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I too heard from Mark today regarding a script I wrote after I sent him a synopsis. "Sounds interesting" were his words. The good part about my situation is that the script is based on a novel I've already published. So, I'm not too worried about infringement or anything else.
I believe I'll send out my script by the end of the week. Then we will see where the chips fall.
Best of luck to all those who are sending Mark scripts and/or ideas.
I posted my script on Writer's Script Network in November. Less than a month later I was contacted by Cinepartners and they wanted to see a hard copy of my script.
I've yet to hear back from Cinepartners. However, I recommend the Writer's Script Network.
As far as Writesafe goes, you're better off with using WGA (Writers Guild of America). I used a non-member option for Writers Guild of America East--http://www.wgaeast.org. For the price they asked you can't beat it.
Best of luck.
WSN is not only a great service at a reasonable price (even with the coming cost increase), but they also communicate with you via email to give you pointers on how to get your script viewed. Recently, I received a few pointers from someone on Jerrol's staff. It's comforting to know that there's a group out there willing to help out those of us 'on the outside' trying to get in.
Recently, I received a message from WSN that it is in the writer's best interest to update their loglines every so often. Evidently, updated loglines have a better chance at being viewed first.
Jerol is more than willing to help out people who utilize WSN. He recommends reading loglines not just at his site but at others as well.
It's like the old addage goes: Twenty words or less, kid.
After I updated and reworked the loglines for the scripts I have on WSN there was definite activity.
Just remember this, if someone views your synopsis alone without looking at the script or requesting it through the mail, then you shouldn't write to that person based on his/her viewing of the synopsis alone. Apparently, Jerol and WSN gang feel its in bad taste.
Another outfit that may get you some attention is Scriptblaster. Sure, it's a bit more expensive, but I'm learning in this game, unlike novel or short story writing, you've got to spend some to get some.
With Scriptblaster, I've had more replies than I'm capable of handling (running to the post office to mail off a script nearly every other day at one point). In all, I've mailed two different scripts to upwards of fifteen production companies and agencies.
Use imdb.com if you have any doubts about those folks requesting your work outside of the clientele list at WSN. If you can't find the group requesting your work at imdb (internet movie data base), then chances are you probably shouldn't waste your time.
Lastly, there are plenty of people out there who, while never selling their original scripts, found work doing rewrites or developing already established story ideas for studios, and later found recognition.
On one of the pages at WSN the advice goes something like this: if someone wants to make your movie, even if it's straight to video or dvd, then do it. If someone offers a first-timers pennies on the dollar for their script, then take it. Anything to get your foot in the door.
Mother's maiden name?????
And while we're at it. I come from the continent of Africa where my father's regime fell to the hands of rebel forces. My father and I have to move $26 million U.S. and we want your help. We need American bank accounts to filter our family fortune to the U.S. You can earn up to $60, 000 U.S. if you provide me with your name, a checking or savings account number and your SSN to email@example.com.
Thanks and God Bless.
As one producer who was kind enough to actually provide feedback on a script of mine put it: This isn't literature. Remember who you're writing for. If you can't, go to the movies and look around. 6th grade reading level, we're talking about.
Of course, that was one bitter producer's take. Voice-overs can be an effective tool. The Fallen is a good example, Goodfellas is another good example.
Ask yourself what would be more confusing...Portray what the person is thinking in a flashback and risk confusing the hell out of someone? Or using the voice-over to shorten but bulster the effect.
Nowhwere in film is there room for inner monologues such as they are in fiction (Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, etc.).
Renee, my humble advice is this: Try different versions of your story. Find a workshop (online or otherwise) in which others can read it. See what works best for an audience of readers.
Some stories, sadly, don't make very good screenplays. But that doesn't mean one should abandon the story. Likewise, some novels and short stories I've encountered were probably better off as screenplays.
And at the mention of Blade Runner, didn't they get rid of the whole voice-over thing in the re-release super-digitaly mastered re-mix del-fi extravagent anniversary copy?(or whatever they call old movies that turn twenty years old.)
One of my screenplays, as it turned, came off better without the voice-overs. Another screenplay I've written needs the voice-overs. After half a dozen drafts I came to realize the story can't be told without them (beginning at very end, by the way).
Best of luck.
And no, the producer mentioned above never did buy my script. However, it was a learning experience.
I too have submitted to Triggerstreet.com. One review I received from either a film school student or a tenth-grader (can't decide which he/she is) basically said he/she didn't have the concentration to read through my entire script. And to think that may actually count as a review...
Triggerstreet is, not unlike Greenlight, a lark.
It's like Charles Bukowski once said, "Most people don't know how to write a simple sentence like 'The man walked down the street' without screwing it up." Having had a fare share of acceptance and rejection in other avenues of writing (short story and novels), I can honestly say that screenwriters (wanna-be's or otherwise) are perhaps the most fickle lot in the writing business. I've never been exposed to a group that sets to undermine each other by offering scathing reviews without an ounce of constructive criticism. Perhaps they think that by negating others their work will rise to the top. However, I believe karma works in strange ways. Cream always rises to the top, or so they say. No amount of covering up the fact that you cannot write by offering others bad reviews will help you get any closer to the goal.
I have to agree with Frederick. We should all be doing things the old-fashioned way...submit, submit, submit. And when we're not busing doing that we should be writing.
Would it be cool to get some recognition at Triggerstreet? You bet. But not at the expense of trashing others in the hope that you will lessen someone else's chances.
That's a good question about Favreau's film when it hit video.
Regarding the swinger scene, I'd worry too if my wife wanted to have a swingers' party while I was out of town.
Of course, I've heard (eh...hmm) that most swingers are butt-ugly in real life and that they lack the necessary social skills to meet someone on their own...
Once upon a time, I was invited to a place by a co-worker (an urban club that was basically a paid membership sex club). I turned her down. I saw a spot on the local news about this place and they talked about some fat shlub giving it to some bimboo while talking on his cell phone. Now, there's a scene for a movie...
Swinger Parties...heh, heh, heh...is this country great, or what???
Likewise, I received a short message from Graham Broadbent at Dragon Pictures. After the first week, I replied and got no response. The following week, the same. No response.
I am familiar with Graham Broadbent and the folks he's collaborated with.
Is this for real, I wonder???
I wrote to Jerrol LeBaron at WSN, but he doesn't think Mr. Broadbent got my script from him (the records certainly don't show it).
Anyone with more info, please let us know.
The marathon writing shifts...
I avoid them like the plague. Many moons ago, I read somewhere that Hemingway quit working just as he got into his groove, so to speak. So, I tried it. And guess what? It works for me. Of course, everyone's different.
Being no stranger to the novel, I fall somewhere between Flaubert's old schedule (a page a day) and Thomas Wolfe (10,000 words). Granted, it's a big spread in between, but there's no tried or true method after all. Whatever works for you.
I read Mary's post about the eggs and I laughed. I wonder is she's still married to the same guy? My ex-wife gave me the ultimatum: Your writing or me. After eighteen months of constant nagging from her, I packed up and left...I would have left sooner, but the sex was incredible.
Anyhoo, it's back to work for me. And if one loses their eyes over working too hard there are programs out there that are voice-activated type. No need to learn braille.
Now, watch some hump bust my chops over my shortsightedness regarding the blind...er, I mean...what I meant was how insensitive I am.
Music? What's music?
Naw, just kidding.
Bagpipes!! Loud bagpipes!!
Or an old tape I have of a monkey playing spoons. That's a two-fer gold right there: One, the monkey. Two, the spoons.
Gloria Estefan...Holy Christ......
War is both inevitable and essential for societies to thrive. Come on down from your dream cloud.
In order for the human race to survive we must first think globally, act globally, and live globally. Countries and nation states are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Papa Bush's New World Order is already here...We must not let fanatics stand in our way. The aliens are coming, their starships are entering our solar system...
I'm kidding, of course.
The only real reason we're going to war is because a good percentage of war veterans are set to retire from the military. One must keep the experience alive. Also, I read somewhere that Dick Cheney and Co. stands to make mucho denaro on a transcontinental fuel pipe deal (from Middle East to Russia and China) once we put a "lid" on the volatile situation over there.
By the way, with all this mess about Iraq in the news, can someone tell me what happened to the war in Afghanistan?
Later y'all. Peace.
I wrote to this guy McFaddin and received an email about he and his outfit will write my logline and synopsis based on my script. Now, I may be new to this game, but the logline is what gets someone's interest. Believe me, one development exec told me he reads from 500 to 700 emails a week and picks maybe ten to twenty loglines and asks for the whole script (I was fortunate enough to be among the cut recently).
McFaddin suggested I let "friends" read my script to find trouble spots. Everything I've ever read about script writing says to do the opposite. As in never rely on friends and family for their input (they're partial to you already).
Anyhoo, now that I know McFaddin deals in exotic dancers I doubt I'll send my script to him. I might, however, book some girls the next time I "set up shop atop the Four Seasons"....
"Taking the French into battle with you is like taking an accordian on a hunting trip."
We do not need the French, the Germans or anyone else to finish what will ultimately take less time than your average infantry basic training course. Admittedly, we're very astute at dismantling countries (it's the rebuilding part we need to commit ourselves to).
I think Dennis Miller said it best: "Show of hands. Who wants to fill their gas tanks for a five spot?"
I wonder how many people realize today those who fought and died in previous wars so that we can sit back and voice our 'no more war' rhetoric.
There was a great article in Esquire (March 2003?) about the way politics are headed in our world. Stability in the Middle East is needed, one way or the other. Period. If that means shoving the democratic process down someone else's throat then by all means let's go for it. I'd rather have war today than have to worry about some dirty bomb going off at a school, church, museum, hotel, etc. Most Americans can't cope with their own personal lives (getting the kids dressed for school, making it to work on time, deciding whether or not to have that affair with the beautiful numbskull at the office, etc). And now we're expected to be "vigilant" about possible terror attacks? It's not like these folks are going to be wearing turbans and army camoflauge coats like their evidently resiliant(sp?) leader Osama "See Me Slip Away" Bin Laden. I might be wrong on the Esquire Issue, but I know Benecio Del Toro is on the cover.
And speaking of being informed, try reading the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) magazine (hard copy or online) every now and then. Not that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool CFR reader, but when you go to the source (CFR or otherwise), rather than rely on the regurgitated messages from our media, you tend to get a better sense about what's going on in the world (from articles penned by experts in their areas--middle east studies, etc).
And if you think all this war talk is bad now, wait until North Korea assembles a few more nukes...
If you have signed up for WSN's Preferred Newsletter and still haven't received it, then go to the WSN web site and use the "contact us" link. Let them know you signed up for it. You will definitely get a response.
One other thing (as it happened to me with another newsletter): be careful with the your email filters. If your filters are on "high", weeding out everything from Grow A Big Johnson Today to Harmless Ephedra junk emails, your newsletter sender's email may have not been recognized as a "friendly". Food for thought since it happened to me.
Has anyone entered this one online? I saw it listed in the "contests online" section here at Moviebytes. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Jack.
Good point, Dart. I just went to the web site and read the rules.
I keep hearing Tony Shaloub's character in Barton Fink over and over again in my head: "FINK!"
With the FOX thing, it doesn't matter if you're talented. It seems to be a question of who you know so they can turn around and possibly exploit that contact as well.
And if the program wasn't so much on the 'diversity' tip, I wonder if you'd need the nod from someone "in the field"?
I agree with Marcel and TJ. Feedback is essential. Anyone worth their salt knows that the likelihood of being picked up is a mix of talent, timing, voice, and, sadly, who you know or who you can get to know. The days of the lone genius kicking down the door in Lala Land are over.
Screenwriting is a form that ultimately has to appeal to a movie-going audience with a 6th grade reading level on average (If the average moviegoer had a more comprehensive reading level they would sit at home and read great novels instead of sitting in the dark with other average readers stuffing their face with popcorn, candy caramel and other heart-stopping snacks...I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to imbeciles everywhere). Ask youself if you would front money in the six to seven (sometimes even eight) figure range to make a movie that didn't appeal to the paying audience.
Feeback is essential. Without it, there's no growth. Even if it's the typical shlock response like "I just didn't get it." Instead of crying out "No one understands my genius!", try doing a rewrite. Get others to read your script out loud. If it sounds garbled, etc, then it needs work. If you find yourself explaining away actions and such, then chances are the story isn't crystal clear.
Believe me, I'm not saying anything here that wasn't already said to me by folks in the business.
Above all, where constructive criticism is concerned, take what you can use and throw the rest away.
If you get hung up while writing your screenplay, here's my humble advice:
1) Write a narrative or story (prose not script) concerning one or more of your characters. Many writers (i.e. professional published writers) do this to add more dimension to their characters. The story doesn't have to be long. And it should concern something other than the story your writing. In the end, you'll give depth to your characters rather than churn out cardboard cut-outs.
2) Like someone else on this board said already, write your scenes out of sequence. You already have the outline.
3) If you are overcome by the proverbial writer's block, then try writing about not being able to write at all. It sounds stupid, but it works. So long as you don't fall into the old Shining routine (All work and no play makes Shakila...)
4) Try something else for a day, a week or even a month. Write a short story. Write in a journal. Write the first chapter to the great american novel you have inside you. It doesn't have to be good. In fact, it can be lousy. Then go back to your script.
5) If you're really blocked up, then shelve the script for a certain amount of time and go back to it. You'll be surprised at what a fresh look can do for the script your wrestling with right now. In the mean time, write something else.
6) Remember this: Readers in the industry or even in critique groups you may join (or have already joined) will know when your work is rushed. This script is your baby. Take your time with it.
A last-ditch thing I do is pick another form of expression all together. Me? I paint big abstract pieces that reinforce the fact that I'll never be taken seriously as a fine artist. My fiancee hates the paintings I do. But I like them. And they keep the "flow" going. Some people paint. Others weave baskets. And still others make art out of found objects like popsicle sticks, soup cans, ash trays, etc. And yes, I always go back to the writing. Usually the same day. Even if I'm just writing for the sake of writing (which I'm sure some readers on this board will accuse me of right now).
William Faulkner once said: "I write when the spirit moves me, and the spirit moves me every day." Thomas Wolfe was capable of writing 10,000 words a day (that's 1/8 of a short novel). Gustav Flaubert was said to write ONE SENTENCE a day. I guess what I'm saying is find your niche.
Writers write. No excuses. Best of luck.
Your best bet is the WGC like Steven said. If not, and you want to spend less right now, try out Protectrite. Same thing as Writers Guild, it lasts 10 years, and the important part is there's an electronic date on your file so if in the future you're sitting in a movie theater and you get that creepy deja vu feeling, you can get a cut throat lawyer (do they have cut throat lawyers in Canada?) and fight for what's yours. Don't rely on your own file information to prove your case. Some people have been burned already on that one.
Although in this day and age, I wouldn't worry too much about someone stealing your work (at least not at the Hollywood level). Professional studios have too much to lose that way. I'm sure they'd rather spend their money on wining and dining actors and big-shot directors than pay through the nose over some copyright infringement.
If in doubt, register your script somewhere...
General Tommy Franks landed in Quatar today...I hear the fishing is good in that country, but I don't think the chief of central command is there for R&R...
"L-L-L-L-LET'S GET READY TO RUMBL-L-L-L-E!"
All joking aside, I think Judge Mills Lane put it best when he said "Let's get it on."
Saddam says he will open the gates of Hell if war starts. I knew the dude was evil, but damn...
And for all those folks preaching peace (or just sitting on the fence over the issue), remember that if we back down on this one (the civilized world that is...and not just the U.S. I can feel the Canucks on this board ready to pounce), we'll be hard-pressed to persuade North Korea to get rid of her nuclear toys in the near future.
I say it starts before St. Patrick's Day. Any takers???
I wouldn't fret losing Rick and his Jeffersonian philosophy. If Jefferson were alive during the Civil War he would have fought his government to keep his slaves...
Try looking at the long road. One cannot go around shouting "World Peace! World Peace!" without willing to, in the language of Doublespeak, liberate those who are powerless to do it themselves.
Alternate fuels? You'd have to get Detroit to retool their manufacturing plants for starters. And since they are the biggest backers of presidential candidates (Democrat or Republicans), I don't see that any time soon.
Anyway, it will all be over soon (by summer is my guess)...hold onto your hats.
You are the man. Best of luck. And let us know how it goes...
Release forms such as the one Greyline offers have, despite the imposing verbiage, very little basis when it comes down to court time. Not unlike when someone signs a waiver, say for instance at a gym or spa, gets injured, and sues the establishment anyway. This I know, sadly, from real-life experience.
If you can prove without reasonable doubt that your intellectual property was created prior to the the similar one you're fighting against(i.e. the non-creative shlub who has stolen your story), then chances are you will prevail.
Do certain production companies count on the average, anonymous Joe (or Jane) whose intellectual property is "stolen" not to travel all the way to Los Angeles County so their case can be heard? Sure, otherwise why would their legal department (or lone lawyer) drum up such a release? But any good lawyer interested in making money will see a big pay day for his services when the case is argued (So long as one can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt).
Copyright your work. Register it with WGA. Send a dated copy of work to yourself via certified mail (but don't open the envelope--they used to call this the "poor man's copyright" in the short story market), and store it some place safe (I know writers who send their work certified mail to friends and family in the event some calamity befalls them in the way of fire, flood, etc...It's extreme, sure. But paranoia makes for great dinner conversation).
Of course, if your script is of the generic "Monsters climb out sewers and terrorize a small town" ilk, or "boy from wrong side of tracks falls for rich girl" sort of thing, you will have a hard time proving your case.
In the long run, it's cheaper for businesses to be forthright and purchase someone's story, rather than risk tying up their time and money in court cases. Even if they win, they still lose...
Greyline, like any other production company(be it middleweight or heavy hitter), wants to cover its ass as well.
Someone in the biz once told me over the telephone that if you're trying to "infiltrate the system"(his words) it's a "good idea to send material to whomever requests it so long as you do not agree to deferred payment of any kind".
And yes, I sent Greyline a treatment of mine after they requested it. Although, I just read somewhere that if someone asks for a treatment you should try to convince the person to read the first ten pages of your script instead. But that's a whole different thread, I'm afraid.
If you had a good chance to get him interested in your script...hmm....
PITCH, PITCH, PITCH!
Some biggies actually did work for Golan-Globus way back in the day.
And yes, I believe they do have more money than the Vatican (who definitely won't be hearing movie pitches any time soon).
After "Waterworld" who would WANT that information?
I saw an article published in Pravda about Saddam Hussein being in possession of a crashed UFO and possibly holding aliens inside Iraq. Witnesses, as any intelligent reader may have guessed, are a bit thin out there in reign of terror land....
Giant, cow-sized, bio-engineered, scorpion watchdogs???
"We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostly."('Newt' in 'ALIENS').
Anyhoo, there's no point to this message. Just trying to add some levity to the tension I sensed as I read the latest entries.
When you don't have the weapons or military might to fight against your oppressor, one should be provided for you (in the neighborhood of 200,000+ highly trained volunteers).
Today, in Philadelphia, protesters hand-cuffed themselves to a military recruiting station entrance. I guess it's true what they say: There are more fools in the world than people.
I'm all for free speech. But protesters today do not have a clue...They lack conviction. But what they lack in conviction is their willingness to land on the evening news. Such acts do not raise awareness. Such acts only reinforce how pathetic and sad the peace movement is. When we listen to celebrities instead of seasoned leaders, you have to wonder...
What we are doing in Iraq is facilitating their catching up with the 21st century in order for those people to join the global community. And the ball doesn't stop rolling once that little war is over. I'd tell teens today not to make any plans in the distant future. Their country will call on them very soon.
But hey, look on the bright side, plenty of good movies were made during war time. So for a hungry screenwriter all is not that bad...
I'm curious to know why your service costs more ("The standard fee for your ad is 50.00. If you would like to include a picture and a two paragraph Bio, send another 25.00 with your submission. Thank you.")than other ad magazines that are located in the Los Angeles California area (WSN comes to mind) while your mailing address is in Madison, Wisconsin?
The attraction, in my humble estimation, to such services is a list of contacts that one has made (a partial list of subscribers in the industry, for instance, who are easily recognizable).
Best of luck. And if you have any successes, do post the news on the bulletin board.
Not to play devil's advocate, but sense of place gives weight to a story. Also, "the west" was a big place. And while we know Unforgiven was a bit vague as far as the "small town" goes, characters made references to other towns (Cheyenne, Witchita, etc.). In that respect, it was a little like the Simpsons (Springfield, USA). But now I'm getting off track.
On the other hand, you're doing far better than most of us. I was you the best of luck with your project.
Try http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/westweb/pages/religion.html for starters. Some info on missions and links to other sites about historical missions like San Antonio, Sonoran Desert, etc.
Also, Marcel, try looking up info on the Jesuits and their missions in the old west.
Hope this helped.
I use Dramatica Pro and Movie Magic 2000. And I am offended, suh, that you think any software "thinks" for the writer.
Screenwriting programs free you up to actually put your sweat into the story, rather than have to worry about format. Storybuilding software is good for people like me who can't organize his own index cards for scenes and such. Plus, it saves on paper. There are storybuilding demo downloads. Give it a whirl and see what's what.
For fiction, it's a different story for me. I use the tried and true method of ink pen and legal pad for outlines, character sketches, and first drafts.
Hope this helped.
I believe Paul is right on Scriptpimp's organization where contacts and all are concerned.
Last year, I used the critique service, and I received three pages of notes. Some folks have received "recommend" status after submitting their scripts. However, on other message boards at various sites some writers have questioned whether one has to use the service a couple of times before a script receives a passing grade.
If you are not in a position to get honest, objective feedback, then try the service. Scriptpimp's criticism is constructive. In the end, however, good writing is good writing. Sooner or later, someone in the industry will acknowledge your work without you having to pay money for it.
I was approached by a company offering a similar "complicated confidence scam"(to quote The Usual Suspects).
The individual who contacted me (by phone) asked me to call him back "right away"(not wanting to pay for the call?). When I did, the gent quoted a price in the same ballpark. He told me "it's hard to get in unless you go this route". I was very diplomatic and told him to call me back when he moves out of his parents' house.
There are many barricudas out there. I'd advise everyone to NOT PAY for anything. Just keep writing. Know your craft. Sooner or later, things will happen.
Chances are you'll have to go through an actor's agent. The worst you can do sending the entire script is waste money on postage.
On the other hand, if you play squash or golf or attend the same sweat lodge with a big-time agent who has big-time clients, try mentioning your script. The agent may ask to see your work.
If you happen to run in the same circles as actors, then you'd probably already know that the last thing an actor wants is for someone to force-feed them a script without clearing it with an agent first.
Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong.
I have been working on a script over the past year based on an old fantasy short story I first read in my teens. I wouldn't say my script is an adaption as much as it's based on the original. There were many aspects I had to change to keep my version current (read: Modern...or post-modern, for the purists). But other aspects of the story remained the same.
My question is this: how many out there have written scripts based on stories by other authors? And have you had any luck getting your script read? And maybe more importantly, would you write another script based on someone else's work(be it a novel or a short story)?
Thanks. I look forward to hearing from everyone.
Even movies like Airplane, which relied heavily on joke after joke, had a definite beginning, middle, and end.
I disagree with Steven about using for your script for a scratchpad. Instead, save it. Write another one. Then write one more. And read a decent book or two on screenwriting and script structure. If you read more than three scriptwriting books a year you're not boning up on anything. You're simply not writing.
After you get a few more scripts under your belt, go back and look at this first attempt you wrote. Use it as a learning tool. And definitely read other people's scripts that you can find online for free at places like Screentalk.biz to see how it's done.
All of us have written poorly executed material (read: crap) at one time or another. If we wrote nothing but gems none of us would be here...
In truth, however, I'd shy away from putting this script out there. Spare yourself the postage and the pain.
CONNERY: Ursula Andress, Catherine Deneuve, and Charo,twice."
CONNERY: That's Foreign Flicks, Mr. Connery. Foreign Flicks.
. . . [Connery buzzes in]
CONNERY: I thought of some more foreign ladies I snogged.
Check out http://www.nalip.org/board.htm.
Then click on link for Sonia Gonzalez.
Among other things Ms. Gonzalez "as a professional editor/assistant editor on such distinguished films as HORSE WHISPERER, JUNGLE FEVER, MALCOLM X, MAN ON THE MOON and THE DEVIL's OWN. As producer/director, she helmed a short comedy, DEBUTANTE, and is completing her documentary BRAGGING RIGHTS. Ms. Gonzalez was the Coordinator for the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, and formed "Latinos for Positive Images" in 1996. In 2001, she co-founded Chica Luna Productions, which is dedicated to commercializing social consciousness through the development of popular media and activist initiatives that advance progressive socio-political ideas and actions."(from National Association of Latino Independent Producers web site).
Hope this helped.
I don't suppose it comes as a surpise to anyone that the new alleged deadline the White House is imposing coincides with a new moon (read: no moon in the sky) over Iraq (and the rest of the world, for that matter) later this month...
Don't knock "Dude, Where's My Car".
Sell shlock today, write the critically acclaimed stuff later...
But seriously, if it's weight, substance, and style you want, then go read a book.
We're talking about a medium here where pitches have to be understood by teens so that there's no confusing the development gurus when pitch time comes along.
I'm not knocking development folks. Save the arthouse crap for later. Even Scorcese made Mean Streets which even now is not a great movie, but gets attention because it has Scorcese's name on it.
Computer 101: A program is only as smart as its user...
Bikini Car Wash???
In the words of the ubiquitous Homer:
Mmmmm....Bikini Car Wash......
Does anyone know anything about PDQ Directions, Inc. and Leo Leichter other than "The Bikini Shop" put out in the 1980s?
I would appreciate any feedback.
Paul: If we were not the strongest nation on earth, then someone would be doing what we're doing right now.
No more freakin' war is like asking for the sun never to set.
War is inevitable, necessary, profitable, etc. on so many levels it should make your head spin.
Sadly, no one wants to look to the future when there's stability in the middle east. Our culture is one that thrives on the gotta-have-it-now vibe, a society in which people in cars think waiting for a traffic light to change from red to green is a mighty long time, or bitch about the shmoe with eleven or twelve items at the 'ten items or less' checkout line in the supermarket as if he were some kind of common criminal(Everyone falls into these categories or you lie about it).
You think it's any coincidence that the US wants to set up shop in Iraq once the war is over? No, of course not. When the war is over, we will go about the task of actively working out the Israel/Palestine thing. In the long run it will save us money to set operations close by.
Every time I hear someone bitch about us and them, this country and that country, I think about how much we have to change our thinking.
I've said it before on this board and I'll say it again. Gone are the days of the nationalism our grandparents knew. A global society is key to the survival of the human race. This business of war in Iraq is but a tiny step toward that progress. Turning our backs on diabolical nutcases will not afford us the opportunity to get to where we are going.
In the future, what good is history if there's no one around to read it? We should think of future generations, at a time when those of living today have returned to dust, and hope that they will look back and understand why we did the things we did.
How many W's...as in:
WILLIE(V.O)...sooner or later, it comes down to the three W's.
Or four or five???
More context may help us understand more about your question. Ordinarily, when people refer to any number of W's, B's, R's, etc., the best thing to do is to say how many.
the three W's.
the five W's.
It makes for an easier read. And it sounds better out loud.
No need to spell out double-u's. That looks even more confusing.
I'm assuming the reader finds out what the W's are as the V.O. continues?
Tell the families of tortured and murdered Iraqis that peace comes from within.
Let those dissidents who have had their tongues cut out for speaking against Hussein join you in singing "Peace Train".
Talk to the mothers of the disappeared about why there's no record anywhere of over six hundred missing Kuwaitis which percentage-wise per population would equate to 60,000 missing British citizens.
Go pick some flowers and sit on high until it's over.
This isn't about whether or not Bush is a good Christian. Nor is it about some half-cocked post-modern crusade. It's about affording a weak nation the opportunity to know life without a dictator and his family who kills other human beings for sport, and the chance to become the rich country it was once before insanity reigned.
Too many Americans take the liberty of free speech for granted. I submit that you contemplate in the coming days what it would be like to be hunted down by your government, what it would be like to have your door kicked open in the middle of the night and your wife, your mother, or your sister(s) dragged off and raped just because you spoke out against your leader, or what it might be like to be chained to a ceiling, beaten until you can hardly breathe anymore, have your mouth clamped open, and your tongue cut out just because you don't agree with foreign policy. Or imagine sitting in a cell listening to the screams of a man being tortured before your turn comes up only to find out that the tortured man in the next cell is your brother or your father.
Thirty-three hours to go...but you're probably still counting on the spineless French, the bootlicking Russians, and the feeble Germans to come up with some other has-been resolution that will only result in the Iraqi people suffering more just because you don't think we belong there.
Click on the Writers Wanted link on this site. The listing is right below the one for Mythic Films. I thought you may have found that already, Dr. Watson. It's quite elementary...
YVAN EHT NIOJ!! -The Simpsons
Uh...actually I'm totally evil, but I'm bush league compared to Saddam...
Q: Why are the boulevards of Paris lined with trees?
A: So the Germans could march in the shade.
The reason this option came about is because some countries are worried about how they will look in the eyes of the world. If those parties would have given serious thought to the people of Iraq, and not how their administrations would be perceived if they voted for war, then I doubt that this little board would have been so heated.
So many Americans have this Euro-trash fantasy that other countries are so much more sophisticated than us just because those countries may be a thousand years old (give or take a century). It is a farce. And sadly it feeds into this ridiculous notion that peace should prevail at all times.
Personally, I think the peace movement in this country, since the 1990s, has been a reactionary one at best. I watch the news and see so many different groups with as many interests that it makes my head spin. There is no unity because there is no leadership. Chaining yourself to an armed services recruiting station, as they did in Philadelphia, doesn't raise anyone's awareness.
As to those who served in the military (myself included), let us remember those brave enough to VOLUNTEER service to their country. Veterans know more than anyone that there is something to be gained by serving that no one can take away from you, no matter how much peace, love and understanding drivel someone who hasn't served may spout from their mouths. Those military personnel "over there" are becoming part of history. And they are doing it because they volunteered.
And I'm tickled pink to hear that special ops units, according to MSNBC have been sneaking in and out of Bagdhad for the last two days (which means in reality they've been doing it for at least a month or more...).
But in the word of Forrest Gump: "That's all I got to say about that."
Thanks Paul and Mary.
One script I have is based on my own novel. The other I recently completed is based on a short story that is public domain, I believe, as of this year.
I knew a guy from college who entered his film to Slamdance and subsequently won for that year. Sadly, in interviews he recently gave he wished he'd never gotten involved with Slamdance.
Too each his own. Of course, if they are offering critiques I suppose it can't hurt to get an objective opinion.
"Nothing more foolish than a man chasin' his hat." - Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) in MILLER'S CROSSING
"Peace, love, dope! Now get the hell out of here." - Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones in FIELD OF DREAMS
"I see men, sixty, seventy years old breaking their balls to stay fit! What for? When I die, I want to be sick, not healthy." - Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) in WITCHES OF EASTWICK
and one last one:
"I hate Illinois Nazis." - Jake Blues(John Belushi) in THE BLUES BROTHERS
Miriam's right. There are so many good lines in Moonstruck...
Rose: Old man, you give those dogs another piece of my food and I'm gonna kick you 'til you're dead!
Or who can forget Ed Wood:
Ed Wood, Jr: No, I'm all man. I even fought in World War II. Of course, I was wearing women's undergarments under my uniform.
Where did you get that morsel about the soldier accused of lobbing three grenades into a tent being a "muslim-american"? Washington Post and CNN don't have squat about the accused soldier's leanings, religious belief, etc.
Sadly, there are unstable individuals in the armed services, not unlike the postal employees of yore...
Many expatriates from Iraq have gone on record asking for US support in the ousting of Hussein and establishing a democratic government for their country.
Interviews aired on the news and elsewhere with Iraquis who fled their country show how much those people still love the country (and rightly so) and want to return there one day.
For me, if the difference of worrying about SH going into cahoots with some radical group that will one day jeopardize our way of life, or getting rid of the regime now, then it's really a no-brainer.
I'm not speaking for anyone else. This is just how I feel.
And I agree that anti-war types are just as guilty as pegging the rest of us as "Rambos" and "John Waynes" just because we support the objective.
I'm no fan of George W.(having met him face to face a few years back), nor anyone in his party, but I know plenty of people doing the legwork over there, and I want them, as their families do, to get it done right so they do not have to return there again.
I'm curious to know how many of the folks for peace and unity will volunteer their time, services, money, etc to rebuild Iraq when the war is over...
"Only birth can conquer death--the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new." -Joseph Campbell
Here's to the future of a country rich in culture and resource, and to those willing to endure war now for long-lasting prosperity, diversity and peace down the road.
A Few Good Men:
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. - Col. Jessup(Jack Nicholson)
In this day and age, what the f*** is this world coming to? I can't believe this, prejudice against -- a Jew broad -- prejudice against Italians! -Tommy Devito(Joe Pesci)
My better half and I watched the Oscars and kept a pool going as to who guessed the winner in each category before the winners were announced. I got crushed by 10 to 5. There were categories we both missed on.
It was a relief to watch the awards and laugh for a change...
Last night my brother-in-law (staunch conservative) dubbed me "the most conservative bohemian" he knows. I don't know if that's good or bad, but what I do know is that D.G. has a right to say he what he wants. Thankfully, it all sounds like white noise (BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!) when I read his words.
Sergeant Kools aka Hasan is the product of what I call s**thouse islamic tendencies. I think this clown didn't have the intestinal fortitude (read: balls) to pick up a weapon and fight. Then he probably freaked out when charges were brought against him. We should save the time and trouble of a military hearing and allow Mr. Hasan to meet Allah through an "unfortunate accident while in custody". My guess is a report will come out soon that the GI killer will be found hanging in his cell...that's how I would orchestrate it, but I've been out of "the game" too long.
Here's to decisiveness and eventual victory.
I agree with Ron and Michael.
Of course, DG has to turn down the zuitar music enough to listen...
You know who else has a Messianic complex? Osama Bin Laden.
If we weren't taking care of things now as a country who will not tolerate any more attacks on our own soil, then I'm sure that the peaceniks would be the first ones clamoring to their respective congress people, saying "Why didn't our government do anything to prevent this?"
I may not agree with our president on all points, but I think that he does not suffer from the "smartest kid in the class" syndrome. He is doing what he feels is necessary to ensure that Americans feel safe in their homes, in their schools, at their work, etc. And he sincerely believes that he is doing the right thing.
This thread has about run its course, I think.
I have to go do some writing.
Master Chief Urgayle (G.I. Jane): When I want your opinion, I'll give it to ya.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman(Full Metal Jacket):I'm going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Private Pyle, if it short-dicks every cannibal on the Congo!
We have ways of making you pronounce the letter "O"...
This is your higher consciousness calling...oh wait, you don't have one.
Sorry, my bad!
Who's Harry Crumb?
John Candy in disguise as a rep from Bombay Air Conditioning:
"When the going gets hot, the hot get air conditioning!"
A great little piece to tack up on the wall.
When you sell a script on spec, after you've followed the so-called cookiecutter formula, then you can write scenes that go on ad-nauseum. Or, if you're fortunate enough to get picked up on assignment based on your writing skill, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the folks paying you won't want long scenes (8 to 9 pages) either.
Screenwriting, despite what so many people believe, is not an art form like the novel or the short story. It is to movies what blueprints are to houses. And blueprints often change as houses get built.
Sure, you can cite guys like Tarrantino and all. But when you're script comes across a reader's desk, there's a good chance that said reader will look at your script and say "Bah, Tarrantino already did this. Been there, done that."
You might want to change the game rules of scriptwriting. But heckling others from the stands, and not getting onto the field to play and experience the game firsthand, won't help you at all.
Anyone can write scenes and dialogue that run on page after page. That doesn't make for a story, let alone a good story that will draw the audience in and keep them there. Personally, I think it takes more skill and discipline to use the old "less is more".
I do agree, however, that reading other scripts, and watching movies of said scripts is a good learning tool. Doing both at the same time is ideal because it shows how much gets changed between script and finished movie.
And as far as the "maverick" Tarrantino goes: what has he done lately?
In my humble opinion, anyone who cannot write scenes within three pages or so, or keep their dialogue to a minimum, isn't some genius out to break boundaries. They're just not disciplined.
As a veteran of the US Army, I just want to go on record and say that I cooked FRENCH Toast here at home for me and my misses (and our dog, too).
Tomorrow, I'm going to have FRENCH fries.
A local radio station aired a story about a dolt in Jersey who dumped all of his Dom Perignon down the drain at his restaurant after the French started all their hooplah. In the words of Bugs Bunny: "What a maroon!"
I like many things French. There's the French kiss, the French f***....
Now we've come full circle on the Messianic Complex.
Case in point: the books you mentioned in your last post. Everyone of those charlatans has the same complex.
And yes, some of us are aware of America's role in foreign affairs, but if you think for a minute that the CIA creates people like Bin Laden then you've been watching too many movies. Sure, we paid him to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. But it was poppa Bin Laden's money (read: Bin Laden family fortune) that funded junior's push toward worldwide terrorism.
DG, one day you might get professional help. Maybe not. What I do know from your posts is that for all the higher consciousness crap you preach, you lack the one thing that seperates the common man from enlightment, the buddhahood, the Christ conscience, etc.
You're smart, DG. Or at least you lead some to believe you are (more like beating others over the head with your point). But if you can't figure it out then maybe you should throw out all those phoney books you recommend.
The single most important thing to a film is not the screenplay so much as it is money. Money, money, money.
Even Salvador Dali learned the rules of painting before he did what he did. The same for any other great artist.
You folks can sit around and whine all you want about how "nobody understands my genius" and all that.
Me? I'll stick with some of the tried and true rules and let you know how it goes on the other side...
At the risk of this board deteriorating into a virtual slugfest (or maybe it has), I wouldn't make comments about editorializing versus whining.
As far as having the right to voice one's own opinion, you definitely rate in that category.
However, when you go off the handle at people (as Steve has to you), you come off as arrogant and immature.
Sure, everyone is entitled to write the way they see fit. But I get the sense that this thing between Steve and yourself goes deeper than simple advice.
I'm not taking sides here. But you boys have got to get over the whole mine's bigger than yours syndrome.
It's petty squabbling like this that makes a person not want to return to Moviebytes. And that's a shame. Because beneath all of the egotistical bullshit that goes on here, up-and-coming writers can find useful information. It's a question of whether or not they can stand the smell of excrement long enough to find what they are looking for.
Ex-Military? I read your background info on this site. Is that Canadian Special Forces? We have something like that here in the U.S. They're called the Boy Scouts of America...
One of the best books I've come across about screenwriting, as an up-and-coming, is "How Not to Write a Screenplay". It helped me immensely. Keep the advice coming.
Ignore the piggish outbursts from us guys around here. Somewhere in all this mess is decent help for all writers to get ahead.
Stephan Gray asks for a fee upfront.
DANGER!! DANGER!! WILL ROBINSON!!
My Spidey sense says never pay up front to a manager/agent. If they're any good, then they'll hustle enough to make both themselves and their clients money.
I don't know much about Woofenhill other than what's at their website: http://home.earthlink.net/~woofenill/
Uh...how many producers or agents are willing to read a script I wrote in crayon on pieces of brown paper bag?
If not crayon, how about laundry marker on a bedsheet?
Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.
(Cue soothing zitar music...)
Hey, man, can't we all just get along?
I think a logline is line made out of logs.
And isn't a synopsis the thing that fires between brain cells when you actually think???
I'm so confused....
"How do you write women so well?"
"I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."
-As Good As It Gets
Is it me? Or do I hear the buckles and straps straining at the end someone's straighjacket sleeves???
Adapting your own work will inevitably change your story to some degree. You may have to take certain elements away, or add other elements to move the screenplay along.
Drop me a email. Also, you may want to read a half-dozen novels and watch their movie adaptations just to get a feel for what's been changed. Adapting a novel is different than say putting Shakespeare on the screen (or any other play for that matter).
Ellum is right. It's not unheard of to write back with a reply email asking the company to provide you information/credentials that you seek. If they don't give the info willingly, then my guess is they're not worth dealing with.
So, DG. I'm guessing the April 1 Fool's Day 11:11 pray-in for George W's change of heart didn't take or what?
Then again, the Commander-in-Chief was in Philadephia and evidently waved to protesters as he left his speaking engagement.
You peaceniks might get your wish sooner than you think...no more freaking war and all.
Hold onto your hats, kids. We're coming down the homestretch.
Me and my arrow
Me and my monkey all smelly and funky
Me and my midget we went halves on a widget
No, Frederick probably gave up hope right around when we started bashing each other.
Bah-dum-dum. "I'm jus' kidding!"
Does anyone else have visions of WHAT ABOUT BOB? on this particular board?
Bob: What are you doing with the gun, Dr. Marvin?
Dr. Marvin: Death Therapy, Bob. It's a guaranteed cure.
Our disinformation campaign thus far has been a success. Or as they say at the National Security Agency:
xdrt mnwa rljvj xiqqwpl kvrc nblf!!
(to the tune of Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head)
Big bombs keep falling on my head and that may mean that Saddam and his sons are dead...
feel free contribute the next verse.
I think you're on the money where the Scriptapalooza Contest is concerned. I haven't been able to find anything on Global Entertainment. Readers are either compelled to pass your story along or they are not. Call me paranoid, but I think the person they suggested you contact to brush up your script may be connected with them in some way.
Keep plugging away at known prod co's and entertainment mgt co's. Your day will come.
When in doubt, write to any entertainment/management/production company and ask them to provide you with projects they've worked on. Most people would be more than happy to toot their own horn. If they hedge the request for info, then I'd hedge the request for your script.
Where writing is concerned, I don't pay anyone to read my work. And I learned that the hard way.
Where did you find out about NHO anyway? I searched around and found nothing (including Scriptpimp database and others)???
There were quite a few bugs with the older version. If you have the option on your old Movie Magic to download updates that might help you.
D. Jay: a blessing is a blessing. No need to worry there.
Steve: Not only is there a Hollywood in Heaven where unknown writers get optioned, they also run the show (Execs do time in another place that reeks of sulfur and suffering).
I didn't know Veena personally. But if she touched any of you in some way the greatest thing you can do is to carry her memory with you. That's about as close to immortality as we get.
Oh my God...do I sound like DG Balzac or what???
This is all well and good...if you actually believe the greatest story ever sold.
A long time ago a wise man once said that when equality was taken out of the community the first thief was born. And no it wasn't Karl Marx...older than that by about 2, 000 years.
My point, I suppose, is that we are all inherently good, but our egos taint the way we see things and cause us to do the dastardly things that we do.
As for the meek? I think so much has been lost in translation over the centuries it's hard to tell what's meant by that.
And if you happen to "believe", then think about this paraphrase from an old and respected kabbalist: The question is not how much was lost in translation from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English, but how much was lost when the prophets interpreted the words the angels first gave them.
Now, I'm rambling.
Scriptpimp is a different operation than WSN. Both, from what I've learned, are professional and courteous.
Scriptpimp will give you development notes for a fee. They will also let you submit a script for "potential circulation only" for less money that the development notes fee. However, keep in mind that you have to get a "recommend" on your script from Scriptpimp in order to do so. If you do get the coveted "recommend" I believe Scriptpimp circulates hard copies of your script to those producers, managers, etc who show interest based on the info Scriptpimp provides them.
Confused yet? Hang on.
If you are going to spend money on development notes from any service, then may I suggest reading the review in the latest issue of Creative Screenwriting Magazine. CSM shelled out $10,000 to various folks after for a writer's script and gave grades (some favorable, others not so favorable) to services offering development notes based on the script submitted to them for the magazine. I thought the article was informative because they gave an average score to one of their columnists who provides script development services.
Writers Script Network (now known as Ink Tip, if I'm not mistaken) does not offer development notes for scripts. However, as far as producers, agents, etc having access to scripts it can't be beat.
If I had to choose one or the other based on budget, then I would go with WSN for the time being. Of course, it doesn't hurt to submit a script to the Scriptpimp Screenwriting contest.
Hope this helped.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. --Robert Heinlein
Or, if you want to show text superimposed over a scene.
EXT. IRAQI DESERT--DAY
SPECIAL OPS SOLDIERS take turns kicking SADDAM in the ass as the deposed dictator crawls across the sand.
SUPER - North of Bagdad, April 16, 0830hrs
Supers are used for more descriptive texts--like time or location.
Or, if it's like a Star Wars thing with a brief paragraph of backstory...you can use:
WRITTEN: blah, blah, darth vader, blah, blah, blah, local yokel farm boy, blah, blah...
and underline the text to show that it is to be shown that way. I read this somewhere and I have a feeling it's a bit more dated than the "SUPER" for superimposed.
A good question all the same.
Even the paperboy in BETTER OFF DEAD wanted "Two dollars...I want my two dollars..."
Seriously, Thomas brings up a good point. Always good to read the fine print and be well-versed in "doublespeak".
Sorry to hear about your experience.
But like Ben Franklin said: "A fool and his money are soon parted."
If there's one thing I learned trying to break into the business it's NEVER, NEVER, NEVER offer some shlub money to represent your script or promise to "put it into the right hands."
Anyway, I'm confident that WSN is more than open to being made aware of potential scam artists. I've even written to them about one or two myself in my day when the old subject of money came up.
I wanted to be a Marine, but I flunked the physical. My head didn't fit in a jar...(bah, dum, dum)
SANK YOU, I'LL BE HERE ALL ZE VEEK. TRY DA PORK CHOPS, AND DON'T FORGET TO TIP YOUR VAITERS...
Just as long as you didn't feel two hands on your hips while the doc did his "probe"...
I have some luck getting folks to request a script after I've emailed a query to them. And since then a few of the same folks have requested other work beside the script I initially mailed to them after the email query. We'll see where it goes...
I'd love to go too, but I may be starting another job soon. That means I probably won't vacation time. Of course, if I actually placed in the screenplay competition, then I could always quit my job and come home to find another...Time will tell.
"probably won't have" is what I meant to write...
Please weigh in with your votes on which screenwriting program you use and why. I'm doing this little survey for my own benefit as well as some people I know. I've read several reviews, currently use one of the systems, and I'm curious to know what others think.
I find it odd that KKA would ask for a synopsis if you queried them already. Maybe your query didn't give them enough of your synopsis. I wouldn't worry. And best of luck.
With something like 6,044 entries last year, I'm sure there will be even more than that this time around.
I'd like to take the time to thank everyone for having such confidence in themselves. It will help with a speedy recovery when I end up winning this little contest. Actually, placing will be cool enough for me.
I sent in one script. I likened sending two scripts to buying four lottery tickets and hoping to lessen the odds. It doesn't work. Not to mention my local 7-11 guy repeatedly sells me losing lottery tickets...but that's another thread entirely.
Anyone here also enter the Chesterfield? Best of luck to everyone.
I wait six weeks from the day the script arrives (using a tracking option on USPS--like priority mail but only media mail cost...email me for secrets today!!).
Sometimes I get a curt "not interested". Other times, like today, I receive a detailed explanation as to why a particular script doesn't fit their needs along with a request for more material (i.e. different scripts).
I read somewhere that four weeks is enough. But after sending out queries I sometimes discover that it takes a person four weeks to get to my material; hence, the six week wait.
Oh yeah...I only write back if I've sent a script requested. I never write back if they didn't respond to a query/synopsis. If they haven't requested a script after six weeks I can only assume they are not interested. Personally, I don't feel it's worth following up on a synopsis alone. Plus, I run the risk of agitating someone who may not ask for more material later on down the road.
Hope this helped.
Iraq...Iran...what's the difference??
If there's no growth for the character then the story stalls (to quote a critique on an old script of mine which I had to rewrite a few times to get it right).
This is a tough one. However, don't wait until page 60 or the half-way point to introduce characters that will help main character achieve or not achieve his goal. Make sense?
Give us more info on the story...
If you live near water try booking a boat with sails for the day. If not, there are plenty of books on sailing in any decent library.
I think it's great that you want sound details, but don't get so bogged down with technical jargon that the reader will lose sight of your story.
Try the internet. I recently completed a script in which the main character goes from a piece of crap motorboat to a nicer rig by the end of the story. The story is location-specific so I looked up who was selling what kind of "over the top" boats in that area of the country.
You may also try trolling various sailing message boards for info (there's every other kind of message board out there so I can't imagine there not being at least one dedicated to sailing). You may even hook up with some gnarled old sailor who's just dying to inundate you with info.
Best of luck. Keep us posted.
Try using search words like "online tutorial" when you're looking up sailing.
Also, if I may be bold enough to dissuade you from the Nicholls this year (2 days is a ballbuster), might I suggest searching a site like half.com for used books on sailing. I'd hate to think that you put so much effort into the script and then have it unravel at the end.
If you can't make the Nicholls deadline, then try the Chesterfield (due by June 21).
And lastly, does it have to be a yacht/sailing vessel???
Just a thought.
Fire always work well (i.e. house fire). Floods are also good. Although from a cost standpoint, fire's probably easier to produce than flood conditions.
But I doubt you want to get into it this late into the game.
Best of luck.
Anyone have dealings with Geste, Inc. and Norma Brody since the last post on this subject way back in 1999?
What Paul said...
My thoughts, prayers and wishes are for you, Ron.
I'm considering the disney/abc thing. I also sent my work into Nicholl's(early...way early...) as well as Chesterfield and TFI (not so early).
If anyone's interested in television the CBS web site has a page where you can request a hard copy release form in order to submit work. Pretty much the same premise (a show that's on air now--not necessarily a CBS show).
I hope I have better luck with the contests remaining that I submitted to. Today, I received word that the Venice Arts contest was cancelled due to the fact that VA did "not take in enough entry fees this year to meet the amount of advertized prize money."
First, I lose the $63 Million lottery in my state...now this...wonders never friggin' cease.
Oh, and not to end on a bad note/negative vibe(where in the hell is DG Balzac?), good luck to all who entered contests recently.
"I'll show you the life of the mind!"
"Barton Fink! Barton Fink!" --The Simpsons
But on a more serious note, I've heard from my master thespian/writer friends (the kind who infect NYC after college graduation with the hope of someone realizing their genius only to wait tables and deal drugs to make ends meet) that a good exercise is writing the one-act play first before tackling anything of full-length.
Of course, that's their creditor-dodging, coked-out philosophy; so, they could be wrong.
I'd beg to differ about the mastery of the English language by the time kids are in the first grade. In college, I knew people who could barely speak the language even though they claimed their ancestors stepped off the Mayflower.
"You people spawned the fuckin' language..." --Snatch
I already received my refund. And you are right. It's sad to think that any group starts a competition without sufficient funds to cover themselves.
I won't be entering that next year. And even though I've used the query system in the past, I doubt I'll use that anymore either.
With regard to this particular thread, a quote from Miller's Crossing comes to mind:
"Ya's fancy pants, all of ya."
At any rate, like Ellum and Steve, I wouldn't take back anything.
This board is a good learning tool. Some have made contact beyond the board and received keen advice. Others just "put it out there" and see what kind of response they get.
Screenwriting, at least for me, is not like other avenues of writing (say, the novel) where you can be competely isolated from others while you work.
The most important thing to remember is to write. Everything else? Well, I hope you know what I mean.
Sooner or later, everyone comes to a point in their writing where they do not need to participate in writing groups anymore.
Once upon a time, I was involved in a fiction workshop that was sort of the same way. It turned out to be more of a group therapy session but we had no one licensed therapist. A published novelist (who may or may not be worse than a working screenwriter), but she wasn't too keen on leadership skills (the sessions turned from critiquing work to critiquing one another's flaws).
If you are confident in your work, and you have peers that are confident in theirs, then chances are you can probably give up this writing group as your peers will provide you with plenty of quality insight.
Unless, of course, you're sitting in with the likes Charlie Kaufman, Paul Shrader, John Sayles, etc. Then I would advise sticking it out and accept the verbal beating like a man.
However, if everyone's in the same boat as you, then cut your losses and go. There are plenty of working writers (novelists, screenwriters, poets) believe that workshops can have a negative effect on writers who are on the verge of breaking out. The negativity of those not on a par with you will probably deter you from gaining your proper stride.
Or if you want to stay, have some cheese with your whine and suck it up.
All drafts of any screenplay are first drafts until the shooting starts. I wish I had said that, but someone else did in an article I read in Creative Screenwriting Magazine(that or Screentalk...can't remember which one).
Stop worrying. Start writing something new. Then when you've forgotten about the script you sent in to Nicholls, go back and work on it some more.
Just because some folks think writers are neurotic doesn't make it so. Like my sister used to say to me:
Breathe in, breathe out, count to ten, and repeat when necessary.
Simple, but damn good advice.
Oh yeah. Good luck with the Nicholls thing.
I agree with Ellum.
If someone inundated the Nicholls contest with say one or two hundred scripts they may enhance their chances of winning. Or they may run the risk of every single script being read only once (instead of being passed along for a second and third read). But I seriously doubt entering two to seven scripts versus sending in just one script will make that much of a difference.
With that said, best of luck to everyone.
That guy in your group isn't a tiny, reed-thin, whitehaired, leathery-skinned old man who looks like the illegitimate offspring of Van Morrison and Diane Weist is he?
I went to college with a retired guy who sounds like the guy you're talking about. Once, a literature professor was late getting to class. This old guy proceeds to announce to the prof "I just wrote a poem about people who are late for commitments. Would you like to hear it?" Obviously, the professor didn't want to hear the poem. In fact, he kicked the guy out of the class for good.
You're right on about people who cannot offer anything other than broad generalizations. Perhaps it's time you find a more advanced group in which to participate. Granted, I don't know any of your script work. However, your posts seem relevant and coherent enough. And this discussion reads to me like you are capable of handling more from people who are truly committed to helping others. Maybe you should seek higher ground. Just a suggestion.
I'd say I take 2 to 4 months from outlines/character sketches to first draft, and then a few more months polishing to the point where I am satisfied. Then, if I'm lucky enough to get feedback from the people I submit to (I do sometimes have to prod them), I take another look at the script.
Like Dennis G., I've written novels too. Three novels since the 1990s...to give you an idea of how long that process takes me. My first novel I adapted into a screenplay(and I've been hooked ever since). That was hard work. There were elements added and taken away in order to make the story more enticing for the screen. I normally write my first draft of any fiction in longhand(like the feel of pen on paper...call me a nerd, whatever).
But back to screenwriting. I find myself having to pear down my initial drafts where scripts are concerned. I suppose it could be worse. I could be in a position where I have to add words and scenes just to make the cut (80-120 pages). Lucky for me, no shortage there.
This is a good topic. Of course, I'm never really finished with any of the scripts I've written. Even now, after someone emailed me and asked to read a script, I'm thinking of changes on a couple of stories. But I'll wait...for now.
Evidently, Iran plans to bulk up her fundamentalist push via weapons-grade plutonium turned WMD. Or so one report would have us believe.
Does it come as a surprise that Afghanistan sits on one side of Iran and Iraq sits on the other? Perhaps Iran has been our objective all along...
Here's to hoping my paranoia passes soon. However, I don't think the dogs of war are going to be put back into their kennels any time soon.
Like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons big("Worst Script Ever..."), or worse?
I used to work with a big, fat sci-fi head at a bookstore who could put away an entire crumb cake (family-size) and a two-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper in one sitting. I'm talking H-U-G-E!
Then there was the loser at the local Border's Books who scoffed at any title a customer purchased, and went on ad naseum about how the world isn't read for his fiction.
Anyone (like my Borders guy) who uses terms like "cutting edge", "adroit" and "whimsical" to describe their own work should be shot, preferably in front of other eggheads who still cling to a Ptolemaic view of the universe and mistake their psychosis for creative genius. But I guess that's for another post on another day...
I used them in the past. However, as I stated on another post, after the screenplay competition cancellation, I doubt if I would have used them again. In truth, I had some reservations about their system.
Overall, if I were to use a query system, I'd probably go with Scriptblaster (the give you more bang for your buck).
I meant "they" give you more bang for your buck...sorry.
You have a front porch (or part of one, at least)?
Vanderbilt Productions=Zilch Info on this end.
Was watching Matrix on Fox. Fiancee says that at the point the red pill and blue pill are offered to Neo she would have been out there. Fiancee also thinks I would have stayed...hmmm?
"What do you mean, hon?" says me.
"As in," she replies, "you would have asked Jim Jones if the punch was sweetened or unsweetened."
Speaking of Matrix, I start a new job tomorrow. Back into the shackles of the man after playing the unemployed lout for too long (mucho writing done, however).
Two different posts...soon, grasshopper, you're fence will be complete.
Evidently, the lottery commission of New Jersey backed out of the deal at the last minute (read: the blue hair on local public access t.v. didn't pull the right friggin' numbers a few weeks ago...).
On the bright side, had a pleasant conversation on the tellyphone with a chap from LA who found one of my scripts on WSN. Sent it to him yesterday.
Other scripts out as well. Right now, I'm probing the perimeter but them sum-a-bitches are dug in like an Alabama tick.
Time will tell.
I know that SoYouWannaSellaScript offers a similar service. But I think that Scriptblaster has a larger database of producers, managers and other ne'er-do-wells. Maybe I'm wrong. But SYWSS is also more new than Scriptblaster so that's probably why their database isn't as large.
Just for fun, I looked up David Bartlett, founder of this little scam, in LA.
Sadly, there's no street address given for the only David Bartlett listed in Los Angeles at superpages.com(verizon). But you can find a phone number there (or at Switchboard.com). Oh yeah, the map provided puts the guy in the same neighborhood as the Fountain Avenue address used in the competition, give or take fifteen or twenty blocks.
Same fellah? Don't know. But I was bored and felt like snooping around.
Hope everyone who participated (I did not) gets their money back.
At the fastfood drivethrough the other day:
I'd like a burger with idiot cheese and an order of freedom fries, please. And no mayo on the burger.
(en Francaise--uh, huh, huh, huh!)
Ordinarily, I'd worry about any butt-kicking threats. But then again you're Canadian...
Anyway, good luck. I'm sure that being a seasoned professional you will weather utter defeat rather well.
Aristotle was a boob.
There I said it. Now let the backlash begin...
But seriously, the question posed is a good one.
Me, I stand by the old John Gardner saying about writers writing the stories they would want to read. I like to think that the same goes for screenwriters too.
A good twist is excellent. But I'm sort of with Terry on the whole "I saw it coming" kick. I was that way with The Usual Suspects. I don't know of a single "gimp" or "cripple" who fends off an imposing customs agent with a near-perfect parry (using gimped arm to boot...that kevin spacey is something else).
Speaking of surprises, right now I'm thinking about the Austin Powers line about Liberace and how he "didn't see that one coming" which means I've nothing else to contribute right now.
Received similar message a few weeks ago. Deleted same within seconds of said message landing in my inbox.
Skip him. Or if you want to spend money then pay for a reputable script analyst who can help you.
Professional "coaches" rank up there with shady lawyers and doctors with medical degrees from Grenada.
They will use mucho buzz words like "focus", "initiative", "proactive", and such without ever doing much more than letting you know how "unsuccessful" you will be without their time-honored secrets.
I'm closer to Miami than Montana, but I don't think I can make it.
Now you are on your way. Best of luck!
A friend of mine brings his dog to a veterinarian named Dr. Ghoul (who, the story goes, didn't become a physician because of his last name)...
Yep, I got nixed.
However, congrats to Mr. Barclay and to D. Jay Williams who also made the list.
I spent a small fortune in contests this year. Next year, if things don't turn out this time, I'll put that good money to use on a script analysis.
How's old the vcr?
Do other movies have sound?
Is there an "audio out" jack on the back of your vcr to go to television (some ancient models had them)?
Or maybe your vcr is just kaputnik...
I loved Mannequin and its many memorable quotes:
"There are two things I like to do. Fight and kiss boys."
But seriously, Colleen is right. Let's not be quick to judge.
For as I've said on another board at another site, I would cast Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, or even Chesty Morgan, if it meant getting my movie made.
Why is it the position of bitter, eggheaded, borderline megalomaniacal no-names to bash the work of those writers who have written movies that push the so-called boundaries?
M. Night Shyamalan has found his niche (most recently a two-picture deal with Walt Disney Studios), and he is doing what any artist would do--exploiting it.
It's like the monologue Julian Schnabel wrote in his movie Basquiat about getting famous and continuing to put out the same kind of work so you will remain recognized.
Long ago, I used to visit a video store in Philadelphia, PA where Temple University film students used to work part-time. These six-dollar-an-hour flunkies used to sneer at just about every title someone asked for (unless of course it was porn then they would blush and stutter like Beavis and Butthead). My point is that it's easy to be a critic of someone else's work. It is another thing entirely to actually break from the pack and make something of yourself.
Sure, I'm rambling.
However, I submit that Mr. Shyamalan is a great writer in that he has dreamt stories that mean something to him, and he has found an audience (a rather large one, I may add) who relishes the fictional universes he creates.
Genius: n. A person who influences another for good or bad.
To my other half's detriment, any Steven Segal movie...
Also, I still get a kick out of Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello in HUDSON HAWK ("Side by side...").
And who could forget Jim Belushi and Arnold Schwarzenegger in RED HEAT...
But my all time guilty pleasure movie has to be WHO'S HARRY CRUMB? ("When the going gets hot, the hot get air conditioning.").
Oh yeah...and I own NEAR DARK with Lance Henrikson and company as vampires...gooooooooooood stuff!!
Re: Near Dark.
When I was younger, I was rather attracted to the female vampire (don't know the actress' name) in Near Dark in the way most young men (at least in my neck, no pun intended, of the woods were) to the likes of Wendy O. Williams. Something about busty trailer trash that makes my heart race.
And yes, I also own PUMPKINHEAD.
For the better part of a year, I tried to perfect my Lance Henrikson imitation ala Millenium--"I'm Frank Black. I see what the killer sees." Sadly, my Chris "Hahdball" Matthews is better than my Lance Henrikson. But now I'm getting off track.
Other guilty pleasures? Old Tracy Lords films. That girl could act even when she was sixteen!!
Don't know, Terri.
Did I also mention I own a copy of MITCHELL with Joe Don Baker? A garage sale find after seeing the movie done on MST3K. Joe Don Baker may quite possibly by the only living, breathing, ambulatory potato sack stuffed with grisle the world has ever seen. But don't take my word for it. See for yourself.
To quote Walter Solchek in THE BIG LEBOWSKI..."Also, dude...the preferred nomenclature is Asian-American".
Like my Chinese friend in college used to tell me:
Rugs from Asia are oriental, people from Asia are Asian.
Don't know about Colin Farrell and the Walking Tall remake (I think the original star was Joe "My Hero" Don Baker).
I also read somewhere that Viggo Mortensen(sp?) is doing a remake of BILLY JACK...Now there's a guilty pleasure movie. The original Billy Jack movies, I mean.
When I was a kid in the 1970s my friends and I spent an entire summer learning how to kick, and rubbing our faces with one hand as we repeated the name "Bernard..." just like Billy Jack before he went ballistic.
Oh yeah, I'd also put THE PROPHECY (w/Elias Koteas and Christopher "The Continental" Walken) up there with guilty pleasures. That scene where the police sergeant opens the door to the apartment and mutters "Well, there is what an experienced detective like yourself would consider signs of a struggle" as the open door reveals a blood-spattered room in shambles.
I could go on, but I'll stop for now.
Lifetime's target audience appears to be bored housewives who wish they could find a nice guy/serial killer to add some spice to their lives. That's just my opinion, but what do you expect from a guy who actually saw the "old" Tracey Lords movies...
I am trying to get a patent on a roadkill scooper that the average slack-jawed yokel can use while driving their car (or pick-up truck).
However, Orient and oriental are terms colonialists put on the good people of Asia.
But obviously you see no wrong in it so you just keep on keeping on Mr. Bunker.
But I was thinking about Ace Ventura posing as a UPS delivery man and kicking that box around...funny stuff.
And speaking of Irish and English ancestry(sp?), I knew a guy in the army whose grandfather taught him Gaelic because "the old man refused to speak the Queen's English in his house".
How's that for old grudges?
Yeah, man. Kerouac. I was thinking "Subterraneans" all the way, daddio...
After hallucinations brought on by brain cancer cost crime scene investigator Vina Willem her job, she discovers that she is the only one who can identify extraterrestrials that have crash-landed on earth.
Try that on for size.
If you like it use it...free of charge.
I'm interested in your story already.
You're better off with water.
A common misconception in the West is that alcohol or drugs fuel creativity. If Hemingway et al weren't such lushes then I shudder to think what they could have produced. And if you don't like my argument against drinking and the writing life check out some of Hemingway's poetry...BLAH! H-H-HUH-HURL!!
I agree with Seven about the rewrites of old stories. It is cheaper. Not good for someone trying to break into the biz, but not bad for the money folks in "La-la Land".
Old stories redone are nothing new. Even in the world of the novel. Take a Thousand Acres for instance, the novel by Jane Smiley. It's essentially King Lear on a big farm.
But the focus is screenwriting. Sorry about introducing the novel, but it (as far as writing goes) was and still is my first passion.
Just weather the storm. The tide will change again soon enough (read: as soon as the box office numbers show the masses' non-interest in re-hashed old stories).
I meant Steven.
Next time bury the dead dog deeper into the ground...
"to outsmart her killer", maybe.
not "to outsmart the killer."
This doesn't has much to do with screenwriting, but it's a writer's story all the same.
Victor Hugo had recently published Les Miserables, and sent a short, to the point letter to his publisher about sales of the novel. The story goes Hugo put one symbol in the letter:
To which his publisher replied:
True? The stuff of legends? Who knows. But an interesting tale all the same.
Steve's a Canadian.
I think you meant "Your parole officer called while you were oot."
'We have ways of making you pronounce the letter o'. -Canadian Bacon
I say if you're going to spend money then find a reputable script consultant who will talk to you over the phone as well as give you detailed feedback after having read your script from page 1 to last.
I read about Mylo in Jerrol LeBaron's Preferred Newsletter.
Congrats to Mylo.
It's that kind of news that should make the rest of us press on.
Does Ellum need a good rehab?
Or to use the Foghorn Leghorn parlance of Ellum...I say-uh, I say-uh I know a ree-hab, I say I know a rehab that is a good-un...
All drinking jokes aside, I agree about the title page.
No WGA number. No fancy-shmancy title graphics. Name and contact info lower right side, if I'm not mistaken. And all caps for TITLE.
Charlie's Angels had a plot???
I sort of lose focus whenever I see Lucy Lui in one of her get ups...
Months back I submitted to them. They responded by asking for a treatment. I sent them a treatment. They asked for the script. I sent them the script and I recently wrote to them to follow-up since it's been eight weeks.
I don't know about the "once in a lifetime" deal. Through query services I used for other scripts I received requests from them for subsequent material (always a treatment first). I haven't sent them anything since.
And yes, I would like here "yay" or "nay" from them just for the record.
Lucy Lui does that to you too???
Wow, that sounds like the beginning of a perverted Dr. Suess tale.
Tired, delirious, and hungry. That's me.
"If you loved me as much as I love you, then what a wonderful world it would be." -Jimmy Cliff
"He's never placed in a contest and, apparently, he educated in English. "
Don't rag on other people's punctuation, chowderhead, until you get a grip on the English language.
"...he educated in English."
...in the words of Bugs Bunny: What a maroon!
I did include the SASE. Am I the victim of a "complicated confidence scam?"
Oh well. Better luck for me next time.
Ny bab sez I bee a good tipist...
uh oh, I hope K. Smith is not lurking about.
Speaking of K. Smith (the real one), has anyone seen the previews for the J-lo and Ben AFFLACK!!! movie? And some folks thought Charlie's Angels was bad???
Actually, Mr. O'Reilly was kind enough to request a script from me after I wrote to him.
But I believe he probably has more queries a day than we can imagine.
Last week I spoke to another gent on the phone after following up on a script I sent to him. He wanted me to refresh his memory by reciting the logline. He remembered the script. And asked if I had anything else. I threw out a few more pitches. He requested more material, and added that the people he works for are tough on what they want to see what they want to avoid.
It's like I tell people all the time: I don't necessarily have to sell one of my original scripts. I'd be just as happy getting hired to write someone else's story as long as the pay makes it worth my time and I can learn from the imput of others also working on said project.
What? You want me to write that Liliputian werewolf movie? Sure. A comedy about a mercenary with severe pollen allergies? Where do I sign? A conspiracy theory flick with lots of bunnies and puppies? I'll give it a shot.
Just hire me.
A mover, a shaker, a mogul, a giant in the cut-throat world of real estate in the great cheese state...
Terri, do I sense a source of inspiration here for you?
Do I smell a bunny-puppy conspiracy theory collaboration in the mix, Gil?
It costs more, but I use the old cardboard Priority Mail envelopes. As far as other countries go, I don't have a clue...sorry.
Aussies, New Zealanders, etc, and old ladies over the age of 70s...maybe the few odd gay guys...hmmmmmm...
The stars get the moolah because the (dare I say it) the industry caters to an audience with a 6th grade reading level (on average...if you don't believe, go visit a movie theater).
The audience doesn't give a damn about writers. I'm sure some of them think that the stories come out of some fancy Willy Wonka inspired machine fitted with pistons, steam, compressors, bells, whistles (you got have whistles), and lights of varying colors.
But don't give up. For this too shall pass.
Where else can people consume large amounts of alcohol and get to play with explosives???
"America, America, God done shed his grace on thee..."
Happy July 4th...I'll be working, but I plan to bring explosives to work...
Long ago, while reading a book on creativity and madness, the author (some psychologist with a string of letters after his name) hinted that one may develop genius from a need to express one's self creatively, or one may develop a fractured sense of self and become a psychotic by ignoring the creative tendency for any number of reasons which include how the subject perceives what others may think of him.
I remember coming to this site to actually learn something. Sadly, I don't feel that way anymore. Or could it be that I, like others, have outgrown those who mistake imbecility for sly genius?
Have you been possessed by Cartman from South Park?
To be honest, there were quite a few threads that left me feeling the way I do. Yours, sadly (or perhaps gladly), was not one of them. Sorry to burst your bubble.
I have found that some people have something to contribute. Others just practice their typing skills, it seems.
Best of luck with your script, James. And to your partner K. Smith. I can only imagine who will get first billing on the writing credits...
The updated program of the one you propose will entirely eliminate the use of the writer.
And for the price of a spec screenplay agents and producers can punch in a few key words (actually, the new model will be voice-activated) and voila! A brand-spanking-new script.
We're safe for now with the binary system (0s and 1s), but soon will come a day when quantum computers will replace the ones we use today.
Oh the humanity...
Having adapted my own novel into a screenplay (with many, many drafts written after feedback from a decent script consultation service), I may be able to help.
Email me and we'll see what's what.
Don't know about the 57 page comedy, but on scriptdude.com I found a copy of "El Mariachi" by Robert Rodriquez that cashes in at 51 pages in PDF form. Maybe there's hope for you after all...
By nature, I'm also a night owl.
However, I write night and day. A bad week is when I don't get to write one day out of seven.
For many years I kept an old saying from William Faulkner taped to my desk: "I write when the spirit moves me, and the spirit moves me every day."
I think it's true what was mentioned earlier about people forcing themselves to write. If you're a writer, you would never have to force yourself to write.
Speaking of which, I have to go.
Wait for bigger fish. Never pay anyone to take your script.
If someone shows interest in your project and can't offer much money up front, but you feel strongly about your script and that person's drive, then it wouldn't hurt to give them a shot. You certainly won't get any action if you let your script sit at home.
The naysayers will cry "Wait for big money!" But the same naysayers will be here in ten years from now singing the same lament...
It also helps to have quite a few scripts written. Try different genres (comedy, drama, action, sci-fi, etc). Find a genre you absolutely despise and try your hand at writing a script for said genre. Even if you cast the work aside when it's completed, it doesn't matter. As a writer, you should challenge yourself. That way your writing will only get better.
Also, remember to visit sites like imdb.com to read loglines of movies already made. You can also read the boxes or cases on the movies you rent.
None of us ever stop learning. That's the beauty of writing.
This isn't the first time I've seen "Death" place somewhere is it?
I swear I've seen the title of your script somewhere else, too.
Maybe the writer was paid in New Zealand dollars and the clip was published with U.S. dollar rate.
.58 U.S. dollars = 1.71 NZ dollars (current)
Also, as a fledgling screenwriter I don't think $17,000 is anything to sneeze at. That's a payoff on the four-wheeled deathtrap held together by tree sap and dead bugs I call a car, a down payment on a modest home, and a whole truckload of clean, brand new boxer shorts...
Beware of those who write in all CAPITAL LETTERS...
But seriously, perhaps Mr. Reeve should learn how to write a screenplay himself and thereby avoid MAKING OFFERS WITH NO MONEY UP FRONT...
That's right, NJ.
It's also enough for a guy I know whose in the business of making wisecrackers disappear...
"My ears are sealed." - Analyze This
I meant "who's in the business"...
Or as they say deep in the Pine Barrens, "a guy what's in the business"...
That's even better, Marcel.
I could start my own clan of Irish-American bedouins.
I'd have to disagree. I'd say dialogue in a script and movie is important to carry the story. But if it's there to simply to get from point A to point B in a story then it needs work.
There's a great article in Creative Screenwriting magazine this month about dialogue with a panel that includes Eric Bogesian(sp?), Nicholas Pileggi, etc.
Just think about how many agents/producers get scripts in which the dialogue is completely off the mark. Or more to the point, how many readers never pass such scripts up the chain to agents/producers because dialogue is so bad.
Remember, once upon a time stories weren't written down but shared verbally. Movies are a sound a visual experience. Good dialogue is hard to come by, but critical to a movie's endurance.
Speaking German? Hardly.
Arabic? Doubt it.
Most Americans have problems with English, and I'm not talking about those folks that just arrived recently...Come to think of it, some English have problems with English.
"Blagged? Do me a favor, Tony, speak English. I thought this country spawned the fucking language, and so far nobody seems to speak it." - SNATCH
I barely knew the people I went to high school with (dopers, jocks, dopers, preppies, dopers, punk rockers, discoheads, etc). Why would I, as an adult, want to reunite with someone I knew nothing about when I was a kid? The chick I had a crush on turned out to be a porker with three kids. The guy who I envied most went to jail for kidnapping and extortion. Class Clown? Institutionalized...Shall I go on?
Here's another reason why I wouldn't want to reunite on television with people who went to my high school. I ran into a guy I knew from high school last week. Since graduation (20 years ago) he's moved all the way into the next town that borders the one where he grew up...He's never been west of Pittsburgh, south of Delaware, or north of New York. When I run into these jokers I remind them that there's a reason their hero Bruce Springsteen jetted as soon as he made his money. But I just get that heavy-lidded Homer Simpson stare..."Vacant, you're pretty vacant" as Public Image Limited once put it (God Save Johnny Lydon).
I may go to a reunion one day. "In the back of a dream car twenty foot long..." as David Bowie once put it.
Sorry to rant...but when I saw that the reunion show was beginning its season some time back I thought "who would subject themselves to that???????"
Yoda, a dictionary you must find.
I'm not hung up on being polite or politically correct.
I won't call a water buffalo by any other name.
And for you to compare me with Mr. Reeve just goes to show that all women stick together even if they don't know each other.
Want to talk about knuckle-scraping, no-gloves, all-out brawl?
Try this one on for size...get it...size...size 14!!!
But seriously, what have we become to get all bent out of shape (myself included) about messages written in cyberspace from folks we will never meet?
"L-L-L-L-LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!"
There's a four-letter word I'm not allowed to speak in my house...
and that is...
HACK, as in the TV show...I've always liked David Morse. And I like the show too, much to my fiancee's chagrin.
Joan of Arcadia? Neat concept. But it's sort of like Brimstone (which I also liked for its entertainment value) when you get down to it.
Hey, Terri. Wasn't that you who pointed to the article about how Hollywood was tightening its belt where spending was concerned?
Unless I've completely lost my marbles, I'd venture to say that remakes from a story purchase standpoint are cheaper.
Like I said before, folks. Just weather the storm (of remakes). For it too shall pass.
I agree with Rich and David. Never pay money to someone to represent you.
I learned this the hard way almost ten years ago with a literary agent who charged me for "admin fees", sent many letters to me detailing the publishing houses my novel was submitted to, but nothing ever came of it. After a year, they asked for more money to renew representation. I said no. A couple of years later I read somewhere that the agency was getting sued by a number of authors.
Just keep at it. And by all means keep writing.
Speaking of lack of blockbusters, I just went to a matinee showing (day off from work) of Terminator 3. I'm glad I didn't spend full price after having to withstand one mom and six screaming kids that I prayed didn't all belong to her, a ticket salesperson with less than admirable customer service skills who mumbled throughout the whole transaction, two overweight dudes at the snack counter in front of me loading up on popcorn, soda, chocolate, hot dogs, cheese(?) product covered nachos, whose credit cards were so covered with hot butter that the mag strip wouldn't work (doesn't anyone use cash anymore?) and the snack counter clerk who evidently missed a day of training when the staff was taught how to use a register only to discover that T3 was pure franchise and no redeeming story value.
Did everyone get that? Or should I repeat myself?
Sorry I had to vent. But I can only think of one other character that should never be brought out of retirement (aside from the Terminator) and that's Rocky (sadly, I read somewhere that Stallone is penning Rocky VI The Clash of the Geriatrics or some such nonsense...).
"My father is the last of the Mohicans (pronounced Moe-higgins)".--Victoria Gotti
It's sad to think that an Irishman had to play a Native American in Last of the Mohicans. But if memory serves me, I was much more interested in what Madeleine Stowe was up to in that movie. I'll go on record right now and say that Ms. Stowe is a thinking man's sex symbol. But enough about that.
I agree with Terri on the Apollo 13 movie.
Action movies are good for entertainment. All the complaining about Terminator aside, the person who decided that the opposing Terminators in T2 and in T3 could throw each other through walls made of concrete and tile was a genius. You can have the guns and the gadgetry. Give me a fight scene like that in a movie. Same goes for the first Matrix. I can't bring myself to see the second one since the commercials sucked. Bringing myself to shell out money at theater to confirm what I already suspect is not going to happen.
Anyway, I'm all over the place right now so I will stop.
Still want to see Sea Biscuit, though...
German Propaganda Archive?
Government Property Agency?
Sorry, Theresa. I googled the hell out of this one in all its permutations but came up with zilch.
I stand corrected on the whole Mohiggin thing...Even so, if I never hear "Just stay alive, no matter what occurs. I will find you!" it'll be too soon.
Like most great authors now deceased, I'm sure James Fenimore Cooper somersaulted in his grave when that movie came out.
Speaking of books turned to movies, I had an English professor in college who sweated for years over an adaptation of The Age of Innocence only to discover that Jay Cocks beat him to the punch. Evidently, my professor worked in a vacuum with no clue as to who was writing what at the time...
And this just in from the slump box: that silly Disney movie "Freaky Friday" with Jamie Lee Curtis, a gussied up (like my grandmother used to say) version of an old Disney movie by the same name that starred Jody Foster and Barbara Harris.
If this keeps up I doubt I'll ever go back to a movie theater.
I thought Gothic Publishing Agency rang a bell in the old bellfry...then I remembered what Preditors and Editors had to say about them:
'Gothic Publishing: a literary agency. "'Gothic Publishing Agency accepts manuscripts of a spiritual, philosophical, or paranormal nature. Writers must be willing to do their part in the promotion of their material." Not recommended.'
And take my word on this when P&E says "Not Recommended" stay as far away as you can...
If you have yet to write a screenplay then I recommend How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make by Denny Martin Flinn. Believe it or not, this book will help you avoid many common mistakes that fledgling screenwriters make so you can concentrate on what's important (story, character, plot, etc).
And I agree with Jerry. Read, write, read, write, read, write...
Here's to Bob and Beckman.
God bless them both.
Errr...I may know a few goodfellas who would...how shall I say this...put up the "front money" but the take on the back end would be too much.
But seriously folks (cudos to Bob Hope), I'm with Terri on the Writer vs. Wealthy thing.
Me too with the message boards.
Right now, I'm working on a sci-fi script that I may or may not finish.
Yesterday, I blew out the first twenty pages of a new story from notes and character sketches I've had tucked away for over a year. This one looks more promising...
I too got the kind rejection from Greg for a sci-fi comedy script called "Natural Mysfit".
However, this is the first year I entered any competitions (with Mysfit and others) so I'm not put off.
Some folks would say Why enter the Nicholl's on your first go-around? My answer: Why not.
Leo Leichter is on imdb.com with "Malibu Bikini Shop" to his credit. I also found another movie he was credited for producer on called "Kandyland".
I suppose we all have to start somewhere...but seriously, Susan. Never, ever go for the producer who suggested a consultant.
If you want to pay for coverage on your script via a respected consultant or firm then do so. There are several out there. A good place to start is the Creative Screenwriting Magazine's two-part article on script consultants that ran in the last two issues, if I'm not mistaken.
Or, if money is a problem, go with Terri's advice on another thread. Use a free screenwriter's group to get feedback.
Best of luck to you. Hang in there (God knows I am...).
Alex Epstein's book is worth reading, even if you think of yourself as a seasoned screenwriter who still hasn't got his/her break yet. And even if you think you're above the "whole scriptwriting book thing", consider going back to school for a refresher course.
I don't know Alex Epstein. And I can certainly attest to the fact that I'm not Alex Epstein. No self-interest here. Just a good, old-fashioned plug for a book that more writers should read.
I think SWAT the television was series was the forerunner in the old prime-time let let's of bullets fly and no one get hit the way The A-Team did it later.
As for the movie, I have no intention of seeing it. I'm getting tired of the same old re-hash of stories that were once either old movies or old television shows.
What's next? The Beverly Hillbillies? Or how about a remake of Green Acres? bah-bah-BAH-bah-bah-BAH-BAH!
Me personally, I'm going back to work on my adaptation of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying"...just kidding. Although, now that I think about it...hmm...
"My mother is a fish." -Vardaman Bundren
So, explain to me how bar mitzvah footage fits in with "LA RIOTS SPECTACULAR"?
Also, I saw the title of this thread and thought it had to do with something else...
Anyway, I've never heard of this guy or the folks he works for.
You guys take yourselves WAY to seriously...
I meant "WAY too seriously" lest the grammar Nazis pound my face in with their hob-nailed jackboots...
Depending on when "BH" came out, I may have been in a booze-riddled, drug-adled haze.
Fortunately, things have gotten for me in more recent years.
One thing is for certain, I'd have to be on drugs to contemplate actually viewing the big-screen version of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES from beginning to end.
As for SWAT, I won't even rent it when the time comes.
It's like the other day when my other half asked me to watch "Evita".
WHY? I asked.
But getting back to SWAT, at least that movie is getting some play from what I hear.
This weekend I was just thinking about Kevin Smith and the release of "Jersey Girl" with Bennifer...ya think Kevin's sweatin' bullets after the Giglo fiasco?
GIGLO...GIGLI...anyway you spell it it's crap.
And what's up with Al Pacino?
I saw a funny bit on MADTV the other night where Al Pacino takes over the Jamie Kennedy Experiment.
"This is going to be H-A-AH-D!"
Congrats to Gil and Scott.
It would nice to see someone's original screenplay eventually go into production (see the SWAT thread among others).
Besides, William Goldman can't work forever...or can he???
That show couldn't carry itself for the thirty minutes it aired way back when before cable television.
what's up with this recent condescending, I'm-gonna-school-you attitude you've had lately?
Bring the old Terri back.
No one likes to be lectured ad nauseum.
Or perhaps I'm a minority here.
Knickers are so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o 2002, Terri.
For me, it's lederhosen or bust...
"Mr. Hernandez really doesn't have to justify himself to anyone."
Here, here, Tim. I couldn't have said that better myself.
Why is the position of some writers on this board that their work alone will stand out amongst tens if not hundreds of thousands of other writers trying to make it as a screenwriter?
Confidence is one thing. But bellyaching about getting no response won't get you anywhere.
Use that energy toward something positive like writing another script.
"But calling it " his job " for not even taking a few seconds to respond " Pass " to people who are in desperate need of a little dignity, doesn't make it the right thing to do."
Seriously, Ron. By whose standards is "taking a few seconds to respond" the right thing to do?
At the risk of Ellum getting his knickers in a twist, I'd say follow the advice one old writer gave me. If you receive rejection from one person, send your story out to two more. You can apply that to screenwriting if you don't hear back from an agent/producer in the allotted amount of time (4-6 weeks).
There is no dignity in screenwriting, Ron. Keep in mind that you are writing for an audience with an average reading level that borders on the 6th grade level. If it's dignity you're after, then try writing a novel. Of course, the pay isn't as good, but the work is more rewarding.
I would approach this guy with something like "Hey, I didn't know you were THE Joe Blow that wrote The Blarney Stone Caper (or whatever the real title is)." If he talks about his work, maybe you can mention that you're a writer. If he makes a face and breaks out into a cold sweat, then I wouldn't pursue it any further.
Congrats to you.
Here's one place you'll find an example of CV:
:)'))) (That's my tongue and my many chinny chin chins.)
Which probably explains why Terry got so bent out of shape with my "Porker" comment in the "Fox TV Show" thread from last month.
Seriously, folks. Isn't it time to move on and forget about Mr. O'Reilley if you haven't heard back from him???
"What's important? A good heart and a good soul!"
Spoken like a true victim of dental braces, bottle-bottom-lensed eyeglasses, orthopedic shoes, posture-correcting back braces, and other implements of torture from childhood designed to make up for vitamin deficiency, poor diet and all-around inferior breeding.
Of course, in this politically correct environment some (like Terri) will get upset. My point, I guess, is that I don't have one; unless, it is to see who takes a stand for fat, ugly people everywhere.
By the way, what number post is this?
I had my SS# before I could walk. After gettting out of the army, I had inadvertently lost mine and went to the local SS Services Office where a less than enthusiastic clerk didn't even ask for identification from me when I inquired about a replacement.
The cemetery/identity theft idea was good.
Good luck. Of course, if you want to go to the source try writing the Social Security Office (either on the web or at their physical address...probably Washington, DC...) and see what's what.
You're all over the place.
Scriptpimp finalist as well???
Sooner or later, someone's got to give you your big break.
But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
And speaking of reincarnation...here's a logline for ya...
A neglected screenwriter starves to death and comes back as a successful hack who churns out senseless drivel for prodcos and distributors bent on fleecing brain-dead moviegoers the world over.
Wow, am I even more bitter than Terri-with-i over this one? Or what?
Last week I dropped by Scriptpimp's site to see what new (?) movies have been sold lately. Sad, just plain f#%*ing sad...
I thought the Michael Jackson project was a remake of Elvis's old flick "Girls, Girls, Girls" and tenatively entitled "Boys, Boys, Boys"???
Sank you. I will be here all ze veek. Try the lambchops and don't forget to tip your vaiters...
How would you like sitting behind people who talk about you and say, "Oh, I know her," when, in fact, they've never laid eyes on you? How would you like to be introduced to someone and get the same reaction every single damn time--"Oh . . . you're that girl"?
You're not Randi Brooks are you Terri? Not that you'd tell us if you were...
Does the name Ronald Reagan ring a bell??
At least, Ahh-nuld won't be elected president one day, what with being originally from Bah-var-iah and all. As far as I know, you still have be born on American soil to be president.
Although, "The West Wing meets Commando" as a premise shows some promise...
INT. OVAL OFFICE -- MORNING
LEO grimaces and makes for the door.
ARNOLD throws his hunting knife and
it sticks to the door just above Leo's head.
ARNOLD Let's not split hairs here, Leo. I want to drop bombs all over Kumar.
If you don't know much about guns, then I suggest visiting the web sites of gun manufacturer.
For law enforcement, Glocks are ok. So are .9mm Berettas.
No self-respecting deep-cover detective (Narcotics agent or otherwise) will carry a Howitzer cannon beneath his coat. Think small coupled with knockdown power.
The reason most law enforcement agencies went from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols had to do with the number of rounds an officer could put down range without reloading. It's no secret that the common beat cop is greatly outgunned whether he or she works in Los Angeles or Tupelo.
Definitely visit those gun manufacturer web sites. Familiarize yourself with name brands and who (which agency, etc) uses them.
I wouldn't take too much stock in Arnold not being the front runner. After all, Bush won the election even with all that mess with the Florida votes.
If I were a Californian, I'd brace myself for the ubergovernor...
Well, I can breathe again. Received my "R" letter for my script 'The 9th Messiah'.
My scriptis currently a first-round finalist in Script Magazine's Open Door contest sponsored by Broder-Webb-Chervin-Silbermann Agency, however. Not bad for a guy who just started entering contests this past year.
Good luck to everyone.
there are other contests.
I ate during Saving Private Ryan and Trainspotting. What's the big deal? Then again, after spending a couple of hours with a dead body I was hungry for cheeseburgers. True story. But I won't bore any of you with the gory details...
From what I gathered from Mr. O'Reilly, he's looking for comic books to turn into movies (essentially).
If had even ONE big prodco ask for my script I wouldn't let him know about it. Especially if he passed on it. You snooze, you go broke.
Bearsmouth asked for a script of mine. No response to follow-up email. Wishbone, as stated, Canadian but don't let that stop you. They are very courteous and professional. Zero Gravity I've heard of but never sent material to.
"...some of the posters like to preach screenwriting how-to's a bit too much for my liking."
You haven't hung around here long enough, Kevin. People can get preachy here also. But amidst all the muck you may find the occasional gem.
But seriously, sending a script into the Zoetrope can be all that bad with the off-chance it actually lands into the hands of the Coppola's.
Uh...I meant "can't be all that bad".
I won't profess to say which script is the greatest and which one isn't. However, I've found that there are some that must be read (Lambs, Witness, Chinatown, etc), while others I read because I like the movie, I like the writer's style, etc.
I'd put my money on John Sayles for comedy (his dialogue can be incredibly funny, believe it or not...).
Another comedy I'd like to get ahold of is Groundhog's Day. That whole scene between the characters of Phil Connors and Ned Bryerson...heh, heh, heh...woo-boy...
I've learned that studying great scripts is not enough. You have to read shlock from time to time so you can recognize the difference, and be aware of it when it comes time to your own writing.
"Say, are any of you fellahs versed in the art of metallurgy?"
Field of Dreams is one of my all-time favorite movies (although I liked Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe even better...so I'm a novel, I'm prejudiced in Kinsella's favor).
Not to beat the Cohen Brothers into the ground, but I loved Miller's Crossing too:
Verna: What you doing?
Tom Reagan: Walking... Verna: Don't let on any more than you have to. Tom Reagan: ...in the rain.
Now if I could just find that damned script...
So, I'm a novelist--I meant. Sorry :(
I am looking forward to Sayles's new movie.
You mentioned "Oh Brother" and how the script and movie are nearly identical.
If you find a copy of John Sayles's "Lone Star" you can see where some of the scenes were shifted around in the final edit. I bought a bound copy of "Lone Star" and it was interesting to see how the process worked. Also, it's easy to see how much of the original dialogue was edited out for better clarity and continuity.
"The day that man died they broke the goddam mold." - Cody Lone Star
I wouldn't bother with a pseudonym, personally.
And you're name isn't all that bad. It could be worse. You're last name could be Ghul (pronounced Ghoul) like my friend's vetrinarian who decided to be an animal doctor because being a physcian for bipeds presented...some challenges.
It doesn't hurt to showcase as many genres as you can. Writing in one can only strengthen the other, and vice versa.
The ignorant will undoubtedly lash out and disagree, but the wise will understand...
What is it with men these days? They go to bed early to . . . SLEEP!
Something I overheard at work from a friend imitating his wife with Edith Bunker's voice as she bitched about his sexual prowess:
"You take more time putting out the garbage!!"
But seriously, folks. Paul's right.
Wasn't this about a guy named Colin?
I received the same after they wanted my logline and synopsis again(?). No skin off my back. I sent them the information they wanted. Still waiting to hear.
I know they're an overseas group (Denmark? Sweden?). But hey, if someone wants to buy a script of mine and translate it into their own language that's fine by me. So long as I don't get paid in coconuts or bushels of bananas...
Oh, they are a prodco all-right.
Unless someone refers you, don't waste your time. Steve's right. The whole Inzide online thing has become a sham of sorts.
I wonder if people who watch movies and think "Hey, I can write a script" are the same who look at houses and say "Hey, I can build that."
Food for thought when dealing with an online submission process like Inzide's.
This year was the first year I entered my work in a handful of screenwriting contests. I took advantage of The Chesterfield's "two-for" application, and, voila, I made the semi-finals also.
Nice story about the gates of Paramount. I'll be sure let Paula and Gil know what the experience is like...
But seriously, folks. I commend everyone confident enough in their own work to enter an application into this project. Just remember that what's most important is getting your ass into the chair every day and writing. Plain and simple.
Or you can test The Writer's Store customer service mettle by emailing them, from your laptop, describe your dilemma, and hope that they provide you with a web address for another (preferably free) download. If they are worth their weight, The Writer's Store should provide this service for you, but they will ask for your emailed receipt and the license number from the original FD download.
I'm guessing they will direct your inquiry to whatever download service you used to get FD. Most online stores use them.
Let us know if The Writer's Store lives up to its rep.
Oh yeah, and mention in your email to The Writer's Store that you accidently lost the program when your original computer "crashed", provide a sob story about how you had to replace the hard drive, etc, and then ask for the free replacement download.
If there's one thing I learned working for a five-star hotel which shall remain nameless it's he or she who complains the loudest and the most usually gets something for free.
P.S. Hopefully no one on this board works for The Writer's Store.
I have Dramatica Pro, Storyview and Movie Magic (paid for all three). If you are not the most organized writer in the world Dramatica and Story View can help. Also, if you use Dramatica to work out characterization, plot lines, etc and then outline your script scene by scene you can transfer it to Storyview and onto Movie Magic. In theory, by the time you transfer to Movie Magic you can already have worked on two drafts of a screenplay.
Personally, I like Movie Magic after having sampled demos of Final Draft and MM.
And since two of my scripts that got me into the semis at Chesterfield were written using the three programs combined (a stretch for a guy who used to wallpaper his writing room with old-fashioned index cards, cocktail napkins or any other material I could handwrite on), I don't think I'll jinx myself anytime soon.
Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia is set for demolition.
Too bad we can't leave the Philadelphia Phillies in the old stadium when the charges are detonated and the old ball park comes tumbling down...
FD isn't the only screenwriting software with read-aloud option. Movie Magic has it too. Not bad if you wanted your script read aloud by Stephen Hawking...
No theme listening here. In fact, I don't use the read-aloud option. It's enough to hear the voices of my characters inside my head. Anyone else work like this?
Need help, folks.
Scripts "based on" another story aren't much good to a writer unless he has optioned the rights to said story. This much I know.
However, where does the "inspired by" fall with regard to optioning rights, etc?
Terri Dickey, if you're out there, I know you know the answer to this one.
Anyone with insight or comments please respond.
I've been in contact with the copyright office in Washington about a story that appeared in a pulp magazine in the 1930s. The trail (copyright and renewals) goes cold at Conde Nast (the magazine owners) in the early 1960s. Since then, the story has been published again and again in numerous anthologies which leads me to believe that A) the story is public domain or B) the anthology editors have paid for rights time and again.
At any rate, I want either the rights or definitive proof that the story is "public domain". I can't imagine Conde Nast, who bought the magazine the original story was in the 1930s (and subsequently shut down the mag), continued to renew the copyright. In other words, I think I just answered my own question. But I'm still game for further feedback.
You've worked hard on this script. Yes, it's always good to be open to suggestions. It's not like a novel where the author pretty much has the final say about the way the story turns out. However, if you think you need a break, then go on to the next project. Give your first script a couple of months and go back to it with fresh eyes. You'll be surprised at what this will do for you as a writer.
Best of luck.
I can always count on you.
In going over my paperwork from the copyright office with a fine-tooth comb, I realized that the story in question was never registered for copyright thus making it, in my opinion, public domain. Nor did the mag it was in ever renew the original copyright.
If you feel that strongly about it, then send the first script out. However, be prepared for flat responses like "thanks but no thanks" and the like. Development folks who read scripts are not in the business of providing writers with too much feedback if a script is rejected. However, you may land one or two exceptions who will tell you why they didn't accept your work.
And everyone else, too.
I will keep everyone posted as to how this little saga turns out.
A Google search showed them as a company in South Africa.
Their website http://www.planetpastel.com shows as unavailable.
There's also a Python Entertainment that puts out adult ezines, or so the search says.
And lastly, there's a Python Entertainment that appears to do documentary (run time approx. 52 min.) work on Apartheid, the Serengeti (narrated by James Earl Jones), and a few more.
Drop me an email with the name of your contact if you would like. I might have some additional info that I dug up if the name matches one I found during research.
Their email list is nearly identical. But having used both, I think the next time out I'd use Scriptblaster. I tend to get better results (call me superstitious).
Have you considered a career in automotive sales???
One of my scripts didn't make it the first round of the Nicholls contest. However, the same script made it the semi-finals (and holding) in the Chesterfield Writers Project. Go figure.
As to the felon crack addict thing, I don't know. What I do know is that, like Ellum said, you can't take it personally.
Keep writing. Believe in yourself.
One last note, I wouldn't put too much stock into this friend who read your script and loved it. Everyone's tastes are different.
Try writing another script, make sure it's polished (it may not hurt to have real coverage done by a reputable service), and submit next year to the Nicholls. I know I am.
Best of luck. And don't let the BOOM, BOOM, KILL, KILL thing get you down.
Like one old head from Hollywood said: "It ain't literature we're peddling."
One other bit to chew over.
I once knew a guy whose script won the Slamdance competition a few years back. Afterward, he got his movie made. I read an article recently in which this guy says, more or less, if he could do it all over again he'd forgo the competition route.
What's important is to continue writing. What's going to poison the creative well inside you is the "no one understands my genius" trip. I think we've all met those folks at our local video stores peddling VHS and DVD rentals and making face every time a customer asks for popcorn to go.
Recently, I had the chance to see professionals at work and up close on location (filming in Philadelphia, but I'm sworn to secrecy about cast and crew for job-related reasons). What a charge I got watching the whole thing come together.
Focus on the positive. Otherwise, the Muse will dump you faster than a prom queen who just heard you fart while slow dancing (but enough about my past...).
My high school had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Personally, I don't believe Tarrantino is a genius. But that's me. I'm sure all the little Tarrantino ass suckers will jump on the band wagon and dish me for bashing their god. Sorry, that's just the way I feel.
Eat, sleep, pass water. The ignorant will laugh, but the wise will understand.
No relation to Conan.
Seems to me you guys should all spend less time writing these posts and more time writing screenplays!
Here we go...
Fade In is a reputable contest, despite some biased press coverage they have received in recent months concerning one contestant's lawsuit over the delivery of an Imac computer.
Scriptblaster? The whole tamale. You never know what kind of responses you will get.
If you're friend can't handle your critique, then he wasn't a friend at all.
To cure him, he needs to submit a script to a less-than-cordial development exec who lacks the ability to pull punches when offering feedback.
It's always the shlubs who don't know crap about creativity that accuse others of not knowing anything about "art".
I said it before, and I'll say again: scratch the surface of an intellectual, and beneath you'll find an ignoramus afraid of being found out.
I'll read a few pages, too.
For what it's worth, here's my twelve pence:
A brutal killer, believed by scientists to be the legendary "fourth son" of Adam and Eve, holds the genetic key to an innocent girl's survival.
25 words in length...as in "Give it to me in twenty-five words or less!"
"...but I certainly don't agree than anyone who manages to put words to paper or screen is automatically deserving of respect and acceptance as a writer."
I'm with Jerry on this one.
Too many people with a rudimentary grasp of English and a computer think they can write. Contrary to what feel-good, express-yourself creative writing manuals and magazines profess, not everyone has something interesting to say. I read a book by Karl Iglesias who makes the analogy that sure we can all drive, but how many of us can drive at Indianopolis? Likewise, people write notes, letters and emails to other people everyday. That hardly constitutes being a writer.
But don't get me wrong. Criticism does have it's place. The measure of a seasoned writer is how much he can use from that criticism and whether or not he knows when to throw the rest away.
Criticism from others is fine, but being your own worst critic, by that I mean knowing deep down in your soul your strengths and weaknesses, will do you more good in the long run.
There is nothing wrong with shelving a script and moving onto the next project. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you're writing a rough draft script you'd sure as hell better be working on outlines, character sketches, etc for your next.
It's not about accepting criticism or not. For me, it's about finding something useful within that criticism that will make my script better.
As far as the whole snag 'em by page 10 theory, I don't subscribe to it. What happens if the story doesn't really get into full swing until page 17? Does that mean the script isn't worthy of serious consideration because it doesn't follow a cookie cutter formula? No, of course not. Great stories don't always follow the trend. And I think we can all attest to seeing movies or reading scripts that are pristine where formula is concerned, but lacking in what's most important: plot that defines the characters and their goals, characters pursuing their goals that cause action, and action that gives us a story.
Wow...it's a good thing I don't feel too strongly about this...
For me, Jacob's Ladder.
I liked the premise of the main character being dead and not even knowing it...something that can be found in various religions around the world.
I'd go with The Shining (the original) too. I work in a hotel that most of my co-workers are convinced is haunted...YIKES! I've seen some things. Can't explain them...but I've seen them. Of course, the day I quit is the day I see "the twins" standing in a guest hallway at 3:00am.
Frankenstein. Especially Dr. Frankenstein's colleague with the homunculi (plural for homunculus?) living in glass jars.
"I was booted out of the university, because I KNEWWWW too much."
Oh yeah, how could I forget The Creeping Flesh. I saw that one in an old family-run theatre when I was kid. After the movie, there were people (adults) running around the theatre in monster costumes as strobe lights flashed. What made matters worse was the fire exit doors being chained and padlocked.
Anybody receive word yet?
Whatever you do, avoid the CUT TO. Most screenwriters barely use it today. In truth, it slows down the read. There are numerous ways to describe what you are after. All you have to do is find a way to express it.
Try this one on and see it fits:
A woman stalked by a stranger seeks solace amongst friends only to become ensared in a web of deception perpetrated by those closest to her.
I switched up "spun" for perpetrated, and "entangled" for ensnared.
Also, you definitely want to stay away from transitive verbs like "being stalked", etc.
Active verbs=Strength Transitive verbs=Weakness
Hope this helps.
Try as many contests as you can (preferably those that give feedback) your first year. The following year, less contests and perhaps a consultant like mentioned above.
I didn't enter any contests until 2003, and I am ended up a semi-finalist (so far, fingers crossed, teeth chattering, etc) in the Chesterfield. So that encouraged me to submit to a few more contests before the year's out.
But don't take it to heart if you don't place across the board. The two scripts I entered in the Chesterfield never made the first round in another contest.
Is it all a crap shoot? Probably. But writers like us need either A) a great agent or B)recognition in a major contest to turn anyone's head.
Best of luck.
And I agree with Jerry and Steve.
Most folks who request your script will assume that you have already registered your work. No need to put it on the cover page. Some, but not many, prodcos and agents will request that information separately.
PUMPKINHEAD & NEAR DARK (both so equally bad I had to buy them for my collection).
Write it. Even if you shelve it down the road at least you will gain something fruitful from doing so. Every screenplay you write will only make you a better writer (the same goes for short stories, novels, etc).
When it's finished, enter the script into a contest that offers feedback to see where you stand.
You never know...
A very good warning.
If a legitimate producer believes in your script's marketability, then rewrites will cost money--to the producer who pays the writer and not vice versa.
Never work for free.
Never pay for "consultation" suggested by a would-be producer.
This message, as mentioned above, should be posted far and wide.
Sounds like you have a bug up your ass; either that or you've been rejected too much, never came close to a sale, and really wish you could qualify for membership. Sour grapes. Remember that, too.
Did someone forget his medicine today???
There are examples of what you seek at places like Inktip.com, Scriptblaster, and others. You definitely want to straighten this out before you submit a query letter to anyone.
There are plenty of books out there that will help you as well. Any relatively decent public library near you will have these books so that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg.
And if you still want help then email me.
There are those lurking around these boards who have forgotten their early days and the questions they asked. I'd like to think of myself as not being one of them...
Yeah, what Jerry said...
Accepting criticism, constructive or otherwise, is part of the writer's life. Moreover, if you cannot take mom's critique (or any other family member, friend, or peer), then I doubt you will ever be able to withstand criticism from the big boys.
Stick to what you know (in the beginning, at least). Write about what moves you. The rest be damned.
Of course, if you cannot write an original story that is not derivative of some crap you just saw in the movie theater that nearly put you to sleep or made you contemplate stabbing out your eyes with unsharpened pencils, then you might consider a career in real estate. If sales are not your gig, perhaps teaching might suit you (semi-literates have a strong presence in our schools and now they are in charge of shaping our children's future).
I just sent them a query. Haven't heard anything. I found them on Scriptpimp.com's company listing. His credits, according to Scriptpimp, are co-producer on Wes Craven Presents: They. IMDB lists "They" and a television show "On Hostile Ground" (2000).
Hope this helped.
The antagonists role is to force the hero into change, and so I think something has to fulfill that role.
With no antagonist, there's no motivation for growth or change in the protagonist.
And I agree about MBFGW. Same with Bend It Like Beckham...the family thing again.
Thanks, Ed. And thanks to Z. Core.
Good luck to everyone.
Do check out this link:
and scroll down to Lee Shore's listing.
Also, he's located in Pittsburgh, PA...for what it's worth.
I do keep a log. A spreadsheet, actually. Who, what, where, when, result, comments, etc. It may seem a bit retentive, but then that's just me.
If you're ever driving through the New Jersey Pine Barrens that scraping sound on the hood of your car may be the Jersey Devil. Do not attempt to get out of your car and shoo him away as this will only piss off the evil Leeds hellspawn.
# 23 If you receive a phone call and a metallic voice tells you "I'll see you in time" rest assured something bad is going to happen.
# 24 Not all lawn gnomes are goody-goody, cutesy-cutesy...ditto for pink flamingos...double ditto for stuffed clowns with ceramic faces (evil incarnate).
#25 (For Men) Never pick up a female hitchhiker in a negligee who complains of being cold, you will undoubtedly wish you didn't stop.
#26 (For Women) Never pick a male hitchhiker named Cletus who talks with a lisp and waxes romantic about his sister...your heart will be broken.
Hope everyone's Halloween was as much fine as mine.
I'm out, too. However, Ed was kind enough to include a written note informing me that I made the top 5% before the finalists were picked.
Not bad for my first year of any competitions.
Evidently, someone skipped kung-fu school the day they taught humility.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not sticking up for Ellum. He's about as crotchety as they come 'round these parts.
Why is that these threads always degenerate into this sort of behavior?
Get over yourselves.
Congratulations to all the finalists this year. Here's to somebody on these boards getting the fellowship.
As for next year?
"I'll get you, my pretty!"
Don't give up hope on the Chesterfield.
Try submitting something new next year.
And good luck with the Sundance thing.
With Inktip, you're information sits in a data bank that prodcos and agents access. There are no query letters, per se, sent out. However, Inktip is a great tool to use.
With Scriptblaster, a mass emailing occurs after you submit your query letter (based on whether you target prodcos alone, agents alone, or the enchalada...both prodcos and agents).
There is an even cheaper service known as Scriptquery.com. They offer the same service as Scriptblaster or So You Wanna Sell a Script's. Scriptquery, as I said, is a moneysaver. Not only that, I recently paid for an "agents only" emailing service for my query letter and I was upgraded to a "full query" service for the same price.
Check out all three (Scriptblaster, Scriptquery, and SoYouWannaSellaScript), and see which one suits you.
Later, when you have a few more dollars tucked away, definitely sign up for the Inktip.
Best of luck. Email me if you have any further questions.
One side note, I just finished reading Karl Iglesias's "101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters" and, according to the professional screenwriters Iglesias interviewed, not many people hold much stock in the whole "cold call" process of email queries. Still, if you don't have a relative in the industry, or you don't do tea with top agents, you have to start somewhere...just like the rest of us.
Jerry, could provide an email address for Barb Doyon? Or email me with it from my address in my profile?
I know you think you're unique, but I have some of the same symptoms (hereditary pattern baldness, etc).
I have Al Sharpton's home phone. He said he would be able to "confiscate" you for your time if you would like to discuss your pending legal issue.
I'm kidding of course.
I think it's great that Ed posts here. And I hope that the female contingent is happy now.
I plan on entering the Chesterfield again this coming new year. I'm sure a pending suit with my name on it wouldn't help with advancement.
ix-nay on the awsuit-lay.
The "high path" is not for me, owing to my fear of heights (sad to think that I used to repel out of helicopters in the U.S. Army back when Commies were our biggest fear).
Regarding Al Sharpton's letterhead, it wouldn't surprise to find out that Sharpton would say "letterhead? You mean I got stationary? What if I want to move?"
Truth be told, I'm waiting to see how the federal investigation works out for Philadelphia Mayor John Street. The FBI and the Justice Dept run the risk of turning this clown into another Marion "Who Got the Crack?" Barry.
What does this have to do with the Chesterfield? Nothing. Conspiracies? Everything.
It's like the guy at work last night who complained about the price of beef going up. I mentioned that gas prices were going down, and said something about them being connected. Oh no, said he. There's no connection. To wit, I replied, then "they" already got to you too...
These ramblings are brought to you by hunger and sleep deprivation. At H&SD, we strive to free the mind, even it feels like you're flipping your wig, slipping off your trolley, falling down the rabbit hole, etc.
Interesting. I heard from Mr. Minelli himself that he charges $125.00 up front, but only takes 10% of sales money as compared to some agents who take up to 15% or 20%.
Say you make $100,000 on your first sale. Mr. Minelli takes $10,000. Other agents would be into you for as much $15,000 to $20,000.
This past year I broke ties with an "up-n-coming" production company whose contract stipulated 30% or up to $300,000 if a larger studio fronted the money.
Robbie drop me an email from my profile, please. I have a question for you.
Way to go Danny and Gil. Here's to great things for you in the near future.
You have a beginning. I knew a gent in college who had a dresser drawer filled with fifteen versions of the first chapter to a novel that he never finished. Try writing the end now (save last ten minutes/ten pages) or your script. Then outline the middle since you know where your story is going.
I'm big on the outline first. That's just me. Of course, as you write your script, you should set goals. Five pages a day, whatever. Some people do more. Some people do less.
Reviewing the last few pages of a previous day's work is not only helpful, but also imperative.
Since Gil mentioned it, try out Vicki King's little exercise concerning nine index cards from her book "How to Write a Screenplay in 21 Days". Not that this book is gospel, mind you, but it is helpful. Once you've done the 9-card thing, you can elaborate the outline.
I'm not sure you have to give credit for public domain stories. Look at the novel and movie A Thousand Acres. It's King Lear set in the American South(West?).
A good place to start is the Copyright Office, or a good entertainment lawyer.
I don't know too many timid cowboys. Right now, I'm picture Jason Alexander doing his George Catanza kick.
Regarding the logline?
"A timid, eagle eyed cowboy becomes the prime suspect of his best friend’s murder."
That's it. And get rid of the "timid" and the "eagle eyed" in description.
And please, no more idle threats. Or as Val Kilmer's Doc Holiday put it in 'Tombstone':
"I'm your huckleberry."
Catanza? I meant Castanza.
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement
Are you F***ING kidding me???
This what happens when you leave choice in music to eggheads of a scientific bent...
I looked at that list. It was pretty cool.
Saturday Night Live did a skit with Matt Damon as Hannibal Lector during his college years. Not exactly comedic genius, but I loved the bit where Young Hannibal listens to message from his mother on his answering machine:
"And Hannibal stay away from the fava beans. You know how they make you toot."
In all actuality, I'm not sure I'm interested in seeing Hannibal the kid. Given the character's education and adult job as psychiatrist, I don't get an "urban" feel here. Of course, seeing what made Hannibal snap might be cool.
Just my two cents...
I use it. Some folks hate it. Some folks don't. For me, it forces me to think about my story in its beginning stages before getting down to writing the script. There's even a report option for "coverage" on your story. So, once you're finished making your way through (basic plot, character building, signposts, journeys, outline, etc) you can run the report and see how much or how little you have done. The coverage report, however, does not assess your overall story, but does lay out where areas of the story ingredients are weak and strong.
One thing to remember. Your story will change as you put it down on paper after you've used Dramatica (characters will take you in new directions...or at least they should once you give them breath and a voice of their own). But I think overall Dramatica Pro is a good tool.
I've used demos of others (like John Truby's Blockbuster), but I've found Dramatica more to my taste for screenwriting.
I avoid Dramatica when writing fiction (novels and short stories), having grown accustomed to a more non-linear approach long before I decided to write screenplays. But that's another message board topic altogether.
Oddly enough, I tried the Power Structure Demo. I didn't exactly hate it, but I saw no real difference other than terminology which the Dramatica user can change to his/her liking.
The downside of Dramatica(or any other program like its kind) is that one may feel the program dictates how you write. I didn't experience this, personally. In fact, it was quite the opposite. If anything, and I may have mentioned this above, these programs force a writer to think about his/her story in a way that may allude him/her when going the traditional route with index cards, pages of character sketches, etc.
I've read on various fiction boards that many people use Power Structure for novels and stick to Dramatica Pro for screenwriting. Me? I don't have that kind of money, yet...(heh, heh, heh). But I will let everyone here know when I do make a sale and can afford both.
It depends. Many novelists use different outline styles (paragraph after paragraph, the good old-fashioned outline with Roman numerals and smaller case letters, etc).
If you plan to write a novel then I suggest you experiment and see what works for you. But before you do might I suggest you take a character or two that you've created and put them in a short story totally unrelated to the story that the novel will tell.
If you're looking for a novel outline of a book you'd like to adapt into a screenplay then I suggest you do it the old-fashioned way and read the book, making notes as you go along, etc.
From Jerseyite(?) to another, congrats Kim.
I think Ron's idea is a good one.
Did you do the "Set in Philadelphia" contest this year also? I think the deadline was December 1.
Funny you mentioned this, Gil.
I agree with everyone that said just blow out the first draft. I think there's some old addage in Vicki King's book about the first draft coming from the heart, etc.
One of my scripts I had the hardest time with in the beginning, shelved it, went back to work on it, didn't think much of it, and managed to get some serious attention for a script that I never believed was my best.
At any rate, don't sweat this.
A writer wiser than me once said if you run into writer's block then write about not being able to write.
I know yours isn't a block (as you mentioned) so much as a get back into the groove.
A script I recently wrapped up the rewrites on (plural) was a stretch for me (crime drama). Music, as mentioned above, helped me get in the mood. But when I was really stuck (especially with the killer) I started thinking like my characters in everyday activities of mine (work, etc); even the killer, which freaked some people out...especially at work when I scared the hell out of them by sneaking up on them (old habits die hard, I suppose).
Another little thing that helps me is considering how my characters would react to certain stimuli (smells, sights, situations, etc) that aren't in my story.
Also, to get over the stumble try taking two of your characters and write a short story completely unrelated to your screenplay in which your characters show up. I wish I'd dreamt this little gem up myself, but I did not. I tried it a few times. It helps to round out characters and affords you the chance to see them in a different light.
Don't feel bad about shelving certain projects to work on others. I still have a half-finished screenplay about a UFO hoax that took place in Jersey some years back, and I started that one over three years ago.
Worse case scenario? Look up those of us who have email addresses listed here and drop us a line. I know a few people on this board whose correspondence away from Moviebytes has helped keep me focused.
Remember, so long as you are writing don't worry about it.
This request sounds vaguely familiar. And if it's from who I think it is, don't bust your balls getting this information out to them. There's a school of thought that says once you send a query letter the next logical step would be for an interested party to request your script in its entirety.
But you want to proceed anyway I'd say the "narrative outline" at 2-3 pages sounds like a condensed treatment. If I'm wrong I know someone will come along and correct me.
For scripts in PDF, try http://screentalk.biz. When you get there, look for the link for movie scripts.
Also, you may want to find a copy of "How Not to Write A Screenplay" by Denny Martin Flinn. This may help you avoid senseless mistakes and overworking yourself later down the road.
Of course, all the technical know-how can never take the place of a really good story.
Best of luck. And keep us posted on how your script develops.
Evidently, Charlie Kaufman penned an adaptation of A Scanner Darkly in the late 1990s. For every article I read that says it will be made soon, there's one that says not so fast.
My personal favorite(s) would have to be The Valis trilogy (Valis, Divine Invasion, and Transmigration of Timothy Archer). Another Dick book I like is Galatic Pot Healer.
Of course, there are so many good short stories by PKD(now I'm really showing my sci-fi/Dick dorkiness) that I wouldn't attempt to pin down one of those for a movie.
I'd be interested to know what the going rate for rights to a Dick novel is; however, by the time I make any money writing screenplays the whole Dick thing will have blown over.
But then there's always Roger Zelazny and Alfred Bester...
Best vision??? Maybe Blade Runner ("He say you Blade Runner."), but then I've heard many good things about Imposter but having not seen it yet the verdict from the jury living inside my head is not in yet.
What I'd really love to see on film is an adaptation of Michael Bishop's novel "Alas, Philip K. Dick is Dead". The problem is who gets cast as Dick...hmmm...
NOW HERE THIS:
NEVER EVER BY SOFTWARE (OR HARDWARE, FOR THAT MATTER) ON EBAY...
THAT IS ALL...
A schizophrenic torments his alcoholic psychologist when he learns his therapist's darkest secret.
Also, and I may be wrong, but it isn't psychiatrists who see patients and psychologists who study the "mind and [its] behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity"?
Ebay has ongoing problem with sellers hawking illegal copies of software and a history of sellers passing off junk hardware as "brand new". Of course, since there are a gazillion sellers on Ebay it's hard to monitor all of them.
If you don't need copies of software that you won, Gil, why don't you try donating the software to some reputable charity geared toward helping young, disavantaged folks who want to be writers. Or you could pocket the money and sell it on Ebay. Just make sure your description discloses the fact that the packages are "factory sealed"(even though anyone with shrinkwrap and a hairdryer can prove the same).
I've babbled enough.
THAT IS ALL!!
Zoetrope is by far the best peer group (compared to Triggerstreet, etc) in my opinion.
As far as the four reviews for every script you post goes, you have to give to get. Not only that it's worth it to see what others are doing compared to your work.
I'd give it a try if I were you. You may surprised.
When someone asks you to send your script after having viewed info on Inktip you send it. Inktip does their best to make sure the folks viewing writers' works are legit. Having spoken to a few people who skim Inktip looking for material I learned that they don't want to be bothered with downloading scripts and printing them. As writers, it's our job to provide potential agents, managers, prodcos with hardcopies in standard industry format.
Now, as for A. Rahman Yoba of GhettoSuburbia Entertainment, he and his brother penned a play together (a musical, actually). A. Rahman's brother Malik has played in various television roles; namely, New York Undercover and Bull.
I don't think it can hurt to mail them your sitcom script.
Good luck. Merry Christmas.
As it stands, your long logline is too vague. Yet, despite having not read your script, you may try something like this on for size:
"A young man falls for his best friend's girlfriend, and discovers that new love will test an old friendship."
Of course, I agree that there have been a zillion stories involving this scenario. So, you will have to bring something truly unique to the table to grab someone's attention.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
I read a excerpt from this article, Danny. They also mentioned that some of the heated arguments were actually scripted and shot after everything else was said and done to add drama to the series. On a lighter note, I also read somewhere that the most recent winner is shopping a new script. So, I guess there is life after Greenlight...
You'd do well to hire your own script coverage service (and a reputable one, I might add) for that kind of money.
Stay away...stay very far away...
Sounds like your script with just wither on the Vine (tee-hee).
Would any of you entertain the idea of letting an up-n-coming filmmaking student shoot a short your wrote for no money?
I've been in contact with a gent who fits the bill mentioned above, but he cannot offer anything other than a copy of said short film upon completion and writing credit.
Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.
Joan, Steve, thanks.
I recently gained representation with an agent for a full-length script.
The short I mention here took all of an hour to write, and maybe 90 minutes to revise.
If anything else, it's good exposure and a learning experience like Joan said.
I'll keep you posted.
My guess is that some "shlep" reads the NY Times bestseller list and realizes that a novel with such great sales can bring people into the movie theaters.
Case in point, The DaVinci Code and others.
Given a choice, I'd rather see a decent adaptation of a novel than a re-hash of a movie that's already been made (i.e. The Rock's Walking Tall--due soon, Viggo Mortensen of LOR fame in a remake of Billyjack, and countless others that are coming down the pike soon to a theater near you).
But to answer the topic question, no I don't think every novel should be made into a movie. Some years ago, there was "The Sheltering Sky", a movie based on the novel by Paul Bowles, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. And as much as I like John Malkovich and Mr. Bertolucci's other work, this is one tale that was better left to the reader and his imagination.
Commence Operation Canadian Bacon...
No doubt your ego intrudes...
Oh, boy. Here we go...
One person's feedback on a script doesn't necessarily mean your script is bad. I've received feedback that wasn't altogether positive only to turn around with same script and place as a semi-finalist in the Chesterfield.
You felt strongly enough to send out the script initially. No script is completely polished before it's handed for another to consider. And even if you sign with someone there will be more rewrites.
Just my opinion.
The more I hear about this script, the less it seems you know what it's really about. Don't mean to sound harsh, but with each new logline you post there appears to be a different angle to you story.
I wouldn't use names in a logline, but that's just me. Synopsis? Sure. Logline? No.
I agree with Rosa and others. Perhaps the logline is not the best place for contest wins. However, as mentioned above, the bio part of a query would do nice. Even if the person reading the letter/query just skims there's a good chance the mentioned contest will stand out. Every little bit helps, I think.
A few years back I read a long story (later turned into a novel), by F. Paul Wilson of "The Keep" fame, entitled 'Midnight Mass' and tried my hand at an adaptation only to learn later that an independent company had already began shooting their version. Overall, it was a good learning experience.
I have even adapted one of my own novels called 'The Last Dark Place'.
As far as The DaVinci Code goes, I haven't read the novel yet. I did read an earlier book by Brown (Angels and Demons) that would make a decent movie as well.
A hobby of mine is reading about Gnostic scriptures and the gospels found at Nag Hammadi in 1945(?). Interesting stuff. So, I suppose I won't be completely lost when I do get around to reading the DaVinci Code.
A novel along these lines that I would like to see made into a movie is "Declare" by Tim Powers. But that's for another post.
I recently received permission to base a script on a sci-fi short story from the lawyer who represents the estate of one of my favorite writers. I've had some great feedback on the script, but no takers yet.
Speaking of codes, I work in Philadelphia where "National Treasure" wrapped up its location shooting this past fall. It was interesting to see Nicholas Cage, Jerry Bruckheimer, Sean Bean and others go off to work at all hours of the day and witness the day's shooting scripts being delivered each night.
So close, yet so far away...
Good to hear from you again, Greg. I'll wait for the application in the mail and get my secret weapon off to you the Nicholls Competition before April.
Here's to good luck for everyone in 2004.
Not much in the way of horror, but the original Cape Fear with Robert Mitchum is positively creepy. The great part about movies in that error was that most of the violence/ill intentions were implied rather than played out.
28 Days Later Jacob's Ladder(one my favorites) Angelheart(say what you will about Mickey Rourke, but I loved this one..."I know who I am!") The Shining(the original w/Jack)
Conversely, I just saw "Bloodwork" with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Daniels. I got bored after I figured out that Jeff's character was the baddy. And that was in the first twenty minutes.
No, I'm sure Gil will see his way past it and forgive Eastwood anyway.
Oh, you mean the movie...
I think what you have is quite good. However, I would avoid pat words such as "goofy". Also, you may want to tighten up the final sentence concerning to Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. But that's just me. What is it about your script that makes me want to read it versus other crime murder mystery comedy scripts out there? I'm not being a wiseass. These are some of the questions that come up for all of us when our work is posted on Inktip.
Fiction? Novels and short stories, pen names good.
Screenplays, pen names bad.
Or so I hear.
I still don't get why you would use a pen name anyway...
I'm with Rob on Gigli.
Also, What a Girl Wants.
I'm sure that movie's quite scary.
It's a two-sided argument.
Creative Screenwriting Magazine just did an article on a retired air force guy who started writing scripts while still serving in uniform and sold his first script after retirement. The kicker is this guy (whose name escapes me) writes at a diner deep in the heart of Georgia and only travels to LA for meetings, etc.
There are other writers (working ones) who refuse to move to LA despite the so-called argument.
Me? If I sold a script or two I might take up temporary residence for a couple of years. Who knows...
If a competition doesn't specify genre it can't hurt. However, if the competition is geared toward low-budget independents, etc then it would be a waste of time and money.
Try the Slamdance Contest this year. They have a category for horror as well as one for science fiction (if that's your thing).
I had an idea these results would be posted in early spring.
Too busy writing, I guess.
Something like that. Just keep writing. Reading various message boards around the web I read too many posts about writers who get down on themselves for not winning or placing in contests. It's the writing that counts. Nothing else matters.
Sorry about "The 10th Messiah". It's all in the numbers.
A lifetime of study of hermetics, the kabbalah, numerology, divination, spirit conjuration, shamanism, out of body practice, prayer, and an open-ended contract with the devil might help, but then I don't know anything about the aforementioned subjects. So, I just keep writing.
I've considered submitting this script for the Nicholl. Maybe, maybe not...
Try this link for starters:
And definitely get a hold of existing television show scripts. Different studios have different formatting where television sitcom scripts are concerned. 'Everybody Loves Raymond' is different in format than say 'Life With Bonnie' (CBS and ABC).
Keep us posted (no pun intended) on how you do.
The peer review is a crock. That's my personal opinion, of course. Witness Spacey's convoluted Triggerstreet and the like.
If you want to spend a good $30.00 then try the Nicholl, the Austin, the Chesterfield, or any of the smaller contests that offer feedback like Red Ink and such.
PGL is a joke...
Title only should appear on cover page. Nowhere else on script should title show (i.e. as header with page #...just put the page number).
The reason most contests don't want your name to appear on the script is so that the reader won't be biased (whether your man, woman, black, white, asian, Italian, Irish, Swahili, etc.).
Hope this helped.
Also, a title page with only a title and no info on the writer (address, etc) keeps the reader's tendency to dismiss a screenwriter from say New Jersey, like me, or from Muskogee, Oklahoma (I know you are out there). Some contests in the past didn't take folks seriously if they weren't from the "left coast".
Did someone say marijuana???
"Pass de duchee on the left'and side..."
As for the title on the cardstock cover, everyone I ever submitted to never fussed over it being "Amateur", and these folks are as "real world" as they come.
A friend who shall remain anonymous submitted a script of mine to some friends of his at some very big (read: really, really big) studios...Title on cardstock and all.
Gotta go fill my bong...
Denouement is the final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work (at least according to Merriam-Webster, and I tend to agree).
I'm not sure what the "second ending" is, but Ellum is right. Leave your synopsis/query reader in a state that will make him/her want to read the script.
Jerry also makes a good point. I can't think of anywhere in a query/synopsis where this word denouement be used either.
Given that denouement is French whose origin comes from desnouer: to untie, it sounds rather weak when it's read silently or aloud, I'd stick to an idiom that will jump off the page (read: use strong words that stand out) so that the reader will want to know more.
If you're out to sell the great american novel, then use this word. But if it's a screenplay you want to sell my advice is this: write clear, conside queries that don't insult the reader or make him/her feel that you are attempting to sound smarter than him/her (interns and other front line defense personnel at studios and agencies are, I've found out, rather thin-skinned about this).
But don't take my word for it. Try a few queries with denouement in it and a few without. Then let us know how things go.
from the "Toot Your Own Horn Department":
9th Messiah is currently holding as a semi-finalist in the So You Wanna Sell A Script All Access Screenplay Competition.
I also entered same script in the "Set In Philadelphia" contest this year (results pending...March, maybe??? Who knows).
Anyway, thanks for everyone's support thus far.
You can educate all you want when you write a query and/or synopsis; but, if you beat them over their heads with your cleverness then you will lose them every time.
I'm not knocking anyone. I just wonder how many of you remember that you are writing for an audience whose majority would rather watch a story on the big screen than a read novel. That's one reason why people go to the movies in the first place.
Seriously, folks. Have you been to the movies lately? It's not exactly our country's intelligentsia that's standing in line to buy tickets.
A good screenwriter should count on the overall moronic ineptitude of his audience in the theater (i.e. those moviegoers who were actually blown away by the fact that Verbal Kint was Keyser Soze, Tyler Durden and "The Narrator" were a split personality, or Dr. Malcolm Crowe was actually a ghost). However, the screenwriter should never underestimate the fickle quality of those professional readers who may have to use a dictionary to figure out a word in a query (chances are the "thanks but not interested" letter, or worse, no response, will reach your inbox/mailbox in record time).
Personally, I feel that if a synopsis is written correctly then one would not need to use a word like denouement or otherwise to announce the ending (be it false or otherwise). The reader should gain that much by the content and the context of the material presented.
Ed wrote: "Also, can someone tell me the difference between the material in his seminar and the material in his book."
About $500.00 and the chance to sit next to Charlie Kaufman wannabes who believe they can sustain dialogue for 90-120pp in a script and yet in real-life can hardly hold a conversation with another human being for more than a minute without getting flustered.
I'm kidding of course.
I read the book. Here's my advice(for what it's worth): use what you can use.
As far as the seminar goes, I'm contemplating a New York seminar sometime soon.
Here's an oddball question:
How many of you have received a blank email reply on a query sent to a producer or management company?
I got the one the other day from a prestigious management co. No word of yay or nay...just a blank email from them.
I used to follow up with producers who hadn't responded either way after 6 or 8 weeks. But lately I've been too busy writing.
I also have this weird thing about ticking off a production company who may not want the work I submitted ("Doesn't fit our needs but we like your writing"--was one reply I received) so I don't really hassle them anymore.
If a script grabs someone's attention I'd assume it's passed up the food chain and someone will contact you.
Am I wrong?
As far as offbeat films go, I'd so the only exceptions in recent years were "Arlington Road" and "Finding Forrester".
I'm getting set to mail my script off to the Nicholls before long.
Overall, I'm quite pleased with some of my placings this past year as I only started submitting for competitions in 2003.
But like Gil said in another post somewhere on this site it is important to write and not focus "too much on outside confirmation for your results."
Time to get back to work.
My "Danger, danger, Will Robinson" alarm went off when I read into the Maverick agreement and found out that residents of New Jersey (in exampla: Me) are not eligible to participate. Something must not be on the up and up with this outfit if they are not legally able to include contests from the Garden State (we tend to have stiff rules regarding legitimacy and the like where contests of any sort are concerned).
Save your money. Go with the Nicholls or another reputable contest (Chesterfield, Austin, etc).
And good luck with whatever you choose.
Tganks for the imfo. That's awsum.
See, I gues I could use a good proofreader after all.
I will definitely use your recommendation in the near future as I'm putting the final touches a novel that I hope one day to turn into a script.
I'm with Terry on being suspicious of anyone that offers such an "umbrella" service for writers, directors, producers, grips, best boys, gaffers, and whathaveyou.
I'm surprised no one has produced such a movie (Coming to America with females in the lead...).
Maybe it's just me, but I think I liked 1st Date when it was called Ground Hog's Day...
And to answer your question, Colin. I can't think of any other flicks other than the aforementioned (Roman Holiday, Romancing The Stone, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back...actually, I believe there's also Romancing The Bone, but that's a porn one...uh, or so I hear...).
Sorry I couldn't be of any more help.
"...and I, for one, find that the most disturbing aspect of all - the cult of celebrity surrounding evil people who hurt others."
Sadly, this is the world in which we live. I find these stories fascinating because not only does it cause me to reflect on the lives shattered by the so-called evildoer, but I also contemplate what pushed someone over the edge, what was the thing that turned them from a decent human being into something more sinister.
As far as Ms. Theron goes, I haven't seen the movie. But movies are, to a large degree, about making money. Without Ms. Theron attached perhaps the backing wasn't there. I do not doubt that there are plenty of gifted actors who could have played the role, but would an actor who doesn't need to "turn ugly" actually draw in the viewers?
Personally, Ms. Theron never did much for me. Even as I write this I hear that nagging accent she had in THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE ("And now I'm supposed to run into your arms and melt like butter on a hot muffin?"). Maybe I'll get around to seeing MONSTER soon, and I'll gain a new appreciation for her. JMHO
Most contests release forms stipulate that you either have a copyright or are in the process of getting one.
If you acknowledge the release form from PGL then you are in effect saying yes I'm in the process.
If it's registered via WGA then a copyright can't hurt.
Now, here's a little morsel you may consider:
To save money, register a collection of screenplays (four, five, six, etc) as one work (example: Eight Original Joe Blow Screenplays by Josephus Alphonse Blow). You get the picture. Make sure to include a table of contents with each title on it and corresponding page number if you want. You may have to convert your scripts to Word to do this the right way. But it beats paying for each individual script. The copyright office will allow you to register it as an 'unpublished work'.
gotta go. gotta write.
"Peace, love, dope. Now get the hell out of here."
-Field Of Dreams"
"Is this heaven?" "No, it's Iowa." -Field Of Dreams"
"When I want your opinion, I'll give it to ya." -G.I. Jane
"Sylvia Pincus. Big fat Jewish broad, had a little tiny husband. She chopped him up with an ax and mailed his pieces all over the country. I don't know what she was tryin' to prove." -Bullets Over Broadway
These work for me, anyway.
If I think of anymore, I'll come back and post 'em.
"Leave the gun. Bring the canolis."
"You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!"
"I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got."
"No one in this country can ever pronounce my name right. It's not that hard: Samir Na-gheen-an-a-jar. Nagheenanajar."
"I'm always open, even on Christmas."
"Here's to five miserable months on the wagon, and all the irreparable harm it has caused me."
"I did two tours of duty in southeast Asia and I was married for five years. I couldn't tell you which experience was worse."
"I see men, sixty, seventy years old breaking their balls to stay fit! What for? When I die, I want to be sick, not healthy."
No doubt I could spend all day doing this, but I have to get back to work.
Hey, how about a courtesy flush over there?
Are you in a show?
No, actually I'm English.
And who can forget...
Mama Cass...ham sandwich.
Hi Curly. Killed anyone today?
The day ain't over yet...
I'd say that one from City Slickers is recognizable.
Spoken like a true crotchety, old man...
I suppose you use that "Shitters" line from Stephen King's Christine all the time, don't you?
Terri/Ellum/Pinky/Whomever You Are:
Get the professional help that you need, you fat, unstable psychopath, before its too late. Keep snacking at midnight and crying about your weight during the day, you unstable wretch. It's people like you that ruin a good thing like this message board. What's wrong? Did Mommy and Daddy ignore you? Did you even know your Daddy? If you knew him, did he take liberties with you in the dark? Did he pass you around to his booze-drinking, card-playing friends to settle a debt?
Whatever the case, I wish you luck you no-talent hack. Go eat some bon-bons and cry in the dark, you fat, cellulite-ridden, waste of space.
There I feel better.
I'm out of here, kids. Good luck to the rest of you.
I thought I might learn something around here, maybe have a few laughs. I was wrong.
If you would like to give to the Terri Dickey Mental Health Fund, please send your checks to....
Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call when you are unable to speak?
I don't even remember who I was before they sunk their claws into me!
oops. Wrong thread...I was looking for Gil's...
Sorry Gil. This one's eleven years old...but it's still one of my favorites.
Mitch Leary: I have a rendezvous with death, and so does the President, and so do you if you get too close.
Frank Horrigan: You have a rendezvous with my ass, motherfucker!
"some of the threads on this site are pretty odd and extremely inbred."
Your kindness preceeds you, Nancy.
Despite the differences as of late, I think we all agree that there are some gems of advice within the various posts.
Even though I said I wouldn't be back I'm still here.
I'm a regular glutton for punishment, I guess. That, and I have rather thick skin, a cold heart, and no feelings.
Leave the CAPS, the CUT TOs, and the DISSOLVE TOs to the director's copy once the script (if you're fortunate enough to sell it) is completely out of your hands. All of these devices slow down the read. I once read a script from online workshop where there was a CUT TO after every scene. A very slow read, to say the least. And when I suggested to the writer that he gets rid of the CUT TOs, he flipped out (via email), going on about how I didn't understand his 'vision'. If I didn't get it then I'm sure a paid reader at a studio wouldn't understand his 'vision' either.
Strive for clarity. Show don't tell.
Hope this helped.
Lighten up already, Gil.
You'll know when we are considered professional.
We will no longer post messages here at Moviebytes.
Anyone who disagrees with that is a liar(Sorry, Fred. That's life).
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