Category Archives: Movie Trailers

My Shift Matters


Monday, July 11, 2016

I sit looking at the spot Philando Castile was fatally shot to take my shift. I still haven’t watched the full video of his last moments. I’m terrified it would break my heart. The last few days have been rough for me… for most of us. I’m afraid in this spot. Less than five minutes and I’ve already seen three different police cruisers. One with North St. Paul stenciled on its side which is over ten miles away. I assume they’re patrolling but I wonder if they are doing the same thing as me. Paying homage to the event, to the man, but they don’t have as much freedom as I do to stop and read the sidewalk chalk and signs. To smell the flowers and hear the flapping of the balloons in the pre-storm wind.

Across the street, another shrine. Three Native Americans take vigil there. I wonder if they are thinking about their people’s history of genocide and how it ended like I am thinking about mine. After the Civil War the South needed workers. The US needed workers. Our economy was failing. Because of the mass exodus of unpaid labor they needed people fast. So they taught law enforcement to arrest black people wherever they could find them and for whatever reason. Strong black men were forced into peonage (or as the documentary calls it Slavery by Another Name) to work the fields and mines to save this country from financial ruin. The rest of the country only heard the staggering numbers of black people being arrested and thought, “Oh, they really can’t control themselves on their own.” Ever since then cops have stopped blacks for being black and the rest of the country expects it. Most of them don’t know that this tradition of incarceration comes from a financial report 140 years ago.

A white man just stopped to talk to me. He tells me he’s surprised. He thought that all this would stop when Obama was elected president. I told him I never thought that and I wasn’t surprised at all. We are still a largely segregated country. One does not represent all. I should know, I spent my life being the one. A friend once told me that before meeting me he thought all black people were rude. I asked him why. He said his neighbors stop their car in the middle of street to talk without a care to the traffic they’re blocking. Clearly, he hadn’t met enough black people. If you haven’t met enough of a people to love some, despise some, and think of most of acquaintances you’d hang with you are segregated. I don’t tell him this but immediately wish I did because he says something I’m not expecting.

He says we need to get a fire and brimstone preacher on this spot and air it on TV. He tells me this is part of the end of days according to the Bible. “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,” he quips. I challenge him saying what if God is in all of us and wants us to help each other. What if God wants us to know what to do by the history those that are living can remember? What if we don’t wait for God to solve this by pushing the reset button? What if today is not the beginning of the end but just the beginning?

I tell him I went to church on Sunday after a long hiatus because I needed company. I needed a place to share my anxiety and despair. I needed to know what to do. My spiritual leader knew this. She knew it’s what we all needed. She asked, “What’s your shift? What is the talent, the insight, the resources that God has given you to make a difference in this world?” I tell him mine is writing so that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking my shift today. I ask him, “What’s his shift.”

What’s your shift?


Good Twittimes

Circle of Life

Circle of Life (Photo credit: ChimPo)

That’s right.  I had nothing for the title.  Maybe because this week, I only want to tell you how grateful I am.

I started this blog at the same time I started twitter.  I’ve been amazed at what a beautiful thriving community of screenwriters it has.  So many things it took me years and money to learn, laid out to the world for free.

Recently, I decided to volunteer to read a writer’s script who was asking for help on #scriptchat, a weekly twitter talk about screenwriting.  The whole two hours I trudged through writing comments on his script,  I was thinking how much of a waste of time this was.  He would be like so many other writers whom no one can tell anything.  This man asked for brutal honesty and I gave it to him.  It really sucked.  What astounded me was how well he received the feedback.  I got lucky, (<– St. Patrick’s Day reference) he listened, he asked questions, and he thanked me.  It was wonderful.

He didn’t know it but he opened my heart to reading more scripts for people.  And a lot of the screenwriters on twitter don’t know it, but they teach me how to be a better writer every day.   Which then makes me a better help to those whose scripts I read.  It’s The Circle of Life!  Humma ba ba, heh, a humma ba ba.

They say everyone can learn from their mistakes but the wise man learns from the mistakes of others.  Keep sharing your mistakes and your knowledge.  It’s a beautiful thing to help others be wise.

Big Miracle


Straight from The Trailer Park.  This Big Miracle Trailer is so sweet.  I didn’t know I could sustain an awwww for that long.
Who doesn’t need a feel good family movie every once in a while.  Also, I need to be reminded sometimes that there are more kinds of whales in the world then Orcas and whatever they had in that Star Trek movie.  Finally, I’d like to thank Drew Barrymore for allowing a scientist to look like she’s busy with something other than a stylist 13 hours a day.  Yay, over processed hair!