Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Perseverance, Taking a Break and Rejuvination

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

At about the time of my last post, Dec 2013, I bought an aquarium. I dove full on into that hobby and kind of put filmmaking on hold. I now have six running aquariums, a large shed full of empty tanks and stands and etc. and my office is overrun with aquarium supplies.

During that time, I also have been developing a movie idea, slowly. I have been doing it really to just keep my toe in the water, so to speak, but it’s a great idea. At least anyone I’ve told about it says so and I think so. So, that’s what matters, right?

My problem has always been stick-to-it-iveness, or lack thereof. I want to be good at and know a lot of things and I start of with a bang but then after awhile my enthusiasm for things wanes.

I’m at an age in this life where it doesn’t make much sense to start new things. I mean I’m a few years from 50, I should be accomplished in everything I was going to tackle this time ’round, shouldn’t I be? “If I had stuck to ___ when I first got interested in it, I’d be something, I tell ya!” Well, my friend, that didn’t happen. I turned around and poof got old. I don’t feel that old and actually hope by the time I am fifty that I’m in better shape than I’m in right now. That’s my goal anyway.

Now about longevity and completing things. I started this round of filmmaking interest or more acurately, wanting to be an editor, in 2008. Spring 2008, I took my first editing class (FCP6) at RCC. Over the years, I have taken more classes there and at other schools. I recently looked at the number of FTV classes I’ve taken at RCC and realized I’m only two classes away from getting my Film, Television & Video Production Specialist certificate. My schedule being what it is, it’s hard to get more than one class or external activity in at a time. Looking at the catalog, I figured I could squeeze one more class in this coming semester. So, at the end of this month, with my son starting Kindergarten and my daughter starting preschool and all of the other commitments I have, I am taking a writing class, Writing for Broadcast TV and Radio.

Before this editing journey started, I was convinced I was going to be a Hollywood writer and spent a few years starting to feel the waters of that whole side of things. I never really ever even started to write things or even learn proper formatting. I guess now I’ll finally get my chance to learn. I’m actually pretty excited to do so.

Also, at the end of this month, I am attending the Cutting Edge Tour with Adam Epstein, the SNL digital shorts editor. It’s a whole-day experience where he will show you the workflow that they use to create the short films used on SNL. He will also focus on the creative side of things. I’m excited for that too. I feel I really need this kick in the butt to get re-motivated to actually producing more and more content. I’m even more excited because I was planning on buying this and ended up winning a ticket through a Twitter contest. Go Internet!

It is my hope that the two classes will culminate in helping me put together a bunch of unfinished projects. In addition, I hope to use my new skills to put together the IFIE film project, which members of the Independent Filmmakers of the Inland Empire are really chomping at the bit for.

My wife doesn’t ever seem happy about anything I do but she’s begrudgingly helping me. I wish she could feign enthusiasm for me but I guess that’s just asking too much. Life should be a burden, I guess. Well at least one of us can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe it’s just the walk in the tunnel that it is all about. ;) I’d rather drag a bunch of suitcases along in the sand trying to get to the goal than just sit and make camp. That’s just me. I’ll make it regardless. Or at least die trying!

Going POSTal Show

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

So, after NAB, a few of us got together and decided to go forward with an idea of producing a podcast.  Adam Bedford, with a history of morning radio in Australia, heads the show and it is pretty much his baby.

The theme of the show is Post, Production and Pop Culture.

The current team is:

Adam Bedford

Ben Barden

Monica Daniels

Liam Johnson

and myself.


Check it out here: or on iTunes!

Lost Boys II – My Version

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

So, going through old notes, and figuring that this will probably never happen, I decided I’d share my idea for a Lost Boys II that I wrote in 2007.


Written Aug 4, 2007 – Lost Boys II (alt. title: “The Runaways”)

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Title music should be “The Devil Inside” by INXS considering that Joel directed that video for INXS.

End Credits should include music by Evanescence doing “People are Strange”

Other music should include: Marilyn Manson, Korn

Opening Scene, Lots of vampire stuff…

(Vampire POV) night flying over the ocean and a body dropping out of the sky (bloodless and landing on a car cruising the coast line.) Then as we look into the face of the lead vampire who dropped the body, we see it’s Sam! And the music starts (“The Devil Inside” by INXS)! Then an abrupt awakening because it’s Sam having a dream!

The story should revolve around Sam Emerson grown up and dealing with (wanting to be/being) a vampire.

The Frog brothers who are now: (Alan an inventor and Edgar an X-gamer married to a hot model) are called out of vampire hunter retirement to again save the town of Santa Carla.

Keifer Sutherland makes a cameo (Maybe in the dreams of Edgar as he comes to realize he should return to hunt vampires!)

Special efects will be enough to make this film superior to the first, I mean kick ass! People have to be OMG about this sequel.

The end of the TLB screenplay had the Runaways ready to take over where the Lost Boys left off. So the vampire line can continue!


So there you have it.
–Eric Francis Harnden

What’s a Slug Line Anyway?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Recently our friend Stu Maschwitz blew us away with the surprise release of a screenwriting app Slugline.

You can hear more about it here: and read more about it here:

I guess you could say my first forays into cinema where through writing. There was a point some years earlier up the road (before I found editing) that I was sure I was going to be a screenwriter. The trouble was I never fully got up to speed on the craft. I never even learned the proper formatting for a screenplay. I just assumed somewhere up the line, I’d figure it out. I had a lot of other misconceptions then too but I still hold on to a hope that one day, I will write some damn fine movies.

To that end, last year I finally bought Final Draft. I even installed it! I used to subscribe to Creative Screenwriting too. Most of them lay around, still in their plastic wrappers. I used to go to Jeff Goldsmith’s Q & A screenings a lot. Those were and are most educational and I recommend them to filmmakers of all disciplines. I have a few books on writing and on screenwriting too. On Writing by Stephen King is my favorite. (Full disclosure, it’s the only one that I read completely.) I also at one time subscribed to this great screenwriting newsletter from the site Chris Soth sends out some great info in his newsletter. I recommend signing up for it.

The Slugline app sounds so elegant and fluid that I almost expect that once I use it, nothing will stop the stream of mind-blowing films that will flow from my “pen”. I’m half tempted to hold off until I get (they make) an iOS version to see how it would really work on a novice (who likes to jot things down on his phone all the time). The Slugline webpage also has some great tutorial information on screenwriting. Check out:

Coincidentally, this week Chris sent out the following “SLUGGIN’ IT OUT” email newsletter with some great information on slug lines. With his permission, I present it to you now:

Hey Gang,

So, a brief one this week on “slug lines”.

Slug line is slang, by the way, for what
would technically be called a “location line”.

But to be honest, I’ve never heard ANYONE
call it a location line, with the exception of
Final Draft Software. The term of art that
seems to be most bandied about the
screenwriting community is definitely
SLUG LINE. So, what is it?

(I promise my more experienced readers,
I’ll come to some slightly more unusual
information soon)

The Slug Line is that line, ALL IN CAPS,
that tells the location of the scene beneath
it. Tells whether the scene is set outside
(EXT. for “exterior”) or inside (INT. for

Like this:


Chris works on his laptop. The newsletter is late.


Now, here’s the part I learned at USC that
I’ve never heard anywhere else.

How do we arrange these slug lines. Here’s
the trick:

Slug lines go from:


So, what you want is to set the scene as quickly
and easily and with as few words as possible. And
your reader is hoping to GET the scene as fast
as possible, so, based on their knowledge:

They can stop reading as soon as they know
where they are. Take this as contrast:


Ok, that’s an exaggeration, I’d never
let a slug go to a second line, but my
point is, you can go as far as you need to
make sure your reader knows where they are
(literally!) Versus:


…etc. You’ve read this far…and you STILL don’t know
where you are, do you? And you’re confused,
it starts w/an interior, then goes to outer space…

…whereas doing it the other, way, no problem. The
office is on the lot, in Burbank, which is situated
in the USA, etc. But it happens to be an interior.

And how’s stuff at YOUR office? How’s the
screenplay coming? Could you use a new approach
to story? Come check out what we have for you at

Thanks “A Million”,

Chris (It’s OFF THE HOOK!)


So there you go! Happy writing y’all!
–Eric Francis Harnden