Ron Wilkerson

What Was I Thinking?

About Recent Movies: It's that most wonderful time of the year -- when studios send out screeners to try to get my vote for WGA Awards.  I've got a bunch that I need to view, but one that I liked so far was Wonder Woman.  I loved the period setting and generally enjoyed the story more than I do the usual origin stories.  I especially thought that Gal Gadot was perfectly cast as Diana.  It kinda lost me in Act III, but I want to take a second look before I criticize.  12.02.17 

About The Orville: Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. It wasn't as good as Galaxy Quest (unfortunately) but it did have some of the irreverence that I liked in that film. Not sure how a show that's not really dramatic enough to be a drama or funny enough to be a comedy is going to play long term. But I probably liked it better than I will the new Star Trek Discovery (STD, seriously?).  09.11.17

Update: After watching a few episodes, I have to admit that this show has grown on me.  It has a kind of goofy reverence for Star Trek: The Next Generation that I find amusing.  But I sure wish that they didn't rely so much on the "idiot plot" to drive stories.  The idiot plot is where if one of the characters didn't do something idiotic there would be no plot.  In particular, the episode where the populace wore badges with up/down votes was a clever idea, but in order to draw our crew into the story, LaMarr had to do something completely idiotic.  In his case, humping a statue of a character sacred to that society.  They can do better. 12.02.17 

About Music: Happy 50th Birthday to Sgt. Pepper!  I can still remember exactly where I was the first time I heard it -- such an event that WKBW played it all the way through without commercials.  I was blown away then, and remain so now.  I've listened to Sgt. Pepper so many times that it is one of the few albums that I can play from beginning to end in my head -- which I have done on long drives when there was nothing good on the radio -- every song, verse and solo in exact order (and yes, that includes Within You Without You).  Many thanks to the Beatles (and George Martin) who gave Sgt. Pepper to the world.  Hope to be listening in another 50.  06.06.17

About Screenwriting: Saw a movie this past weekend that had none of the elements I stress as being important in the screenwriting classes I teach at UCLA Extension. No plot, no character development, no act structure, no character needs, no conflict. And I loved it. Guess when you have fourteen great songs (like "A Hard Day's Night") performed by the Beatles, none of that stuff matters.  02.13.17

About Golf Traditions: In addition to my writing and music, I'm in the golf business. Fourteen years ago, I invented the BreakMaster Digital Green Reader, a golf device that helps golfers read the break (slope) of the green.  But it was not universally accepted right away.  I remember standing at our booth at our first PGA Show as more than a few angry golfers came by to declare that “that thing is illegal” and that “it will never be accepted under the Rules of Golf.” Fortunately, golf pros, caddies and golf instructors got it. They understood that the BreakMaster was a great tool intended for charting greens before, not during, competitions. The BreakMaster has, since then, helped thousands of golfers make more putts, and helped many pros win tournaments by knowing the break before they putt. Well, this week, the R & A (The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, who jointly governs the Rules of Golf along with the USGA) bought a good number of BreakMasters from us. The USGA (as well as the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour) had been using the BreakMaster for years to set up fair hole positions for their tournaments. So had the R & A (we were surprised to learn) which had been using the BreakMaster for some time, but had not, until now, purchased directly from us. Golf is a game of rich traditions, and doesn’t it change capriciously. We’re proud to learn that the R & A has recognized the BreakMaster as useful tool for the game. 02.11.17

About Recent Films: Finally, a good one! I have to say I have been underwhelmed by most of the movie screeners I've been sent for awards season.  But I really liked "Hidden Figures" a lot. A really inspiring story with wonderful characters beautifully portrayed.  This is one of my favorite films of the year and it definitely stands up to repeat viewings. 01.29.17


About My Novel: My novelization of my feature screenplay, Houdini & Lovecraft: The Ghost Writer is now available!  It is published on Amazon as a paperback, Kindle eBook or for download to a PC. 

This story is an historical fiction about an encounter between famed magician Harry Houdini and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, who was actually hired by the magician to be his ghost writer on a story Imprisoned With The Pharaohs, that was published in Weird Tales magazine in 1924.

I was fascinated by the relationship between these two men, absolute icons of their era, and the fact that they actually collaborated.  So I thought about a "what if?" scenario, and came up with the idea that there was, in fact, another collaboration between Houdini and Lovecraft, only this one became an adventure that was so horrifying and shocking that the true story couldn't be shared with the rest of the world... until now. 

CLICK HERE to read more about the story on the next page.