TIH 439: Max Booth III on Screenwriting, We Need To Do Something, and Ghoulish Podcast

Max Booth III standing still at a film festival as part of the podcast episode cover image. Max wears a black jacket and t-shirt with a cool graphic and black rimmed glasses.

In this podcast Max Booth III talks about screenwriting, We Need To Do Something, Ghoulish Podcast, and much more.

About Max Booth III

Max Booth III is the author of Abnormal Statistics, Maggots Screaming!, We Need To Do Something, and Touch The Night. He is the publisher of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and Ghoulish Books. His podcast is called Ghoulish.

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Michael David Wilson 0:07

Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson. And every episode alongside my co host, Bob Pastorella. We count we're masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is max booth, the third. This is the first time in over three years that Max has been on the podcast. And he has done so much since then. He has got into screenwriting or not just got into screenwriting he screen wrote, he adapted his own book, we need to do something into an AMAZING film. You can watch it now is available on demand. So please seek it out. We need to do something. He's also started the podcast, ghoulish podcast, started a book festival ghoulish book fast. And most recently, he released a new novel, maggot screaming, let me tell you this, there are big things in the future for Max, because he is a phenomenal talent. And you and then I never said it like that before. But he just is and I think we are going to see so many of his films on the big screen in the future. There's going to be a lot more books available, he is going to become a household name within the horror community and beyond. So watch this space. And in this episode, we talk about a lot we really delve into his star in terms of screenwriting, it's quite a lot of technical questions about that. We then talk about his strategy for releasing the book of we need to do something. Talk a little about ghoulish podcast, and his forthcoming book, Indiana Death Song, so plenty to get into. But before any of that, a little bit of an advert break.

Bob Pastorella 2:43

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Michael David Wilson 3:46

All right, and with that said, here it is. It is Max Booth II on This Is Horror. Max, welcome back to This Is Horror. Yeah. So one of the things that you've done since we last spoke is became a screenwriter. So you've wrote the adaptation to your novella, we need to do something that is now out in the world. So I mean, to take it all the way back. When did you first become interested in Screenwriting?

Max Booth III 4:24

Yeah, so I have a friend who lives in Austin. I live in San Antonio. It's about a a 60 minute drive. His name is Shane McKenzie. And he used to only write books, lots of like, extreme bizarro books, full presses like Dennett, press, and eventually he, he, he got lucky with screenwriting. And he realized, Oh, wait for some money in this and also that money in the books and publishing so he kind of took it to the pivot into focusing only on screenwriting. And he's had some luck with it. his latest project, bingo, hell just came out on Amazon Prime. Although because it's Amazon, I do recommend anyone listening to just pirate instead. So I had lunch with him one day, it was like two or three yields. It was 2019. I can't do that type of math, but 2019 2018 And it doesn't matter. No one's taking notes on this. I had lunch with them. And he told me about all the luck he was having with screenwriting. And he encouraged me to try writing a screenplay myself. He said he knew some indie production companies that will hungry fuel, original scripts and like, no one else in the indie, rural writing scene, was really interested in writing the scripts feel some reason when all these opportunities will available. And I'm always up for trying new things. And I had this idea already of a Phyllis thrilly about a family stuck in a bathroom. I wanted to write something real, it began and ended in a bathroom because that seems funny to me. So I, this seemed like a good way to write that because it would be a low budget, one setting limited cast. So I have told that lunch, I spent a few months reading that script and I sent it to Shane. And he said, Okay, I'm going to send it to this production company. And we'll see what happens. And then six months passed, and they didn't respond. So I guess he was wrong. And I got impatient. So I rewrote it as a novella. I thought, all right. I know what I know. I know how to do books. I don't know how to do screenplays, evidently. But I can read a book. So I rewrote it. I think Phil the best it changed quite a bit from the original screenplay, where this novella, I sit on it for a few months, not really sure what to do with it, because agents for some reason, or just terrified of consoling developers, because it's not long enough. And I don't trust a lot of small presses and email. So I just sat on it for a while. And in the meantime, I got connected with a film and TV managerial name Ryan Lewis, I'm sure. Folks who have listened to Josh mandelman on the podcast, know that name. He's also his managerial. And fuck Michael. David Wilson, Ceman assault manager, you might know him. He's you.

I connected with him. And he was reading some Vilius projects on my own, to just see if there was any film potential. And then COVID happened. And I was working the night shift to the hotel, and a lot of my Cobell gold spill, let go. And I thought, Oh, I'm probably gonna get let go soon as well. The hotel next to me completely shut down. And it was pretty frightening if that I need to figure out a way to make some money. So I self published the novella, we need to do something through my own small press, perpetual motion machine publishing. I did it in a kind of odd way, meaning I couldn't be baffled to do any promotion at all. And I just randomly released it on a on a Saturday night, like at 10pm. And somehow, that got some interest from Reynolds. And a lot of people began reading it and that was fun. And like a week after I released it, Ryan finally got to that novella that I had sent it to him a few weeks before I even released it, but he took him a bit to get to it. He read it, he said, This is great. This would make a great movie. You should write this as a script. Then he said, Do you want to send me the original script you already wrote? I told him absolutely not because it's really different from the new novella. So I went about rewriting it from scratch, basically, as a new script. I sent it to Ryan, he gave me some notes. I revised it, some mill notes, some back and filth. And then he said, Okay, this is good. I'm gonna, I'm gonna send it out to some folks. He sent it to a company called Atlas productions. No Atlas industries, because at the time, maybe they still might be. I'm not positive they will in they will involved in the production of Josh Malerman Burtka black mad wheel, I believe is the title and Fish Ryan said, Hey, would you guys want to help produce, we need to do something. And at the time, the co founder role co president of Atlas, Shaun King O'Grady, he not only wanted to produce it, he wanted to direct it, because until then he had directed some documentaries, but he was looking into making what do you call it just like fiction movies. And this seemed like a easy movie to make with COVID going on. And it kind of was. So I mean, things just kind of went pretty quickly after that. I zoomed with Shawn in July of 2019. That's how I met him. And then we will filming by the beginning of October, all the same meals. So that doesn't usually happen. So quickly. I am to scheduling now with level projects.

Michael David Wilson 10:57

Yeah, I mean, the turnaround for everything was remarkably quick. And I mean, there's so much to pick up on here. I mean, one of the things you said about initially, when you sent it out to the indie company that Shane had mentioned, was six months passed, and nothing happened. And, you know, I've learned from talking to different people and listening to these conversations that that's kind of the way that it works. In screenwriting, if people don't like something, they often just ignore it. It's like there's no, sorry, this wasn't for us. It just they give you the silent treatment.

Max Booth III 11:41

Now even I mean, yes, that but expanding on that you could be in the process of relocating a project with some someone, a project that they've expressed excitement, overkill, and then suddenly, something might go wrong. Maybe they've lost funding to help, you know, maybe a new idea has gotten a little attention, and they don't have any time to continue the project, they will deal with you. And instead of telling you that they will just proceed to ghost you. I mean, yeah, it's fairly common in the film industry, and it's pretty, uh, pretty fucking annoying.

Michael David Wilson 12:18

Yeah, yeah. And I guess with that randomly being a limit as to kind of the important people and producers that you want to get this in front of, even though they ghost you, you or your agent probably has to reach out to the same person when there's enough a project that they might be interested in. So, I mean, in, in book publishing, if someone ghosted you you probably think Well, fuck that person. Never gonna contact them again. But yeah, it can't wait.

Max Booth III 12:50

You may have to reach it, you may have to reach out to the same Filson to say, Hey, am I gonna get canceled? manually? DVDs the movie we made last time. Can you can you define fill the audience what ghosting means?

Bob Pastorella 13:07

Well, ghosting is whenever you are basically expecting some type of, you know, confirmation of something and you don't get it ever. In other words, like you're waiting, you're waiting and you're waiting and you're waiting. And the only way you're ever going to really find out what happened is if you have to contact that person again, for something else, and you do the Oh, hey, by the way, I never heard back about the other thing. And usually they'll say one other thing. Yeah, that's ghosting.

Max Booth III 13:46

Why do you think it's called ghosting now? Like, do like they'll go Slyke infamous Phil just signaling you because I thought the whole thing was they tried to scale you out of houses.

Bob Pastorella 13:58

No, that's that's a different type of ghosting.

Max Booth III 14:03

Yeah, I guess so. Why

Bob Pastorella 14:05

is the different ghosting?

Michael David Wilson 14:09

What is it with you max and recently getting people to define things? Because I listened to you small town hall panel at the ghoulish festival. And you just started out by getting people to define town.

Max Booth III 14:26

Yeah, well, I mean, two different answers. It's like the one like I wanted Bob to the fine Gaussian. Guess I don't want to take for granted that all the listeners know what ghosting is. I thought Bob would give them give the most amusing definition and I was correct. And the panel Yuval talking about the topic was small towns, and I wasn't meant to moderate that panel that I had to anyway, and I didn't do any prep, although I don't usually do much prep on anything I guess. But small towns is pretty vague topic and I'm walking up to the stage I kept thinking, How the fuck am I going to make 50 minutes of content with this? So the first thing that came to mind was what is the town? I mean,

Michael David Wilson 15:10

Bob certainly helped out in terms of making content longer because he spent about 10 minutes talking about throwing stones and postin whoa, I'm the one who didn't throw stones the first on this panel so that was an interesting he was did you have was it was a stone throwing competition part of ghoulish festival wherever advertised or impromptu, you

Bob Pastorella 15:36

know? No, but it was pebbles. We did throw pebbles.

Michael David Wilson 15:40

Okay, well, they

Max Booth III 15:40

fruity at all.

Bob Pastorella 15:42

I know. We're not fruity. They were

Max Booth III 15:44

Coco. Oh, nice. That's the best scan the best.

Michael David Wilson 15:51

One is that clear? Thank goodness for that.

Max Booth III 15:54

Was that a Patreon question?

Michael David Wilson 15:57

No, no, we didn't get too many days. Oh, okay. Him. Mac literally muted his mic. I don't max. Deliberate, some long silent shit.

Max Booth III 16:14

You know, I spent a while since we talked. I've discovered new tricks to podcasting. Like muting my mic when I might go to drink.

Michael David Wilson 16:21

Yeah. Yeah, I don't like

Max Booth III 16:24

I don't hold the mic now. And like, move it around and say attack I have to schedule. That's a bad thing to do. Yeah. So it's like my second podcast I've ever done. I think it was. It was on Jay David eyes films podcast. And I was just holding it and just moving it around as I talked, because I didn't realize it would make noise the whole time.

Michael David Wilson 16:49

Yeah. Well, I mean, going back to screenwriting, you spoke about working with Ryan on we need to do something and getting a load of notes from him. So I'm wondering what was some of the most instrumental note notes in terms of your development as a screenwriter,

Max Booth III 17:12

I think the biggest note he kept giving me and so obvious in retrospect, it's just keeping track of like real, the entire cast is at all times because it's a one setting the movie. So the cast is in the same room the whole time. And like when you write it as a book, it's in someone's point POV by the book is Phil's Pilsen POV. So that kill tool isn't always going to be like, consider it or even give a shit about what the mom might be doing at all times. But when it's a movie, you have a screen and you see everybody anyway. So you need to know what they might be doing. So just kind of like taking that and more consideration what everybody might be doing this keeping track of the small details like that.

Michael David Wilson 18:05

Yeah, yeah. So how many drafts did you go through with we need to do something?

Max Booth III 18:11

I don't know. Maybe three? Also? No, that's not true. Maybe five? I mean, it's not like I did the one rewrite in the beginning. You feel Ryan solid, whatsoever will. And in my head. When I think of draft I think of rewriting like a complete rewrite. But maybe that's not true. Because like, after that, it was just like, You should do a pass of this and correct this specific thing. Like, is that countless a new draft? I don't know.

Michael David Wilson 18:44

I guess it's open for interpretation. I mean, for me, I I'd probably call it a new draft. Depends if I if I go through from start to finish. Oh, fuck me. To let the dogs out. No,

Bob Pastorella 18:59

he didn't like that answer. Yeah. Yeah, that was not approved response. I would say probably going through and fixing one thing would not be a draft. You could call it one. But technically no. To me a draft is like starting over like a whole new document. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 19:19

Yeah. And I hate that. But

Bob Pastorella 19:21

you know, I mean, I do whatever it takes, it's,

Michael David Wilson 19:26

yeah. Well, I mean, it's something good. Well, I was gonna say at the moment with the the screenplay that Bob and I are working on, I'd say, we, you know, we've done the second draft, but the second draft of Act One because we're writing the act and then sending it to Ryan to get comment. And so of course, me and Bob have had lots of back and forth and going over different scenes, but it was you know, once we finalize something consented to Ryan. So I suppose for me, I need time you send something to Ryan, that is a draft, unless it was just a quick email so,

Max Booth III 20:06

so for the draft that everyone is looking to get is final drafts. So I do have some real thoughts about this now that we've talked a bit as I was on set of the movie, the draft, I did do multiple drafts then, because I physically had to write draft one draft to draft three and so on. Because so it's always stressed draft one technically, until the movie goes into production. Okay, so everything until then remains what is called a the white draft, right? I think that's what it's called shit. I'm blanking on it. Yeah, white draft, everything until you go into production. It's like the pre draft basically. And then once production begins, that is considered the white draft, and then it becomes locked. So if you make any corrections or revisions, Absol, that you have to call it like blue draft, and it's a completely new document. And you see on the screenplay itself, like it will be in sometimes it might be in read tax bill, the new revisions might be, well, you just might see an asterisk, like to the right of the page showing an edit was made in this section. And another thing that happens as you will in production, and you go through these different drafts is the page count remains the same always. So for instance, my screenplay was 97 pages long. But I had to make corrections through it. And that ended up becoming long Google. But instead of saying it, because instead of it becoming like 9899 pages, say, if I made a correction on page five, and it spilled over to the next page, that would become page five, a, and then five, b, and so on until the revision was done, because they have to in the system, and in the well, the, what do you call it, the set notes, and the the camera shots and all the all the stuff they do in pre production, the plan this, those notes can't just keep being changed to a cut to, uh, to adjust to the new revisions. So that's why it changes the five a five B. Does that make sense?

Michael David Wilson 22:30

Yeah, yeah. Was that something in terms of the page count that you could automatically do on either final draft or Highland to whatever you were using for this one?

Max Booth III 22:41

Yeah. So I really didn't Thailand to but everybody, everybody involved in the actual movie on production? They freaked out. And they were like, oh, no, you have to do final draft so I can build it the final draft. And that does it automatically once you lock the script, and blocking the script. It's just an option in the final draft.

Michael David Wilson 23:02

Yeah, so you pretty much had to buy Final Draft just to convert it to the file that they wanted. Is that right?

Max Booth III 23:11

Well, I would have but I really had bought it before even the meeting Ryan Ryan was the one who got me on Highland to actually I neglected to mention something in my my screenwriting mythos, you feel I even met Shane. Before I had had that lunch with Shane I had written my novel screenplay. Foi adaptations on my book, kill Nicolas Lindell activities at the encouragement of a of a Filson, who I'm not going to name, who maybe promised me a certain amount of money for any vendor that pay it and said, they never will promise me anything. And he told me, Oh, you can't use any of the already program, except for final drafts. And well, I mean, I shouldn't be true, but it kind of feels like it is just because of what happened when I was on set. I don't think that's something you really need to be consistent about until your movie is fucking bought. And it's going to be filmed just right on Highland to be free. Just do that. And if for some reason, you get lucky, and you do sell on script, and you do go this onset, and you have to do this, then yeah, go and buy final draft. I'm sure you will be able to have filled it. Yeah, you've sold a script by then.

Michael David Wilson 24:27

Yeah, yeah. And so I'm wondering in terms of like, Now when you're writing a script when you're starting out, do you prefer to start in Highland too, or are you just starting in final draft.

Max Booth III 24:41

I begin in high land too, because it's easy to bounce it back and fills with Ryan in the see his notes on it. It's just it's also just easier to write and I think it's really smooth. It's not overly complicated like final drafts can be final draft has a lot of useless like bells and whistles to it that no one really needs. I like Highland to I don't know why it's called high land to I should look that up what do they do in the original wind and they went oh, we should do a sequel. I don't understand the naming process with it but it's good.

Michael David Wilson 25:17

Yeah, yeah. So when you're sending it to Ryan, you're sending the Highland to file.

Max Booth III 25:25

Yeah, yeah, I'm not converting it to a PDF I'm just sending the actual thing and then he can use what the what is basically track changes on it. It's like called revision. Yeah,

Michael David Wilson 25:38

yeah, Bob and I are very familiar with that because obviously bouncing it back and forth. And honestly, the the only thing that isn't in the program that I would like it to have is if the track changes much like word when something was deleted if there was just a note to show exactly what was deleted. But

Max Booth III 26:00

yeah, I agree. I wish it didn't have that. Yeah, yeah, you

Bob Pastorella 26:05

have to keep multiple drafts on file. If you do start cutting because if you need to add something back, you're not going to you may remember but you probably need to look at what you originally wrote. If you put something back in and then you just got to basically copy and paste but it's that would be a nice addition to be able to see what was deleted

Unknown Speaker 26:27

Yes John

Max Booth III 26:27

August listen to this podcast maybe he can add that

Michael David Wilson 26:31

I hope so. Yeah, because I listen to his podcast and I think that's how it works if I listen to someone's then they will be obligated to listen to mine.

Max Booth III 26:43

I should give that a go I should begin listening to a lot to a lot more podcasts maybe mil people would listen to mine

Michael David Wilson 26:51

It's a strategy you could consider but I mean I mean talking about you know the the white draft and then naming them different colors essentially I mean, I can see because you sent me your screenplay for we need to do something I see you've got the white draft the blue draft the pink Canary green golden rod and finally black void it this is probably a stupid question, but is that like the official color scheme that I did here? Can you just do any? I kinda hope that is the official one particularly if you know after green you have to jump to Goldenrod

Max Booth III 27:43

so I googled it and it is the official one and till but it was the one we filmed black draft black Floyd Goldenrod Yeah, so that was the last one listed and this like two days away from us rapping I had to make one last adjustment to the script. And I texted the Shawn the director and I said what's Apple Goldenrod I don't know what the pixels nothing online and he just said I don't know black void. That's it. Okay, I'm using that. So he changed the black void. And when I emailed it to the like the script assistant and like all the the assistant producers and whatnot I in the email I said Sean gave me permission to call this one black void Do not yell at me

Michael David Wilson 28:30

when they go which is which is

Max Booth III 28:31

funny because I mean that brings up something happen Yeah,

Michael David Wilson 28:36

I Googled this some more so it shouldn't have been black. I can't this just seems like a parody some of these names so after Goldenrod we've got we've got buff we've got draft

Max Booth III 28:52

that's dressed

Bob Pastorella 28:55

like me new FF right bu FF buff draft What color is that?

Michael David Wilson 29:01

I'd have no fucking color some some of these ones coming up. Then we've got salmon salmon draft then we've got Carrie draft and then after cherry we go to second blue second second green golden rod second buff second salmon and then second Jerry and I

Max Booth III 29:32

misconception you only get one chili and you lose it pretty.

Michael David Wilson 29:37

Yeah. Funny they've included Gary in this

Bob Pastorella 29:40

I think we should petition to get blank void you

Michael David Wilson 29:44

petition John August. Oh, getting

Bob Pastorella 29:51

really in Goldman is fucking Yeah, no shit. Well, you go. Let's just run this course and talk to him.

Unknown Speaker 30:00

But it's golden. Been.

Michael David Wilson 30:05

Oh my god. Wow.

Max Booth III 30:08

That's fun.

Michael David Wilson 30:09

I hope that was interesting for people. They've learned all the color schemes. And

Max Booth III 30:15

I mean, they say Lauren, like seven of them, then like whoever made that list, you will really they just went off. Let's just repeat them I guess because that's all of them.

Michael David Wilson 30:24

Yeah, so I can only assume then it's not listed that if you get even forever, you have to repeat again. Okay, said blue.

Max Booth III 30:34

I feel like they had like a eight pack of Crayola crayons.

Bob Pastorella 30:41

Yeah, not even an eight pack. They have like, yeah, it's probably eight.

Max Booth III 30:45

Well, they had a but like the dog consumed two of

Bob Pastorella 30:48

them. Right? It could have been like the four pack you get or like the happy meal or something like that.

Max Booth III 30:55

Yeah. When you go to a restaurant and they give it to some asshole kid, they keep them distracted from like, pooping on the ceiling. No, no. Yeah, I'm talking about Bob.

Bob Pastorella 31:05

Certainly. Now, I guess

Michael David Wilson 31:11

Okay. Well, I mean, I understand to that. I mean, you've done some directing before, as you've written and directed some short films. So is that kind of now something you're looking to get into? On the big screen? Is there any movement in terms of that?

Max Booth III 31:36

No movement, but something I'm definitely interested in doing someday. That type of thing is truly terrifying to me. Because I don't understand a lot about the technical side of the filmmaking yet. I'm trying to this to teach myself and spill moments of my, my day. But it's out there. It's a lot and it stresses me out. Because I know like, sfil Easy to fuck things up. Yeah. And like, yeah, like I directed, like, one shields film, but like, it was just me. My iPhone, a boom mic. And like three friends overnight, just fucking around. I mean, I think it's, I think it ended up being pretty cool. But be going beyond that texting. Technology wise, is frightening to me.

Michael David Wilson 32:29

Yeah, yeah. And in terms of when you were screenwriting? Did you initially kind of put many directorial notes in and then subsequently had to edit them out? Because I know that's a kind of classic mistake when I was researching that people starting off can often make you know, they're the writer, but they're adding more directorial observations, which just isn't your job at that point?

Max Booth III 32:59

No, not with the original ones I did, although I recently finished the screenplay with some directing notes, because I was thinking I might direct it. But after some conversation with them, Ryan, we I think I'm going to rewrite it as a pilot to a TV show. So I'll probably get rid of all the directing notes as I revise and trim it down and reimagine that because, I mean, it's a very different medium. And I don't need to have direct notes in it. I probably don't need directing notes in any scripts, but I wrote it specifically was myself directing in mind. So I guess I was thinking about it a slightly different.

Michael David Wilson 33:42

Yeah. Are you able to say which film that is that you're talking about? Yeah. So

Max Booth III 33:48

my book, The nightly disease. I mean, there's no movement on it. It's just stuff that we'll be working on behind the scenes, and hoping to shop once I am done. So I mean, nothing official is going on with it. At this. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 34:01

So what was the logic to go from movie to TV show? Why does that particular book seem to work better as a TV show? Or, or is it not that but Ryan kind of wants you to have both a film and a TV show version so that when shopping it around? There's both ready to go?

Max Booth III 34:23

It's funny, I had we had both I really kind of feel this should be a TV show before I even wrote it as a movie. But I kept insisting we should try doing a movie script anyway because in my head, I guess I thought well, we sold one movie let's we could do it again. Right? And and the reason why it will spread lots of TV show is well one was a lot of different killed souls going on. And I don't think in a movie script vision, we'll able to spend enough time with them to really get to know why they will fun to watch So that TV show we can kind of expand that meal. And plus, it's a, I think it's a setting that is perfect for a TV show. So hotel, we have people coming in and out constantly, we can have so many mini plots going on each new guests coming in. It feels really episodic, even the novel itself, which was something I struggled with a bit trying to make it a movie. It's alive, though the book is A, it's episodic. And that just seems like it should it should translate to a TV show and the set of a movie.

Michael David Wilson 35:33

Yeah, yeah. So what, whatever screenwriting projects that you're working on now, because I mean, my understanding from talking to you and seeing the different things that you're doing is that you are working on multiple projects at any given time.

Max Booth III 35:52

I recently wrote a pilot for a TV show that I can't talk about, I was, it was not on spec, I was solicited by a filmmaker in LA to write a pilot, and do like the season one Bible of what the little episodes be, like, based on an idea that the filmmaker gave me it's not an original creation in mind, but it was fun to do it and you know, paid it paid some bills, and that was always fun. I wish I can get some bill paid screenwriting gigs, that that would be the dream. I'm about to begin writing a script based on my book maggot screaming which dress came out? And I do intend to somehow direct this one. Not sure yet how but I feel like I can maybe at the very least, do you like a fucking John models filter and have it and just go completely DIY and make it with my friends? I am probably going to have a lot of screenplays I'm doing on spec. I have nothing really going on that I'm being paid to do. That's in production. I have a screenplay of my book kill nebulous little activities floating around. Beth a moment. Nothing's happening happening with that, for reasons I can't get into, and that's about it. I think screenwriting wise, my book touch the night was optioned shield TV, but I'm not reading the script. And I can't say who it's been picked up by. But a pilot is in the process of being written. And I, you know, I hope things continue happening with that project, because I'm, I mean, money. I hope it I hope it begins filming. All right. For those who don't know, and like the filmmaking business, when you write a screenplay, you do get like an option fee. So let's say I have a book called Touch tonight, and the company option that and they paid 10,000 bucks just to have the exclusivity of it. And then also in that same contract is how much they would pay if the show actually got made. That payment doesn't happen until day one of filming the same thing happened if we didn't mean to do something. Yeah, I guess smart, very smart. And fee with that one. With the promise of paying mil money once day one of filming happens. So like, I drove to Michigan to be on set. And when I arrived, like I still haven't gotten paid yet. I got paid like the next day, but it was like, man, please don't fuck me over guys. Because I'm taking a big gamble on this. I think I think maybe a lot of people don't realize that who will not involved in the industry? Like, yeah, you can sell a lot of scripts. But you will only get to get a smell portion of the payment until and if it actually goes into production.

Michael David Wilson 39:09

Yeah, yeah. I didn't know if this part is gonna be for the show on air. But I vaguely remember you talking about and this may have just been a private conversation that we had endlessly. It might not be able to be part of the episode. But I vaguely remember, you said something like, you put a tweet out about ninjas or you pretended to be an expert on ninjas or something like that. And then the next moment there was someone who kind of was asking you to write an India TV series or your auto era an expert so this is I think a few years ago, at least now but one is that anything you can Talking about on air. And do you even know what the hell I'm talking about here? Yeah,

Max Booth III 40:07

this wasn't 20 to 20. And we, my favorite little boy, Michelle and I went to Lowe's to buy some plants to redo the Gildan. And when I was walking out, I realized I was holding a really giant plants made me look like a video game. So I made will take a photo of me in the middle of the parking lot, like half of my body was concealed by this plant. I post to that, and I said something how like, I'm the shittiest ninja alive. And then Shaun King O'Grady who drafted me to do something. This was when we were still trying to get funds for we need to do something. So I knew him he was following me. But like, the movie wasn't a full show thing yet. He's he messaged me saying Do you like ninjas? Because I've been obsessed with trying to make a ninja movie or Ninja TV show. And I don't give a shit about ninjas. But I said yeah, man, they all my passion signals a long back and filth about life. Resulting ninjas and stuff. And I did do some research into them. And like what an injury show might be like, but then nothing happened with it, which is something that it's just common things just don't follow through.

Michael David Wilson 41:33

All right. Yeah, I forgot under detail that you'd been hiding behind a potted plant as you say it now like it's even more ridiculous than I remembered it being like, just really nothing to even do with ninjas. You use the word and yet it's funny.

Max Booth III 41:56

It's funny, that that like moment in time, and spiraled this song that we sing around the house called shitty ninja, and would be the theme song to a show about like the wheels ninja live and bass. I mean, it's basically just singing the title of vulnerable like, shitty ninja ninja ninja. And, like in my head, it would be like a like a like a mockumentary type Yeah, this camera guy is always like blowing the lights the hideout like obviously a ninjas not going to be good at hiding it feels like camera crew Hi the following him yeah it's really funny.

Michael David Wilson 42:37

I I hope if one thing can come out of this podcast is that someone listens to this stupid segue about ninjas and then Commission's you to write the TV show shifty ninja I mean that just feels like a great kind of Adult Swim style or Tim and Eric kind of comedy I want to see that like

Max Booth III 43:01

I've recently began watching a D located and that's kind of similar bill is about a family and witness protection but for filming it it's so funny like you'll just I mean if anyone hasn't seen that I highly recommend it.

Michael David Wilson 43:18

I have seen you go to the first few images I see a ridiculous

Max Booth III 43:25

it's so fucking funny but like

Bob Pastorella 43:27

they're being filmed wow there

Max Booth III 43:30

Yeah, so making a TV show out of it. Sounds

Bob Pastorella 43:33

like fucking everyone knows that they're in the witness protection program. Yup best

Michael David Wilson 43:38


Max Booth III 43:40

Like within within like three app I mean, this is this spoiling like two episodes into the season. But like in a sad Russian assassin begins trying to kill them if they decide that the camera cut the film company they decide they should do a spin off show filming that guy trying to kill

Bob Pastorella 44:01

like I didn't even know about the show's called D located. Yeah, I'm gonna I'm gonna start watching this in

Michael David Wilson 44:08

three seasons 29 episodes on a paella and this went on for five years.

Bob Pastorella 44:19

Damn shows man I never even heard this thing. And it sounds great.

Max Booth III 44:23

Yeah, I mean, it passed me by two. I've only recently began watching it. I'm only like halfway in the season one. So I'm like can't wait to like see will the fuck else it goes at this. Crazy

Michael David Wilson 44:36

Yeah, so up for watching this looks absolutely ridiculous. Well, I mean, we've we need to do something. The book you spoke about how you just kind of randomly released it on a Saturday night at 10pm. I'm wondering, did you work with an editor on this one? No, was it so kinda spontaneous? You just threw it out into the world?

Max Booth III 45:05

I, my, my Pebble sheen and my life present no to the editing on this one. Yeah, usually most of the books I do, because I don't know. I mean, yeah, I recommend hiring someone to edit a book. But if you happen to live with someone in like, sleep have someone who is pretty good at editing. And I just recommend having them do it for free. Yeah, maybe that's a bad life advice. I don't know. Bad publishing advice, though. It's funny, that book specifically I recall, I was like laying in bed reading or something. And she was in the office editing it. And when she finished she came into the room and fucking threw the stack of papers at me and said, Fuck you. It's also really sad moment in the affected all quite a bit.

Michael David Wilson 45:56

Yeah, yeah. I mean, a lot of people Yeah, reacted to this book in similar ways. And I suppose. Also, perhaps up until this point, you'd be known more for humor, writing. And obviously there is humor in we need to do something. But I mean, I think is quite clearly your darkest book by a considerable margin. So people weren't ready for that.

Max Booth III 46:23

It's interesting. I definitely gained a lot in the results with both we need to do something and touch the night, which most came out within a few months of each other. And both of those books are mostly not funny. They have comedic elements. Yes. Not the focus, say like, cool, nebulous, little activities, right? Or the nightly disease. So I got a bunch of new rules and follow rules with those two books specifically. And now I just released a new book that is just just non stop, like, just like flatulent jokes, and it's just, it's not me, it is kind of a whole book, but it's mostly just comedy. And I have already seen, like, a difference in people showing any interest in this. It's like, oh, oh, shit, I guess sylius A hill now bolts. The way they go, though. I'm not gonna do that.

Michael David Wilson 47:15

Yeah, I mean, it sounds like then, you know, you might have two distinct fan bases. So you'll have some people are more there for carnivorous lunar activities and maggots screaming and then other people who are more the kind of we need to do something touch the night camp, and I mean, Sig

Max Booth III 47:37

Fox is what I call them. Yeah. SIG Fox.

Michael David Wilson 47:41

Yeah. I mean, I, I love both modes. I mean, probably for me, like carnivorous lunar activities and the nightly disease are amongst my favorites, but that's just kind of immature. Stupid fucking humor I have so yeah, does that say?

Max Booth III 48:08

Well, good news for those folks who would prefer like middle Celia stuff. I am a little over halfway at the moment on a novella that is really depressing and not funny at all. And I hope you come and buy that one when it comes out. Because sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my fucking time with this one because it was no jokes at all. And even we need to do something in touch tonight. They had humoral to them to a degree, but the thing I'm doing now, which I'm calling Indiana Death Song, it's just it's probably just fucking gloomy. And I don't know what to expect of reactions with this one.

Michael David Wilson 48:47

Is that Is it difficult for you to write with no humor? I mean, like, yeah, yeah. Yes. holds? Yes. Yeah.

Max Booth III 48:58

Well, I mean, I want to I can, it's not. I think it's difficult for me to do it without him at all on like a book line thing, because most of my most of my Schultz Chili's will not really humulus they will pretty serious. Yeah. And usually I'm trying to capture a specific mood. And when I'm writing, and I guess my thought is with long books, you need some comedy that keep them interested. But with a shrill, it's really you can easily just capture a type of mood and vibe, just long enough until the end of the book. That's the silly. So that's my main, I guess, like philosophy with that. The novella I'm doing right now, it has to maintain this type of, I guess, depressing vibe is what I'm going to build mainly because it's based on a depressing time in my life. And the way it's being written doesn't allow a filmic funeral because there's not a lot of dialogue in it. And almost all my comedy can Um, through dialogue, it doesn't really come from like the concept or the like, like some some rattles like say Chris Christie, Phil mill, or Vonnegut, they get a lot of jokes just from the way they write sentences. But myself, when I do comedy in my writing, it kind of comes from dialogue and reactions to things. So it's slightly different, I think.

Michael David Wilson 50:27

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, how do you find it for all the like writing in this comedic mode and writing in this dark mode? Just to simplify? I mean, how does that affect your mindset? Does it make you like mentally more wary? Is it a harder kind of thing for you to be right in these really dark boobs? Yeah, it's

Max Booth III 50:54

pretty exhausting. I mean, this book specifically, it's about my, my childhood when I grew up in a hotel. And it wasn't great, fun time. So just having to just like relive this stuff again, while writing it. It's like, that's not fun. Yeah, I don't want to be doing this. But I am.

Michael David Wilson 51:13

Yeah. So then can I do that now? Yeah, yeah. Well, I wonder along similar lines, if you're going through a difficult time in your life, would you then prefer to write something lighter almost as an escape from that? Or would you prefer to write something darker to almost capitalize on those emotions and the shit that you're going through? Or perhaps it doesn't work like that at all, and it's just a matter of, you know, where the money or where the idea is, at that particular time?

Max Booth III 51:50

I don't know if it's something I've thought about but if I had to guess, I probably do like if I'm feeling really pretty gloomy. I probably do. Just lean into that a bit. Yeah, but I don't know if it's something I've ever like, consciously, consciously. Thought about too much.

Michael David Wilson 52:08

Right? Yeah. Yeah. Well, something you've done since we last spoke to you as soon as it's been over three years, is start a brand new podcast maybe not that brand new for people listening to have probably checked it out but ghoulish podcast so how did that come about?

Max Booth III 52:31

Yeah, I don't know when this episodes going live. But the episode one of ghoulish launched on like June 2 of 2019, I believe. Yeah. It came about, I don't know. I don't fucking know. I guess I wanted to, like, challenge you guys and see who would win in podcasting. I thought it would be Michael's fan Spungen smug enough with his podcasts while I show him up a little. I have this odd fascination with late night TV show hosts. And it's something I've always just wanted to be for some reason, probably due to just an unchecked massive ego. But this seems like the closest way I can get to that, I guess. And also at the time, I was doing a different podcast called Castle Rock radio, which was sieving things specific. And I kept thinking like with the folks we published through the small press, like I wanted to do like a mini like a spin off podcast of us just interviewing the awful it's about like the projects they will be working on. But often it didn't make sense to do it with Castle Rock. Because listen, all this came the timeout the listen about Stephen King. Shit, not about what people have written. So I'm sorry. I'm finally in my dog who's trying to get into a trash can. God dammit, friends

what a great what a great fucking episode this is. I've lost my train of thought. Yeah, I got it now. So it just I kept wanting to do as well. Different things. Like I recall at some point, I think I pitched to you, Michael on a podcast called uh, I have an idea for a podcast at the time. Yeah, I had so many different ideas for podcasts I want to do so I thought it'd be fun to do this podcast called I have an idea for a podcast. But each episode we would take chillums pitching a podcast, and then we will record an episode of that podcast. And that will be the episode and I still think that's a pretty good idea to be honest. Well, but

Michael David Wilson 54:57

let's let's leave it up to the listeners there. And when you know if enough, you want to hear this, we'll do at least a pilot of that show. So, you know, contact us either via Patreon via Twitter, you know, just get in touch.

Max Booth III 55:15

I think if we did do it, it would be an ongoing thing, but maybe like, like a 10 episode season, maybe you know what I mean? Like just a mini show, like kind of like, Andy Daly has a great podcast. I'm gonna fuck up the title. But it's called like an the dailies. Proud your podcast pilot pilot project. And it's basically the pilot. Oh, wait. Fuck, it's my idea. It's the it's the pilot to different podcasts ideas. He has district guild everything. I was just stealing his idea. I think

Bob Pastorella 55:52

that's the road. That you Yeah. already.

Michael David Wilson 56:00

Yeah, I mean, it's

Max Booth III 56:01

so close that now I wouldn't even do it. It's too close to that idea.

Michael David Wilson 56:05

Okay, so podcast if you started writing in and delete the email, or delete the tweet, forget it. It's canceled. Thank you so much for listening to part one and the conversation. We're Max booth dad. Join us again next time for the second and final part of the conversation. But if you would like to get that ahead of the crowd, if you would like to get every episode ahead of the crowd, become a patron@patreon.com. Forward slash, This Is Horror. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you get to submit questions to each interviewee, you get to become a member of discord, the writers forum, and you get exclusive podcasts like story on Bob's the horror podcast on the craft of writing. And talking about discord and the writers forum, we are going to be doing another challenge at the start of July. It's a little like the one story per week. But this time, it's more excuse your own adventure. So you can do one story per week for a year. Or you can write a novella every month. Or you can write a novel in 90 days. And the cool thing is, you can flip between these challenges during the year. So maybe you want to get warmed up. You want to do one story a week for the first month, boom, four stories. And that may be after you think well, I'll have a go and novella. That's the next month. And then after that, well, it's the big one. It's time to write a novel in 90 days. And we've got a tremendously supportive community on Discord. So we're all going to be cheering each other on. If you want to be part of that. Join us on Patreon patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. We're going to be chatting with Catriona Ward soon. So if you're a patron, you can submit a question for her to smile as every guest. So lots to play for lots for your money. Head over to patreon.com forward slash, this is hora. Okay, before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break.

Bob Pastorella 58:37

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Michael David Wilson 59:41

So today's final thought is actually just to let you know a little bit about the This Is Horror newsletter. So I'm always looking at how we can add more value for you. And I recognize that most of the This Is Horror, readership and listenership are read Does all writers. Actually I think these days, it might even be geared more towards writers. But I'd love you to get in contact and let me know. Are you a reader? Are you a writer, you're never a reader or a writer, but you just enjoy these conversations and some of the places that we go in terms of the life lessons. But anyway, on the basis that a lot of you are readers and writers, I've been thinking, how can I add more value to the newsletter. And so what I'm doing is I'm including for the readers, upcoming releases and recent releases. So if you've released something in May, or you're going to release something in June or July, if you drop me a line, Michael at this is horror.co.uk. Let me know the title of the book, the offer, the publisher, and the release date, and then I will get that into the newsletter. So that is for recent releases, of forthcoming releases. And then the second thing is for writers, and I thought, Well, what do I want to know, as a writer, I want to know where I can submit my work. I want to know current markets that are available. So we're including that in every This Is Horror newsletter. So if you're a publisher, if you've got an open call for submissions, that pays less important has to be a paying market. then email me, Michael at this is horror.co.uk. And let me know what's the name of the publication? What is the deadline? How much is the pay whatever it is flat rate, whatever that's per word. And any other pertinent information, word count. Now it'd be good to what what are you looking for? You're looking for stories, you're looking for novels, you're looking for poetry. So let me know Michael at this is horror.co.uk. And if you're at Lincoln, you want to find out about these calls for submissions. You want to know about the latest releases, where you can sign up at this is horror.co.uk to the newsletter. The newsletter also includes links to every article that has been on This Is Horror for that week. Also, because last year, with all the madness going on in my life, like continuing to go on, in fact, unfortunately, there's a lot of newsletters and weeks that I missed. So as well as giving you the latest week, I'm just giving you some bonus content from the archives that I didn't manage to highlight last year because I got a little bit behind on the old newsletter. i What else do you get? Well, you get some writing tips most of the week, you get to find out what I'm working on. While I'm reading what I'm listening to. So various recommendations, articles, tips, new releases, current markets. So if that sounds good, I mean, maybe it sounds overwhelming, but you need to step into the parts that you want. If it does sound alright, if it sounds like that is something that will be of value to you. This is horror.k.uk Check out the newsletter sign up. All right, well, I'll see you in the next episode. Part two, Max Booth the third amazing writer, great guy, talented screenwriter. But until then, take care yourselves be good to one another. Read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.

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