5th draft, reading prep, reading, 6th (post-reading) draft, 7th draft. And I’ll finish this one up with an 8th draft. Obviously, I’ll do more if necessary.

3) Christian Demons to festivals.

I’m up in the air about this. Perhaps a couple of select festivals. Since the film is heavily LGBT, I might try my hand at targeting those fests, in addition to some of the horror ones. I’m gonna leave this open about which specific festivals, but I’m gonna shoot for 5 total festivals – where Christian Demons can/should be submitted.

4) First draft of any script.

Like last year, I’m gonna put out there for a (currently) unnamed feature spec script to find completion on (at least) a 1st draft. Several options on the table already, but I’ll be open to some random inspiration (like what happened with Christian Demons in 2017). If not some wonderful random idea – then I’d like to see a potential first draft for The French Toast Nine, Harsh Critic or Lindsay’s Locker – all of which are projects I’ve already begun.

5) Work on the “unnamed” project which found me in July of 2017.

Again, no details can be divulged, but I’m hoping this will find completion (in the many multiple steps necessary). When making my “tab board”, I’m going to put down 8 total (vague) steps. A nice round number, as I actually have no idea how/when/where this may go. Obviously, there may be more than 8 steps. There may be less. Time will tell how this gig goes… For now, fingers crossed, yo!

6) The 53 Zombie Moods: A book for your coffee table.

Putting it on here again. Again, let it organically happen and all will be right with the world. Is this the year we make it to the finish line? Frankly, any push toward making this work will be welcome.

7) The House up the Street.

I’ve got four bursting at the seams folders of old handwritten stories, poems, etc. From as far back as 1984. I’ve had on the agenda for some time, plans to put all of these into a book and get it self-published. Kind of a progression as a writer from the very beginning. First and foremost, I have to get these old pieces typed up and saved into a computer, before I begin to put it all together. It’s a big project, so tackling ONE folder seems a reasonable way to move forward.

8) Valet.

I think this will be an easier production than my other short, A Great Yard. So I’m putting this on the list. 12 months to make this happen. Update the script. Pre-production. Production. Post-production. C’mon, let’s do it.

9) Valet to festivals.

If this finds completion before year’s end, I’d love to get it out to festivals for the following season. Let’s shoot for 5 of them (for starters). Festivals to be determined...

10) Passport renewals.

Didn’t make this happen in 2017. But I think there may be opportunity (wink, wink) for world travel in 2018, so obviously, this is a must. And it should be (and should have been in 2017) an easy one to mark off the list.

11) Move Penelope’s site.

Several years ago, I befriended actress Penelope Sudrow of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I built her personal website. But as is, I am the only one who has access to updating it – as it’s connected to the same site building platform as my own personal websites. Bottom line, I need to open her own account and rebuild the site – eventually passing off complete control to her. I unfortunately no longer have the time to manage it for her. I don’t think this is a major undertaking – but time will be required nonetheless.

12) Lose 20 pounds in 2018.

With the loss of 20 pounds in 2017 – I know this is totally do-able. And with that extra 20 smackers off of my gut – I will be at a more ideal weight. Make it so.

13) 40k words on Scratcher (novel).

Trying for this again. 40,000 words on my first novel. Not anything to be “completed”, but this would be a huge push in that direction. C’mon, Klug – do it!

14) Tonight I Shall Lease Your Soul (update).

With interest from a producer, this script will require a little updating, development and stream-lining. Gonna put this one down for THREE steps – potentially THREE new drafts before it moves into exciting new steps.

15) The Costume People (update).

Same thing here. THREE updated drafts of this – to appease potential development by interested producers.

16) Acting – THREE gigs.

I hoped for FIVE total acting gigs last year, and did one. So I think downsizing this on my to-do list is reasonable. Three short film or feature film acting gigs. And with all of the lovely connections I’ve made at my new weekly acting class/workshop, this feels promising.

17) House.

Gonna throw this wish up here again. I’m so totally ready to leave communal living behind and move into a single family home. Why not? And I’m DYING for some new decorating/re-organizing projects in my life. I find them supremely relaxing. What better way to feed that need, than to have a brand new home/canvas in/on which to create!

18) Update my personal website.

That’s kind of a vague title, but whatevs. There are lots of piddly little things (all of which add up to plenty of work) which need to be fixed/updated over at notmymess.com. One of the glaringly obvious ones is to properly link up all of my reviews to their actual location on the interwebs. Not a tough job, but certainly time-consuming. This could potentially be an easy one to mark off of the list.

19) Keep current on horror film releases throughout 2018.

This is a weird one. It’ll certainly be hard to qualify success or not. But over the past two years, as I get ready to write my “Best of Horror” end of year list, I find there are major gaps in my horror education as I come into December. And right now (as at this time last year), I’m scrambling to get in a dozen or so horror films under my belt (whether I’m reviewing them or not) in order to make the most educated decisions on which pieces end up in my top 15. Obviously I can’t see everything, but I want to feel like I’ve done my best. So rather than kill myself in the last weeks of the year, I want to watch them as they come up (even if I’m not reviewing them). Make sense? I guess a good way to determine success, is if I have – let’s say – 6 or less films to take in at year’s end. Totally reasonable.

20) Produce a stage-play starring me! :)

This might be a high-falutin’ pipe-dream, but I’m gonna see how it goes. I’ve been itching (as last year) to get back on stage again. I want to produce some sort of stage show where I can highlight myself as an actor. Something small. A few plays come to mind – or perhaps I can write something myself. Do a show that runs like two or three weekends and that’s it. I like this idea. Hmmm...

And that is what I’m up against, folks. See you in just over 365 days with a full report of my rousing successes on these (and many other) exciting fronts! Have a happy and productive 2018!

Stay tuned for my updated TAB BOARD!



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a little bit 'bout klugula...

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Hollywood, California, United States
I'm an actor, writer and director. And I like zombies...A LOT.

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