Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Series of Small Breaks Has Left The Premises

Not to fear, I am only changing locations.

I have converted over to Wordpress. I have several reasons for the switch:

1. Picture/video/media hosting is MUCH easier.
2. Wordpress has an easy mobile app.
3. It's shiny over there.

New link: A Series of Small Breaks

Please update your RSS readers!

*Be sure to visit over there soon - my review on the world premiere of "Starwhackers" An Evening with The Quaids is coming soon!**

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Won the Green Card Lottery!

...and for the low low processing fee of $880 dollars, wired to a bank account in the UK of course, I can trade in my free health care and go live the American Dream! Here is the email that was sent to me:

U.S. Department of State sent this message to Rachel Langer
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from U.S. Department of State.
Congratulations, you've won !
Dear Rachel Langer ,

Congratulations ! You are among those randomly selected and registered for further consideration in the diversity immigrant program. Selection guarantees that
you will receive a United States Permanent Resident Card(also known as Green Card or Diversity Visa) only if you follow the instructions for further processing.


Acceptance Date: Friday 8th of April 2011 09:47:45 AM
Winner Name: Rachel Langer
Country of Birth: Canada

Is the Diversity Visa FREE ?
No. There is a big confusion. Only the participation in the Diversity Visa Lottery was free but the winners must pay the visa processing fees.
The fee is used to process your visa related documents and verify your identity.

Fees:

Type of Residence Card Status Amount (per person)
United States Permanent Resident Card Granted! - Waiting for payment of processing fee $880
Processing fees Included
Total $880

INSTRUCTIONS
Please read and follow all the instructions very carefully. With the Diversity Visa (also known as Green Card) you will enjoy all the advantages and benefits of a US permanent resident, including health and education benefits, and employment opportunities along with guidance in your new country, orientation sessions and programs to integrate into mainstream American society. Once received you can use it at any time you want to move in the United States or just travel. The visa must be renewed after 10 years.

Although you will have all the rights that a U.S. citizen has in the United States, without a relative or friend in the United States you may find the relocation difficult and expensive due the lack of experience in the American society. Therefore the U.S. Government helps you with the accommodation and offers you along with each visa Health Insurance (Freedom HSA Direct Individual Health insurance for 1 year), Dwelling(Apartment in any city you prefer, 1 bedroom for 3 months ), a guaranteed job(in the field that you are are currently qualified so you can start working even from the first week you arrive in the United States and get paid as U.S citizen. ) and education (for U.S. Students or Higher Education through EducationUSA. It includes transfer to a U.S college or Univeristy so you can continue your educational study. More details can be found at http://educationusa.state.gov/ .)

We remind you that only the visa processing fee ($880) is mandatory and the visa is guaranteed upon receiving the payment.

Accompanying family members(wife/husband, fiancee, brothers, sisters, children, cousins) may be included in the program and their visas will be provided at the same time with yours so you can travel/move together in the same time. However the fees must be paid per person and each member(e.g wife, brother, parents, children, cousin) must pay $880. There is no discount for children.

Visa Payment processing instructions

The fees must be paid using Western Union money transfer and will be processed by the U.S. embassy in the United Kingdom.
Western Union is a leading provider of International person-to-person money transfer. With more than 150 years experience and 245,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, Western Union is recognized for sending money quickly, reliably, and safety.
You can send the payment in U.S. dollars or equivalent of your local currency.

Click on the following link to find the nearest Western Union agency and send the fees payment :
Find Western Union Agency
If you are unable to find a Western Union agency near your location, you may ask a relative or friend to pay the fee on your behalf.

After you find a Western Union agency you need to go with cash money, an identity card(e.g passport or national identity card) and send the payment to the U.S. embassy agent address in United Kingdom:

Name : Richard Eason
Address: 24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 2LQ
United Kingdom

The payment must be sent to the above U.S. embassy agent address in United Kingdom because the U.S. Government decided this based on the diplomatic relations with your country.





After you send the payment follow the next steps :
a) Email copy/scan of the Western Union receipt at usgov.visa@usa.com
b) Email at usgov.visa@usa.com with the following details (you can find them on the money transfer receipt):

1) Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN):
2) Exact sender's name on file with Western Union:
3) Exact sender's address on file with Western Union:
4) Exact receiver's name on file with Western Union:
5) Amount sent:

Then wait for the confirmation that the payment was received.

Within 72 hours, you will receive a confirmation via email with your Case Number/Confirmation Number and exact date and time(approx. 2 days) of the final interview. Upon successful interview you will receive your documents and travel information to move in the United States. Under no circumstances your visa status won't be affected by the interview.




Important Notice!


The payment must be sent via Western Union no later than April 23, 2011. You are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last day to pay. Heavy demand may result in system delays.
Under no circumstances can diversity visas be issued or adjustments approved after this date, nor can family members obtain diversity visas to follow-to-join the principal applicant in the U.S. after this date.
The visa processing fee(US$ 880) is mandatory for each person and the U.S. Government doesn't offer any discount, loan or exception.
You have been selected winner of the Diversity Visa lottery so the visa is guaranteed upon receiving the payment fees on time.
A hard copy of this letter will be mailed to your postal address upon receiving the payment fees.
Please be advised that even through you are a winner of Diversity Visa your Case Number/Confirmation Number will be provided only after you send the payment confirmation of the fees. Please do not contact us to ask for the Case Number/Confirmation Number.

If it would be necessary to contact the U.S. Department of state YOU MUST ALWAYS REFER TO YOUR NAME. The email address is usgov.visa@usa.com








CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT: AUTHORITIES: The information asked for on this form is requested pursuant to Section 222 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 222(f) provides that the records of the Department of State and of diplomatic and consular offices of the United States pertaining to the issuance and refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States shall be considered confidential and shall be used only for the formulation, amendment, administration, or enforcement of the immigration, nationality, and other laws of the United States. Certified copies of such records may be made available to a court provided the court certifies that the information contained in such records is needed in a case pending before the court. PURPOSE: The U.S. Department of State uses the facts you provide on this form primarily to determine your assification and eligibility for a U.S. immigrant visa. Individuals who fail to submit this form or who do not provide all the requested information may be denied a U.S. immigrant visa. Although furnishing this information is voluntary, failure to provide this information may delay or prevent the processing of your case. ROUTINE USES: If you are issued an immigrant visa and are subsequently admitted to the United States as an immigrant, the Department of Homeland Security will use the information on this form to issue you a Permanent Resident Card, and, if you so indicate, the Social Security Administration will use the information to issue a social security number. The information provided may also be released to federal agencies for law enforcement, counterterrorism and homeland security purposes; to Congress and courts within their sphere of jurisdiction; and to other federal agencies who may need the information to administer or enforce U.S. laws.

So... how many do you think I should request? I mean, for under a grand, that's just a steal.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The "Sucker Punch" Syndrome

I’m probably going to get burned at the stake for this one, but here goes…

Last night we went to see Sucker Punch at the theatre. Truth be told, I’ve been looking forward to this movie ever since I laid eyes on the initial trailer, so I was disappointed to see that it had garnered a whopping 11% on rotten tomatoes, and many scathing reviews. Still, we plunged onward with our plan to watch and enjoy the latest and greatest from visual-ultra-stylist Zack Snyder.

I loved it.

Here’s the thing. When I went to the theatre to watch Repo Men or The Losers I expected loud explosions, plenty of hero shots and a few dialogue zingers. Car chases, muscled men in tight black t-shirts, and a possible damsel in distress all fall within the realm of acceptable and expected elements.

When my girlfriends decided that “He’s Just Not That Into You” was next up for girls night, I expected love scenes, game playing, fashionable shoes and the break-it-right-before-you-make-it relational climax. Witty banter, misguided sex, and self exploration are all on the menu.

What I did not expect from any of these movies was depth of character, intricate plot twists or details, multi-layered story arcs, or anything else worthy of an academy award. This is why it astounds me when people slap Sucker Punch with a sour review claiming “I expected so much more.” Really? Because, you saw the same trailer I did, right? The one where a blonde girl named “Babydoll” wears a two piece Sailor suit and kicks Nazi-Zombies to the curb in an imaginary dream world? And you expected that to be what…Inception?

I feel like this one was all about expectation. People saw 300 and said “Zack Snyder is a visionary director with groundbreaking new visual techniques” then they saw The Watchmen and said “Snyder did the impossible, and made the movie that ‘could not be made’ and people LIKED it” (granted many also hated it, but that’s a whole different sack of hammers). Then Sucker Punch was announced, and it seemed like there was a whole stream of people who decided that this would be the next link in the evolutionary chain of Zac Snyder films.

Sometimes, a movie is just a movie. Cotton candy. Buttery Popcorn. When you go to McDonald’s, you don’t expect a steak. When you go to the Keg, you don’t order a Salisbury steak. It’s all about reading the menu and knowing what’s being served. I guess what I’m getting at is that Sucker Punch earned a bad rap because people chose to write their own future for it, before they saw it for what it was.

Yes, the movie had problems. Yes there were a few shoddy connections, and more than a few moments that left me wanting. But you know what? By the end I didn’t care, because I was fully engaged in a no holds barred, action-packed thrill ride…with girls….and burlesque…and awesome music. I went to Sucker Punch to be entertained. That was it. It achieved that, and I’d watch it again tonight. Just because it doesn’t fall under the genre-tastic ├╝ber classifiers like Action or Chick Flick, doesn’t mean it can’t just be fun, outrageous, and awesome.

For what it was, and what it was meant to be, I give Sucker Punch both my thumbs up. Just don’t go in with your box of tissues expecting the Kings Speech. That one is probably still playing just down the hall, where Oscar lives.

--HUGE props for this go to Derek Langer for Inceptioning this post’s idea into my head (Somebody better be adding that word to Urban Dictionary right now) and talking this whole post out with me. Twice. --

Friday, March 25, 2011

Enjoying a bit of EpicFAIL

Today is one of those days where I can only see my failures looming up before me. Something akin to the giant inflatable beavers used in the Vancouver Olympic ceremonies. I didn't invite them, but they showed up just the same.

On days like this I can only focus on what I haven't yet accomplished. Today the top five are as follows:

1. I haven't finished my re-writes for our NSI Totally Television Submission or finished the application a month in advance, as I would have liked to. Now I must scramble, with a deadline looming.

2. We didn't pitch for Crazy8's this year, interrupting what would have certainly (ha!) been our "Third time's a charm" pitch. I was still recovering when the deadline came around and couldn't fathom getting a pitch together in time. Somehow this valid reason doesn't hold sway over the coulda-woulda-shoulda remorse.

3. I have yet to receive any income from my writing this year, and have succeeded in getting my name in print only with respect to being viciously print-slapped by Vanity Fair Magazine in an attempt to defend the wonder women of new media, thinking the establishment must be on board with this vast new wave by now. Precious little petal...

4. I have not finished my current spec. Though it is close to being first draft complete and next in line after the NSI deadline.

5. I have not yet been offered my own television series due to my extremely enlightened and witty tweets in manner of Sh*t My Dad Says (It's an actual show Dad, I promise). I guess I should work on the enlightened and witty tweet part here...

Despite the fact that I have reasons for falling short of all of these idealistic goals, I cannot help thinking that perhaps I am veering wildly off course by not yet accomplishing them yet. I question my commitment to the only career I can fathom doing for the rest of my life, and wonder if I haven't succeeded by now...will I ever? (It is marginally possible that having my birthday this month has pushed me towards creating unrealistic deadlines in my mind, and convincing me that I should have accomplished more by now. At least that's what Freud told me in his recent email.)

Just as I am about to disable my Twitter account -I jest, I jest- I realize that the Canadian minority government has been dissolved, and think that maybe it is just Friday and the whole country is experiencing epicFAIL. If they can carry on, I guess I have to. Besides, I can't for the life of me think of anything else I want to do with myself, so what choice do I really have anyway?

So I bid yesterday's failures a very pleasant good morning and continue haphazardly charging forward, attempting to mold them into today's triumphs.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Coverage

Over the last few months I have been offering free coverage on Twitter and my blog. I am convinced that one of the most effective ways to become a better writer is to read read read. Now that my class has come to completion, I am ready to do some more coverage. I am planning to start offering script coverage as a paid service eventually, but right now I am operating on a donation basis. I have experience writing coverage for colleagues, as well as production companies on a volunteer basis.

If you are looking for notes for a feature, short film, TV pilot or spec episode, I would love to provide it, then, based on my turnaround time and the value of the notes you can decide what you think it is worth and donate (or not donate) via the paypal button on this site.

Feel free to contact me via Twitter (@rachlanger) or send an email to rachlanger2@gmail.com if you're interested.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How My Script is Like Ridley Scott's Alien

That Alien is a bitch.

She randomly bursts out of some poor unsuspecting dude's chest over an evening meal, bringing everything else to a screeching halt.

She gets bigger, and more powerful and develops a mouth (or two) of her own.

She chases Ripley LITERALLY to the ends of the earth.

She never ever EVER does what you want her to do.



Ironically my script is about zombies. At least my genre preference is consistent. Hey Monday - How are ya?



**Still looking for daily votes for the Doritos "Write The End" contest. Vote HERE once daily, with my thanks!**

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Repeat Obsessed

I am currently under the spell of two songs by two very different artists.

FIRST: "Sail" by AWOLNATION who's EP is on iTunes. It's not much of a video but DANG that song gets to me.



SECOND: "Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine. I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I can't get enough. Not sure how I feel about this particular video either, but here it is.



So if you're like me and wear out your repeat button when the obsession hits, I hope I haven't screwed you over for the rest of the week. But also, kinda hope I have.

PS: Sorry if this shows up in your feed twice, I am trying out Wordpress as a secondary option. Let me know what you like better!

**Don't forget to keep voting for my over the top Doritos ending! Once per day and you can connect via Facebook!**