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I was just told by a producer that my script sounded small and cute. That was nice but they are looking for a high concept romantic comedy.
My question is...from their perspective what does high concept mean exactly?
Just trying to understand the jargon.
Any comments appreciated.
DOUG, an aspiring screenwriter, is slumped over at his desk. His left hand clings to a letter from the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship.
He drags the letter over to the waste paper basket and drops it in. Doug lifts his head from the desk. He sadly looks at his computer. Another screenplay fills the screen.
Doug picks up a new script bound with a clean looking card stock cover. A grin stretches across his face.
DOUG This new one will knock them on their ass next year! (beat) They haven't read the last script from me by god! MUSIC UP FULL as Doug sits up straight with renewed purpose. He begins to rapidly type on the keyboard. TITLE CARD: THE END
FADE OUT ---------- Just got my letter today. I had to do something constructive or I would go nuts. I hope you got a kick out of it.
True congrats to those out there who did well.
Sorry about the format. I thought it would look better than that. I really don't format my scripts like that.
I was doing that for dramatic effect. I ALWAYS hold on to rejection letters. It is a reminder of how hard it takes to get there and when I do I will treasure them.
I didn't think about the IRS but that is an excellent point.
Thanks for the info.
From what I understand, a beat is an actor's term that really should not be used in a screenplay because you're telling the actor how to act out his lines instead of describing what their character feels so that the actor can interpret that and put it into their performance. The actor might wait a beat or might not but that's their decision.
I've seen profession screenplays that do use beats but those writers get their stuff read. A writer trying to break in might be penalized for such usage.
I've always heard that trying to tell an actor how to act is a sure sign of a beginner.
Sorry about the typos.
Congrats to all that made it!
I'll wow those Chesterfield guys next year.
Haven't heard a thing.
Fade In Magazine's website hasn't been updated in some time either. Especially the contest page.
I hope they get on wih it so I can frame my rejection letter.
I'm sorry --- I meant to say that big time check!!!!!!!
Good Luck John
Over the course of three years I have bought a lot of screenwriting books. And I must say that "Story" is the best book that I have ever read.
The script I wrote after I first read it, was ten times better than my previous script.
I always re-read the whole book everytime I'm about to start another writing project.
For me, it's my bible.
And I can assure you that I get no money or other consideration for my endorsement.
To me, it's that damn good.
Congrats From me Too Terry!
Thank you for giving me hope.
Would you be so kind as to see if my name is on the list?
It's Doug Solter.
Go ahead and post it if you can. I can take it.
Thank you in advance.
Better luck next year.
I don't know if it's within a grad student's budget, but I have Final Draft 5 and it's a pretty awsome program.
There are some cheaper ones that I'm sure will do the job though.
Anyone have any other recomendations?
Just found out that I'm a semi-finalist. This is the first time for me so I'm pretty excited.
I just had to tell someone. Hopefully you'll all forgive me for this shameful, disgusting note of self-promotion.
I need it for my shallow writer's ego.
Thanks for listening.
And keep on writing.
Well, it's not an award winning script yet, but one out of twelve chances ain't bad at all.
The script is called "War on All Fronts". It's a World War II drama.
Steve and Miriam, congrats to both of you on your accomplishments. I wish you both the best.
Steve, what's your title?
I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma but, KCMO is not that far of a drive for me. Especially if the group meets once a month or something like that.
I can't find any such writing groups in my area.
Story by Robert McKee is an excellenct book for any screenwriter.
The script I wrote after reading that book, just recently became a finalist in the Nashville screenwriting contest.
Didn't win but, I know my writing has improved.
I believe it does wonders.
I was just wondering how some of you go about this task in your writing.
Do you like to write a detailed backstory for your characters?
Do you create a specific speech pattern for your characters?
Do you let the characters develope themselves during the course of writing your screenplay?
Do you create a full physical description down to the clothes?
When I go about this, I usually create a backstory, not so much what they had for breakfast when he or she was five but, events in their life that would effect their developement in who they are now. I also like to develope a type of speech pattern for each character. Nothing too complicated, unless it's very necessary, just a way that's a little unique to that character.
Hope this post isn't too long. I was just wondering how everyone else approaches this.
Thanks for your comments.
Well said Eleanor.
It is so easy to destroy, yet so hard to build.
Writing isn't easy. Writing something good is pretty damn hard.
Let's give everyone who's giving it a try, a round of applause.
Because the critics and pessimists won't lift a finger.
That's my wise utterings for this year. Too bad I blew it all on this message.
Keep writing and have fun.
I wish you all the best in getting to the next level.
It's nice that they sent you a note of praise. Hang it on the wall, because pats on the back are few and far between for any writer.
Once again, congratulations.
I use the backstory as a reference, some type of foundation for the character. This is useful if I have to remind myself about how a character would react in a given situation or maybe in the approximate realm that the character might react.
In the script, if the backstory is mentioned or hinted at, then naturally the actor would use that as a foundation to let their imagination run loose from that point. Beyond that, I don't think that it's such a good idea to let the actor have access to the writer's entire backstory.
From what I have read, it's better to let the actors use their own imaginations for their character's backstory, since such a viewpoint would be more personal to the actor, in turn giving a better, more truthful performance when the story is actually shot.
You do bring up a good point Randy. I'll ask my actor friend his take on this subject.
Do you really think an actor's performance would benefit will such knowledge about the writer's entire viewpoint about the character?
Would love to hear from more actors about this.
Robert McKee's "Story"
My favorite book too.
I re-read it every time I begin a new script.
This book never gets dusty on my shelf.
I'm finishing up a short film script with my actor friend as lead, when I give to him, I'll ask him about what we have talked about.
He's been an actor for at least 5-10 years.
Check out the Hollywood reporter's website.
They have a story about it.
I went last year and I loved it!
The panels are very helpful and you do get a chance to talk to WORKING screenwriters. For instance, I was able to ask questions and talk with, Scott Frank (Out of Sight), Ted Talley (Silence of the Lambs)a few others too.
The conference is very laid back and you can find several opportunities to talk with someone who you admire, in my case it was Scott Frank.
The panels really do help improve your screenwriting. Having Scott Frank tell you all he knows about writing good dialogue is definately a plus.
You can also check out some great films for free!
If you can scrape up the dough, it's really worth it.
Feel free to ask me questions about the conference, if you would like.
These are scripts I actually did read.
Sunset Boulevard - I love Billy Wilder.
LA Confidential- Great Adaptation
American Beauty - I've read it at least four times already.
I need to read Shawshank sometime.
Miriam and Cindy --
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Hopefully one day, we all can return the favor.
Hope it will help you.
Big Time Congrats Paula!!!!
Hope this helps you get one step closer.
Ditto on the hoping part. I've got two screenplays entered.
Is anyone going to the screenwriting conference?
I'll be there most definately.
Sorry I spelled your name wrong.
Concerning the screenwriting conference, I went last year and loved it! The panels are interesting and the discussions are like taking a screenwriting course from the masters.
For instance, if you want to write good dialogue, you can learn it from Scott Frank, one of the best at it. I took down a lot of notes and it definately helped improve the quality of my writing.
And most of all, it's fun! It's the one place, unlike where I live, where you can discuss screenwriting with other such minded people. It really helps boost your morale, at least it did mine.
See you there.
My one comedy didn't make the cut, but I entered a drama that has made the cut at other contests. Hopefully it will make it through this one too.
In defense of the festival, it's a great conference and for screenwriters in the south to midwest, it's an excellent conference to help improve your skills. It might cost some money, but I still maintain that it is well worth it.
That's my final two cents anyway.
I sent in a logline and they promptly wanted me to submit the script.
I haven't heard back from them yet, it's been more than a week since the script was sent.
According to Dan's note, I might be in decent shape.
I can only hope and keep writing.
I hated it.
Best film of the year that I have seen.
Well, I liked Gladiator a lot too.
Cameron Crowe is the Led Zep of directors. Can't wait to see his next project.
I know Paula is going, but anybody else on this site?
Just thought I might say hello if any of you guys are going.
I submited to inzide more than a month ago and haven't heard anything.
Maybe a good sign then?
I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Good luck Jonathan.
Sorry I missed you too. So much to do there that one can get easily sidetracked.
I don't know about you, but I learned a little bit more. I did learn that I HATE pitching. I'll just have to write some kick ass screenplays so that I can get in with my writing. Maybe in the long run, that will be even better for me.
I want to be know as a writer, not an "idea" guy. Hopefully I'll do better next year.
Let's keep in touch, maybe read each other's scripts for some feedback.
Talk to you later.
Sorry to hear about that. Sounds like a rotten deal. Well, at least you know that if your script can make it in this contest, you'll have a decent shot at another.
Good luck with it, and keep writing.
Nothing else really matters, does it?
I'm fine Paula.
I just get so busy writing and with the holidays, just too much to do.
Thank you for the heads up.
I'm chomping at the bit to send my new script in. I hope it will make a big dent this year.
Good luck with the contest this year.
I have had two scripts on the network.
The first was a war script, didn't get many hits, but I could see why because of the genre.
I have a drama/comedy on there now. I've had about 35 hits so far, that means that when producers do searches for a specific type of screenplay, you logline will come up.
One guy did read my script, didn't hear anything from him.
It's been a mixed bag so far, lot's of hits but, not many people actually reading the script.
For $30 it's worth a try. If they ever wanted more money for it, I wouldn't pay it.
It's another outlet for your work, one that's inexpensive too.
My feeling is, what the hell.
If you have any questions, just let me know.
Inzide can get your material sold and or made if it's good. And it doesn't cost you a cent. Writer's script network is just and outlet. Hasn't helped me yet, but if it does, I'll let you know.
I don't see what your so angry about.
I think giving up your hard work for that one slight chance in hell to get your script produced would be quite worth it.
Who needs money? We're all artists and it's the art that matters dammit.
Who needs money for food when there are so many homeless shelters that give people FREE food and a place to sleep.
Giving your work up for the cause of film is the most rewarding experience a writer can have.
Money means nothing to a serious writer.
A seriously STUPID writer.
If they don't get you for a price. Then you aren't worth a damn.
That's my two cents worth on the subject anyway.
Keep writing and tell yourself that you do have value.
Flashback or not to flashback:
What if a character does something in the begining of a script and you do not explain why. Say I want to create a need to know within the audience so I can hook them early on in the script.
Now as I get near the end, I now have to explain why this character did it because the understanding of that information explains a main character's motivation throughout the entire story.
Instead of the character TALKING about why the other character did it, wouldn't you prefer to VISUALLY see it in a quick one scene flashback that makes the point dramatically? I'm not talking about some big, multi-scene sequence that tries to tell another story.
If the flashback is quick, and tells us something that the audience MUST know in order to understand something that is VITAL to the plot, then I think it could be used as long as you keep it to the point and not get carried away within your flashback.
If you write your scenes lean and mean anyway, this shouldn't be a problem.
I try my best not to use them either, but sometimes it's better than a huge monologue designed only to give information to the audience.
That's what I think anyway.
Let me add a big congrats to Colleen too!
You give the rest of us hope in our quest to achieve a major sale.
Good Luck and keep writing.
I was also a finalist on NSC.
Good luck to you and your writing.
Sorry about that....
That should be ----- Daphne
Congratulations on being 3rd Daphne.
I hope it will help open doors for you.
But remember, keep writing no matter what.
Good luck in your future plans.
Thanks for the heads up Paula!
Drew's is a great site.
Hope everything is well.
I guess it's back to the drawing board for me. I wish you future luck on your writing.
Sorry, but I think you guys are wrong.
Sweethearts wasn't bad and Billy Crystal is still a better comedy writer than most of the people out there.
Sure he's had some clunkers, but the films Analyze This and America's Sweethearts are not in that category.
Sorry, but I can't believe you're busting on Crystal.
For proof that this business is PURELY subjective --
On the same day I received two letters: One from Scriptapolooza telling me that I didn't make the first cut out of roughly 2500 scripts.
And a second letter from the Academy informing me that the same script is a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowships. After three years of trying, my first advancement.
I know I won't sleep tonight, but I'll have to try.
Congratulations to all those who have advanced.
For those who didn't, keep sending that work in. Don't give up because that's what THEY want you to do.
To winners and losers: Keep writing and don't rest until Mr. Spielburg signs you a check.
Then the real work begins.
Good luck to all of you and thanks for listening to the rants of someone who should be getting some sleep, not typing messages on screenwriting boards.
Doug -- another one.
That would be Mr. Spielberg.
To answer your question --
My script is a dark, modern, film-noir type plot that doesn't have a happy ending. But it did go forward in the Nicholl.
I think that I'm lucky in the sense that the two or three readers that my script was assigned to, obviously enjoyed that type of film.
Now when Greg Beal, head of the contest, was at the Austin conference last year, he told us that they try to match a script's genre with that of a reader who enjoys reading that particular genre or at least doesn't hate it.
For instance, if someone doesn't like Sci-fi, they won't give that reader "Captain Bingo and the Space Cadets".
Greg sometimes posts on this board so, if he reads this, maybe he can explain the process a little better than I can.
Nope, haven't heard a thing.
Austin should be pretty soon.
Maui might be a little longer being that there deadline was just last month.
Hope it developes into something.
I got the "did not advance" letter yesterday.
My entry is still alive in another contest so that cushions the blow a little. But we all have to get use to rejection right?
Again, congratulations to all the semi-finalists and good luck.
Congratulations on the interest. I hope it will be beneficial to you.
Definately keep us all posted on what happens.
I wish I could offer some advice for you but, I haven't marketed anything yet. But I didn't have a script good enough until this year.
Again -- congratulations and I hope it turns out well for you.
I'll have my mailbox under 24 hour surveillance, since I'm waiting for the Nicholl and Austin competitions to send me some notifications.
Good luck to everyone.
By the way, keep writing!
Just got my letter Saturday.
Didn't make it.
But a letter from the Nicholl arrived the same day. I advanced to the semis in that contest.
Funny how that happens.
To all who advance in thr chesterfield contest, good luck.
That would be ---
Where's the spell check Frederick???? :)
Looks like we'll both be competing in the semi-finals. Just got my letter Saturday.
The Caddy is a great script and deserves the attention. I hope that we can both advance into the next round.
Thanks for the support Daphne.
I hope that everyone else gets good news.
Please let all of us know, good or bad.
Despite what happens --
Keep after it.
Good luck on TFI.
Same thing happened to me Craig.
Has anyone heard anything from them?
I submited a script to the screenplay competition in April, but they don't seem to be in too much of a hurry.
The film festival has already come and went. Their website isn't much help either.
Should I kiss my $30 goodbye?
This is an e-mail I got today:
Dear Doug --
Reviewing our database, I'm afraid that a rejection letter was mistakenly sent to you last week. You are, in fact, a semifinalist and you should be receiving a letter informing you of that within the next few days.
Please accept our sincerest apologies. Out of several thousand applicants, you were one of three to receive the wrong letter!
Thank you for applying to the WFP and good luck in the semifinal round!
I guess Craig and I are very special people.
Oh well, I'm just glad that I advanced.
Good luck to all the Chesterfield semi-finalists!
Nice if they would let the people who entered the contest know about this sort of thing.
Sounds like amateur time.
Just got my letter. I made the first round but not the second one.
I have gone to the Austin Screenwriter's Conference the last two years and it's been fun. If you've never gone, I would definately make an effort to do so. You do learn a lot.
I'm not going this year for financial reasons, but I just wanted to say that it is really nice to be around people who are trying to do the same thing you are. In Oklahoma, my neck of the woods, you just don't run into many screenwriters.
Everybody have fun. Say hi to Shane Black for me. He sat at my table during the goodbye dinner.
Of course he won't remember me, but that's OK.
Just a thought --
In the darkest days of World War II, when the Japanese and the Germans seemed unstopable, Hollywood still produced movies. Why? Because we needed something, anything to get our minds off of the horrific battles and the brutality that seemed to engulf the world.
The entire entertainment industry still has a duty in dark times likes these.
To keep our nation's spirits up.
To keep hope alive....
People will need those comedies, they will want to be lost in an adventure film, they'll want to be sweeped up in a romance. They'll want to travel to a new world, if it's just only for 120 minutes.
They need to escape.
And WE are the artists who provide that escape.
I will soon finish a script that I know will not be made for a couple of years because of these circumstances. But --
I have a comedy script idea that I WILL write. My hope is that I can make people laugh and forget about the tragedy in their lives, if only for 120 minutes.
If you're sad, write about it. Angry as hell? Write about it.
Want to forget? -- write a story that has nothing to do with these events. Something that provides escape in YOUR mind.
But don't let those evil people take away your will to write.
Because that is what they want you to do.
I'll add one too.
May your career go even higher.
First of all -- congrats to everyone who has advanced.
Second of all -- I'm not sure if I advanced or not.
Their list says that I did, but the letter I got from Austin a few weeks ago said that my script advanced to the first round but not the second.
I'm kind of confused. But I'll just pretend that I did make it. :)
Have fun there. I'm not going this year, unless something wonderful happens to me before then, but I'm not counting on it.
Say hi to Shane Black for me.
I only got to the second round in Austin. No semi-finalist badge for me. Plus that $200 discount just isn't enough.
I heard that some Nicholl finalists have already been notified. Since I haven't been called, I must assume that I didn't get in. If I did, I was going to break out the credit cards and run down to Austin for the weekend but, I don't think it'll be worth it if you weren't a finalist.
Sorry to piss and moan like this. I know I should be happy to get this far but I'm a perfectionist.
I want it all!
That felt good. Now I'll just prepare to market my script. These contests have finally convinced me that this script is good enough to try to sell.
Everyone -- have fun in Austin and I hope to see you all there next year.
I work at a TV Station and we did a story about this. The goverment said that this was a BIG HOAX started on the internet. Please do not keep spreading this LIE.
If you get the e-mail that is spreading around about this, don't forward it.
Don't be part of the hysteria.
You should frame that e-mail!
Then surround it with all the inconsiderate crap that everyone else will sent you.
It will be a beacon of hope.
Well why didn't you say something earlier? I would love to read it.
On my way now.
Submited my script, but it wasn't for them. They did say that they liked my writing and wanted me to keep submiting my work in the future.
Zide/Perry was quite nice about it actually. Definately shoot them a query through their website.
If they can't even pay a reader $50 to read your script, what makes you think that they have enough money to option
Sounds like that you would have to lose $50 and then lose your script for six months on a FREE option.
Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
Just me two cents.
Are women THAT bad?
Maybe I'll just tell every woman I'm dating that if you pitch a movie in front of me, you better copywrite it first or it's fair game.
Or maybe I can get her to sign a release before we go out?
Man, screenwriting is such a vicious occupation.
I can concur with Colleen. I think Chesterfield is much better than it was in the past.
In 2001 I received a "did not advance" notice from them, but they e-mailed me to say that I DID get to the semi-finals and they sent out the wrong letter.
A few days later, I got the CORRECT letter. Although I wasn't as lucky as Colleen in making the finals, the experience was a good one. If they go out of their way to fix problems like my letter, then they really give a shit.
I think they're doing a great job in rebuilding the contest.
I'll gladly send in my script again.
Finalist in another contest DeMaio? And you haven't got those scripts sold yet?????
I got a script on Zoey too. For those of you looking for something to read. I promise you that it's not that bad.
From now on, if you're on Zoetrope and need some reviews, ask here at moviebytes first. Many people like myself are subscribers and I'll always help out someone who is a moviebytes member.
Mine is named Father Figure. For some reason, there is another script with the same title so search under my name.
It's not up yet. I revised it and the zoey folks haven't updated it yet. I'll let you know when it is up.
Thanks ahead of time.
Last year I adopted a strategy where I would submit a month before every deadline.
It seemed to work better. For the first time I was a semi-finalist in the Nicholl, Chesterfield, and Made it through one round of Austin for the first time.
I think early is a good idea. That way you don't get a reader who is pressed for time to meet contest deadlines.
Just my .02
Glad to see you're still fighting the good fight Colleen.
Just started on another script. It's a drama that centers around the world of NHL hockey.
Still trying to market my Nicholl semifinalist script from last year. It might be too dark for the buyers though. Keep getting the -- "Like your writing, but it's not for us." I'll keep trying though.
Good luck to everybody.
I'm in too.
Good luck to everybody.
Let me add my congrats to Miriam too.
She's right, persistence pays off and I'm glad it did for her.
Good luck in the near future Miriam.
Think I'll go write now.
They always seem to be really late all the time.
I stopped submiting to them.
Anyone had any dealings with them?
They have requested a script of mine.
Thanks for any info.
I've used the website and my script has gotten some hits by a few producers and some up and coming small agencies.
Recently, I've gotten a better response using their publication that they mail to different producers and agencies.
In fact, yesterday I got a call from an executive from ABC daytime who wants me to send a script to them. He read my logline on WSN. So I would say that it's definately something you can use to help get your work out there.
That's my .02 about them anyway.
If you have any other questions about them, let me know.
Just e-mail Jerol, the guy who runs it. You can find his e-mail on the site somewhere. He has been very helpful when I had problems with the system.
I've used the service and just recently got someone from William Morris to read my synopsis.
ABC Daytime requested my script through the service earlier this year.
I think that the service is worth the price for the exposure that your work gets.
You can e-mail me if you want to ask me some questions about the service.
I used Script Shark. Wasn't too pleased with the coverage. The reader that I paid good money for didn't get the script at all and after adopting some of his suggestions, the script suffered when it got reviewed at AZ. I then decided to trash it and stick to my original script.
By the way, this same script was a semi-finalist for the Nicholl before I sent it to Script Shark. Go figure.
If you got the money, I guess you've got nothing to loose, maybe he'll get your script. Think I might try Script-Pimp. They at least try to be constructive and help you improve your script rather than trash it.
I advanced to the top 250.
Most of the scripts I reviewed were not great. One had some promise. The first script that I reviewed for the second round was better, but only that. It had numerous typos that shouldn't be there.
I'm no expert on writing but if I found a typo that was on a script that I sent out, I would be furious with myself.
It will be interesting to see who wins.
I like reading GOOD scripts, period. Dark, happy, whatever.
My script in Greenlight is rather dark and sad, but makes a strong statement.
I don't think that "fluffy" scripts are better reviewed. Only if they are WELL written "fluffy" scripts.
Bottom line -- It depends on what reader you get. Maybe you'll get a reader that likes dark stories. Or you'll get one that likes happy stories. Or you might get someone who likes all kinds of stories as long as they are entertaining to read.
Maybe I just got lucky and that's that.
Too bad I'm not in Las Vegas right now.
Forgot to mention that I haven't seen my critiques yet since I'm still in the contest.
Not giving up.
Other than that, being a semi-finalist in the Nicholl Fellowships.
Well said Paula.
I just got a phone call from them too.
Actually the guy sounded more like a telemarketer than a represenative of a NON PROFIT contest.
I smell something rotten.
The Nicholl doesn't do that. Austin and Chesterfield don't do that.
I would stay clear of this contest.
Just my two cents.
"John, Thank you for sending me your script. Although it was a fun read, it unfortunately isn't quite at the caliber of writing that my buyers would accept. I have attached information about a consulting service that I am now offering to aspiring writers. You have great potential as a writer, so keep up the good work.
Word for word the same e-mail I got from this guy. Something smells really bad here.
Actually the website only has the quarterfinalists for last year's contest still up.
Haven't heard anything yet either. Guess I'll be checking my mail with great anticipation.
I don't know if there really is any "rules" on that.
I personally don't like to put "she exits the room" unless there's a purpose involved. Like setting up the next scene or I just don't want that character there anymore for whatever reason.
If you have a good line of dialogue that can end a scene and transitions well into the next scene then that's great.
If there's a good visual that you can end your scene with, then use description to take you out of the scene.
I think you just have to go with your gut and tell yourself that either way works as long as it achieves what you are trying to acomplish in that scene.
Just my two cents.
I just put, "The Veteran" up on Triggerstreet. If you have a moment to read it, I would appreciate any comments on it.
It's a story set in the world of hockey.
I'll try to take a look at your scripts too.
Break a leg.
Just entering one this year. I was going to do two, but the second one is not finished and I don't believe in rushing it out without a proper re-write.
I should be able to make the Austin Deadline though.
Good Luck to everyone.
Are they offering you cold, hard cash for the option? That's the first thing to consider.
But all the other copyright/legal stuff is a valid concern also. You might need to ask an entertainment attorney.
WSN/Inktip.com is a way to get your script in front of people who work in the industry.
Maybe you won't get a sale, but you might get a writing assignment, or an agent, or a fan of your work who will remember your name on another script that is suited more for what their production company is looking for.
The bottom line is -- you need to get your work out there where people can see it.
Jerol's site does that. And I think he has some decent contacts who use the site. I feel it's worth the forty bucks.
Just my opinion though.
Hopefully you can go all the way!
Here are the ones that inspire me:
Scott Frank David Mamet Charlie Kaufman Billy Wilder Paddy Chayefsky Shane Black
Side note -- I met Shane Black at Austin a few years ago and he encouraged all of us to take our stories "all the way". And I must say that he inspired me so much that I changed the ending of the screenplay I was writing on at the time. The script ended up going to the semis at Nicholl.
I believe that Shane will come back someday as a writer. And I look forward to seeing the next movie he writes.
Sorry -- I don't know why all the writer's names ran together like that.
Sent "Nathan Goes to Hell" to Austin. It's in the same category as yours so --
Get out yer six shooters, there's gonna be blood on the streets of Austin.
More like beer vomit, but anyway.
You'll needed it you varmit.
You'll needed it you varmit.
I needed grammar check on my computer dammit!
Nice to hear from you again Colleen!
I agree, we have to stick together as writers.
I got mine a few weeks ago. I don't know why you haven't received yours yet.
Might want to do a shout out for Greg Beal. He's a big wig for that contest and he does scan these boards once in a while.
Good Luck in the finals.
Hopefully it leads to better things.
For making the semi-finals in the TFI contest.
Good luck from here on out.
You go girl.
As always, thanks for your input Greg.
I'll anxiously wait by my mailbox like everyone else.
No top 10%
Now on to the next mood swing...
At least I have a production company considering the same script after a reader in another contest loved it.
But they'll reject it, I know they will.
Oops...my mood swung again.
To hell with Hollywood, I'll make my own damn movie on DV!
I'll be so good that it'll win at Sundance. Yeah! Yeah! that'll show Hollywood. Yeah! Yeah!
I'd better hurry off and make the movie while I'm in such a great mood.
Good luck to everyone who advanced.
Has anyone had any dealings with them?
Your insight is appreciated.
Thanks for the info.
Good Job Gil.
I hope it leads to a big break for you.
Got one dink and another made the second round.
I guess I should be happy. But I WANTED that semi-fi badge of honor!
On to the marketplace now.
Good luck to all those who got their semi-fi badges of honor.
And congrats to the rest of us second rounders.
Haven't heard anything yet Gary.
I guess that's a good sign?
Paul and everyone else:
If you can, go. It's great to be among fellow writers. It makes you feel like you are not alone in your passion for writing. Plus the films are awesome too. And for that matter, Austin is awesome also.
I've gone two times and it was very fun. I just wish I had the money to go this year.
Shane Black is great. Don't be shy about talking to him. If he's hosting another night of coffee and film clips, you should go to it. His philosophy on writing films is great.
Damn I wish I could go.
Have fun you all.
Just keep loose and at least be able to deliver a good logline to anyone who asks about your script. If they ask you another question about it after your logline pitch, then you have their interest. Tell them more but keep it like a short synopsis. If you spend 15 minutes or more on it, than you are in trouble.
But just remember to have a good time.
I'm a second rounder and I have decided to go after a two year absense.
It's fun and I look forward to going.
I made the semis too.
Hope we all go to the finals.
Congrats to Gil also!
You're a great writer. I'm sorry to hear about the misfortune that you have gone through because of it, but you DO have talent.
Your sacrifices will be rewarded one day.
But not if you give up.
Jeeez Paula, it's the 21st century!
Has't Three's Company taught us that men and women can live together in peaceful harmony? :)
Consult an Entertainment lawyer. Make sure the contracts are on the up and up.
If they are offering to BUY your script at WGA minimum, I would take it. You would get the money NOW. Who knows what could happen when they try to produce it. They could get a crappy director and he could destroy the film or they could lose their finacing. Too many strange variables can come up that would screw you IF you took only profit participation.
If it becomes a hit, you have the writing credit and thus the glory that will get you other writing jobs.
Don't get greedy. You have to put food on the table mister working writer.
Good luck on your deal.
What a wonderful thing to happen to any writer. May it bring you good tidings in the future.
Oh by the way, keep writing. You might just have a shot at making it in this business. :)
I add my congrats on top of everyone else's Colin.
That's good right?
Death takes a Vacation in a lot of places now a days.
Keep it up.
Congratulations Colleen and Gil!
Haven't gotten my letter yet.
Just got my letter today.
I'm a finalist too.
Colleen and Gil are gonna be stiff competition. They'll beat me out in the end but, I'm just happy as heck to get into the finals!
Good luck to everyone who is still in the hunt.
That's brilliant Gil.
I love that idea.
We should suggest it to Ed. :)
This is a first for me.
What does rare meat have to do with this Colleen?
Speaking of spreading rumors. :)
My mail is usually a day behind people on the west coast.
The bad news might be in today's mail.
Maybe I'll get a phone call instead????
Received the same letter that Colleen and Gil got.
But hell, it was a nice ride while it lasted.
Oh well, at least the contest will help my query letters this coming February.
The little victories help you appreciate the bigger ones.
It gives you great, honest feedback that doesn't cost you a thing.
I've paid for reviews and it was a big waste of money. In my opinion, Zoetrope was much more helpful than those pay sites.
Merry Christmas Everybody!
I think it'll be March 15th.
I've been away for too long.
What's been going on around here?
If you're not busting your ass to make it in this business, please find some other board and waste their time with stupid personal things that are about as worthless as a two dollar bill.
Life is too short.
Way to go Jerry.
Congratulations to everyone who advanced into the next round.
I didn't, but s*#$ happens.
I recommend War and Peace.
Haven't read it, but I hear it's great!
To me, writing treatments instead of screenplays is a bad way to go.
When you get that one shot to turn your treatment into a script, you will fail.
Since you didn't put in the time to be a good screenwriter, you will turn in crap and there goes your writing career in Hollywood.
Directors don't learn how to make films by just shooting trailers. They shoot complete stories.
It might be a short or a feature length story. But it's still an entire story.
That's my two and a half cents.
I'll be sending two this year.
Then three for Austin.
Damn, this gets expensive doesn't it?
Good Luck to all of you.
I have a question for you Greg --
A few years ago I recall that a screenplay that had advanced to the semi-finalist round or beyond was not eligible to be re-submitted again in future Nicholl contests. Have the rules changed on that? I can't find this rule anywhere on the application form or the rules section.
Can you clear this up for me?
Thanks for you imput.
The Ladykillers - A great Coen brothers movie in my opinion. Story was good and characters were interesting. Better than Intolerable Cruelty.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 - got to see at an advanced screening. It's too bad they had to split this movie in two. The second half is great but in needed the first half. If you haven't seen vol 1. yet, wait and watch both movies back to back. Hopefully someday Quentin will put both parts back together on a DVD someday. It would be worth it.
My thoughts are with Ron's family.
Sign me up!
I can be part of a sales team!
Now if I can get other writers to join the sales team, do I get a piece of their commission too?
Maybe we could sell products too.
Who needs to write when I can devote 10 hours or more of my time doing sales calls.
I guess I'm not a DEDICATED writer.
Look out folks.
Great "high concept" idea.
But when you get past that, the idea just can't support a two hour movie. Once Tom gets stuck at the airport, so does the main plot. Filled with sub-plots, the second act just wasn't that strong to support the entire movie.
I was very disappointed. Tom and Steven can make better movies than this.
Feature for me.
I don't understand television.
Guess I have less competition this year. :)
Good luck to everyone.
Find out what Production companies have bought in the past and what movies they have produced. This should give you somewhat of an understanding of what type of projects they are attracted to.
Try to target companies that would be open to your type of story. Doing otherwise is just wasting time and money.
Then go to www.hcdonline.com and for 14.95 they have a two week trial of their database. Should be able to get the info there.
Pardon me for saying so but I think you're getting a little paranoid.
So what if Disney gets a first look at your stuff? If they pass, you can use all those great contacts you'll get out of this and sell your work somewhere else after your year is done.
Short on action. Big on Story.
And it worked much better that way.
Believe it or not, it was even better than the first one.
I only wish that more superhero films could be as good as this.
Thanks for posting those script requests.
Your heart was in the right place and I applaud your efforts.
Good luck Vijay.
Just write the best stuff ever.
Make yourself worth a lot more money.
Then negotiate. :) $$$$$$
It wasn't that bad.
But I still think the original was better.
I've directed one short and one music video. By the end of this month, I'm gonna buy an XL-2, audio equipment, gather some friends and we're going to shoot the words that I wrote instead of praying to the Hollywood Gods in hopes of a miracle script sale.
Plus I think it's useful for every screenwriter to understand the filmaking process. Experience is always a plus.
I'm not Stanley Kubrick yet, but if you're interested, check out my work at http://dougsolter.tripod.com
Where's the entertainment business centered?
Nope. I have family there and they don't know anyone who sells scripts to any big movie studios.
If you sign with these guys, they could get you some good Steelers tickets though.
Bottom line is that YOU generate revenue for the agents and managers. They make money off you by selling your scripts and setting up writing assignments for you.
A decent script sale earns a hell of a lot more money than $85.00 for an agency of any size. Plus, if they can package all of their talent to the script and get a studio interested, than they make a killing off those percentages.
So you should ask yourself, why do they need money from little old me?
If they're not in the game, then they're wasting your time and energy.
Just my five cents.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
SCREENWRITER LOOKING FOR LOVE
I'm 5'6, early 30's, brown hair, emerald green eyes. I like writing, going to movies, and milking cows.
If I'm for you, go to www.desperatesinglescreenwriters.com and look for my ad.
Since we can advertise on this message board now, I thought I'd give it a shot.
As usual, thanks for the info Greg.
I'm rushing to get mine in.
(Only the rewrite thank goodness.
CAA 9830 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1825 USA Tel: 310-288-4545 Fax: 310-288-4800
Has anyone ever heard an instance where such a query actually worked?
Seven years for me.
Took three years of that until I wrote a good script. Made SF of Nicholl that year. Still more hard work after that.
Every year you get better. You just have to stay committed. This is a job and you have to treat it as such. Keep a good work ethic and you'll go farther than most people looking for the quick buck instead of a career.
Not that I'm an expert by any stretch of the imagination but, I have a small website that has some screenwriting links that might be useful to you.
But it would suck to the highest order.
That's what I've been hearing.
I'll catch it this weekend.
Sorry to see him go.
North by Northwest is one of my favorites.
My policy is to always run away from insane people. Mentally as well as physically.
Deranged is too kind a word for that indivdual.
Put your head back into your stories where they belong.
Good Luck with that publisher.
Writing = Failure
Once you embrace this outlook, you'll be ready for anything that Hollywood dishes out. :)
I didn't accomplish anything contest wise this year either.
That sounds about right.
I had about 3-4 from my SF Nicholl script a few years ago. For 2 scripts, that's about right.
You should be sending out query letters and e-mails too. Having the Nicholl mentioned in your pitch turns more heads in Hollywood. Use it to your advantage.
Good Luck and Congratulations.
Funny you should mention it Connie.
I'm doing a rewrite of an old script with a good idea that got executed poorly at the time. (Six years ago) Now it's really coming alive and it's soooo much better.
Going back to past failures can sometimes garnish new victories.
I'm in too.
Four dramas, one comedy. Two of them are sports dramas. One is a dark drama. The other is more of a muli-story drama.
You can read script examples on my website.
I'm not going to take one of my scripts off the table for a YEAR AND A HALF without getting $1500 in cold hard cash.
I personally wouldn't do it for just stock options in a company that could disappear in two years.
Did they originally promise the finalists $1500 in cash?
If that was the case, I'd be pissed.
Guess it's company shares. Still I wouldn't do it.
Let me add my congrats on top of everyone else's.
Good job Paula.
Let us know if you post in on line. I would like to see it.
Man Collin, that is bullshit. Somebody needs to focus on writing and less on sabotaging fellow scribes.
Very sad indeed.
There's a strike?
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