Waddup – 11/20


On the set of “Vernon Time”

Waddup everyone.

I know I’ve been MIA for a while but starting now I’m back in action. I have many comments to respond to and obligations to fulfill, and I plan on doing so ASAP… just not tonight (as I write this).

I mainly stopped posting because I had reached semesters end, and found myself simply overwhelmed with computer work. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a blog, and I haven’t had that recently.

My newest project, and the one I will blogging about here leading up to its release, is a student/indie film. As I’ve mentioned before, my older brother is an outstanding cinematographer. Many of you are aware that I took an acting course during my latest semester.

So I’ve decided to put my screenwriting skills to the test. During a trip to Burbank with my friend Scott last week, we discussed various premises that would be convenient and cheap to shoot. We hatched an idea that involved young adults playing poker to make a living. To make things interesting, the show is about cheating unsuspecting players out of big pots.

I will play Torque, a former poker pro who got busted for cheating and consequently banned from every casino in the country. Scott will play Jax, a good honest kid who is desperate to provide for his now-pregnant girlfriend.

The script comprises 50 pages, which theoretically amounts to 50 minutes of filming. I chose to write it at this length in order for network executives to be able to compare it to any dramatic television pilot on cable(That’s right, I’m shooting for the stars, but why not?).

When the film is fully edited, I will be posting it on Youtube and entering it into Independent film contests. I’m really grateful to have legit actors from my class willing to work for free during our winter break. Filming begins this upcoming Tuesday.

Will keep you updated.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Author of Master





Rising Tension: Roy and James Play Cards


The purpose of today’s excerpt from “A New Kingdom” is to reinforce some of the concepts discussed in my last two posts, building stakes and increasing tension. If you don’t have any idea what either of these terms mean, I suggests you click those links^ and check them out.

I’ve highlighted any lines that are specifically designed to increase tension, establish the stakes, or foreshadow problems to come. This scene is about Fitz and the threat he poses. He is the antagonist of the underground scenes. Enjoy.

* * *

        “What about Fitz? He’s not going to want us back there.

Let me worry about Fitz,” said Roy.

The pair got up and made their way down the corridor. The yellow lights helped make daytime feel almost authentic. Many families sat in the hallway, exchanging their horror stories from the night of the invasion. The cute blonde girl with the yellow rubber boots sat alone, and for a moment James thought about introducing himself, maybe even inviting her to play cards. He wondered if she were dealing with the loss of her parents as well.

Placed at the end of the hallway was a cardboard box, labeled “ELECTION.” When they finally reached it, James peered inside and saw it was filled with napkins – write-in votes for the new underground ruler.

“I don’t get why we are having this damn election today, you know? We’re done if Fitz wins – might as well as be underground slaves from here on out. And why are we voting for a ruler? Shouldn’t we vote for a leader? Somebody oughtta speak up about this stuff,” said Roy.

They entered the backroom that Fitz had strictly reserved for underground council meetings.

Roy dealt James a couple of cards, who turned them around to see a queen and a seven.

“Why don’t you speak up?”

Roy checked on his own hand, “Wouldn’t do no good. None a’them are gonna listen to me, kid. Most adults don’t like me.”

With a quick hand, Roy flipped over three cards on the table. There was an eight, a nine, and a six, giving James an open-ended straight draw. Roy bet and James called.

“Maybe you should try to make them like you? You never know unless you try.”

Roy laughed, “There’s some people I prefer to dislike me. If a guy like Fitz liked me, I don’t think I’d like myself.”

A fourth card was flipped on the table, and a ten was turned over. James had a straight. Roy bet and James re-raised all in. Roy put his hands behind his head, sat back in his chair, and looked as though he were thinking his move over.

“I’m sure you got a seven, which gives you a straight. The damned thing is, I flopped one too, ‘cause I got a five-seven. So I gotta call, but I’m gonna be pretty damn upset if that last card gives you a better hand.”

Roy pushed all of his chips into the center, and both of them were all-in. He flipped over the final card, a jack of clubs. James revealed his hand, and Roy tossed the entire deck into the air.

“C’mon kid, how could you do that to me?”

James didn’t see it at first, but when he studied his hand further, he realized why Roy was upset – The last card gave James a higher straight, Queen-Jack-10-9-8. He got lucky. Roy’s frustration died down, as he chuckled at his bad-beat and picked up the scattered cards.

“You see, in this game, all the brains in the world won’t guarantee success. The skilled professional can lose to the young novice, any day of the week-

The office door flew open, and Colonel Fitz’s entered in.

“Pick up your things and leave. This isn’t a game room – it’s for official government meetings only.”

Roy shuffled the cards and dealt out a new hand. “With all due respect, sergeant anus, there are only four rooms in this place. If there were more, I’d understand. But we may be down here for a very long time, so I’d ‘ppreciate it if you eased up a little bit.”

James pretended not to notice the escalating tension between the two grown men as he picked up the cards.

Fitz marched over to Roy until he stood over him. “It’s Colonel Fitz, low-life. And I will not stand for any under-age gambling. This meeting room is for grown-ups only. That means both of you need to leave.”

Fitz used his arms to pile up all the poker chips into the center of the table, erasing the winnings for both opponents. Roy stood up and put his face to Fitz’s. “Look, Colonel Dick head, when you and your friends finally come here to play ‘pretend government,’ when you make huge decisions like ‘who showers when?’ Then we’ll get out of here. But until then, I’m gonna enjoy life the little bit that I can, and me and my buddy James are gonna play cards right here, whenever we want,” He said, then pounded his fist against the glossy marble.

The colonel took a step back. “Today, go ahead, play your silly game. But I got news for you.” Fitz pressed his finger into Roy’s chest. “I am a military man, Roy, and you don’t wanna start a war with a military man. When I win that election, you’re going to change your attitude.

Fitz left the room. Roy grabbed the deck of cards and returned to dealing them like nothing had even happened. After a couple minutes, James finally broke the silence.

“I think you might be right about some people not liking you.”

Roy shook his head. “If Fitz wins that election, ain’t nobody down here is ever gonna see the surface again. That man is power hungry, James, and hungry people don’t like sharing their food.”

* * *

–  Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom”

Bearded Sam Plays Poker


Three men in suits were seated in a semi-circle around a poker table. They were playing Texas style Hold ‘Em, and were very advanced in their level of play. Interrupting their monotonous game, bearded Sam stumbled into their table.

“Mind if I join ya?” Bearded Sam collapsed into his seat, spilling his beer onto the green felt as he did.

The first hand he played, he went all-in before the flop.

The three suits all folded, but smirked to one another as they did, knowing full well a fish had sat down to play with them, and his money was theirs for the taking.

So the three suits got away from their normally tight-handed play, in order to entertain bearded Sam, in order to take advantage of his disregard for their more advanced level of play.

But something funny happened – The bearded Sam won. He won hand after hand, and pretty soon the suits were the ones making all the bad bets, and he was the one choosing his hands more carefully.

Twenty minutes later, the dude rounded up a three-hundred dollar pot, stood proud with his hands at his hips, and looked down to the three suits around him.

The three suits had no more chips and they all sat with their arms crossed, befuddled, and shaking their heads at one another as they complained at bearded Sam’s ridiculous luck.

Bearded Sam, however, set his beer on the table, ran a hand through his hair, then chuckled as he spoke.

“All you tools claim to know rules to play not with dice but statistics entice,

You to just think you don’t play against me like you’re not human too like you control what you do.

Well I’m lettin’ you in on one simple truth and that’s that men are more than you think,

That playin’ a game ‘gainst opponents like you is the easiest thing I ever damn do.

You’re boring as hell and mostly just tell all that you’ve got, before the pre-flop.

I know how you play and I know all you know, and I know pretty damn well just how that play goes.

So I come here and sit down today like a damn drunk man livin’ in decay.

And lo and behold well what d’ya know, you got off your game like you’d a been paid!

Story is simple I’ll tell how it goes – that the truth of the matter is the greatest expose,

The weak of the masses the error of the many, the fact that most people prefer what’s just gravy.

But people like me they’re wild you see, don’t care too much ’bout suits like you fucks.

Instead I just go on studying all a you, findin’ out how to somehow expound,

The thought of the many, all just like you, the thought that you’re better because a what you all do.

I play that to my advantage as you surely have seen I come here and act like a dumb hillbilly,

All just to get you to go off your game all just so you think I lost my own name.

Meanwhile you all been suckin’ your thumbs, eager with greed to catch on my flubs,

Bet you didn’t notice just how you been played, that the whole time my plays gettin’ paid,

That gives me power to come here and say, that dude drunk as Hell just fucked up your day!”

Bearded Sam raised his empty beer mug, wished them all cheers, then left.

– Thomas M. Watt