Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
Heard back on Saturday. The bad letter's thin.
There was a famous study done by a graduate student. He sent out a copy of Casablanca under its original play title "Everyone Comes to Rick's." Most agents and readers (I think it was over 90%) did not recognize the script. It didn't advance in any contests. So I think the Nicholls readers could use a little humility of their own. Indeed, I was shocked, shocked shocked by Greg Beal's attitude toward us mediocre amateurs. Next year, no more $30 for you, unless I want to have some fun with Everyone Comes to Rick's.
How do you evaluate an agent who has no posted sales?
Thanks for replying. I've had one bad experience with an agent(WGA, no fee-charging, etc by the way) and I'm to the point that I believe no agent is better than a bad one. I can see why most agents work on referrals from other writers: it protects both parties. But that's not always possible.
Just wanted to add that there's a terrific service for fiction writers (not script) that will send you track records and evaluations of any agent at all, plus a phamplet of names of crooked agents. It's called Agent Research and Evaluation, relatively cheap too. Wish there was something like that for us.
If a guy started this thread, he'd be accused of sexism.
Tavel, Paradigm, ICM and Larchmont send on to Story bay too.
I was thoroughly delighted for you, Miriam, and feel as if I know you because I read these posts more often than I write them. Congratulations and may "The Red Seal" become a big success too!
I submitted two scripts. One got dinged today (made top 10% though) but no feedback on the other as yet.
I sent a SASE and they sent it back by mail today. Their comments on my script were very helpful.
DearMitch: Please let us know if you are okay. I thought Andrea's post was very appropriate and I agree with her. I think this is about your despair, and not writers in general. Sometimes it can be caused by physical illness. You might consider a medical doctor for a checkup, and also anti-depressants to tide you over until you're better.
What's the question?
1) How long does the tape stay up? That depends on the case. I used to use the tape at the scene of fatal accidents where we knew we would be there for a while to keep people out and would take it down when the evidence had been gathered and the scene had been processed.
At a Homicide, it can stay up for some time. Coronor's cases are decided by the investigators from their office. That goes for the seals that are placed around the scene (i.e., car, house) until the scene is released. That could be a matter of hours or as in some cases, months. The tape is usually pulled down by people in the neighborhood in these cases, as they don't like being reminded of the crime...safe neighborhood and all.
Houses have been sealed for years while the case is open and pending prsecution. If, for some reason entry must be gained prior to the release of the scene, a police officer has to be present and he/she notes the date and time and who entered and why. Anything taken from the scene is also recorded. The officer then reseals the premises and notes that also, and then makes a report to the appropriate agency (Coronor's Office, Prosecutor's Office, Detective Bureau). Everything is SUPPOSED to be documented to maintain the integrity and maintain chain of evidence for court.
2) Who takes it down? See above for answer. Police, CO, PO, and the court are the only ones who can legally remove it.
3) Who cleans up the crime scene? Not sure what you mean by that. If you mean cleans up the fingerprint powder and any of the blood, or other evidence material after the scene has been processed, it is up to the owner to get the scene cleaned up. The police/investigators make the mess...LOL. At the scene of a fatal car accident, AFTER the scene is processed and the evidence that can be gathered has been, the officer in charge of the scene can instruct the city crew or the tow truck driver on what to sweep up. NOTHING is to be "cleaned up" without the officers' authorization! Broken glass can have evidence that many people would not even think of...DNA...:-).
4) When would there be a police guard on duty? That depends on the scene and jurisdiction. Depending on the case, an officer once on the scene does not leave until the scene has been completely processed or he is relieved by another law enforcement official. There is a gray area there dealing with the laws of Search and Seizure. If the police leave and then want to go back, may have to go and get a search warrant from the court to reenter the property. That is why the rule of thumb is once on the scene, STAY THERE! They have a legal right to be there at first, but can give up that right if they leave. (I.e, a major crime where family is still living in the house, and after leaving it is determined that a suspect could live in there and could destroy some evidence that the prosecutors feel may be necessary to their case. If the officer leaves, the person inside doesn't need to let them back on the premises. Cases have been botched that way.
DNA is a tough one for as you say, it changes almost daily with new technologies.
1) What are the data bases used in solving crimes? DNA is DNA. It is present in all bodily fluids and some hard evidence. (Hair, skin, saliva, blood, semen, vaginal fluids, almost anything that you can process will have the potential for having DNA on it). States and the FBI are required to maintain DNA data bases. That way if the criminal is working many different jurisdictions, they can be caught or cleared. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING, that there is just one data base, but that that data base has the input from the results of the many different pieces of evidence tested. I was never really involved with the data bases as a police officer.
2) Are there International data bases? Yes. The FBI, CIA, Scotland Yard, and Interpol.
3) What are the different time frames for analysis of human DNA? It is my understanding that if you can get the physical eveidence to be tested, it can be tested forever. If you are asking how long does it take for the labs to test certain DNA samples, that depends on the labs and their backlog and MOST of them are backlogged. That is why a suspect can spend months incarcerated while the testing is completed and the results are made available to the police and prosecutors. They are collecting DNA samples today from the mummies. There is no set time frame during which the DNA must be processed to my knowledge. Of course from the prosecutor's standpoint, they want it ASAP so that they can get to trial and use it for the conviction. The defense wants it ASAP in SOME cases where the defendant is claiming innocence so that the defendant can be cleared. In the case where the defendant is known to be guilty, they do want the long delay in processing so that (1) the evidence being tested could be lost, (2) Not available to the prosecution in time for the trial, (3) More chance of contamination of the evidence samples, and so on.
You can call any police department from anywhere and ask that they
check on the welfare of a person and give the particulars as to why you feel
that person is in danger. It is a low priority call for a department like
Chicago and they will get to it when they can. It is easier in a smaller
town/village/city to get the police to check on someone. If the officer goes
there and sees that that person is fine though, there isn't anything that
they can do to force the person to seek help. That is usually the case and
then the police are blamed for not getting involved if something happens.
Anyone can call 1-800-SUICIDE and get a trained counselor and then a referral to your area.
A trained suicide counselor may have helped MB by keeping him talking, but there was no way people on this board could have kept this man "talking." Posting messages is a different medium from phone or face to face counseling and not effective for this kind of thing.
Mental illness is treatable and most doctors consider it a physical disease. People used to call tuberculosis the "depressive illness" and they used to believe asthma was caused by over-protective parents before the physical bases for these were discovered and medicenes became available. That will happen with mental disease too. At this point in human history, mental illness and depression can be a terminal disease.
I had a hunch this guy was serious.
I think many commercials are incredible. You have exactly 30 seconds to invoke a mood, tell a complete story, and create a selling point and they do it --sometimes with artistry. My screenwriting prof told us to watch how commercials have a beginning, middle and end like little movies in themselves. We analyzed the Hallmark one in which the woman is too timid to approach her lonely neighbor and then sends the card and bingo, connection made. Also the one for cellphones in which the girl is going to college, and her mother keeps visualizing her as a child, and then cries on the way home until the cellphone rings. Masterful, and less than a minute long.
Humor changes much faster than drama. There are many more classic stage dramas than comedies, and Woody Allan no longer draws a young, hip audience.
Register here to receive MovieBytes' FREE email newsletter featuring contest deadline reminders, news, articles, and much more. Choose a password to access the MovieBytes bulletin board and other great features.