“Unk was my inspiration to blog. So blame him.”
Mystery Man on Film
Way back in June of 2006 I’m not even sure I had indoor plumbing yet. My cell phone looked like Gordo Gekko’s. Some of you weren’t even born yet. Yes, four years is a long time in this new digital world. But that’s when UNK went online with his screenwriting blog, Unknownscreenwriter.
I didn’t start looking at screenwriting blogs until late ’07 and there were three that stood out to me; Mystery Man on Film, Blake Snyder, and UNK. Blake died last year, and there are recent reports that Mystery Man is no longer with us making UNK one of the longest continual blogs on screenwriting. He doesn’t blog daily like Scott Myers over at Go Into The Story (or yours truly) but over the past four years he as amassed quite a collection of solid and informative posts.
I’m personally thankful for UNK and all those early blogging pioneers who paved the way starting back in the good ole’ days of ’05 & ’06. (I think in 2010 there are more screenwritng blogs than Elvis sightings. The goal isn’t to read them all, but find a couple that inspire you to improve your writing. )
And like Mystery Man, UNK’s true identity is unknown. We don’t know where he comes from, what’s his background, or what he’s written. I personally like to think he’s from Nebraska because it fits my angle here. Google UNK and first up is the University of Nebraska Kearney’s because their website is http://www.unk.edu —and you know how screenwriters like to sneak stuff in. Just look at what those commie screenwriters did in the 30s-40s-50s. Not that UNK is a communist, of course, just looking for clues.
What we do know about UNK though is he spent some time in California, but now lives a quick plane ride outside L.A. in either New Mexico or Arizona. UNK is rather blunt and has a fondness for dropping f-bombs, but it’s all part of his gruff charm. It’s easy for me to imagine UNK, Blake and Mystery Man all sitting at a table playing poker. There’s refined and cultured Mystery Man in a suit looking like Tom Wolf and smoking a Cuban with a brandy snifter in his right hand, there’s Blake in his trademark blue button down Oxford shirt drinking a Pepsi, and there’s UNK drinking a 24 ounce can of beer, looking a little like an aging surfer crossed with Oscar Madison, and cussing up a storm as he rants about some recent exchange he had with a 16-year-old Hollywood executive.
I could be wrong, but that’s how Unk comes across to me. Either way, he’s an interesting character to throw into your mix of screenwriting blogs if you are unfamiliar with him. You can learn a lot there. His posts on transformational arc are gold. Back in Dec. ’09 UNK wrote a post called You Don’t Make Me Feel and addressed the majority of scripts he reads these days, “Did you get so caught up in creating some kind of WHAMMO every ten pages that you forgot to elicit some kind of emotion from me?”
Unfortunately, that applies to not only many unproduced scripts but to too many films that jump through all the hoops to get produced and distributed.
Happy anniversary UNK.