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Showing posts from 2018

Scientifically Proven to Make Your Mind Jingle

On their November 4, 2018 episode, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz, reported on a study that proved Christmas music makes you crazy.

But what is crazy? And for that matter, what is Christmas music and what's not?

This got me thinking about songs that qualify as Christmas songs by the slimmest of margins, but that I have heard the local Christmas radio stations play. I've compiled a full list (not a Top 10, this one's in no particular order) of songs that qualify as Christmas songs by very small margins. Here they are:

"Jingle Bells", "Jingle Bell Rock", "Winter Wonderland", "Let it Snow", "Sleigh Ride", and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" all contain zero mention of Christmas or imagery exclusively connected to Christmas. They are all winter-themed songs that due to a phenomenon called "pop-cultural osmosis" have become heavily associated with Christmas despite never mentioning it. (And, …

Nobody: The LeoFinelli.com Person of the Year 2018

Yes, nobody.

This is not a symbolism of any cultural movement or phenomenon. I'm just not naming a Person of the Year this year.

And it's not because I feel the need to do other things; it's just that naming a Person of the Year last year had a purpose. This year, it doesn't.

Last year, Time named "The Silence Breakers" (aka all the women who spoke out against sexual harassment and assault) the Person of the Year. I was genuinely angry. Feminism had dominated the year's news even before the fall of #MeToo. Wonder Woman was the #1 movie. The Handmaid's Tale was the #1 TV show. (It wasn't a "real" TV show, but that's another post.) Fearless Girl was the #1 work of public art (?) The Women's March in January (which is misnamed; an essay about its misnaming will be posted in due time) attracted millions around the world. In my opinion, Time should have named "The Woman" or "The Feminist" as their Person of the Ye…

A Helpful Glossary

The following is a glossary of terms I will occasionally use in my posts, but don't want to have to explain the meaning of every time. That's why I'm writing a glossary.
Poke in the coconut: To affectionately touch another person's head with something in between a tap and a poke. Can also mean to bother.
Family programming sweet spot: Wednesday night before Thanksgiving to the night of Christmas Day, when TV sets special time aside to cater to the family.
Supplements: Gross pills I pop every day before I eat.
And You Were There: When a story that's set mainly in two general locations (usually, but not always, reality and fantasy) has the same actors who play characters in one location also play characters in the other. Named after a line at the end of The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy acknowledges that all the people she met in Oz looked and acted exactly like people she knew back home in Kansas (and were played by the same actors).
Christmas Special Types: Five categ…

It's The Day Before Thanksgiving, So Here's the Schedule for the 2018 You-Know-What

Top 10 Debates That Will Endlessly Divide Star Wars Fans

(First, a correction. A post on November 1, 2017 said that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had only ever been shown on CBS. It has been shown on other networks, precisely NBC from 1975-1985, ABC from 1985-1993, CBS from 1993-1995, back to ABC from 1995-2007, and NBC currently holds airing rights to the film. LeoFinelli.com apologizes for the error.)

Star Wars fans have arguments with fans of Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings all the time. But the most heated arguments are the ones Star Wars fans have with themselves. These arguments have been known for creating rifts between Star Wars fans and putting the franchise into its own "What color is this dress?" or "Yanny or Laurel?" moments. I've ranked the top 10 here so you can see what I'm talking about.

#10. The Porgs
A neighbor of mine jokingly said, "Bob Iger (Disney-ABC CEO) invented porgs." He meant that the porgs in The Last Jedi were just in there to sell toys, with no purpo…

This Image Says It All

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Premature Script Announcements Won't Happen Again!

Forget I ever wrote my last blog post. Revisiting From Sea to Shining Sea was more like a fleeting aha moment than an enduring script idea. Like my idea to revisit A Place in the Puzzle, this attempt at reviving a past story was an obsessive feeling that grew to an enormous size, then faded away.

So I've cancelled the script idea, putting the revised From Sea to Shining Sea in a box with Target, Audi, Miracle on Tryon Street aka #JustChecking, A Place in the Puzzle, and not in a box with Shea and Sheryl and Seuss. These were characters and stories that I could endure and spend time with for my whole life if I wanted to. This story, and its characters, didn't belong in that context.

So what am I going to do next?

Well, I know for sure, I will think about the sustainability of project/screenplay ideas before I start working on them.


Blasts from the Past Setting the Future in Motion

As you might recall, in my post about Things You Didn't Know About My Scripts, I discussed ideas that I had never turned into scripts, such as Target Presents The Holiday Odyssey, Miracle on Tryon Street, and a proposed script based on this Audi commercial.

But what about ideas I had for stories even before I started writing scripts?

In addition to literal notebooks full of Star Wars fan fiction, there were others. There was a teen/slasher flick that was just ghastly in its writing and story. There was a version of the musical Annie that was supposed to run 6 hours. There was A Place in the Puzzle, a take on R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder that I wrote when I was 12. There was a story about a young man who tagged along on another family's vacation for personal gain but found himself doing impersonal things.

And then there was the story that defines one of Mr. Leo Finelli's key traits. Leo wonders occasionally, "Who is that female on my TV screen?" And if he figu…

The Year of Living Fearlessly

One year.

It has been one year since Fearless Girl was released to this blog. The work is almost surely my calling card and was also distinguished as without this script, I would never have created Sheryl Strongheart or Rennie Rochester. As in, writing it was what made me start identifying as a feminist (and writing additional girl-power scripts.)

Fearless Girl, the statue, was something I knew about vaguely, but was first presented with in image form for me on a Video Daily Double on the July 18, 2017 episode of the popular game show Jeopardy! One look at this elegant sculpture, uneasy at nothing, with her hands on her hips, asking society to throw at her whatever its gender-biased nature could. The SECOND the statue came onto the screen of our TV, I immediately wondered, "What would she look like as a human girl?" Followed, of course, by the question, "What would it take for her to become a human girl?"

The story expanded over the next hour, and a few days later,…

Poll: You Can Help Me Write My Latest Script!

Yes, you, my readers, are going to help me with an important aspect of my next script!

No, not Babes in Toyland, or the one set in northern California. I'm postponing those.

We're talking about a story I wrote as a novella before I even wrote a single script. A story I wrote at this time of year in 2014. This is A Place in the Puzzle. 

A semi-autobiographical take on R.J. Palacio's bestseller Wonder, this is the story of 10-year-old Ryan Fitch, who is growing up in Louisville in 2003 (at least in the previous version). After being diagnosed with high functioning autism and befriending two supportive young girls his age, Ryan still struggles to make his way through the fifth grade (and the world). Meanwhile, his perseverance and good heart inspire a celebrated rising music star, as well as his older sister, to create artistic wonders. After a heated confrontation with a deceitful adult troublemaker on the night of May 31, the former boaster, though now more worthy than bra…

10 Things, In No Particular Order, That You Didn't Know About My Scripts

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From tragedy to tourney, Seuss to Strongheart, I've created a world of colorful characters in just 1.5 years. I've explored many worlds, from New York to Los Angeles to Cape Cod to San Antonio to the Corporate Sector and everything in between. I've fulfilled my wishes by just writing them, brought a piece of public art to life, and freed an entire galaxy from misogyny. I've even told an entirely fictional story - but all the characters are factual figures! So here are 10 things you did not know about 8 scripts.

1. "The Wish Writer", "Fearless Girl", and "Someone to Bring Me Home", my three shortest scripts, were all written in a single day. "Wish Writer" was whipped up in two hours on December 1, 2016. "Fearless Girl" was written in one afternoon on July 26, 2017. "Someone to Bring Me Home" was finished just a few hours after Macy's released the original commercial, on November 20, 2017.

2. My early charact…

Some Family Feud Answers That Worked Too Well, Not Well Enough, or Were Just Off the Wall...(Clean Answers Only)

Yet again, I am doing a post on game shows - this time Family Feud, which has been airing since 1976 and I've accounted for some of the most bizarre answers in show history. So let's cut to the chase, here they are (share these with your friends):

Name a yellow fruit. "Orange."

Name a part of the telephone. "The bottom part."

Name something Russia is famous for. "Russians."

Name an animal with three letters in its name. "Alligator."

In what month of a woman's pregnancy does she begin to look pregnant? "September."

Name a type of bear. "Papa."

Real or fictional, name a famous Willy. "Willy the Pooh."

Name a part of your body that begins with the letter N. "Name."

Name something a doctor might pull out of a person during a surgical procedure. "A gerbil."

Name a word that rhymes with "dinky". "Dwinky."

Fill in the blank: Purple ______. "Nurple."

Fill in the blank: Pie …

Meet My New Best Friends: Farah, Natalie, Hannah, and Katie

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Today I attended the #MarchForOurLives in Uptown Charlotte. It was so enjoyable to be around 10,000 people who all were marching for (about) the same reason - to enforce stricter gun laws and save lives in America (or in my case, to abolish guns and their use altogether.)

But perhaps most importantly, at the end, it was where I first felt connection outside my own inner circle. As the march dispersed, the 10,000 was reduced to 7 - me, my parents, and four girls.


These four girls are fighters like I have written about and heard about...but never really met. Their names are Farah, Natalie, Hannah, and Katie. They are leaders in our community. They are fighting the good fight. And now, I fight alongside them as a friend.

As the chants became quieter and the people all started to leave the city square, there I was, alone, a few yards away from Mom and Dad, alone, with four girls who said they were dance students. Unfortunately, they were not ballet students. Fortunately...they "got&…

Leo Finelli's 10 Best Fictional Characters

In a little over a year, I have created a world of characters, from New York to Los Angeles, the cliffs of New England to the sports of San Antonio. So here, I am finally counting down the top 10 best characters I have created in 8 scripts. Not all of my scripts are represented, though. Here's the list.

#10: Ari Bellum
"Fearless Girl" (2017)
Ari is a supporting character, not in the sense that he's not a lead role, but in the sense that his main job in the story is to support and mentor other characters. He helps not one, but two girls (one made of bronze) achieve their dreams and goes from the butt of everyone's jokes and an ordinary New York kid to a boy everyone wants to be friends with and truly proud to be a (male) feminist.

#9: Owen Saunders
"One Shining Moment" (2018)
Although I have no idea what the real Owen Saunders is like, in my story he's a persistent little boy who loves to milk his musical talents. He also looks out for his friends, enga…