FYI: sometimes I get emotional. I shouldn’t just blab it out.

a. I paid too much on my credit cards and I felt a little cash-short. But I forgot that I stashed away a bunch of money too. Duh. I’ll be fine.

b. I really, really, really don’t want to go to Compton for jury duty. Let’s just say that if they don’t remind me, I won’t remind them. I have a weird fear of new things (I know! Me, right? The guy who INVENTED new things) and I just have this dumb fear that if I leave for jury duty, I’ll get picked for some damn 8 month serial killer thing and I’ll never see my classroom again. I’m also worried about trying to get a home equity loan to fix up the house. Never done that before, either.

c. A little fragile; one woman, maybe another as well, whom I used to date have died. I haven’t known anyone who has died, not really, not that way. I haven’t seen them in…sheesh, a decade? But I guess it bothered me more than I thought.

So I haven’t felt like writing or working out or a lot of stuff. Honestly? I need to go climbing, I need some air under my feet. Soon. Shoulder’s getting better.

Chicago…this just blew my mind. Charlie Chaplin couldn’t handle the winters (okay, after my period), but maybe they go to Chicago first?????

Beginnings of the Chicago film industry

Essanay Studios

Essanay Studio

His New Job featuring Charlie Chaplin at Essanay Studios, Chicago

Essanay Studios was a Chicago pioneer film company established in 1907 by George K. Spoor and G.M. Anderson. Originally named the Peerless Film Manufacturing Company, Spoor and Anderson changed the name to Essanay by combining the first two letters of their surnames. Located on the north side on Argyle Street in Chicago, the firm grew to one of the largest film companies in the world before the rise of Hollywood.[2]

The success of Essanay Studio was based on Spoor’s and Anderson’s appetite for innovation. Spoor was intrigued by Edison’s Kinetoscope at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition but thought the invention could be improved. Armed with a vision, Spoor created the Magniscope, which allowed films to be projected onto flat surfaces.[2] Spoor and Anderson installed, operated, and rented the Magniscope to many theaters around Chicago. The Magniscope innovation would eventually create legal battles between Essanay and the Edison Company and end up with the creation of the Motion Picture Patents Company. Anderson’s film prowess came from on-screen achievement. He acted in the production of The Great Train Robbery,and became one of the first western stars. His nickname became, “Broncho Billy”, for his involvement with western films.[2] Due to his love for westerns, Anderson convinced Spoor to establish Essanay branches in Boulder, Colorado and Fremont California. These locations were perfect, especially the California location, because of the steady climate and mountainous landscape.[2]

Essanay Studios in Chicago was the capital of Chicago film in the first decades of the 1900s. Charlie Chaplin started his career in 1915 at Essanay Studios. He was hired in 1915 and paid $1,250.00 per week.[4] Chaplin improvised the scripts that were given to him by adding slapstick humor. Ben Turpin, fellow actor for Essanay, and Chaplin worked together on slapstick projects. Turpin was cross-eyed which made him a natural sidekick to the antics of Chaplin.[4] Chaplin only full feature production at Essanay was called, His New Job.[5] Another notable actress who found a beginning at Essanay Studio was Gloria Swanson. Swanson would later star in many television and film productions including the smash hit, Sunset Boulevard.

Despite booming success under Charlie Chaplin, Essanay Studios soon faced a downturn. Chaplin did not like Chicago due to unpredictable weather conditions. After only one month of work, Chaplin left Chicago to head west. Spoor and Anderson soon hired French comedian, Max Linder, to take the role of Chaplin.[4] Linder’s rye humor was not appreciated by the Chicago audiences. The company suffered economically due to the inability to produce a popular film. In 1918 George Kleine purchased the studio to form a merger between Vitagraph, Lubin, Selig, and Essanay known as V-L-S-E which would eventually absorbed by Warner Brothers.[2] The Essanay location would eventually be taken over by industrial film producer, Norman Wilding. Currently, the remnants of the studio are part of St. Augustine’s College which built a Charlie Chaplin memorial theater on site.[5]

Motion Picture Patents Company

The rise of the Chicago film industry in the early 1900s was a product of technological advancement marked by political strategy. In 1889, Thomas Edison and William Dickson patented the Kinetoscope. The Kinetoscope allowed a single viewer to watch a film reel through a small window. At this time, Edison did not see any practical value to the Kinetoscope and dismissed the invention as a toy.[2] However, aspiring filmmakers began designing and patenting similar projection machines around the Kinetoscope that allowed a film to be shown to a large audience. William Selig and George K. Spoor of Essanay Studios in Chicago, the Biograph Company, and Vitagraph Company all improvised Edison’s work.[2] Film companies of this time period customarily both created movies and established a means of viewing.

Despite initial ignorance to the Kinetoscope, the Edison Manufacturing Company responded to this innovation with legal action. According to the company, film outfits were showing motion pictures illegally because each of the improvised projectors violated the Kinetoscope patent. However, each film outfit had its own patent protection connected with individual innovations.[2] Concurrent formation of a black market for projection equipment exacerbated legal issues. Following legal proceedings, the Motion Picture Patents Company was established on January 1, 1909.[1] This coalition established a trust of the major film outfits in the United States. Firms from Chicago included in the Motion Picture Patents Company were the Vitagraph Company, the Selig Polyscope Company, the Kleine Company, and Essanay Studios.[6] Provisions restricted movie making to these licensed firms. The trust also required outfits to pay the Edison Company royalties for use of the improvised projection equipment. To snuff out competitors, a rental system was put in place. Individuals operating theaters were now required to pay a $2 per week rental for films and projection equipment.[2]

The Chicago independents push back

Exhibitors and filmmakers who refused to pay the newly instituted fees were not stopped by this new legislation. Independent companies were formed outside of this trust almost immediately. Max Lewis, president of the Chicago Film Exchange, announced he would not comply with the $10 monthly licensing fee on projectors.[7] Within 48 hours of the formation of the MPPC, a Chicago-based combine of independents, the International Projecting and Producing Company (IPPC), formed to counter the MPPC’s stranglehold. The IPPC, headed by the John J. Murdoch, general manager of the Western Vaudeville Managers’ Association, dramatically announced the firm’s formation with a $2 million base in the Feb. 6, 1909, issue of Show World magazine.[8]

Individuals risked their own livelihood by operating independently.[1] The major companies in the trust could sue any of these firms for violation of patent rights.

The Deep, all the scenes I can think of now

Prologue (and is this necessary? What do I get out of it: that statue of the proud founder, and then seeing the same statue worn down to a nub a thousand years later. What if I were to have the same statue inside the ‘info room’ near the surface? I’d lose that scene and get to the action sooner. I’ll count it, but I might lose it later.) Congressman and builder enter the caverns and expos ensues.

Fresno, leader of the Deep, commands VERY PALE legion as they capture a raiding party from above. A grenade from the attackers goes off and she is deaf. A surface sentry, FULLERTON, has been taken captive

Fresno recovers; she can hear, but she’s lost some of her hearing, the high-frequency stuff. She inspects everything, goes around reassuring her grateful subjects while accompanied by priests and head priest, RUTLAND. Schools, greenhouses, workshops, etc (THEY HAVE ELECTRIC WEAPONS, THEY HAVE TONS OF ELECTRICITY)

She speaks to the assembled subjects: ‘why do they hate us? Why do they attack? We don’t know, we only know that we are safe down here. We honor Fullerton for his sacrifice and we vow to remain strong and protect the home of our gods beneath us.’

At a signal, everyone settles in to sleep, everyone closes their eyes and the aural conditioning starts- but Fresno doesn’t sleep. She gets up and wanders through the dark, going up and up…

She finds the door to the info room, where the builders have set up their diagrams and warnings. We can read them so we understand what the place is, but she can’t read the words? But she understand the diagrams. She goes a long way up to the surface and sits and watches, does she see fires at the rim?

In the morning, she goes to Rutland and explains what she found: this place isn’t just a holy place, it might be a dangerous place and there might be something there we don’t know about. Rutland says he wants to see, too- but to avoid causing a panic, they should go alone, that night.

That night, she comes to their meeting place- and is grabbed and knocked out.

She wakes up outside as the sun is rising. She panics, cries, tries to open the hatch- nothing, no way. She begins to walk to the rim.

Gone Girl.

1. Wow. I am so glad I only dipped my toe into ‘dating crazy’. Okay, maybe to the knee.

2. Donna is still a bit freaked out. I explained to her: no, I am not going to date Emily Ratajowski.

3. Thank you, SO much, parents of the ten year old girl you brought! She got to see a horrifically gorey murder, got to watch a woman sodomize herself with a beverage and got to hear THE C-WORD.



In ten years, when she’s moved on to newer! and! bigger! things, what a great conversation you’ll all have.

Atomic Monks: more structure

Act 1 : prologue, 1000 years later/the new way, she’s deaf > she gets caught breaking the rules > thrown out at night, walks to the rim, caught

Act 2: Captive of the Outers with captured guard [babel fish in her ear], their gear runs on slave power! (they have things the Deep could use and they could use the power the Deep has), Outers interrogate her, she realizes: the Outers are going to attack the Deep, kill everyone and just take the power! But they need her knowledge of where the entrances really are- it’s like King Tut’s tomb, with chokepoints and natural boobytraps everywhere. They offer her a chance to live up here with relative luxury, to get revenge on those who abandoned her to die…but her husband, her kids are there. She fights guards, kills, escapes in a vehicle and runs:

Act 2B: She follows the road, runs out of fuel, finds Vegans (Vegas is now the capitol of the remnants of the modern world). They are very careful about security, they run on solar but they could really use the energy in the Deep…